How to crate train a puppy.

You’re here because you’ve got a new fur baby or you’re thinking about getting one and you want to know how to crate train a puppy. Well, great news! I’ve got lots of advice and techniques which we found really successful with Clover.

#1 Rule

Before I even bought my puppy, I knew that my number one rule was going to be ‘no dogs on the bed at night’. On the day I brought her home, we stopped at the pet shop and bought a small crate, among other essential items.

As soon as we arrived home, James set up her crate. Inside, we put a soft blanket, a water bowl attachment that fixes to the side of the crate and a soft toy. We also wedged the crate between two other pieces of furniture and covered the sides with a towel. We did this to make the inside of the crate cosy.

SO IMPORTANT: Take your dog’s collar off before putting them in a crate or pen!

This is what we did from day one.

  1. When Clover showed an interest in her crate, we gave her treats. I think she naturally liked the crate as I think she was quite overwhelmed moving to a new home. We have another, older dog, and although Clover seemed interested in playing, she was also happy to find a space of her own.
  2. When Clover was ready for a sleep, we would always put her inside the crate.
  3. If she cried inside the crate, we would ignore her until she stopped before letting her out. We did this to show her that we decide when she can come out.
  4. Really important: we never tell her off before putting her in her crate. We want her to feel positive about her crate because it is never a place of punishment.
  5. If she chooses to go inside the crate on her own, I never close the door behind her. I don’t want her to feel trapped.
  6. I picked a specific time of day to consistently put her in the crate: for us it was dinner time. More recently, she doesn’t always go in the crate at dinner time but if I do want her to go inside, she doesn’t kick up a fuss.

Night time crate training

The first night, we put Clover in her crate and she cried every hour for the entire night. I was exhausted. We kept her in the crate all night (apart from letting her out to use the garden) but I wasn’t happy with it. From the second night onward, we put her crate inside a pen and left the crate door open so that she had more space. Eventually we took the crate away and now she sleeps on her bed in the pen and the crate stays in the living room.

She can quite easily climb out of the pen, but she doesn’t because I have consistently put her back inside so many times that she now understands that I decide when she can come out. She still cried occasionally during the night until recently but now she doesn’t cry at all. When we move house, we’ll move her into the kitchen at night time.

how to crate train a puppy

It’s hard work but if you’re consistent, your puppy will learn your rules.

I hope that this has helped and that you now feel more confident about how to crate train a puppy.

What you should do next:

Ask me any burning questions that you have about puppy training in the comments below!

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  1. omg these photos are SOCUTE and I know nothing about crate training so this was quite interesting! I know that I’m going to struggle with the whole keep them off the bed etc.. thing but at least it won’t be for a while! Thanks for sharing Charlotte!!

    1. Author

      Awh I’m glad you liked it – thanks for reading! To be quite honest, you have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide what you care most about. For me: the pro of letting my fur baby feel close to me at night did not out weight James and I having our own space. A lot of people like having dogs on the bed but then later down the line, they want their personal space back but the dog is already used to sleeping with them.

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    Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

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