Crate Training Your Puppy: The Key To A Pee-Free Home

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Puppy laying crateCrate training, when done effectively, can be a helpful tool. Not only does it provide your new puppy with a sense of safety and stability, it also provides you, as a new puppy owner, with a way to establish order and rule in your home. Implemented and followed through with correctly, crate training is a win for all parties involved – especially for your puppy.

Article Overview

The Crate Philosophy

Dogs are naturally den animals. In the wild, a dog’s den is their home, a safe space where he can sleep, retreat, and raise pups without fear of danger, without outside threat.

For a domesticated dog, a crate fulfills this natural need for a safe haven. If introduced and used correctly, the crate will be where your dog willingly chooses to sleep, hide when it storms, and quite possibly, lay around in for no other reason other than it’s their very own space.

Why Is Crate Training Your Puppy Beneficial?

There are a few, great reasons to crate train your dog.

House Training

Puppy on sofaBecause your domesticated dog will treat their crate just as a wild dog would treat their den, he will not want to soil their sleeping space. Therefore, you can be sure that, if at all possible, your dog will not have an accident in their crate, so when you let them out of their crate to go outside, he will naturally seize that opportunity to relieve themself.

While there are other methods of house training your puppy, this is a very instinctual transition, requiring mainly that you take your puppy out of their crate at reasonable intervals to use the restroom. This way, your puppy will pretty easily, and perceptively, pick up that he is expected to do their business outside, not in.

Learn more about housebreaking a puppy


Dog riding in the back of a carBy familiarizing your puppy with a crate early on, you’re not only creating an easy avenue for house training, you’re also allowing them to become comfortable with their future means of transportation. A crate is a great way to transport your pup – whether it’s a short trip to the vet or a big move across country – and by familiarizing your pup with a crate early on, you’ll make travel a lot easier and more comfortable for your canine companion.


Just like humans need rules to help us understand our place and our boundaries, so do dogs. Crate training is an excellent way to establish a hierarchy in your home while your pup is still learning what he can and cannot do. By placing your pup in a crate while you’re away, or when you’re at home and can’t be as attentive as you might need to be, you limit their access to your home and circumvent opportunities for your dog to chew your furniture or have an accident on your living room rug.

Therefore, when you actually let your pup have free run of your home, it will be at a time when you’re able to reprimand them appropriately for any bad behavior that occurs, and he’ll quickly learn not only that their crate is their very own space, but that the rest of the house is their Alpha’s space.

Choosing A Great Crate For Your Dog

Not all crates are created equal. While there are several types of crates to choose from, you’ll want to make sure the one you choose is the best size and fit for your furry friend. The two most popular crate types are plastic and metal crates.

Plastic Dog Crates

Editor’s Pick
Petmate Two Door CratePetmate Two Door Crate

Plastic crates are maybe not the first choice for an in-home crate as they provide less visibility to the pup that calls it home, however, if you plan to do quite a bit of travel by plane, this is a great option as all airlines require this type of crate to transport your animal.

Plastic crates are also great for pups that need a little more security, or for a home that has a higher level of activity (think on-the-go kiddos), as it gives your pup a bit more privacy.

Metal Dog Crates

Editor’s Pick
MidWest iCrateMidWest iCrate

Wire, metal crates are a top pick for crate training for several reasons: Their mesh-like, collapsible structure makes them easy to disassemble and transport, and, when constructed, provides a high level of visibility and ventilation for your pup while in the crate. Like plastic crates, metal, wire crates are also easy to clean out should your pup have an accident in their home.

Sturdy and often escape proof, these crates make a great option for growing dogs as you can purchase a larger size and easily close off the extra space with a divider while they’re smaller, removing it or moving it as they grow.

A Note On Crate Size

Lily in dog crate (caption: best dog crates)No matter which crate type suits you or your pup best, you’ll want to make sure that your dog has enough room to stand up and turn around in their home, but not so much room that they can soil their cage on one side, and sleep on the other, as that would negate any progress you make on the house training front. While a plastic crate would likely require you to continually upgrade as your pup grows, newer wire, metal cages are customizable with an included, movable divider, so the larger space you buy for them as a pup will also fit them as an adult.

Crate Training Guide

Once you’ve decided that crate training is for you, and which crate suits your canine companion best, it’s time to look at the actual process of crate training your pup. While the length of time it takes to crate train depends on your individual animal, his or her attitude, age, and past experiences, one thing’s for sure: you always want your dog to associate the crate with something pleasant. And even with the best dogs, baby steps are the best way to make this happen.

