Is it bad to put my dog in a crate?


Just as everyone in the family has a place they want to call their “own”, your dog should have a place to call their own, also!  Not some place of isolation but something within the family activities where he can relax.

puppy-in-crateOne of the best investments you can make for your dog is purchasing a crate.  It’s natural for dogs to like to be in enclosed spaces, whether it be under a table or chair, even under your desk at your feet!  The crate is also extremely helpful in house training your dog.  The crate will help supervise your puppy or dog and save many furniture pieces!

Crates come in a variety of sizes and styles.  Wire, plastic, and nylon mesh are the most popular.  Each having specific advantages and disadvantages.  Wire crates provide your dog with the most visibility and ventilation.  Plastic crates often called airline crates, give your dog privacy.  They also can be used if you are traveling whether by air or car.  Plastic crates are the safest crates for car travel.  The nylon mesh crates are great for quick convenient crates when you need them outside of your home.  With the mesh the dogs do have a tendency to get their nails caught.  They are great if you are there to supervise, however please don’t ever leave your dog in a mesh crate unattended.  He could injure himself very easily while you are gone.

Your crate whichever style you choose, should be large enough for the dog to lie down, turn around, and sit when full grown.  If you do not want to get a “puppy” crate and then an “adult” crate, you simply can place a box for a bed in the back of the large crate.  By partitioning off part of the crate you are making the dog feel more comfortable by enclosing his den.  Dogs normally will not go to the bathroom where they sleep.  This is why keeping the space small when they are a puppy is very important.

Most dogs need to be conditioned to the crate.  Owners often say the dog doesn’t like it, or they feel they are being unfair to the dog.  You need to associate positive experiences with the crate.  You can feed your dog in the crate; you can leave the door open toss a treat inside and the dog run into the crate for the treat.  Just don’t toss a treat, and when the dog runs in, shut the door behind him and leave.  You will then be creating a very negative experience for him.  Never punish your dog by putting him the crate.  Everything related to the crate must be a positive experience for the dog.

Your crate should have an easy to clean mat or bed for your dog if he is not a chewer.  If he is, don’t put anything with stuffing or foam.  You will come home and find it everywhere.  Worse yet your dog could ingest it and become very sick.  Make sure if you put the dog in the crate with a collar on, it cannot get caught on anything.  If your dog is a chewer, give him a Kong or a Nylabone.  Make sure it is something that he cannot destroy.  Do not give rawhides, bones with sharp edges, squeaky toys, anything at all they could ingest.  More than likely if your dog is in the crate for a while he will sleep while you are gone.  If he is higher energy, he may get bored so all the reason to give him something he will enjoy.   It also helps to leave some music or the television on when your gone and they are in the crate.  It helps to keep them company and drown out any of the other scary noises that come from the house or outside.

All in all, the crate will keep you and your dog happy.  I had a black lab I crate trained.  He hated it at first but then he loved being in there.  When he was about five I took it down as he wasn’t really using it.  We trusted him when we left so I just got tired of moving it to clean around.  He was mad!  It took me a few days to finally realize why he kept pacing the room.  Once I did, I put his crate back up and he was a happy camper!  I think it was one of those comfort things for him, he didn’t use it much but knew if he wanted it, it was there.

If you would like further information on crate training your dog please contact Kim Paciotti at 704-877-7821or by email at We specialize in puppies!  Visit our website at


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