Pros and Cons of Crate Training Your Puppy

Doggy Day Care Cornwall - Dog Sitting Penzance

Is crate training the right thing for you?

During your preparation for bringing your puppy home, you might be deciding on whether or not to start crate training from the beginning. With a brand new puppy it can be a difficult choice, so we’ve outlined the pros and cons below:

But first… What is crate training?

Crate training is commonly used as a way of toilet training your puppy, whereby you create a comfy den in the crate and close them in at night. This keeps them secure and also discourages them from urinating through the night as dogs generally don’t like to pee where they sleep.

What are the benefits of crate training?

It can speed up toilet training
Your puppy only has a small bladder, and the goal with toilet training is to strengthen it so that he can control where and when he will urinate. By having him sleep in a small den just big enough to stretch out to sleep, this will encourage him to hold his bladder until he is let out.

It keeps them safe from harm
Puppies can get up to a lot of mischief when you’re not there, such as eating things they shouldn’t, getting stuck in places, or jumping off high objects. Realistically you can’t watch your puppy 24/7 when you need to work and sleep, so unless you have a completely puppy-safe room to shut him in, a crate can keep him safe when you’re not able to watch.

It keeps your furniture safe from harm
Even in the most puppy-safe rooms, there will always be something they can find to chew on or scratch, such as cupboard doors, carpet, or skirting boards; it’s in their nature at this age. A crate can be great protection for your pup and your furniture!

It gives them some independence
It’s always tempting to take your new puppy up to bed with you, and taking your puppy out and about with you is fun and great for his socialisation. However, there will be times when you can’t be there and he needs to be left, either on his own or with someone else, and if he has never experienced being without you before this could cause him to be anxious. Crate training lets them get used to being alone and having their own space.

It provides them with a snug comforting place
If your puppy gets scared or has hurt himself, he will often seek out snug, dark places to hide. A crate provides this safe retreat for him (if you make sure you cover the crate with a blanket), which is much better than him running off somewhere that’s hard to get to like under the bed, or even in next door’s shed!

It is useful when on holiday
When you go on holiday (whether you take your pup with you, or bring him to a home dog boarding facility), having a crate is great way to keep his sleeping routine the same, and again, provides a place he knows is his safe den.

Pros and Cons of Crate Training

Image via The Happy Pooch

What are the negatives of crate training?

It can feel mean and it’s easy to give in
It’s inevitable that your puppy will cry, howl, or even scratch the floor to escape the crate on the first night. Introducing the crate slowly with lots of treats and praise throughout the day can help, but unfortunately it’s part of the process. It’s normal to feel sad for your puppy and want to let him out, but doing so will teach him that his cries will get attention.

It may mean a few sleepless nights
Some puppies adjust better than others to the crate, and it may take a few nights of a crying pup until you can all get some rest.

It’s hard to transition them to a bed
Once your puppy is used to a crate, it can be a big leap for him to transition to a dog bed (if you choose to do this). He will suddenly have the freedom to get up and go where he wants in the night, and might not know what to do with himself.

Some dogs never take to it
If the crying persists more than a week, or your dog has a particularly fearful reaction to crate training, you may need to try something else. Most dogs will adjust with enough persistence, but if it’s not suiting either of you – don’t force it!


At Doggy Day Care Cornwall we offer boarding options for dogs and puppies of all ages, and can accommodate crate trained or non-crate trained pups too. Call us for a complimentary day visit to see our facilities!

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