Step 1: Make The Introduction

Before you ever try to get your pup to step foot in their new crate, or even step near it, place the crate in a room where your dog spends a lot of his or her time. Remove or open the crate door, so your dog feels secure about exploring the ins and outs of their soon-to-be home.

If he naturally shy’s away, that’s okay. Don’t force your dog to become familiar, rather try sitting beside the crate, and speaking to your pup in a friendly tone, placing treats around, and then eventually inside the crate until he finally steps in. Placing a familiar blanket or toy inside the crate is also a great way to entice them to enter.

Step 2: Make It A Dinner Date

Dog crate training tipsOnce your pup is comfortable entering, exiting, and spending a little time inside the crate – doors open, of course – start feeding your dog their meals inside their new home. Depending on his or her comfort level, place the food all the way at the back (for very comfortable) or around the middle (for dogs that are still a little wary).

When your pup is eating inside comfortably, begin closing the door – just while he’s eating – opening immediately after he finishes. From there, work your way up to your pup spending up to 10 minutes in their crate with the door closed after finishing their dinner.

What About Whining?

If your pup begins whining at this stage, it could be a sign that you’ve moved too fast. Return to a length of time where he’s comfortable without whining and move forward from there. If he does whine, do not let your dog out unless he stops or he will begin to associate whining with being let out. This is not a habit you want to start or perpetuate.

Step 3: Make It A Short Stay

Dog jumping on crateWhen your pup is eating and spending a short period in their crate following a meal without any sign of distress, it’s time to start crating your pup for short periods while you’re at home. Call your dog over to the crate with a treat and an accompanying command – many use “kennel” or “kennel up” – and once your dog is inside, give them another treat, shut the door, and sit quietly with your pup for a few minutes before letting them out, giving them praise and another treat.

From here, slowly add in minutes when you are away from the crate until your pup is comfortable with you being out of sight for 20-30 minutes. From here, you may begin leaving the house with your dog crated for short periods of time.

When You Return Home

When returning home to a crated dog, keep it low key. Don’t encourage their excitement by responding to them in the same way. Come in quietly, don’t go immediately to your dog’s crate, and when you do a few minutes later, do so casually and calmly.

Step 4: Make It An Extended Stay (Or Even Overnight)

Whether it’s taken you seven days, or seven weeks for your dog to achieve this level of comfort, at this point, you can begin leaving your dog in their crate for extended periods or overnight as long as he or she shows no signs of anxiety. Other than keeping with the system you already have in place, a few tips for longer stays include:

  • Vary when you crate your pup. If you always “crate and leave,” your pup might begin to associate their kennel with being alone. Crating them anywhere from immediately prior to leaving to up to ten minutes before you leave will remind your pup that’s not always the case.
  • Keep him or her close at night. At least at first. Once your pup knows being crated at night is not a punishment or a form of social isolation, and that you’re still nearby, you can gradually move their kennel to the location you’d prefer.

Video: Crate Training Advice From An Expert

Here’s a quick one-minute video from the dog whisper himself Cesar Milan who demonstrates a few tricks to help.

Additional Tips To Keep In Mind

  • When a dog whines in a crate, take them outside to eliminate, not to play. If he does not go potty, ignore their whining until he stops. If not, you will be training your dog to whine just to play or get out of the crate.
  • Never make the crate a place of punishment.
  • Do not yell or bang the crate around.
  • Puppies shouldn’t be left inside the crate for more than a few hours. They can’t hold their bowels and bladders for longer than that.
  • Dogs aren’t meant to be crated day and night. They need social interaction. If you find your schedule requires you pup to be crated for more time than is acceptable, try adding doggie daycare or a dog walker into his or her routine.

If you have a bigger yard, you might consider a dog playpen or something that allows them to be more contained. And once your puppy graduates, use these crate training tips for dogs to keep them diligent into their adult years.

Good luck and happy crate training!

What have you found most challenging with crate training?

About The Author:

Sadie graduated from the Moody School of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Advertising and minor in Business. Her love of pets started from an early age with her childhood cocker spaniel, Peanut, and two cats. She is currently dog mom to Lexie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

As a professional dog sitter for more than a decade, Sadie has cared for dozens of canines of various breeds, sizes and temperaments. The responsibility of caring for others' pets has helped her understand the importance of giving animals a loving home. She has experience potty and house training as well as teaching dogs tricks such as sit and shake. Sadie is passionate about canine well-being so she feeds her pup all-natural meals and no table scraps.

