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Dog in a crate

Did you know that crates serve as a safe space for dogs of all ages? If you've just gotten a puppy, you may wonder if you should buy a crate. Crate training your dog seems challenging, but following a few tips will help make the process easier.

Your dog's crate will stay with them for their entire life. And once they've been trained inside the house, you can use the crate for transporting your pet everywhere. Keep reading if you're interested in learning how to crate train your dog!


Here is a step-by-step on how to crate train your dog to give you an overview of the process:

  1. Introduction to the crate

  2. Eating meals in the crate

  3. Increasing time in the crate

  4. Being in the crate alone

First, you must introduce your dog to the crate. Position the crate in an area where your family spends a lot of time. Sit in front of the crate with your dog and throw a few kibbles or treats in the crate. If your dog is not interested, you can try throwing a toy inside. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to longer than a week. Once your dog is introduced to the crate, start feeding them meals next to the crate. Eventually, the goal is for your dog to start standing comfortably inside the crate while eating. When this happens, close the door to the crate and let them eat inside. Open the door immediately once they're finished so that you don't provoke any stress or anxiety. As time goes on, you can increase the time inside of the crate after the meal. It's important to know that if your dog starts whining or barking to get out of the crate, you may have increased the time too quickly. Your dog now knows that they can whine to get out of the crate, so do not let them out until they stop. Once your dog is comfortable staying a little longer in the crate, you may leave their side while they eat. Then you can try leaving them in the crate alone when no one is home for 30 min or so. Once they are used to it, the next step is leaving them in the crate during the night when everyone is asleep. To encourage your dog to sleep put a blanket on the crate leaving 2 inches of space between the ground and the blanket. This will force the dog to lie down to see the outside of the crate and therefore fall asleep faster. When your dog is comfortable with all of the above situations, you can leave them in the crate when you leave the house for a couple of hours. However, ensure your dog doesn't spend too much time inside the crate and gets plenty of exercise daily. Not doing so will create frustrations and potentially lead to depression and separation anxiety.


Though crate training seems straightforward, many benefits come along with it. These include:

  • Teaching dogs to self-soothe

  • Easy and safe transport

  • Aiding potty training

  • Serving as a haven

Once your dog is trained, they'll resort to their crate if they feel anxious. It helps them self-soothe, which is why you should always let the crate open even when they are not using it. This is their safe space. The crate will also ease transport and keep them safe when driving or flying. Dogs want to keep their sleeping areas clean, so another benefit of crate training is that it helps potty train your dog. They're more likely to hold until they go outside when they are crate trained.


Crate training your dog is a process that takes patience, but it is gratifying. Keeping your new puppy safe also means that you must keep an eye on their health; at Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, your veterinarian in Scarborough, we provide preventative care, emergency services, and more. If you're interested in scheduling an appointment for your puppy, contact us today!

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