View Full Version : crate training

9th January 2006, 11:39 AM
Hi all.
Would someone mind forwarding me instructions on Crate Training???
Thanks - Yvonne

9th January 2006, 12:29 PM
I'd recommend ordering Shirlee Kalstone's How to Housetrain a Dog in Seven Days, as that is based around crate training. There's lots about doing this out on the net. Here's one detailed site:


I know a lot of people will crate for hours at a time but I find this totally unecessary and can't imagine leaving a dog to spend much of its daytime life in a crate while one is out. But doing basic crate training pays off in making a dog also comfortable with being in a singlee room as well. I "crate" both my dogs to an upstairs room when I am out, where they have water, toys that I know are safe, a bed to lie on, lots of room to play, a window to look out of (and bark at the neighbour cats from time to time :roll: ). You can leave their crate in the room with the door off (the crate) and they can use that as a "den".

You can reinforce crate training in many positive ways -- for example always transport the dog in a crate in the car (this is the single safest way to transport a dog anyway -- run the seatbelt through the crate handle). Mine are very comfortable with crates and I have sent them by car, train and plane in a crate and even have carried them on my bicycle by crate regularly and they jump right in when the crate comes out; they know it means they are going somewhere. That said I simply cannot imagine crating for even say 4 hour stretches if I was going out, when they are well behaved and far more comfortable in a room instead. I initially crated Jaspar for maybe 3-4 hours max as a puppy but soon graduated him to an enclosed pen with his crate inside. He spent his first stretch without an accident in this way at about 4 months.

Crate training is one of the BEST things you can do for your dog, I think. It is so helpful for transport and means there's so much more you can do with your dog (eg go by train, visit friends, stay in pet-friendly accommodation). It is also a way of helpinmg be sure your dog doesn;t acquire separation anxiety and is happy and content when you are not in eyesight.

10th January 2006, 09:18 AM
Thanks for your reply Karlin.
She'll be on her own for 3 hours max a day. I'll see how she adjusts and get back to you.
Thanks again.

10th January 2006, 11:05 AM
Hi Yvonne,
Daisy Boo absolutely loves her crate. So much so that we have to put it out of reach or else we would never see her. She treats it like her private den where nobody else can come in. It's really handy for car trips and going to the vet. On Saturday night we crated Twinkle in the bedroom (with no door on) and just put some puppy housetraining pads down - you can get these in Petstop in Blanchardstown. That worked out well but we were confident enough by Sunday to leave them both alone in the kitchen. If your Puppy is going to be alone I would advise you to crate her for the first few nights until she gets her bearings. Then you can gradually move the crate out to where you eventually want the puppy to sleep.

10th January 2006, 11:10 AM
Also, I wouldn't leave puppy in the crate while you are out because they cannot hold their toilet for very long and it could get distressing. Either puppy proof or block off an area where she can move around and relieve herself away from her bed. If you are worried about furniture being chewed get a tin of Anti-Chew spray and treat the furniture. You can get this done on Friday before she comes home. This stuff really works - Twinkle was having a go at the vertical blinds almost as soon as we brought her in and as soon as we sprayed she stopped. It's not harmful - it's a bit like the Stop and Grow you use for nail biting. The spray can be used on just about anything.

10th January 2006, 11:40 AM
Good point. Note that in the link I gave for teaching crate training, puppies should not be crated for longer than the times given for various ages. For a young puppy 30 minutes is going to be the maximum and you will need to work up to even that length of time by starting with 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc. It needs to be a very gradual, very positive process for them not to see being enclosed as punishment, which is absolutely to be avoided. Three hours crating would not be possible until the pup is about 5-6 months and has been gradually trained to this time stretch (I think the lengths of time noted in the link above are actually too long for those ages).

A good approach for puppies is to get a baby gate and block off the kitchen so the pup can see out but can't get out and can move around in that space. Make sure the bars are close enough that the pup cannot fit its neck between the bars; if it can, try fixing some of that firm plastic gardening mesh to the bars to make this impossible. You can work to housetrain first toi wee wee pads or papers though it is much prefereable to work from the very beginning to go outside. This is a bit more difficult at this time of year due to weather -- having faced this myself! -- but can be done. Remember a new pup will likely need to be taken out around 3 am for the first few weeks as they usually cannot hold themselves for a whole night but shouldn't be forced into weeing themselves in a crate as this will go against everything you are trying to achieve through crate training. Like human babies puppies
are a lot of work initially but it gets better and their cuteness compensates!! :)

Cathy T
10th January 2006, 03:08 PM
Both of mine sleep in their crates at night with the door closed. At 2 and 3 they sleep through the night without any problem. When they were younger I crated them when I left the house. I never left for more than 4 hours. Less than that whenever possible. After a few months they got so they were comfortable up to 5 hours. Now that they are both fully trained and trustworthy I close off the family room, kitchen and office behind a puppy gate and that's where they hang out when I'm gone. No problems. I still try not to leave them for more than 4 hours, 5 max.

11th January 2006, 07:49 AM
I Found this site very good


11th January 2006, 11:47 AM
Thanks for that Fi, I forgot Laura (who is a member here!) has a good crate training page too.

Cathy gives a good summary of what I think is 'best practice' :) . Crate train so that your dog is comfortable with being crated, relaxed, and can be left for longer periods if necessary (for example, even for a short 1-hr flight a dog would probably be crated for 4 hours counting the trip to airport, early check-in, waiting in the hold, flight itself, landing and waiting for the dog to be delivered to you). Ideally, once trained, I think it is much nicer for the dog to be left at home in a room rather than a crate (but with the crate there). A crate-trained dog tends to be an un-anxious dog, relaxed when left alone anyway. My two mostly just sleep though I can tell when they've been playing as pillows might be all over the floor or toys taken out. It is ideal I think for them to be able to stretch, move about, change position in the space of a room. But then, for you to be able to crate when needed for whatever reasons.

BTW mine are home-boarded with Tara's (TKC's) mother in Dublin and they can be crated as needed at night, when they share a roomy crate. So I know they are fine staying with someone else and being crated, too. It is nice to know they will be calm if crated rather than anxious and expecting to be on a bed!! :lol:

To be honest I've found most dogs even ones never crate trained will accept a crate -- I need to use them regularly whenever I have a rescue dog around. I transport in crates and sometimes need to crate in the house. Most will be OK and it is clear that with some minimal effort most adults too can be crate trained.

If you have ever been to a dog show you will see all the dogs just laid-back and sleeping in crates, oblivious to all the activity around them!! :)