How to Crate Train a Dog


Dog Crate Training

Crate Training

Dog crates have many uses beyond travel. They can be used as a dog training tool as well as a secure environment. Professional dog trainers understand the value of crate training when it comes to managing a dog’s behavior. Learn how to crate train your dog with these tips.

Buying a Dog Crate

Dog Crate Sizes

The fit of the dog crate should be just right. Your dog should have room to not only stand up, but to move around comfortably even if the door is shut. Crate sizes vary so a dog trainer will have no problem finding the right fit for any breed.

Kinds of Crates

Crates come in hard plastic with wire vents, soft-sided style or metal. The plastic variety is most often used for air travel due to the wire vents, which allow for air when the door is closed. The soft-sided style and metal version are used for home care or dog training.

How to Use Dog Crates

Most dog trainers use crates at one time or another as a management tool when training dogs. The crate is of particular benefit while housebreaking, but can be used for teaching other behaviors as well as traveling. Your crate should house fun and interesting toys for your pet. Most importantly, crates should never be used as punishment, as this can be detrimental to your dog and almost counterproductive to training.


While it’s used as a training tool, a dog crate offers a warm and secure space for your dog. Dogs take after their wolf ancestors. Similar to a wolf feeling safe in a cave, a dog shares the same sense of security in a small space.

Dog crates have many uses, including:

  • Secure home for dogs
  • Place to keep a dog while traveling
  • Tool for training dogs behaviors
  • An area to control dogs until they mature

Behavior problems are one of the most common uses of dog crates. The den environment of the crate can help control a dog with problems, such as separation anxiety and pottying, until he has been properly trained.

Aside from housetraining, dog crates provide the perfect place to feed your dog. Some pet owners even have their dogs sleep in their crates at night.


Crates take up space, especially those for larger breeds. In addition, they may clash with your home decor. Aside from the aesthetics, it’s important you avoid confining your dog to his crate for too long.

Introducing your dog to the crate in the wrong way or using the crate for the wrong reasons may have an undesirable affect, which could undermine his training.

For professional advice, seek an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT). These professional dog trainers have been taught the best way to crate a dog and its many uses.

Tell us how dog crates have benefited your dog in the comments below!

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