Crate training

(20 Posts)
Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 08:59:45

As there seem to be several posts recently where people seem to have misunderstood how to use crates, here is a brief guide.

A crate trained dog goes willingly into the crate and stays willingly in the crate with the door closed. Almost all dogs will need to be trained to use a crate.

The crate should be large enough for the dog to stand and lie in it comfortably.

Adult dogs can stay in a crate overnight, approximately 8 hours. Dogs should not be left in a crate for more than 4 hours during the day and they should get walks and company at all other times. Puppies are not adult dogs, they may well need you to sleep next to them and may need you to be around 24/7 - it sucks, it is tough, but they do grow out of it.

Training a dog to accept the crate takes weeks. The crate door should be kept open until the dog is crate trained. The dog should get all food and chews in the crate, the dog should be allowed to sleep and settle in the crate without being disturbed and the crate should only have positive associations. Gradually start closing the door only when your dog is happy in the crate and only for as long as your dog remains happy. You need to be around to begin with (closing the door and walking out of the room will probably be too challenging a first step for most dogs). The crate should be a safe and comfortable place for your dog, not a convenience for you, and it takes time to build these associations.

If you need to remove your dog from an undesirable situation do not put them in a crate, use another unused place instead like the WC. Do not shove or push the dog in the crate, do not keep the dog in the crate if it shows signs of distress, e.g. whining, barking, digging, self-harming, etc. and do not close the door of the crate for longer than your dog is happy with (to start off this will be seconds or minutes with you present). Soiling in the crate may be a sign that your dog is distressed in there or that you have left the dog in the crate for too long.

Crates can be useful for periods of recovery from injury, when you move house, when visiting friends, when boarding at another home or kennels, to separate two dogs, to separate a dog from children, to give a nervous or shy dog a safe space, etc., as well as helping with toilet training and chewing problems with young dogs.

Dogs are individuals. Some dogs may take to the crate very quickly, some dogs may never take to the crate at all.

OP’s posts: |
MustardScreams Thu 26-Dec-19 09:04:21

This is a great resource for new (and old!) owners. Thank you.

koshkat Thu 26-Dec-19 11:26:08

Or just don't use one. fgrin

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 11:57:04

Or just don't get a dog. fgrin

OP’s posts: |
Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 12:46:46

Or choose a good breeder that has already got the puppies used to a crate from the start.

Puppies sleep in a crate with littermates and as they get older get some
time alone in the crate before they go to their new homes. Puppies are used to the crate before they get to their new home.

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 13:53:51

Bobstergirl possible, I suppose, although I have never come across a breeder who has crate trained an entire litter individually by 8-10 weeks. They’d have to be taken away from litter mates and their mum repeatedly which is a really odd thing to do. It might in itself cause separation anxiety issues, but I don’t know as I have never met anyone who does this.

OP’s posts: |
koshkat Thu 26-Dec-19 14:38:40

That would not be my definition of a 'good breeder' Bobster. Quite the opposite in fact.


SutterCane Thu 26-Dec-19 15:58:18

They’d have to be taken away from litter mates and their mum repeatedly which is a really odd thing to do.

It's not odd at all. Introducing the concept of being alone for brief periods (and associating it with good things happening) is all part of setting puppies up for their new lives. It's not good at all if a puppy's first experience of being separated from their mum and littermate is when they're also removed from everything they've ever known and thrust into a completely new environment surrounded by people who are effectively strangers.

Puppy raising programmes like Puppy Culture (you can see a good breakdown of what PC involves here) and even The Puppy Plan (which is relatively basic in comparison) recommends starting to give puppies positive solo experiences during the 5-7 week period.

Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 16:40:37

@Booboostwo all my puppies have been introduced and crate trained by the breeder I am surprised you have not also experienced this.

The whole point is that the puppies get used to the crate with their littermates and gradually spend time alone - easy in 10 weeks.

Same as I would want the breeder to introduce the puppies to the car as a litter group and also carry out ENS.

Totally agree with SutterCane

Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 16:42:45

@KoshKat@ having a breeder that prepares a puppy for being independent and learning new experiences not a good breeder- weird view point but each to their own.