Sadie and her husband live in Washington DC and enjoy walking Lexie to nearby dog parks or patios and taking her canine companion on trips. Having an adventurous, long-haired Blenheim means frequent baths and home grooming to maintain a clean coat. A small dog also requires more frequent dental care and Sadie is proactive with Lexie's oral hygiene.

She has been covering dog-related topics since 2012 and is proud to share her latest personal experience, resources and information with fellow pet parents. Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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September 8, 2020 3:23 am

Once a dog is house trained, and tells you he needs to go outside, is it OK to make the crate larger, so that he can have much more space than is needed during crate training?

Apiffany Gaither Billings
September 8, 2020 11:46 am
Reply to  Terri

Having a crate that is too small can be uncomfortable but having a crate that’s too large can make a dog feel unsafe. Even if house-trained, the dog may see the larger crate as a space to eliminate in one spot with enough space to lay comfortably.

August 12, 2020 1:35 pm

My boyfriend and I just bought an 8-week old dachshund from a breeder. He cried, howls, and whines so loud at night and I don’t know what to do. We’ve tried giving him food in his crate, toys, blankets, and bought a snuggle puppy with a heartbeat and a warmer. He is making it so hard to sleep. He doesn’t like to be in his crate when we’re home, or when he is home by himself. I have tried so hard to get him acclimated, I don’t know what else to do. The first night we had him, my boyfriend and I took turns sleeping on the floor next to his crate. PLEASE help.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
August 12, 2020 5:12 pm
Reply to  Lyndsey

Here is an article that may help you.

Julie Hauk
March 3, 2020 6:33 pm

We have gone through all the steps Kennel Training our Golden Retriever Pup And have had to start over…several times..3 weeks later, we have gotten nowhere.
He gets so anxious,he climbs the kennel, literally screams… and has escaped the kennel.
We reinforced the kennel with zip ties and hooks.
He has been pottied, Had play time, NOTHING works.
He freaks out even when I leave the room, or get up in the night. He has slept with us since day one.
I’m at a loss and I’m overwhelmed! Help! Mathias is doing well, with commands, bell training for potty training.

Apiffany Gaither Billings
March 4, 2020 1:41 pm
Reply to  Julie Hauk

It sounds like Mathias could be experiencing separation anxiety. Here is an article that may help:

January 15, 2020 3:12 pm

I think most are struggling because information they get is too complicated. Crate training is not simple. it just takes time and patience. And also crate training is actually house training a dog to train to behave well. After crate training (if done properly) dog feel it as a homebase place. crate training actually is simple if right steps are followed

Bethel Smith
December 18, 2019 9:34 pm

We just got a new dog a couple of weeks ago and have an upcoming vacation planned. I really want to get my dog crate trained before we need to leave. I appreciate your tip about first introducing the dog to the crate by putting it in a room that they are very comfortable with. Having our dog crate trained will make it much easier to leave them with a professional while we are away.

Tired and Bewildered
July 29, 2019 5:45 am

Wow; lots of comments here. Must mean a lot of us are struggling.

I am completely at wits end. Our Shihtzu is four months hold now and this crating thing is killing me. I’m going nuts. We take water up at 7:30 or 8:00 and put her in her crate around 10:30. In between those times she is outside to go pee twice, perhaps three times.

We set an alarm and get up around 2:00 AM to take her outside…so 3 1/2 to 4 hours after she last goes pee and is crated up.

Last night, she had already peed in the crate and then soaked it all up in her fur. Then last night, she yelped / cried / whined literally from the time I got her back in her crate at 2:05 until I got up at my normal time of 5:15. So three hours straight of yelping, whining and crying. This is the normal night around here now.

What am I doing wrong? How can I get her to stop the yelping, whining, crying? This dog is making me understand why some people get a dog, then get rid of the dog.

Kristi Smith
December 2, 2019 8:25 pm

Did you get an answer or pointed in the right direction on your question? I’m in the same boat only our puppy is 8 weeks old and I’m at my wits end.

Tired and Bewildered
July 29, 2019 12:47 pm

Replying to my own post. What I am looking for is a detailed program on how to crate train. Something that deals with night time in particular that goes beyond the ‘try it for longer periods of time.’ I assume they stay in the crate all night long at every step; the alternative seems to be in the crate at night for a while and then roaming the house freely. That can’t be right is it? So they are in the crate full time at night. Now what? Let them pee and poop in the crate and hope they somehow self correct or outgrow that? Or is it get up every two hours and take them outside for a while, then stretch that to every 2 1/2 hours for a while, then 3 hours, etc.?

