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Crate Training Tips!

crate puppy training

Crate training is probably in the top three topics that new dog owners need help with. All dogs are different and will have different reactions to the crate. Some will walk right in and love it while others will hate it, cry or bark their heads off. Whether you have a puppy or adopted an adult dog these tips will help. Just remember there is no magical solution, you have to put the work into it and often. Changing a behavior takes time.

The crate is a great place to be!

Meals & games

All good things happen while in the crate. You can start feeding meals in the crate. Do a fun find it game where you either scatter high value treats on the floor of the crate and toss in one treat at a time while the pup is in the crate.

Puzzle toys

Puzzle toys galore, in the crate. Have several kongs ready with layers of delicious A+ foods/treats so you can do a kong in the crate. Licki mats and bowl are one of my favorites, you can spread peanut butter, low lactose cream cheese, stage 2 gerber meat baby food and even sprinkle a freeze dried raw food on top like Stella & Chewy's, Small Batch or Primal. The Honest Kitchen's Butcher's block pâte is perfect for this. You can freeze these or leave as is. It is important to use the most exciting treats/foods for this, they must be A+ to your dog!


Toss the most exciting toy in the crate, you can even lock that toy in the crate so your pup wants go inside to get it.

When do you crate your dog?

Think about when your dog goes into the crate, if your answer is only at night or if you're leaving the house then start putting them in at other times for short periods of time AFTER they have exercised so they are tired. Always a bonus to give them one of those kongs, licki mats or bowls mentioned above.

If they are having a hard time when you leave the room, practice for short periods of time once again after your dog gets good exercise, give them something to work on and you can hang out next to the crate until they are ok with you leaving the room. 


How much exercise did your pup actually get? That walk around the block probably is not enough unless you have a bulldog puppy. Exercise requirements depend on age and breed. If they aren't tired, do more then try the crate exercises.

Track your progress, it's a process that can take a couple to a few weeks depending on the dog.

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