crate training for car travelMany veterinarians suggest crate training your new dog, but what does that mean? Is it necessary, and is it right for you and your household? Learn the basics of crate training your puppy.

What is Crate Training?

Crate training is teaching your dog that their crate, a wire or wooden cage large enough for your dog to lay and turn around in, is their special place. Crate-trained dogs will love to go into their crate, and will walk themselves in to relax or snooze. In their crate, they should feel safe, secure and not cry to be released.

Why You Should Crate Train Your Puppy

Crate training your new puppy is a great tool when potty-training or teaching your dog household rules. It’s also wonderful for transporting your pet to the vet or when traveling. It’s also meant to be a safe space for your pup to escape to when they are overwhelmed or just need a place to relax alone. You don’t want your pup to ever feel isolated or afraid of their crate. This is why it’s so important to crate train properly. Some dog owners say their dog loves being in their crate. While this is true of many dogs, it’s not the case for all. Therefore, proper training is SO important. Ideally, you should be able to tell your dog to go into their crate. They should do so with no argument.

How Long Does it Take to Crate Train Your Dog?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends. Dogs learn in small increments. Breed and individual personality of your dog matters too. Some breeds are more difficult to train. But much of the responsibility falls on you, the owner, to be diligent in your training methods.

What Does a Crate Training Schedule Look Like?

dogs feel safe in their crateEvery household has unique needs. The schedule depends on when you need your dog crated. For instance, if you are home often but only need to crate your pet for short periods while grocery shopping, then your dog may spend very little time in their crate. Dog crates may not be ideal for owners who work 5 or more hours in one stretch of time. Dogs need breaks from being in their crate. For them to love being in their little safe space, they need time away from it.

How Long Should You Leave Your Puppy in a Crate?

There is no rule of thumb for the time your dog should be left in a crate because each dog is different. However, here is an average of how long your pup should remain confined to their crate depending on age: ● 9 to 10 weeks old: approximately 60 minutes ● 11 to 14 weeks old: approximately 3 hours ● 15 to 15 weeks old: approximately 4 hours ● 17 weeks and up: no more than 5 hours without a break The Humane Society suggests that dogs under 6 months old should not be in a crate for more than 3 to 4 hours. They cannot control their bladders or bowels for that much time. Discover FlexPetz’s wide selection of dog crates, and start crate training your new puppy!