October 10, 2019 7:33 am

My puppy started crate training on Monday and this is what I did, hopefully it helps you. His last meal is at 7:30pm and his water is taken away at 8:30pm
Night 1:
– Spray his bed with adaptil
– Take him to toilet before bed
– Bed @ 10:30pm, covering crate with bed sheet
– He whinged for 7 minutes, I would stick my hand in the crate to reassure him. Then fell asleep
– Woke him up at 1:20am, 4:20am & 6:30am for toilet. He does his business then straight back in the crate and doesn’t make a fuss. I still give him a treat for using the toilet during the night.

Night 2:
– Spray his bed with adaptil
– Take him to toilet before bed
– Bed @ 10:40pm, whinged for about 5 minutes
– Woke him up at 2am & 6:30am for toilet

Night 3:
– Bed @ 10:38pm (I didn’t spray his bed with adaptil and he whinged for about 10 minutes)
– He woke me up at 12:50am for toilet
– I waited for him to wake me again for the toilet but he slept the whole night until 6:50am

Tonight I’m going to try the whole night without a toilet break. I won’t set any alarms, I’ll see if he lets me know if he needs to go.

If your girl is weeing in the crate it might be too big for her. I was told it should only be big enough for them to stand and turn around. She won’t pee in a spot that she has to sleep in if there’s not much room. I know it’s a hassle, but I would set alarms every 3 hours (general rule if thumb 1 hour for how many weeks they are. 12wks = 3 hours) then slowly increase it. If you wake up and she’s had an accident, set your alarm a bit earlier next time to try and catch her before she does it.

I hope this helps!! I know exactly what it’s like and I was at breaking point with my pup. You’re doing a great job and she will get it eventually!!

August 5, 2019 10:52 pm

I had to put my dogs crate on my bed when she was a tiny puppy. It was so bad I slept with my hand in her crate through the bars and slowly moved it down the bed as time went on and eventually to the floor.

April 14, 2019 10:18 am

I’ve never crate trained before, this is all new to me. My new puppy pees the bed when I let her sleep with me and she needs to be in the crate while I’m at work for 4 to 5 hours. She likes her crate and wont potty in it, but cries at night. I think she just needs to potty during the night like I do. I’m going to try taking her out every time I go pee and putting her back in. When she stops peeing the my bed at night she can sleep with me. I’ve never had a puppy pee my bed at night before, but she’s wat too small to jump down and up by hersel, and not yet house broken. Other than that she’s great, and this artical isn’t all wrong. Dogs dont like to potty where they sleep and eat, and they are pack animals so they usually sleep together. I feel bad making her sleep alone right now.

Marie pike
April 10, 2019 3:35 am

Hi . We’ve only had our puppy 4 days and she’s doing well with the toilet training . Our problem is she doesn’t like being on her own and she barks and howls when put in her crate at night.I know it’s early days but it upsets me to hear her we’ve made it cosy for her and she will go in if her own accord but once we’ve left the room she gets really distressed. Any ideas ? Marie

March 25, 2019 12:08 am

Dogs are NOT actually den animals. They are descended from wolves which are not den animals except when they’re rearing pups. (Foxes, in contrast, are den creatures.) The idea that a crate is natural to a dog is not correct. Doesn’t mean they can’t be trained, but they are really not den creatures.

February 11, 2019 1:10 pm

My boyfriend and I brought home a male Chihuahua when he was 6 weeks old , He is now 10 months and we are still having potty training issues . We have trained him to sleep in his crate through out the night but For the last couple weeks, he will wake up and poop around 6:45 am every morning in his crate even after being taken out !! Sometimes he’ll poop in his crate before we wake up. We set his last potty break at 12 am at night . We stopped giving him treats and water after 8 pm and were still getting the same problem . My boyfriend wakes up at 6:30 am before he goes to work to take him out but he only pees and about 15 minutes after being brought back inside he’ll poop all over his crate and step all over it . We have tried puppy pads in the crate but all he did was rip them up so we stopped using them at 6 months . I am thinking about getting a kennel for him to lay in at night because his crate may be too big for him . We’ve also tried letting him sleep with us during the night and taking him on a potty break at 6:30 am and once were about to leave for work , we put him in his crate and we find him peeing or pooping in the crate . Unfortunately , we had to move his crate to the kitchen because that is the only room where we have hardware floors. ( We use to have his crate in the bedroom with us but he started kicking the black panel out his crate and digging at our carpets and scratching at our walls . ) I take my break from work at 12 pm so hes crated 7:15 am – 12:00 pm and hes always dry when I get home from break then I go back to work 12:30 – 4:30 and when I get home to take him out , hes dry ! I feed him and take him out once I get home and then its play time ! He is fed dinner at 7:45 pm and then hes taken out immediately and he goes potty and then playtime again until 11 pm with his potty break following at 12 am and him going back in the crate for bedtime . I’ve researched and I’ve asked experts but no one seems to have the right answer. We’ve tried putting him on new schedules as well as reducing his crate time through out the day . Please Help !!

