Main takeaways

  • Dogs are not people, and when the crate is used properly as a safe, cozy haven, it can be your dog’s favorite spot whether the door is open or closed. 
  • Too much space can be overwhelming for puppies.
  • If dogs sleep in a crate, they are guaranteed uninterrupted rest.
  • If your dog receives lots of exercise and attention, there’s no reason to feel guilty about using a crate for him.

Crates are good for your and your dog's sleep

When talking with people whose dogs are backsliding in housetraining or not sleeping as long as they could do at night, our advice almost always includes using a crate.

“Oh, we used one for a while, but we put it away/got rid of it!” is the usual response. Dog owners feel guilty about putting their pooch in a crate because they cannot imagine being so confined. But dogs are not people, and when used properly as a safe, cozy haven, a crate can be your dog’s favorite spot regardless of whether the door is open or closed.

Where does your dog sleep at night? It’s a personal choice for every dog owner, but many of them start the habit of letting dogs sleep in the bedroom with the owners, whether on their own beds on the floor. And over time, the owner's quality of sleep begins to decline.

Some dogs make less-than-soothing noises with their snoring at 3 am or their own personal hygiene routines. Some believe that faint stirrings by their owner at 5 am mean breakfast and the chance to start the fabulous new day, because YOU OPENED YOUR EYES, YES YOU DID! But if dogs sleep in a crate, they will sleep peacefully until morning.

If your dog is getting lots of exercise and attention, there’s no reason to feel guilty about using a crate. Too much space for puppies can overwhelming; they simply don’t know what to do with themselves. Having the space to run around in isn’t the same as meaningful, interactive exercise or training with you. It’s better to set your puppy up for future success by using a crate than to give them access to things you don’t want torn up.

Keep a nice bed in the crate and always give a special treat when they enter it. Food puzzle toys or hollow toys stuffed with food will keep them busy for a while. Put the crate in a quiet place – not completely isolated but not in front of a window or busy doorway. If you are using a wire crate, put a sheet over it to make it feel like a den, rather than open and exposed.

Where would you prefer to sleep: your comfy bed in a darkened room or in the middle of a bright room, on full display in a crate? Your dog feels the same.

The keys to your dog’s well-being are lots of exercise and attention. But a special place of their own, a crate, is something both of you will appreciate forever.

Leigh, Penny. "Crates are Forever – Not Just for Puppies" 

Help your puppy to feel safe now.
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