How to Crate Train Your Puppy

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How to Crate Train Your Puppy

Puppy crate training can help reduce the wear and tear animals can cause, especially young puppies that may not have been trained fully. As you’re walking your pregnant dog along the Lady Bird Lake Trail, you might think about what will happen once your dog has her puppies.

If this is your first time raising a litter of puppies or if you just chose your new best friend, you may want to consider crate training. Our team can help you learn more about the benefits of puppy crate training and how to train your puppy – just call us at (512) 655-9557!

Pros and Cons of Crate Training a Puppy

Dog crate training is a subject of great debate in the dog-owning community. Some owners feel like puppy crate training teaches the dog the right boundaries. The dog can sleep in the crate or spend time in the crate while the owner is at work. On the other hand, detractors of crate training claim that this is a cruel way to treat their animals.

Here are some quick benefits and drawbacks of puppy crate training at a glance:


  • Keeps the dog from getting into something that could harm them, like cleaning chemicals
  • It can help the dog learn better elimination habits
  • Can develop “den instincts” in the animal
  • Gives the owner reassurance that the dog is safe when they are not home


  • The dog could feel constrained or physically frustrated
  • Some higher-strung animals could experience emotional distress
  • The crate can be dangerous if it’s in a poorly ventilated area
  • The crate must be properly assembled, or it could be unsafe
  • If the dog is wearing a leash or collar, it could pose a danger

Ultimately, it is up to each dog owner to determine if puppy crate training is right for them. However, if you have a pregnant dog, you may wish to talk to a vet about specific concerns for crate training a gravid canine.

Steps to Follow for Puppy Crate Training

Dog crate training starts with selecting the right crate. Your dog should have enough room to turn around and stand up without hitting its head. Once you’ve selected the right crate, remember that the crate-training process should be enjoyable for your pup. Depending on the dog’s responsiveness, it can take a week or more, sometimes several weeks.

Introduce Your Dog to Its Crate

Place the crate in a spot in your home where your family spends a lot of time, like a den or finished basement. You can add your dog’s favorite soft blanket or other “lovey.” Bring the dog to the crate and let them investigate it. You could try leaving a small treat inside the crate to encourage your dog to sit inside. Don’t force the dog inside the crate. Instead, use treats and positive motivation to get the dog comfortable with going all the way into the crate.

Give Your Dog Meals in the Crate

How to Crate Train Your PuppyOnce the dog is familiar with the crate, bring their food bowl over to the crate and feed the dog in the crate. You can start with the food dish just outside the crate, then gradually place it toward the back. Once your dog is comfortable eating in the crate, you can try closing the door but not locking it.

At first, open the door as soon as the dog is finished eating. Gradually leave it closed longer and longer. You may notice that the dog whines or cries to be let out of the crate. It’s important to wait for the dog to stop whining before letting them out. Otherwise, you’re training them that whining or crying will lead to being let out of the crate.

Keep the Dog in the Crate for Longer Stretches of Time

When your dog has gotten used to eating in their crate, you can try crating the dog for longer periods of time while you’re home. This way, you’re close by, and the dog knows they are safe. You can develop a specific command to get into the crate, like “crate time,” “kennel up,” or the like. Offer the dog a treat to enter the crate and praise them when they go inside. Then, shut the door.

Remain nearby for a few minutes, sitting quietly (don’t stimulate the dog). Then, go into another room for a while. Return to the crate, sit beside it, and let the dog out after a few minutes. Repeat the process until the dog can remain quietly in the crate for at least 30 minutes. Then, you can start trying to get the dog to sleep in the crate.

Do You Need Help Training Your New Puppy?

Contact us if you need help training your new puppy or have questions about your family’s new dog! You can talk to one of our passionate pet specialists by calling Walk! ATX at (512) 655-9557.


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