June 9, 2019 10:53 pm
Reply to  Joy

Chihuahuas are horrible. He was crate trained and actually loved going in his crate. Never peed in it. But he loved to pee everywhere in the house and mark everything. We kept areas gated so he couldn’t get out of the living room. He would pee outside and then just come back in and pee also. This is a very common problem with chihuahuas. After 7 years, we actually gave him to a friend because it was so out of control. The friend has the same issues. ‍♀️ I’m sorry!!!!

March 27, 2019 6:24 pm
Reply to  Joy

Hi Joy,
Welcome to the world of dog ownership..where the reality sucks more than the dream. I have a 16 month old mini schnauzer who was a pain to potty train…and here is the kicker, he STILL will mess in the house and crate. He KNOWS it is wrong to do both as he is “sneaky” about it, and or gives the sad eye look. Just last night he peed the crate and shoved his whole face in it as if to”cover the piss with air”. I slide the tray out and cleaned it with him in the crate. Then I washed my hands and came back to see him in stance and crapping the cage. Why? Why did he do this when he had been taken out, and refused to eat that day? Even better why did he not crap after he peed? Why did he watch me clean his pee and then wait for me to walk away to make another mess? Because he had been crated all day long except to potty and eat. I am in the middle of an allergic reaction to something and wanted to see if keeping him crated would stop the hives. Apparently he was upset from being stuck in a crate all day.

I am in the camp of dogs doing things on purpose, I have had many experiences with my pup and have read numerous stories online. I don’t care what dog lovers say, dogs do revenge potty! If a dog can feel sad, scared, happy, anxious, etc.then they can feel the feelings they need to feel that motivate revenge.

Now that said, it sounds like your pup does not like being crated for long periods of time. This is his way of letting you know. A couple hours here and there is not what they want. They want it all, to roam your home for hours and hours. Sorry. My oldest told me that she read dogs will mess their crate because they know you have to clean it and they will be taken out (which is why i left my dog in the crate while I cleaned it). They will also step in their crap because they know they will get a bath..a sure way of getting out and getting some affection, since you will be obliged to hold and scrub the dog. It is frustrating to say the least. And yes after the poop we had to bathe him. My husband did that, while I cleaned the cage.

Another thing: Once they start doing something negative it can become a habit, and it is hard to break them of it. Yet they can’t seem to do good things by habit unless you give them treats *sigh*. Our dog got into the habit a few months ago of pooping and peeing in his crate every day. We had to keep to the potty schedule AND let him roam more. It’s all a power struggle. I call it revenge, and dog lovers will call it anxiety at being crated. I don’t care. I just don’t like it!

Oh, and we pretty much nixed special doggie treats and multiple human treats (chicken, cheerios etc). All that does is make them crap a lot..have diarrhea…or vomit.

Hope this helps!

April 14, 2019 10:48 am
Reply to  my2cents

I’m sorry you’re having this experience, training a young dog can be difficult and frustrating especially a male dog. He is 100% mad for being in the crate too long, dogs need to exercise and socialize. Try giving him positive attention and toys as a treat, as well as walking him until he’s tired. I have had many dogs over my life, I even ran an unofficial animal rescue when I was younger. I have never crate trained before but I know dog behavior. You need to show love and dominance to your puper. He needs to respect you and your husband as higher in the hierarchy than him, at the same time he craves attention and love. Showing dominance isn’t always punishment. When he does something wrong speak in a firm low tone, growl even bare your teeth, dogs also bite and dry hump to show dominance. When he’s being good, be happy and excited, play and cuddle. Toys can be an effective treat if he likes a particular type more than others. As far as the crate goes, try feeding him in there with the door open, put a bed in there. Don’t use it to discipline, he will hate it and act up like he is. Boy dogs tend to be more difficult than girl dogs and you need to be more dominant. Neutering will help, but you need to let him socialize with you and only use the crate when you absolutely can’t be with him. Dogs are pack animals they need attention and need set rules wether they are small or large breeds. Remember he is not a bad boy, he’s just doing bad things. If you are allergic to him try changing his diet, if a clean meal plan doesn’t work he will need to be rehomed. I hope the best for you and your puper.

