How to Crate Train A Dog in 10 Easy Steps

how to crate train a dog

Learning and mastering how to crate train a dog is essential for a newly-adopted dog in your house. The objective of crate training is to provide a safe place for the dog, boost house training progress, keep a dog safe without constant supervision, and prepare the dog for future vets visit or holiday trip.

A thoroughly crate trained dog is happy and calm to be in a crate, and you will not worry about your dog getting hurt or scared if you are away.

How Long Crate Training a Dog Usually Takes?

The answer differs from dog to dog. It can take from one week to one month depending on various criteria – a dog’s personality, home environment, family interaction and other dogs interaction. Adopted dogs found on the streets or animal shelters typically require more time to complete crate training than the puppies or dogs you get from breeders.

It will not be easy, and it takes perseverance, patience and consistency for you to crate train a dog. Please make sure never to use force and always gently instruct them on what to do and show them how to do it during the process. 

With consistent efforts and a well-planned schedule, most dogs will complete the crate training in two or three weeks ideally. Keep track of your dog’s progress and if you have any problem, feel free to consult with your local dog expert.

Schedule on How to Crate Train a Dog

6.00 – 7.00 AMWake up and take a potty breakPlay in the crate
7.00 – 8.00 AMBreakfastTake a walk and stop for a potty break
8.00 – 9.00 AMPlaytime in crateTraining
9.00 AM – 12.00 PMNaptime in the crate.Potty break
12.00 – 1.00 PMLunch in cratePotty break
1.00 PM – 5.00 PMPlaytime in crateTrainingRest in crate
5.00 – 6.00 PMEvening walkPotty break
7.00 – 8.00 PMPotty break
9.00 PMBedtime in crate

10 Steps How to Crate Train A Dog

how to crate train a dog

For the best result, use a clicker and favorite dog’s treat. Follow the steps below carefully to understand how to crate train a dog, and you can skip any steps if you think it is not necessary or not applied to your dog.

Learning how to crate train a dog should be done in a calm and safe manner. Avoid using force or harsh punishment at all cost.

Step 1: First Introduction to Crate

  • Please take out the crate and place it somewhere safe and comfortable for the dog.
  • Attract the dog attention and if the dog is curious about the crate, sniffing, showing interest or moving towards the crate.
  • Click and give a treat.

Step 2: Show Crate Entrance

  • Show your dog the crate entrance and instruct your dog to put their paws in the crate.
  • Once successful, click and give a treat.

Step 3: Get In the Crate

  • Instruct and encourage your dog to get inside the crate.
  • Start using a cue word to instruct your dog to enter the crate.
  • Say “crate up” to encourage your dog to get inside the crate and use the cue word repeatedly so you can train the dog.
  • Click and give a treat.

Step 4: Getting Comfortable in the Crate

  • Once your dog is in the crate, click and give a treat.
  • Please remember always putting the treat inside the crate and never hand it over straight to the dog’s mouth.
  • If the dog stays in the crate, then only you give the treat.

Step 5: Extended Time in the Crate

  • Gradually increase the time the dog stay and lie in the crate.
  • Increase 1 minute to 5 minutes in 1-minute increments.
  • Once the dog successfully follows the instructions and stays in the crate, click and give the dog treats.
  • Repeat until you are sure that your dog is very comfortable in the crate and willing to cooperate.

Step 6: Close Crate Door

  • Instruct your dog to enter the crate and close the crate door and open it again.
  • Click and give a treat.
  • Repeat the process with a gradually increased period for the closed door.
  • Click and give a treat.

Step 7: Close and Latch the Crate Door

  • Repeat step 6, but this time close and latch the door to give the understanding to your dog that you can latch this crate, and he must stay in the crate until it is unlatched.
  • Start feeding the dog his meals in the crate and repeat Step 6 and Step 7. If you noticed that your dog is not comfortable or cry, open the latch and the door.

Step 8: Distance Yourself from Crate

  • Instruct your dog to get inside the crate, close and latch the door.
  • Distance yourself from the crate; after a few minutes, go to the crate to unlatched and open the door.
  • Click and give a treat.
  • Repeat the steps with more time and distance in the interval. Ultimately, remove yourself from the room or somewhere the dog cannot see you.

Step 9: Distraction While in Crate

  • Now that your dog can calmly stay in the crate, you need to train them to be calm while doing some activity that might get the dog excited.
  • You can try by eating a meal, vacuuming the room, play catch with other dogs or friend, and making some noise.
  • At first, the dog will become unsettling and start woofing, then you go to the crate, calm your dog down. Click and give a treat.
  • Repeat the process until your dog is calm while you are doing other activities.

Step 10: Crate Train at Different Location

how to crate train a dog
Young dog jack russel terrier in plastic carrier ready to travel
  • Place the crate at a different location in your homes, such as in the kitchen, living room, or garden and repeat the process.
  • Then place the crate in your car to simulate the vets’ trip or go for some holiday.
  • Practice until your dog is calm and not distracted by outside noise or other distractions.

It is essential to ensure your dog is calm and happy in the crate anywhere and any situation.

