Crate training is an important process whenever you introduced a new dog to your family. All ages, young puppies, and senior dogs will benefit from crate training. Using a crate provides a sense of security and comfort for your new dog. Also, it gives you peace of mind. New puppies can be destructive!

Dogs of any breed and age will seek enclosed spaces to create that sense of safety. That’s why so many love sleeping under your kitchen table. A crate will provide a shelter to rest and relax. They’re also a helpful training tool for a new puppy.

Most veterinarians and breeders will recommend crate training begin at a young age. Usually, once the puppy has weaned, it’s time to introduce a crate. All dogs will avoid soiling their sleeping areas. Using a crate will help them learn to hold their bladder. That’s an essential first step in house training.

Crates are also essential in an emergency. Thousands of families need to evacuate their homes every year due to ever-increasing natural disasters. A crate-trained dog can be quickly loaded and evacuated with your family. Sadly, hundreds of pets are separated from their families every year. Some lucky ones are reunited, but some of those animals remain missing.

It would help if you always made the crate a safe space and a positive experience. Meals or treats given inside can make the crate seem like a reward. Crating should never be a punishment.

Fully crate training your new dog takes time. Don’t be surprised if it takes six months or more, with two steps backward and one forward.

Some people think it’s cruel to “cage” your dog. But it’s not. Dogs like and need the feeling of security small, enclosed spaces provide.

Be consistent with your training. Don’t give up, even if you feel it’s not working. Crate training is a process with significant rewards. To reap those rewards, stick with it until you’re successful.

You should remove any leashes, collars, harnesses, or tags when the dog goes into the crate. These items could pose a strangulation risk if they were to get hung up on the crate walls.

Dog crates come in many sizes, styles, and materials. The ideal size should allow your dog to stand at his full height without ducking his head. The dog should also be able to stretch out the entire length of this body, as well as turn around.

Some crates have dividers to adjust the size of the area as your puppy grows. Too much space in the crate and your puppy might choose to use one corner for sleep and eliminate in the other. The crate should be sized to prevent this.

There are a lot of good reasons to crate train your dog. It provides the dog with respite from a busy home. For injured or senior dogs, it provides a safe space to rest. Even better, it makes it much easier to travel and holiday with your new best friend.

The Aspen Traditional Kennel by PetMate gets our recommendation. Available in 3 sizes and meeting air travel requirements, it has all the necessary features to travel safely with your best friend.

Image courtesy Wirecutter

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