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There is a fine line between caging and crating. Keeping a dog caged is cruel, however, using a crate can be very effective and useful.

Crate Training

There is a fine line between caging and crating. Keeping a dog caged is cruel. Dogs are very social and need more than a 4 by 4 foot or less space to live. However, using a crate can be very effective and useful.

Some people feel using a crate is cruel. I believe it is all on how you use it. After all, dogs are den dwelling animals. A crate can be his private den.

There are some do's and don't when crating.


  • On a regular basis, do not make this his only living space. He needs to be free much of the day. Animals can become very nervous if they are constantly caged.
  • Never let him out because he is barking or whining. If you do, he will learn to bark to get out.
  • Do not just crate your dog when you are leaving. He will associate it with you going.
  • Do not let him stay in there if he has soiled the area.


  • Start him out slowly. Perhaps let the crate open and through a chew toy in and let him get it. Then for short periods of time close the door and gradually build up the amount of time.
  • Give him a blanked, stuffed toy, pillow, toys and a chewy while he is in the crate.
  • When he goes in the crate tell him good boy or girl.
  • Always let him/her go to the bathroom as soon as you let your dog out.

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We house broke our dogs by using a crate. It is so much easier than any other way I have tried. The crate can not be too large or it doesn't work. If you buy a big crate for your dog to grow into, put in a box with a lid on to take up some of the space. Most dogs will not relieve themselves in the confinement of their den. When you take them out of the crate, immediately take them to the designated area of the yard or papers or litter to relieve themselves.

Sometimes our dogs go into their crate (we leave the door open) to take their nap or chew on a favorite toy. They do not ever appear to resent going in.

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