Welcome to the crate debate. It’s often said that placing a dog in a crate is cruel.

We tend to forget that our canine friends prefer to have a den-like area.

Adopting a rescue can sometimes be a bigger challenge with more responsibility. Often, rescue dogs suffered trauma in the past that can make things difficult for a new pet owner, particularly when crate training. However, we’ve personally crate trained a few rescues, and can assure you that it’s not impossible.


7 Reasons to use a crate

Dogs have a natural ‘denning’ instinct and crates can provide a haven for your dog when he is feeling stressed or tired and needs some downtime.  For example: thunderstorms, during a birthday party, etc. 

Children especially, must be taught that when the dog is in his crate, whether by his own choice or by yours, that he is out of bounds for them and must be left alone.

Crates are great for house training. Dogs and puppies don’t like a soiled bed, so a properly sized crate is very useful to assist you in teaching him bladder and bowel control.

Make sure your crate is the right size. If you choose one too big they may make a “bathroom area.”

Having your dog resting comfortably in his crate while you are not able to supervise him is a bonus. Maybe you are cooking dinner or working on renovations where your pup could cause safety issues just by being underfoot. Having him tucked safely away will give you peace of mind.

Car travel in a crate is far safer than having a dog loose in the car.

If your dog ever needs to stay overnight at the vet’s, he will be far less stressed when he is confined in the cage or run if he has already been crate trained.

Have you seen those ‘dog shaming’ videos on the net, where the pet parent comes home to find his furniture in a shambles? Funny though they are, those disasters could have been avoided if the dog had been left in his crate with a bone or toy to chew on, instead of destroying the designer couch.

Ingesting parts of furniture, toys, shoes, cords, etc. can lead to serious injuries and hefty vet bills.

Finally, if you ever have to evacuate your home in a disaster or emergency, heaven forbid, having a crate trained dog is so much easier for all concerned.

Whether you keep your dog with you, or he has to stay with someone else, your pup will be better off in his own crate.

He’ll be more relaxed with his own blankets and toys with your scent on them, than ones he is unfamiliar with.

Of course, you will probably not be able to find a crate that fits the exact length, width and height of your dog. Just try to stay as close to those measurements as possible.

When in doubt, go with a bigger length, width or height than you need because they must be able to do the following without touching the sides;

  • Sit & Stand
  • Turn around         
  • Lay down

Don't wait until its too late, start training now! 

Even the most tired dog can find trouble in a few minutes.


Young or old,  regardless of their past experiences,  ALWAYS start from the beginning.  Move with baby steps. This video will show you everything you need to know, and do,  to make their crate an amazing place.  ​ Crate training needs to be done gradually. Locking your dog in a crate and expecting them to instantly be comfortable is unrealistic.  Start the process right away so when you need to leave them in the crate for a bit, you are ready.

misuse of the crate can have a negative influence on your dog

Uses to avoid


It is very important to remember not to use a crate as punishment for your dog. His crate should be his haven. You will often find dogs resting in their crates on their own accord with the door wide open.


While crates can be used for teaching your dog the house rules, it is NOT okay to use the crate as a crutch because of lack of training. Your dog wants to be with YOU, not spending his life in a crate, so be diligent about your training regime early on. If they keep being naughty, crating isn't going to help.


Never leave your dog in his crate for too long, especially puppies who have limited bladder control. Yes, a regular work schedule of 6-8 hours is generally okay. Don't go much past that. Look into having a friend, or pet sitter come in and let him out, or look into a good doggy daycare.