Why Should I Crate Train My Puppy?

Keeping your puppy safe sometimes means keeping it safe from itself. That’s especially true at night when you’re sleeping, as your puppy can quickly get into things and places it shouldn’t while you snooze the night away. The garbage and all the food waste there, for example, as well as plants, household objects, and quite a bit more.

As a new puppy parent, it’s up to you to keep them from getting into things that could harm or even kill them, just as you would if you were the parent to a human baby. Of course, unlike a baby, you won’t have the luxury of putting your puppy in a crib. That being said, there is something similar to a crib and, for puppies, works even better, a dog crate.

Dog crates were created in 1962 for use by the airlines and have been adapted to be used as a home training and safety device. Made from metal, plastic, and various other materials, dog crates are a great way to keep a puppy safe when traveling or at home when you sleep.

Are crates essential for your puppy, though? Do they work well, and are they an excellent way to train a puppy and help them become well-adapted adult dogs? These questions reminded me of another that I hear all the time from the parents of a new puppy, namely; why should I crate train my puppy?

The reason why you should crate train your puppy has several excellent answers, not the least of which is to keep them safe from harming themself at night while you’re sleeping. It’s also a great way to train them not to go potty in the house, something that’s vitally important for them and you. (Cleaning dog poop and pee off the floor every morning? No, thank you.) Crates can also be a haven for puppies when they’re stressed or tired.

Now that you know why you should crate train your puppy, it’s a good bet you have other questions about this well-accepted (and, truth be told, sometimes controversial) training technique. When to crate train them, for example, and what the alternatives to crate training might be.

If you do, you’re in luck! I’ve got the answers to those questions and a few more below. If you’re keen on learning more about why you should crate train your precious pupper, read on to find out. It’s great information that will be invaluable and help you to raise your puppy into a well-behaved adult dog.

Why to Crate Train Your Puppy

Crate training is surprisingly controversial even though it has proven benefits. I’m not going to get into the debate today about whether it’s good or bad for your puppy, though. Instead, I’ll be talking about those proven benefits and let you make an opinion about crating your puppy on your own.

As I mentioned earlier, crating offers several excellent and even life-saving benefits for a puppy and an adult dog. Crates can save them from their own bad habits, give them a place where they feel safe and, for travel, it’s a must. Crate training is also an excellent potty training tool. Below are the reasons why you should crate train your puppy during different situations you’ll likely encounter.

Why to Crate Train Your Puppy At Night

Puppies, like babies, can often make your nights more complicated, frustrating, and long. However, unlike a baby, a puppy doesn’t need to be fed at night. That means you can put them in their crate and leave them there while you sleep, making sure to let them out early for potty time every morning.

Crating at night offers several benefits when raising a puppy. One of the best of those benefits is higher safety for your puppy. Once in their crate, there’s no way they can get into the garbage, eat plants or swallow something that can cause a choking risk. Knowing that they are safe will allow you, as their new puppy parent, to get a good night’s sleep, at least on most nights.

Crating at night also helps train your puppy not to defecate or urinate in the house. Here’s a fact; dogs really hate to go to the bathroom where they sleep. Puppies will do that occasionally but, instinctively, will grow out of it. 

Using a crate (and some patience), you can get to the point where you’re 100% sure they will hold their bladder and bowel until morning, when you can let them go outside. In a relatively short amount of time, your puppy will be potty trained even without their crate, and (most) indoor accidents will disappear.

Why to Crate Train Your Puppy During The Day

Here’s an interesting thing to remember: crating is beneficial for your puppy even when you’re home. That’s because the crate becomes their “safe space” and can help them when they’re anxious, nervous, or feeling any other negative emotions. So yes, crate training your puppy during the day is beneficial for them and recommended. 

However, one important caveat is never to leave your puppy in its crate all day long. Not only is this cruel, frankly, but it also could be damaging for their bladder and bowels. Remember, dogs hate to go to the bathroom where they sleep. Your puppy could hurt itself holding in its pee and poo until you let it out, which is not a good thing.

Why to Crate Train Your Puppy In The Car

You might not think that a crate is necessary for your puppy in your car, but the opposite is true. Crating your puppy while traveling in the car is imperative to keep them safe, especially in an accident. Also, it will keep them from roaming around the car and possibly causing an accident by jumping in your lap or jumping on the steering wheel.

Remember, a puppy can’t be seatbelted in like you or your children. But you can fasten their crate to your car and keep them from, for example, being ejected out the window during an accident. Some experts even argue that adult dogs should be crated when traveling (or at least seatbelted in), but that’s up to the individual owner.

When to Crate Train Your Puppy

Most experts recommend you start crate training at about eight weeks, although this could change depending on your puppy, its breed, and so forth. That being said, many recommend starting as early as possible to get your puppy used to the crate. In time, they will come to see it as their haven or den and seek out their crate when they need to sleep, relax or destress.

Alternatives to Crate Training

Here’s the thing; there are successful alternatives to crate training your puppy. Most work and can be used if you don’t want to use a crate to confine your puppy. On the other hand, most of these alternatives are much more involved, take more time and energy, and include extra costs. (That’s likely why many people think crate training is better.) 

For example, you could hire a dog sitter to come to your home and stay there while you’re away, letting your puppy out when necessary to go potty. You can also hire a dog walker to do much the same thing but only for a few minutes her day. Both will work, but the extra cost to hire the folks to do this could be substantial.

Another option is to use a puppy playing pen, similar to a playpen for a child but a bit bigger. That gives them more space to move around, and you can also put down some paper for when they have to go potty. The pen also prevents them from getting into the garbage, for example, or eating something toxic. The pen itself, however, will be an extra cost that’s often substantial.

Final Thoughts

Why should you crate train your puppy? The best reasons I know are that it will keep them safe at night while you’re sleeping and prevent them from eating or drinking something toxic. Also, it’s an invaluable tool for potty training your puppy. Lastly, dogs are den animals, and, in time, their crate will be seen as their den and a safe space. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and that all your questions about why to crate train your puppy have been answered. If you have more or want more information about other puppy-related subjects, please be sure to read my other blogs on this enjoyable and furry subject. They’re packed with real-world information you can use to raise a healthy, happy puppy into an adult dog and your best buddy.