Haley Waple
February 1, 2019 10:52 am

My Fiance and I recently brought home a 10-week old lab-pit mix. She is just the sweetest and cuddliest dog. We are having a tough time getting used to the crate though. She knows when my fiance and I have to go to work she has to go in the crate. We have tried giving her a bone to keep her occupied, putting an article of our clothing in the crate so she recognizes our scent, she has her favorite toys in the crate, but she whines for hours on end. For the last 2 weeks she has had 3 accidents in her crate, which is not bad at all! The puppy is in the crate from 8:30-12 she is out for an hour when my fiance comes home from lunch then she is in the crate from 1-3 and is let out again by my brother. Then she is out of her crate when my fiance gets home from work at 5. Any tips on how we can make this a less painful process and something she actually isn’t afraid of? She is also sleeping at the edge of the bed right now. Thank you!

February 3, 2019 11:37 am
Reply to  Haley Waple

make sure the crate isn’t too big. otherwise she will pee on one end and sleep on the other

Lori Wiebe
January 9, 2019 11:28 am

I broke down and got a pompoo for my 14 yr old daughter. I am getting wonderful help from friends – but very conflicting. One says do not let pup graze – put food in crate – and shut the door. The other says never feed in crate. I tried feeding in crate – but he gets upset – spills food and whines. Now I have a pup who has not eaten and is upset. and I have to wait for the moment that he stops whining to take him out of the crate. I am exhausted and I feel he is in the crate so much already – at night and during the day when I am at work….I want him to enjoy his new family.

December 4, 2018 8:44 pm

Hi. My puppy is 4 months old and is house trained and crate trained at night. She lets us know during the day when she needs to go outside to go potty. She happily sleeps in her crate at night for 9 hours without any accidents. I crate her while I go to work and the kids are at school.
I come home at lunch so she is crated fro 8 am to noon and then again from 1 pm until 3 pm when my son gets home from school. Every day, she has a potty accident (poop) in her crate before I come home at noon. She is a very good pup and loves her crate at night but HATES for me to leave in the morning. I am worried she won’t grow out of pooping in her crate during the day and will continue to be anxious and sad while we are not home. Would it be better for me to leave her in the bathroom with a puppy pads and toys while I go to work since she does well in her crate at night already? I have tried leaving the TV on for her to keep her entertained and feeling less anxious. I have tried leaving the room dark and quiet so she might just sleep. Nothing seems to work. Thanks for any input!

January 29, 2019 2:53 pm
Reply to  Elisabeth

How big is your crate compared to the dog? Typically dogs will not use the bathroom where they sleep if it means no matter where in the crate they go it will be touching them. If you have a crate that allows the dog to sit and lay down a decent bit away from it’s poo then it wont care and it will use the potty in the crate. Make sure the crate is the right size for the dog or at least get big fluffy blankets and pillows to block off a large portion of the crate and make sort of a wall so that if she does go to the bathroom it will be right in her face or on her if she moves an inch.

December 3, 2018 10:43 am

We are trying to crate train to avoid separation anxiety. I work from home so my puppy is in my office with me all day. I’ve started to crate train her while I get ready for my day or do cleaning. She whines a lot but we’re at the very early stages. My question is, my husband and I want her to be able to sleep in the bed with us like our last dog did. My husband works nights so he tends to go to bed much later than me, so she hangs out with him until he’s ready to come to bed too, and then she sleeps peacefully until the morning. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by not crating her at night, or is it okay to just crate train at selected times throughout the day so she can get used to being in there during the rare times when neither of us can be home? I keep her crate in my back office so that if she does whine while my husband is asleep, it doesn’t bother him as much. I also don’t let her out if she’s whining, unless it’s time for her potty break.

November 20, 2018 1:22 am

My 15-week puppy sleeps in her playpen, which I line with pee pads. Instead of peeing on the pee pads (which are away from her bedding), she often pees on her bedding. When I take her out in the morning, she doesn’t pee on the pee pads laid outside her playpen, but dashes about and pees anywhere else. It has been challenging and quite frustrating. Occasionally, she manages to pee on the pee pads, then I give her praise and reward her with treats. But this her behaviour is not consistent. Please help! Thanks

November 17, 2018 2:50 pm

Love this article thank you for sharing, my puppy is doing great with the crate I work from home therefore I am able to take him potty and interact with my pup throughout the day my problem is no matter how often I take him out every 45 minutes to a hour he still will pee in his crate, he will not deficate but he will pee. How do I fix this?