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 16:43:07

SutterCane the amount of solo time a puppy would have to spend in order to be crate trained before 8-10 weeks would be, in my view, potentially harmful. Spending moments away from the litter is one thing and of course should be done gradually and gently. Spending enough time away from the litter in order to have been crate trained, a process which usually takes weeks, is unrealistic. I have never heard of anyone achieve this, but presumably you have?

The link you provided shows puppies crate training together with their litter mates next to them - a great idea, but quite different from being on their own. It also talks about solo time for puppies, but this doesn’t seem related to crate training unless I missed out on something. It does look like a really nice programmer though with the exception of the climbing - not really necessary to strain the joints of tiny GSDs so early in in my opinion.

OP’s posts: |
Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 16:44:18

Going off track but I also like the breeder at 5 weeks marks to introduce a buster collar, sound of a hair clipper, nail clipper etc all skills the puppies will have to accommodate in life.

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 16:47:21

Hold on guys, are you saying that breeders crate trained the puppies next to their litter mates? That’s great and will help them transition. Can the new owner assume that the puppy will then be fine in the crate all alone? Doubtful. Being in a crate next to your litter mate is quite different to being in a crate alone.

Are you also saying the breeder taught each puppy to spend a bit of time alone? Also great and will also help transition to the new home, but again being alone 24/7 is quite a different thing and almost all puppies will need human company non-stop for the first few weeks.

Have you had puppies who came home at 9 weeks and could spend overnight and up to 4 hours in a crate, alone, with the door shut without stressing from day 1? Bloody brilliant, but I’ve never come across this before.

OP’s posts: |
Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 16:52:26

Yep all of my puppies from breeders that have followed Puppy Culture have been happy in the crate next to my bed with the door shut from day one - this is not unusual if you research your breeder.

Researching your breeder is way more than health tests

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 17:18:47

That’s wonderful Bobstergirl. How many puppies have you had following this training schedule? Unfortunately their worldwide map of breeders following the program is down, although I doubt there are any in France. Everything seems to be 10-20 years behind everyone else here.

OP’s posts: |
SutterCane Thu 26-Dec-19 17:34:17

There's a very active (and very interesting!) PC FB group that's worth joining if you're interested in finding a breeder who follows the programme. I think most PC breeders are in the USA/Canada but there definitely are some in Europe; there's a few I'm aware of in the UK and there have been posts in the group from some in France.

I would highly recommend the PC DVD/VoD for anyone getting a puppy. The programme actually runs right up to twelve weeks and even if a puppy hasn't been PC raised prior to coming home there's still so much in it they can benefit from.

Bobstergirl Thu 26-Dec-19 18:35:41

@Booboostwo Jane Killion of Puppy Culture fame wrote the book When Pigs Fly Training the impossible Dog - which you may have read?

I have had 3 collies and 4 working cockers from PC breeders or followers - there are a lot of PC breeders in the sport/working dog world. Or at least they base their puppy rearing on the main concepts of PC.

Booboostwo Thu 26-Dec-19 18:37:58

I left FB due to bad news overload, between Brexit and Trump I had my fill of current affairs!

Thanks, I googled the Puppy Culture, it seems very interesting.

OP’s posts: |
CJMc110 Tue 13-Oct-20 16:18:35

Crate training your dog is an essential part of housetraining. Not only does it teach your dog how to behave in your home, but it also offers a comfortable, safe place for them if they feel overwhelmed. Both new puppies and older dogs can be crate trained, however, the earlier you do this the more effective it’s going to be.

I've put together a guide that will help all dog owners - whether you are just new at it or have had a previous pet. The guide includes information on all of the following, so it covers pretty much every topic!

Types of Dog Crates
Step One: Introduce Your Dog to the Crate
Step Two: Feed Your Dog In The Crate
Step Three: Extend Your Dogs Time In The Crate
Step Four: Responding To Whining
Safety Tips For Crate Training Your Dog

This guide is also perfect for new puppies and older dogs.

See the full guide here:

Funf Wed 14-Oct-20 19:49:56

Some excellent advice in the first post, we always crate our dog, much better for safety and transport, the dog see it as her den

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