Do I have to use a crate?

You do not have to use crate training to house train your puppy, but there are some things to consider. House training involves both potty training AND also getting to a point where you can rely on your dog to spend alone time in your house without destroying things or learning to chase the UPS man. This takes time since puppies will not be 100% reliable unattended inside the house until they are at minimum, nine months and older. Puppies go through a teething stage from four to six months old. After that, from seven to nine months is the juvenile (delinquent) stage! 

  • Do you have the time to oversee your puppy every second to prevent mistakes and bad habits from forming? If not you need a crate, playpen, or section of laundry room to place puppy when you cannot be watching him. Once puppies discover that they can get away with raiding the trash can for scraps you cannot undo that pleasure! By preventing bad habits from forming you can focus on training the good stuff.
  • Do you plan on traveling with, or sending your dog to grooming or the vet at anytime in their lives? If so, they should be taught to become content in a crate.
  • A very young puppy will soil anywhere outside of it’s immediate sleeping space so a crate will allow you to get him holding it until you take him outside. By setting up frequent and consistent outings for potty and play time your puppy will welcome both the relief he gets outside, and the quiet time inside of the den space you create for him. As long as you are giving your puppy plenty of exercise and are taking him out for potty and play time multiple times per day, there is little reason not to allow him his naps in a crate.
  • Start with super short amounts of time in the crate while you are still home and in the room. Then work up to leaving. Four hours is the maximum time your puppy should spend in a crate. 
  • For detailed help with puppy training try our Puppy Head Start Program. It will set you leaps and bounds ahead of the pack!
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