To Crate or Not to Crate a New Dog or Puppy

by | Oct 30, 2023

Do you already have a new dog or a new puppy?  If you already have a new dog or puppy you may be reconsidering their sleeping arrangements or you may have a new dog or puppy and your decision is ‘to crate or not to crate a new dog or puppy’.

This can be a difficult decision if you are not familiar with the benefits of crate training. 

When I suggest crate training to the uninitiated in this method of sleeping or quiet time for their new pet, the immediate concern is… is this cruel to my new family addition?

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I haven’t always crate trained my dogs.  However, over the past 20 or so years, I have done so.  The benefits to not only my household and my new puppy or dog are immense. 

Their crate is a place of refuge and safety and a place where they can have some quiet time if need be.

I remember, when I suggested this to a close friend, they were reluctant to follow my advice.  I am now informed, quite happily by my friend, that they are so glad they listened to this advice as their dog loves the crate, and when bedtime is near their dog can not go quickly enough to snuggle into their crate with their favoured blanket.

The crate also provides safety when you have visitors who may have young children who do not understand that dogs like to have time out and be by themselves and stay away from prying fingers.

Once these dogs have had a rest, they are usually quite happy to come and join the children once again with some fun doggie games.

So, to crate or not to crate a new dog or puppy I believe becomes a resounding yes!  Crate training has benefits for both you and your new dog or puppy.

I also will crate train a rehomed dog, even if it is an older dog that has not learned the benefits of having its own personal den.  It doesn’t take long to help them learn that this is a great place to be.

You can start by feeding your new dog or puppy in its crate, throw a yummy treat into the crate, and encourage your new addition to go fetch the treat.  Once they have come back out of the crate to you, throw in another treat and make a game of this, they love this interaction with you.

You can also play games by throwing a toy into the crate for them to retrieve and bring back out to you.  Once they are happy going in and out of the crate it is no big deal to close your new dog or puppy into the crate with a toy that is packed with some frozen goodies to lick, which leaves you time to go about your house activities that need to be attended to.  We still have households to run.

Being in a crate at night also helps your dog to let you know if they need to go outside for a toilet break, as the great majority of dogs will not soil their beds.

I can hear you say, oh no, now I must get up and take my dog outside to the toilet.  This is far better than cleaning up a mess the next morning, believe me!  I always take my dog out at night, if young, on a lead so that they do not think this is a time for running around and sniffing.  This way, they learn that we are outside to toilet, then back inside to bed.  Remember to praise them for alerting you and doing the needful when they go outside!

As you can see, to crate or not to crate a new dog or puppy is a question I do not need to ask myself as I have learned the many benefits from this type of training over many years of raising puppies, because my dogs do love their crates.  Mind you, I have put in the time to help them love their crates.  It is like most things in life, we need to be encouraged to understand the benefits of certain paths that are of benefit to our daily comfort in the long term.

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Until next time…

With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

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With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer

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