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Crate Training – How to Housebreak Your Puppy or Dog

Crate Training – Simple Steps That Work!

precision-pet-cover-for-dog-exercise-pensIf you have struggled with crate training your puppy or dog, don’t be discouraged. While crate training is one of the best ways to housebreak your puppy or dog, it is also the most frustrating behaviors when your puppy or dog decides to use your home as a bathroom.

Crate training will work when other methods fail, and most of the time pretty fast in as little as a week, provided you put the time into the initial crate training and routine.

Understanding the Reason Why Crate Training Works When Other Methods Don’t:

The reason that crate training works, is that it cements one of the most powerful, natural instincts a dog has. That instinct is that a crate is a dog’s den or home. When a dog is in a crate, it will naturally try to avoid soiling the area where it lays or sleeps in.

Crate training done the correct way, will help your puppy or dog learn to feel secure and teach your companion how to eliminate outside of your home. While this behavior can be taught quickly even to puppies, routine and consistent training is the key to training your dog this behavior. Some puppies and dogs do take slightly longer and are usually housebroken within 10 – 14 days, so be patient and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get that kind of results.

First, Get Your Crate Ready:

  • Get a crate that is appropriate for your puppy or dog’s size. When purchasing a crate for housebreaking, please try to purchase a crate that will give your puppy or dog a comfortable area to stand and move around, however, the crate should not be too large. If you do have a larger crate, you can section off your crate or better yet, consider buying a crate that adjusts from a smaller to larger size by using expanding panels. Too large a crate, and your puppy or dog may feel as if there is plenty of room to use the bathroom while in the crate. If you have no choice and have a larger crate, try taking your puppy or dog out more frequently.
  • Don’t move your crate around. Keep it near the door where your puppy or dog will be taken out of, so you can quickly exit; before your puppy or dog has a chance to eliminate in your house. Place food and more toys in the same room as the crate, however, do not place food and water in the crate. If you are concerned that your puppy’s or dog’s crate isn’t functional or taking up space, then there are crates that look more like furniture.
  • Put toys and bedding in the crate, make it comfortable and inviting. Your puppy or dog should think of their crate as its home and not a cage. When your puppy or dog thinks of a crate as a cage, it can lead to crying, chewing, and scratching.
  • Remember that crate training is a process and leaving your companion in their crate for extended periods of time is counterproductive to housebreaking. When a puppy or dog is left in a crate for too long (during crate training), a puppy or dog will eliminate in their crate. This, unfortunately, may be the beginning of a puppy or dog that becomes used to using their crate as its bathroom. Recovering from this type of behavior can take a very long time, so following the proper steps when crate training is very important.

Next, Steps to Crate Training Your Puppy or Dog:

  • Confine your companion to a crate when you are home. Place the crate nearest to the door where you will be taking your dog out to do their business.
  • Before your puppy or dog is taken out of the crate, put a leash on your puppy or dog, and immediately take your puppy or dog outside. If your puppy is very young, pick up your puppy and take him outside. Your puppy should be taken out of their crate every 30 – 45 minutes or so. A dog should be taken out every 45 – 60 minutes. If you find your puppy or dog soils the crate sooner, then take your puppy or dog out every 30 minutes (or less) until he does not eliminate in the crate.
  • Take your puppy or dog to the same place to go to the bathroom, therefore, form a routine.
  • Give your puppy or dog no more than 5 minutes outside.
  • Tell your puppy or dog to “go pee” or “go potty” – use a term that will teach your dog that it is time to use the bathroom. When your puppy or dog correctly eliminates outside, then give them praise. Teach your companion that when they correctly use the bathroom in the appropriate area then they receive a reward even if that reward is verbal praise. You can also bring your puppy or dog indoors to play for a while, before putting them back into the crate. If your puppy or dog has successfully completed crate training (but it is still early in the crate training process), you can let your puppy or dog play outside its crate for a time before placing the dog back into the crate. If you leave your companion out of the crate for too long, your companion may get confused and use your house as the bathroom.
  • If your puppy or dog does not use the bathroom outside, return your puppy or dog to the crate.
  • At night, crate your puppy or dog, taking them out before you retire and again the very first thing in the morning.

Finally, Dealing with Accidents in Your Home During Crate Training:

  • Don’t be discouraged if your puppy or dog makes mistakes during crate training in your house. Clean up the mistakes using a stain and odor remover, put a leash on your puppy or dog and take them outside. Remember that if your companion has had an accident in your house, you have given your puppy or dog access to your house too quickly. Don’t give up, just repeat the process.
  • If your puppy or dog soils the bedding in the crate, make sure it is washed and clean of the smell. Puppies and Dogs will want to eliminate in the same spot if it smells of urine, or poop. Crate training is less likely to work in a crate that is not cleaned regularly.