Kimberly Alt
November 19, 2018 10:44 am
Reply to  Emilee

Does he go pee outside at all for you? If so, be sure to give him lots of praise when he does. Say, “good boy!” and pet him a lot. If there is a pattern to him going potty in his crate, try to change when you take him out or for how long. For example, does he always go in his crate right when you get inside? If so, stay outside a little longer. Does he go 20 minutes after you come inside? Try taking him out again after 20 minutes.

November 5, 2018 10:02 am

Do you recommend keeping his dog dishes in the crate with him overnight?

Kimberly Alt
November 5, 2018 9:45 pm
Reply to  Steve

You can remove the dog dishes from the crate at night. That way he isn’t drinking and needing to go potty more frequently.

October 18, 2018 5:40 am

How do I transition my pup from kennel to being free? I’m so afraid of her peeing in the house while I’m not looking. She does very well in her kennel. I let her roam the house and she uses the bathroom in the backyard. However, I don’t know if she’s willing to wait for me to open the back door or she’s just going to pee in the house. I clock her bladder but I’m ready for her to let me know when she has to go. At times, I am letting her in the yard but she doesn’t have to use the bathroom. I rather let her out to the bathroom 6-10 times a day oppose to waiting for her to tell me. I am just tired of her not telling me. I don’t want to be upset with her so to avoid that I just let her out about every two hours un until 9:30. Her last meal is at 8pm. What to do?

October 12, 2018 8:50 pm

I have a 4 month old terrier/Chihuahua mix. I got him at 2 months old. He will sleep in the crate overnight. He will go in the crate during the day by himself. My problem is that he is still peeing and pooping all over my house. I take him out in the morning, I take him out about every 1 and 1/2 to two hours. I don’t want to keep him in his crate all the time but if he is in the house and not in constant view he is peeing or pooping. And you wouldn’t believe how fast he is at it. If I take him out more often he just plays. I’ve crate trained dogs before and never had this problem. Please help

February 3, 2019 3:00 pm
Reply to  Anita

tether the dog to you when in the house, or section off a room or play area. this way you will be able to see him and get outside if he is looking like he needs to go. when you take him out to potty, give him 5-10 minutes. if he doesn’t go crate him for 15-30 min, then try again. lots of praise and extra treats when he goes. you won’t be crating all the time, just until he goes potty outside, then you housed be safe to tether him to you inside until next go around

October 18, 2018 5:16 am
Reply to  Anita

I had this problem with my Chihuahua/Yorkie mixed. I moved her kennel by the back door. The backyard is where she uses the bathroom. I allowed her to stay in the yard for one hour per bathroom break. I monitored her intake. I noticed that after each meal she immediately used the bathroom- doing a number 1 and 2. I would never leave her food out because I wouldn’t be able to monitor her bathroom break. I fed her twice to 3xs a day with plenty of treats for using the bathroom outside. I treated her as soo as she walked back in the house- but that’s only if she actually used the bathroom. I hope this helps. House breaking a puppy can be frustrating.

September 30, 2018 10:19 pm

What I’m trying to understand is how do I keep puppy safe/keep from potting at night if I don’t keep him in the crate at night? We brought our puppy home a week ago and he’s slept in the crate since the first night. Outside of the first night, he’s slept through (10p-6a). I stayed downstairs with him the first 3 or 4 nights and moved him further into the kitchen each night. I’ve moved back up to my bedroom the last 3 nights. He yelps 5-10 minutes and then goes to sleep. Occasionally I put him in the crate during the day (preparing meals, using the bathroom). Am I doing more harm than good because he wasn’t introduced more gradually?

September 6, 2018 3:55 pm

My puppy is now 9 months old and still pees in his crate no matter what we have tried. He goes out multiple times in the morning and in the evening and still does it, what can we do to prevent this?

