How To Crate Train a Puppy

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This video is a tutorial that discusses how to crate train a puppy. Keep in mind that every puppy progresses at their own rate. If your puppy exhibits signs of stress or anxiety go back to a more basic exercise. The key to effective training is to build on success. You will know that you are pushing criteria too fast if they exhibit stress whining, frustrated barking, loss of appetite, appear dis-engaged, start biting or pawing inside the closed door crate, begin stress panting, drooling or involuntarily urinate or defecate. Contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer if you need more individualized help. The crate should be a safe place for your puppy. Once properly conditioned, the crate should offer a place of security, rest and relaxation. Go to for more information about training in San Diego, California or to set up a skype consultation. This video was created and edited by Alyssa Lapinel, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She is founder and head trainer for Legends Dog Trainer based in San Diego, California. Legends' Youtube channel has over 130 training videos and tutorials. Subscribe on Youtube and like Legends Dog Training on Facebook to receive the most recent training videos and training blogs.

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34 Comments on “How To Crate Train a Puppy”

  1. Hi Alyssa, I’m loving your videos! Thank you and please keep making more. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind. So should we be doing this crate training the moment we get home with the puppy? How about when we pick up the puppy from the breeder? Won’t we have to put him in a cage to drive him home? ( he’s 2 hours away). I’m not sure how much time we’ll have at the breeders to teach him to go in the cage without us putting him in. Which makes me worried that he would start off on the wrong hand, right off from the start. Not only will he be getting separated from his mother, we’ll also be forcing him into a cage to bring him home.

    1. +Matsume Kai, thanks for watching and commenting! really appreciate it. 🙂 not sure if you have already picked up the puppy. If not … bring the crate with you when you pick him up, and feel out the situation. in that circumstance the puppy might actually curl up in the crate without issue. or you might find that it is better to have someone hold him in their lap (not sure if there will be another adult with you). You can use the puppy’s interest in food as a measure of comfort. If the puppy has an appetite, that’s usually a good sign that they’re adapting well to the changes, and you can start using the puppy’s dinner for some simple training exercises (ie. scattering a small handful of food in the crate and letting the puppy explore and eat and create positive associations with the crate. Kids are naturally excited to have a new puppy in the house. I would have some other activity prepared for your son (ie. crayons and paper so that he can draw pictures of your new puppy). I like to get puppies started with some training basics before incorporating kids into the training exercises. Just so you know I offer skype consultations, if you want to set anything up just go to my website and fill out an assessment form: Thanks again for watching!

    2. Alyssa! I’m so sorry! I’m only seeing this now! You must have thought I was rude! Thank you so much for all your advice! We will take the crate with us in case but I think we’ll have him on our lap 🙂 And we’ll start the crate training as soon as we get home! Thanks!

  2. Sorry 🙂 One last one. With the training at home. My son who is 5 years old will be very excited about the pup coming home for the first time and I’m not sure if it would be the best environment to train the dog. I think everybody including the dog will be a bit excited and tense with the new meeting. Will I be able to train him in time for bedtime, when he will need to go into his crate?

  3. How often should you do this with a dog and how much are the skype training. I have husky who hasnt been neutered and has problems with leash walking, pulling bon leash hard, and over excitement.

  4. My problem is she has her crate in the playpen and sleeps in it with the door open. How do I gradually go from that to door closed ? If I close the door she paws and growls. So I don’t know. Treats don’t work for long because she is small and fills up really fast. So when she goes in and lays down (door open) how do I reinforce ? If I say Yes or good girl she runs out and jumps on the side of the pen !!!

  5. Since we are supposed to let the puppy work at their own pace with kennel training, what should I do the first couple of nights it’s at the new home? Thank you!

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  6. If you want to train your dog fast here and some tips that will make the process not only easier but much faster. just search google; “galid dog training”

  7. As I read the comments I see a few things for everyone to remember.

    It’s going to take time, as much as we all want the puppy will not understand this on the 1st, 3rd, or possibly even the 30th. It takes time… as with all training repetition repetition repetition, they don’t learn sit on the first try.

  8. The dogs I watch is crate trained really well that whenever they need to go into it, I say just crate and they go in. I am getting another puppy so I will try this technique too.

    1. @Olivia Nguyen Hi Olivia! It’s so wonderful when people have spent the time to teach puppies and adult dogs to have a positive, relaxed association with the crate. It can be an extremely useful tool. Thanks for watching and commenting. – Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), CPDT-KA

  9. excellent job! The best video on crate training! No blah blah blah about this and that, succinct and right to the point.

    1. @WinterSkyMoonRanch Hi! Thanks for watching and for your kind comment. I appreciate it! Being succinct is certainly my goal with all my training videos. Thanks again for watching. – Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), CPDT-KA | Legends Dog Training

    1. hiazn69 hi! I use happy howie’s food rolls (beef, turkey or lamb) or red barn rolls (beef) you can purchase both on amazon. Thanks for watching! – Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), CPDT-KA

  10. I got a puppy a week ago and did not start with it a crate. He was fine the first 4 days then started tearing things up. Got a crate and have put him in at night. I tried to encourage him by putting him in and giving him treats with the door open, then shut it for 10 minutes, as suggested in another video. He is doing alright at night the last few nights, but is not going in much on his own. I was told to feed him, and that works as far as him going in, but just to eat. Can I correct this with your training. But still have go in at night? Sorry so long.

    Thank you

    1. Jackie Williams Hi Jackie! I personally prefer to get the puppy to the point that they are happily going in and out and settling in the crate before i close the door. For me, with a young puppy, this is usually just a day or two. I find other management solutions to bridge the gap. I use tethers or use baby gates or exercise pens to confine the puppy to areas that are adequately puppy proofed. Once a puppy starts to love the crate I will have them sleep in the crate, next to my bed at night (being in close proximity will help them feel more secure) I might also provide a high value chewie like a bully stick or stuffed kong in the first few nights. Good luck! – Alyssa Rose

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