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Crate Training a Dog - The Benefits of a Dog Crate

Crate Training a Dog

Nikita O'Rourke |

A dog crate can be a wonderful training tool, transporter and safe haven for your dog when used correctly.

The Benefits of a Dog Crate for your Dog or Puppy:


The safest and most convenient way to get your dog from A to B.

  • There’s nothing more distracting that a dog who climbs into the front of the car or onto your lap whilst you’re trying to drive. Not only is it annoying, it’s incredibly dangerous and can cause accidents. In Ireland it’s a legal requirement to safely restrain your dog in the car when you’re driving.
  • Crating your dog in the car keeps your car clean from muck, water, drool and pet hair. Just give the removable tray a quick wipe or spray down and you’re done.
  • A crate is preferable for dogs who suffer from car sickness or dislike the car – some dogs find it even less stressful to have a blanket over their crate in the car, so they cannot see the world moving by quickly.
  • They are also ideal for dogs that have poor recall and may run as soon as the car door is opened. With a crate, you can safely open the car doors with out the worry of your dog running away.
  • Crates are easily folded up and down to be taken in and out of your car in seconds.

A Safe Haven for Your Dog

Dog’s love to have a safe, enclosed place that they can bunker down in. We see this frequently when a dog is fast asleep under the kitchen table or your bed. Crates are ideal for giving their dogs their own space for them to get away from things when they’re overwhelmed. For dealing with stress or overwhelm, the crate doors don’t even needs to be closed, just the walls of the crate can be enough to offer your dog a sense of safety.

  • Sometimes the hustle and bustle of a busy, noisy house can be too much for our canine pals and they need a place to retreat.
  • Some dogs become anxious when visitors or strangers come to the house.
  • Does your dog need their own space to eat their food or treats away from children or other pets? Most dog’s prefer to eat in peace and a crate is an ideal place to offer them this.
  • Have you recently welcomed a new dog into the home? Or a bothersome puppy who won’t give your resident dog any peace? Crating one of the dogs at a time can give the other a much needed break during the early stages.
  • New dogs to the home, especially rescue dogs can benefit greatly from having their own space to decompress away from new people and other pets when they choose.
  • Are thunder or fireworks terrifying your dog? Their crate can be a soothing place for them to escape during this time.

House Training

Crate training your dog can be a fantastic way to aid and speed up the house training process.

  • Keep your dog safe and happy, while preventing smelly accidents while you’re not able to keep a close eye on them.
  • Always make sure to put your dog straight out to their designated toilet area when you let them out of their crate.
  • Have a look at this helpful blog about house and crate training.

Prevents Destruction

Crating can help to keep your dog out of trouble when you’re out for short periods.

  • Keep your puppy from eating your furniture and cables when you can’t watch them.
  • Have a dog who loves to counter surf? Pop them in their crate for a short period while they’re unattended.


Crates can be very helpful at night time. Knowing that your dog is safely tucked away in their little house and out of trouble allows you and them to sleep soundly.

  • A quiet place just for your dog is the perfect spot for them to wind down and sleep.
  • Crating at bed time helps to build a bedtime routine for your dog and makes night time quieter and calmer. They will quickly learn that you’ll be coming to let them back out in the morning.
  • Using a crate at bedtime rather than having them sleeping in bedrooms can help to prevent separation anxiety at bedtime.
  • Dogs tend to instinctively not go to the toilet where they sleep, which can aid in house training at night time. However young puppies will likely need to be let out to relieve themselves after a few hours during the night.
  • A crate can be also be used open at night time, as an alternative to a traditional hard plastic bed.

How to get your Dog to love their new Crate?

Some dog’s can initially be wary of their new crate. We never recommend putting them into the crate and locking the door. A much kinder and gentler way of introducing your dog to their new den is with food or what ever usually motivates them for training. Think about what your dog finds the most rewarding. Their meals, treats, their favourite toy? The goal is for your dog to have a positive association with their crate and it must never be used for punishment.

Start by folding open the crate, opening the doors, placing their favourite bed inside the crate and allowing them to become familiar with it in their own time. Some dogs will ignore it, some will sniff and explore, some will go in straight away, but we still don’t recommend closing them inside it until they’re completely comfortable.

Throw some of your dogs favourite treats inside of the crate, feed them in their crate with the doors open, toss their favourite toys into the crate. Anything that will encourage them to enter the crate by choice. Once your pup is comfortable going in and out of the crate, try closing them in for very short periods like feeding or treat time. Make sure you always stay close by when you begin closing the door. Gradually and slowly increase the amount of time as your dog starts to get used to it. Creating a ritual of giving your dog a tasty snack or meal when they need to be closed into their crate is a fantastic way to make sure they are eager to go into their new digs.

A similar method should be used when leaving your dog when they are crated. Do it slowly and gradually over a period of time. The more you do this, the more your dog will willingly go into and spend time in their crate.

How to Keep Your Dog Occupied and Calm in Their Crate?

Making your dog’s crate an inviting place to be, and giving them something to do is the best way of keeping them calm, content and happy. Below we have some ideas for helping to crate train your dog. Not only will these ideas keep your dog busy, they will release calming endorphins to help your dog really relax.

  • Give them some lovely bedding like this Relax Pad Bed or some super soft Vetbed.
  • Fill a Kong with something tasty like peanut butter and yoghurt, or some wet food.
  • K9 Connectables can also be stuffed, and then attached together for longer enjoyment.
  • Licki Matts can be slathered in something yummy for your dog to lick.
  • Have a look at some other Canine Enrichment Toys that your dog might like whilst in their crate.
  • Chews are another great option for crate time.
  • Just like children, dogs love to have their toys around them when they’re settling down, so offer them a few fun toys for crate time.
  • A calming spray like Holistic Hounds Calm and Balmy can be a fantastic way to help them calm down when they are learning to love their crate.

What size Crate does my Dog need?

Your dog’s crate should always be big enough for them, even if this means they need an upgrade as they grow. Alternatively, get them a crate big enough for them to grow into. “Big enough” means that your dog can fully stretch out, stand up and turn around with out hitting the sides or top. If in doubt, opt for a bigger size.

The crates that we sell at Fetch have two doors, a carry handle, a removable base and are available in four sizes:

  • Small – 60 x 45 x 51 cm
  • Medium – 77 x 48 x 54.4cm
  • Large – 91 x 56 x 62 cm
  • Extra Large – 107 x 70 x 77.5 cm