February 3, 2019 3:03 pm
Reply to  Jessica

smaller crate. also, take water and food away 3 hours before bed, and go potty right before putting to bed

October 18, 2018 5:27 am
Reply to  Jessica

Use a smaller crate. However, because your pup is use to peeing freely, transitioning will require more of your attention. You will have to take your pup out for multiple bathroom breaks. Then gradually increase the crate time. All up until your pup can hold its bladder for about 8-9 hours. Giving treats as soon as your pup finish using the bathroom outside, give a favorite treat. I wouldn’t give my pup a treat if she didn’t use the bathroom during her bathroom break. My pup is now 5 months old and the last accident in our home was when she was 2 months old. It was my fault tho. I forgot to take her to the bathroom before taking her upstairs for her bath. She accidentally pooped upstairs. She didn’t know how to use the stairs yet. But she is an awesome pup. I love her. She respects me and what I ask her to do.

Michelle Schenker
September 7, 2018 12:10 pm
Reply to  Jessica

I would suggest that you talk with and probably meet with a dog trainer in your local area who can help you with this training concern.

Debbie Oke
September 5, 2018 4:53 pm

Hi, just adopted a Yorkie 4days ago. She is 12 weeks old. Just got a crate for her today. I live in a Seniors/Assisted Living apartment. Of course noise at night is very much undesirable. I have put her in the bathroom the first night (of course with bed, food & water, toys & pee pads.) I don’t know how 2 pounds of puppy can make that much noise. I let it go for a bit and then thought of eviction. Didn’t know what to do so let her out. What a mess in the morning from a puppy who was supposed to be pad trained. Everywhere but on the pee pad. Next night tried to use a travel bag, lots of room and just screened in sides. Lots more noise so brought her in the bedroom, night light on but she didn’t stop whining except when she was barking. Finally gave up at 4am and let her out but in my bed. Last night closed the bedroom door, her bed at the end of mine. Still a no go. In my bed again. Now I know I can’t put her in the crate for the night straight away and she has been in the crate with a treat for as long as the treat lasts and I’m there. I walk away and out she goes. The question is, until I have her happy in the crate, where do i put her without a mess and her sleeping with me? HELP.

November 2, 2018 9:50 pm
Reply to  Debbie Oke

Hey, when I first got my puppy he would cry/bark nonstop when he was in his puppy pen/ crate at night.
Fortunately I came across this blog that said put the pup in the crate and put the crate right next to the bed on a chair. Whenever my dog starts whining, I put my finger in the crate and he immediately stops and lays back down. Unless he has to potty.
I hope this helps!

Michelle Schenker
September 7, 2018 12:10 pm
Reply to  Debbie Oke

It might be worth reaching out to a local dog trainer to ask for assistance with your unique situation.

October 12, 2018 9:37 am

Her situation is not unique. Your (and others)crate training procedure assumes that the dog has an established room where he’s used to hanging out with the family and that you’ve had him/her for a while. Bull! You have to start this procedure on the very day you bring the puppy home. Otherwise, the puppy will get used to being in your bed, will start a bad habit of peeing on the floor and learn that barking and yipping through the night brings rewards. Please update your method to show how it’s done on day 1, not over time!! Thank You.

joey power
August 31, 2018 11:52 am

hi my puppy is 17 weeks and does goodin crate but when time to get him out he pees

August 13, 2018 6:10 pm

I have a little 16 week lab. I got her from 8 weeks and what a nightmare. Being the one who took her away from the little I became mum. I could not go anywhere without her howling. From day 1 I was going to create train. The first night was fine but then she was howling during g the day in there. She was always ok at night but then got in a habit of waking up at 0430am and barking and howling for my attention. You have to ignor! They need to learn that this is my house and my rules. My friend gave me a great creating routine where you wake up straight out to the toilet, then breakfast and plAy, then creat for 2 hrs, then straight out to the toilet, then creat for 2 hrs, then toilet then play time then create then toilet etc etc until bedtime. My puppy learnt after 3 days where the toilet was and now as long as the back door is open she takes herself outside. Self creates if she is tried nd sleeps all night until 0730-0800 in her create with the door shut no issues.

Skye Light
August 12, 2018 1:46 am

On the fourth day with an 8-9 week old Siberian Husky pup, and I’m just going to say it now: It gets better! I’m 15, he’s my first pup, and.. He wouldn’t touch the crate at first, and on the first day he actually had it too large. I made it much smaller, played games of “find the treat!” and have a cheese stuffed kong in there, and now he’s steadily getting used to it. Never close the door on him when he’s first exploring and checking it out, he should be free to accept it as his own place! He was sleeping outside the crate at night, now is slowly getting introduced… truthfully, I’m tired and hoping he’ll be able to make it through the night soon ^^; never has accidents in the room unless bladder is full and he can’t help it. Immediately cleaned when it does. But he’s still a little anxious for now. Hoping to ease him in soon- don’t give up!