How to Crate Train A Dog – Tips and Tricks

Tips #1

If you have a crate that is only big enough for your dog to turn around in, you may want to put this in a spot that is easy to clean. The crate should have a washable soft bed that can be placed within the crate so that your dog can sleep in the bed. It should also be secured so that he may not escape if you put him in the crate. The crate should be sturdy and comfortable. Make the crate as comfy as possible, and it will significantly help the crate training.

Tips #2

Your dog can also be placed in the crate for short periods while you are home with him. Put him in the crate after you come home from work, for instance. At first, you may want to remove his collar so that he can get used to the crate. Leave his collar on until he is accustomed to his new space. Be consistent is the primary key here. If you do this on a routine, the dog will anticipated it, and he will not cause an uproar when he is in the crate. Be consistent and be punctual.

Tips #3

Eventually, you can leave him in the crate for more extended amounts of time. At first, you should not leave him in the crate for more than three to four hours at a time with you being home. If your dog begins to whine, make sure that you hear his whine and that you see that he is suffering. However, it would help if you did not allow your dog to sleep in the crate before he is potty trained.

Gradually increase the time the dog will be in the crate. Creating a schedule for it will significantly help you be reminded of the time and be consistent. It is best to put them in the crate not more than two hours in the first week of the crate training. After the week ended, you can continue the practice by increasing the hours to three or four hours in the next few weeks.

Tips #4

After he is potty trained and he has gotten used to his new space, you can leave him in the crate for more extended periods. However, it would help if you did not leave him in the crate for extended periods without your supervision. Potty training makes crate training much more straightforward. It is recommended to potty train your dog before you proceed with crate training.

How to Potty Train a Dog

It would help if you understood that commitment and consistency are the keys to potty-training your dog. Sometimes, you are not 100% consistent, so you need to go back to the basics and give your dog a refresher course. This is important to his behavior patterns so that when they go to the bathroom, they know it is correct to go back to the bathroom.

Your dog’s schedule should be a part of your daily life. It would help if you took him out first thing in the morning and preferably 15-20 minutes after every meal. If he goes into the house, that is great! He is learning what to expect from you. You need to show him that you are pleased with his behavior. Some things to consider when you take your dog out for a potty break are:

Potty Train Do and Dont’s

  1. Please don’t play with your dog until he has completed his potty break.
  2. Be careful how you handle him when you let him out of the house. If you play with him or pet him while he is going to the bathroom, he will know that it is good behavior. That is what they are doing when they go out and relieve themselves. Just let him know when he is going to the proper place.
  3. Install an automatic door for your dog; it is nice to have and save you a ton of time. The door will allow you to let your dog out when your dog is ready to take potty breaks without being directly involved. The dog can go out if the dog needs to and can come back in the house without you opening the door each time your dog needs a potty break.
  4. Since your dog is young, it might not be a good idea to keep him confined to one room. If you do, you’ll teach him that he doesn’t have to be restricted, and then he will be more likely to go for a potty break where he is supposed to go. Dogs are naturally like to explore every inch of the home, so you are recommended not to restrict their movement. If there is any off-limit area in your home, you need to train them not to go in the area at a very early age. It will help them to discipline and remember where it is okay to go and where it is not okay to go.
  5. If you have tile, ceramic, or wood floors, you may want to put some absorbent material on the floor. That way, if he should get too distracted and pee on the floor, it won’t stain the tile, ceramic, or wood. Dog pee stain is hard to remove, especially on the carpet.

Tips #5

If you leave your dog in the crate for too long and he begins to whine or howls, you should release him from the crate and calm the dog down. A stressed dog is something you want to avoid. It can make him not comfortable, thus resulting in destructive behaviors. It is a good practice to give him some time out of the crate in an interval of one or two hours to prevent the dog from being stressed out because he feels constrained.

Tips #6

It is okay to take him out for a walk while he is in the crate, and he is not whining – as long as he is not abandoned. All puppies are different, and his training will be marked on whether he will sleep in the crate at night or not.

Tips #7

To successfully crate train your dog, you need to be aware of the basics. If you want to help the dog learn to love the crate, but you don’t want to have the dog fear it, place the crate in an area where you and your family are always near each other. Place the crate in your bedroom at night. He will think that you are always near him and look at you as a “pack leader” by being near you.

Tips #8

Also, put a toy in the crate (bears the pup’s scent). Toys will help your dog feel less lonely when you leave him. It will be easier to get him comfortable staying overnight in his crate. If you want to have his crate, you may purchase one that is a little bigger so that he can be comfortable while still using the bathroom. The idea is to help him control his anxiety so that he will sleep while you are away.

Tips #9

When your dog has gotten used to sleeping in his crate, you may want to close the door while you are gone for a while. He will soon realize that you want nothing to happen while he is alone. You can also go through the night with the crate door closed in an inactive way, such as reading a book. Then when your dog wakes up, you can open the crate just a crack so that he still knows that you’re around.

Tips #10

If you think that your dog may be stressed, give your dog a toy that is his. If he has chewed your socks or your furniture, make sure that he gets his toys. It works better than placing your things in his crate because your dog or dog may see that as his property. He may think that he has the right to chew and that you’ll be backing him off his property when you leave him alone. But if you provide him with toys, and even better, if you provide him with a tote bag or two, he may not see it that way. He may think that he can leave his property unquestioned.

How to Crate Train a Dog – Best Crate

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