If you follow the above steps, chances are crate training will be successful and you can gradually increase the time you are taking your puppy or dog out of the crate to go to the bathroom and eventually let your dog out in your house without worry of bathroom accidents.

Recommended Crates for Crate Training Puppies and Dogs:

Midwest Life Stages CrateMidwest Life Stages  (ALL SIZE DOGS): The best choice for a crate for growing puppies! This crate grows with your puppy. If you are looking for an economical solution and you are planning to keep your crate, then this crate is highly recommended for its functionality and durability.

Midwest Crate Cover: Click Here

“I am very pleased with this crate and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an attractive, functional product.” “Very sturdy and easy to set up.” “I love the option of having the two doors.”

The Midwest ACE-424 Life Stage Features include safe and secure slide-bolt latches, rounded corners, a durable satin-black Electro-Coat finish, and a removable, washable plastic pan for easy cleanup in the event of an accident. LifeStages® crates also come with a free divider panel for use while your puppy is growing. Simply choose the size of crate that your dog will need when it reaches its full adult size.

  • A Versatile metal dog crate with an adjustable divider panel.
  • Double door access; slide-bolt latches; rounded corners.
  • Easily sets up and folds down; 2 plastic handles for carrying.
  • Durable satin-black electro-coat finish; ABS-plastic pan included.

Dog Crate Table

Cage with Crate Cover or Crate Furniture (ALL SIZE DOGS): If you are short on space, don’t want the conventional look of a crate, or would like a crate that doubles as furniture this crate will work well and look great in your bedroom as a nightstand, or in a living room next to your couches.

“The crate is very sturdy, well built and looks nice.” “Looks very nice, Easy to assemble.”  “Gives them a place to have quiet time and relax.”

The Pet Crate Table made with Eco-Friendly Rubberwood has easy-to-clean Melamine covered MDF floor is waterproof, which eliminates the absorption of liquids and odors, a very important feature for Homes and Pets. With your Pet’s comfort in mind, multiple vents provide a 360-degree view, while providing excellent ventilation. Non-marking, furniture glide feet protect your floors, and easy to use hardware makes assembly of these dog crates quick and effortless! Tired of having your pet sleep in your bed, but still want them close? Use it as a decorative nightstand in your bedroom. The Pet Crate End Table is available in three Finish Options that will beautifully complement your home’s décor: Chestnut, Mahogany and Espresso.

  • Pet Crate featuring durable hardwood construction that looks similar to Teak
  • Beautiful stained and lacquered finish just like fine furniture with high quality Mortise and Tenon construction
  • Versatile swing-through door rotates inside so it is out of the way and multiple vents offer pet 360-degree view plus well-ventilated environment
  • Waterproof Melamine covered MDF floor, easy to clean and eliminates absorption of liquids and odors – very important for your Home and Pet
  • Available in 3 Finishes that will complement your home?s décor and two sizes; Medium-size is 21 inches wide x 29.7 inches deep x 24 inches high


NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate (ALL SIZE DOGS): If you are a puppy or dog owner on the go, this crate folds easily for travel and is great when your dog visits other homes or even your office.

“Very easy to set up, compact when folded, light.” “The crate is very well made and has a quality feel to it.” “My dog, who spends nights and also often time when I am not home in the crate seems to like it as well as the hard sided crate she had been using.”

The unique design of your NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate Pet Home provides a durable enclosure for your pet. The outside is constructed of a heavy-duty tight weave mesh fabric while the steel frame endoskeleton provides superior strength and support for the fabric. The mesh windows are perforated like a honeycomb to encourage airflow throughout the Sof-Krate providing a more comfortable environment for your dog or cat to enjoy. Three doors (front side and top) allow for easier access. Each door can be rolled up and secured open with the provided fastening straps. Additional features include industrial strength zippers and door latches to safely secure your favorite companion.

  • Durable, well-ventilated pet crate for indoor or outdoor use
  • Made with new heavy-duty tight-weave mesh fabric
  • For pets up to 70 pounds
  • Sets up in seconds anywhere you want to go
  • Rounded corners protect home décor and auto interior


Petnation Port-A-Crate (ALL SIZE DOGS): Another portable crate that works well for both indoors/outdoors – great for travel, camping and outdoor activities when you want to crate your puppy or dog.

“It was very easy to set up.” “Our dog absolutely LOVES the crate and willingly trots in and our when quiet time is what she needs and sleeps comfortably every night in the crate without issue.” Compact to carry with nice carry handle. ”

Lightweight, portable indoor/outdoor pet home

Tightly weaved mesh fabric panels surrounded by an extra-strong steel frame
For pets up to 25 pounds and beyond
Sets up and folds down in seconds; no tools necessary