The Art of Crate Training

The Art of Crate Training

Posted by Jake on 2011-04-14 09:37:51

As usual with you humanoid types you seem to get everything wrong. Crate training is no different, you have no clue how to properly crate train a dog. I will give you a clue! Don’t! I hate crates. Being confined is so confining! But I guess if you must do it you might as well do it properly.

The Simulation.

Like anything else in your training repertoire try to make the training mimic a real dog pack. We dogs are den animals. What this means is most of us actually like the safety and security of small spaces. Yes, I am the exception to the rule. For most dogs crates aren’t as bad as they seem. In fact many dogs feel safest in their crate and will seek them out even when not placed their by a human.

The Beginning

You should choose to crate train your dog or not before you even bring them home. Once a dog gets used to not living in a crate they will be much less likely to accept one graciously. You should already have a crate purchased before you bring that new puppy home. Make sure to do your research buy a crate that is designed for the size and strength your new puppy will grow into as an adult. There is no sense buying a small crate and replacing it with a bigger one when your new puppy grows. In fact it can be harmful since your puppy will have learned to love the old crate. How would you like it if I just took away your home and replaced it with a newer, bigger one? What? No… you humans…

A crate should be just large enough to allow your dog to stand up and spin around. Any larger and your new pup will sleep in one end and poop in the other. Yuck! Dog’s won’t ever go to the bathroom where they sleep though so as long as you ensure the crate is small enough that shouldn’t be a problem.

But wait! If you get some gargantuan crate for your new puppy won’t they have way too much space? Definitely, so shrink the crate. And no I don’t mean putting it through the washing machine! Place a large pillow, or box, or piece of wood or anything else you can think of that is a safe that can take up that extra room.

The Training

Crate training can sometimes be very easy and other times be very difficult depending on the personality of your new furry friend. You can make things easier though if you follow a few simple rules.

#1 Never treat the crate as a punishment: The crate should exist outside of whether we behave or not. The crate is neither reward or punishment. If you use the crate to punish us we will think you are punishing us very time you put us in a crate.

This also applies to human kids. If you punish your kid by making them go to their room or go by sending them to bed early you make them associate those things with negativity. Who would have thought you would be learning about parenting from a Malamute?

#2 Never leave your dog in the crate for too long: Young puppies have small bladders. Plus we need to get out and stretch. Start with short periods in the crate and slowly lengthen them. If you leave us in a crate too long it can be traumatizing and will harm the process of crate training. Be firm but also be fair.

#3 Never let your dog out of the crate because they are screaming: Many dogs whine and cry when first put in a crate. If you let them out when they do this they will learn that screaming is a way to get what they want. You probably don’t want them to learn that.

This applies to human kids too! If your kid screams and yells and gets what they want then they will try it again next time!

#4 Never trick your dog into the crate: Don’t trick your dog into the crate and then close it quickly. They will feel trapped. Always calmly place them in the crate and make sure they are well aware that your are gently closing the door. If you have to wrestle your dog into a crate then it means you need to work harder training him or her outside the crate to accept your lead as alpha.

#5 Make the crate a fun place: Do what you can to make the crate a fun and cozy place. Put blankets and toys in it. Also give your dog treats when they are in it or even make them eat their dinner in it. Make them think of the crate as a place where they are happy.


Crate training isn’t for everyone but as many humans know you can’t always let your dog run loose, especially as a puppy. Crate training is a great way to give your dog a place of security while also making sure they are safe when you are not around. Just make sure to follow the rules and you should do ok. And remember crate training isn’t for all dogs. Some dogs, like me, really never adapt to it. If that is the case with your dog, try to be accommodating and find alternatives to long hours in the crate.

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