Tips for Crate Training a Puppy

The process of housebreaking a puppy can be challenging at best but obviously, it is a huge priority. Although there are different methods used to accomplish this goal, crate training a puppy is by far the most effective but also safest.

It is important to note that it usually takes several months for a puppy to become acclimated to a new environment so along with using the helpful information provided in this article, patience is essential to success.

Purchasing the Right Crate

There are a number of factors to consider before actually going through the steps associated with potty training a puppy such as buying the right crate.

As an example, it would be imperative to choose a crate with high quality construction, but also the right size. As far as construction, a heavy wire or plastic crate would be fine as long as there are no pointed or loose parts that could pose potential physical harm.

The size of the crate is actually very important to the overall potty training experience. For this, the crate should accommodate a comfortable bed and nothing more.

Obviously, the size of the dog as an adult should be considered, something more an issue for large breeds opposed to smaller breeds such as Yorkshire terriers.

In summary, the crate should be large enough so the dog can stand, turn around, and stretch but not so big that any extra space away from the bed would be considered an area for going potty.

Appropriate Location

Just as in real estate, location is a key factor associated with crate training a puppy. In fact, when placed in the correct location, a puppy will quickly learn to wait to eliminate yet still be provided with an environment that feels comfortable and safe.

If housebreaking a large breed, it would be essential to find one location that works best whereas for a small breed, again like a Yorkie, moving the crate around would be much easier.

One important thing to consider when choosing the best location for the crate is that dogs are extremely social animals. Therefore, choosing some place away from family members or other household pets could cause undue stress.

Instead, being around activity and noise in the home but also within close proximity to an outside door would help the puppy adjust and overall make crate training an easier process.

Knowing Limitations

A puppy can only wait so long before needing to go outside so initially, crate training would involve getting the animal out every few hours but of course, with age the dog would be able to wait longer.

This is a prime example of why someone should be in a position to bring a new puppy into the home. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility in that the animal requires a significant amount of time and effort.

However, the unconditional love and fun the owner gets in return makes it all worthwhile.

Something else to consider is that a puppy cannot simply be placed in a crate and left. There needs to be a gentle transition to help the animal associate the space with security and comfort, not punishment.

For the first day, the puppy should be placed inside with the bed and a soft toy but with the door left open. This would allow the animal time to explore but also the opportunity to come and go at free will.

Quickly, the puppy would recognize the crate as a place to rest and sleep.

When the owner needs to leave the house, the puppy should be taken outside and played with for about 20 to 30 minutes.

In addition to burning off energy, this gives the animal time to take care of business.

Having gone potty and played, once in the crate the puppy would likely curl up and fall asleep during the owner’s absence.

Then immediately upon returning home, the puppy would be taken outside again and given ample time to potty and play.

Additional Tips

Even small puppies do not like being left in a dirty crate. For this reason, any accidents should be cleaned up right away using hot water, organic soap, and a little bit of vinegar. The bed cover would need to be washed and soiled newspaper beneath the mesh or wire floor thrown out.

Keeping the interior of the crate clean and sanitary would continue to make this an inviting space but also eliminate any health risks for the animal.

Two additional things that would help with crate training a puppy include using potty training pads and controlling access to water.

First, along with using the crate experts suggest placing potty training pads that would be strategically placed just outside the door of the crate and on the floor leading to the exterior door. That way, any accident on the way outside would be taken care of.

Second, while a puppy would need to be on a proper diet and have access to water throughout the day, several hours before retiring for the night water should be removed.

As a result, the puppy would go to bed with an empty bladder, thereby making it easier to wait before going potty outside or having an accident inside.


The bottom line is that crate training a puppy is a process that requires time and patience. However, creating a safe and comfortable environment, placing the crate near activity, noise, and an exterior door, keeping the crate clean, and providing the animal time to play and take care of business all work together in getting the desired results in a short period of time.

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