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Crate Training for Dogs

Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Position Statement

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The following statement reflects the opinion of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers recommends the use of crates for puppies and dogs as a short-term training tool and as safety equipment throughout the dog's life.

Crates are a valuable tool for house training, as well as for managing the environment so dogs avoid developing problem behaviors such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing.

Crates are a valuable tool for house training, as well as for managing the environment so dogs avoid developing problem behaviors such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing.  Crates also provide safe restraint in the car, and make it easier to travel with your dog by providing short-term confinement options in a hotel or anywhere else you might visit. Crate training also helps minimize stress during times of emergency, while boarding in a kennel or while spending a night at the vet clinic.  When introduced properly, a crate becomes a safe place that many dogs seek out when they need a break from a hectic home environment. 

Introduce dogs to the crate gradually and make sure that it's a pleasant experience.  It is important to choose a crate of appropriate size and adjust confinement times as the dog matures in order to build long term success.  Avoid using the crate as punishment, and avoid crating a dog who is experiencing anxiety, whether that anxiety stems from the confinement itself, separation from a loved one, or from environmental factors like a thunderstorm or other dogs.

The APDT does not recommend the use of crates as a confinement tool for extended periods – this is a tool best used in conjunction with a comprehensive training and socialization program guided by a professional dog trainer. To find a trainer in your area visit the APDT trainer search page.

For detailed tips on choosing a crate, introducing your dog to it, and appropriate crating schedules, see this article on our website

Approved October 2012

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