Crate Training 101

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Crate training can be wonderful for dogs and dog owners alike. Learn all about crate training in this Dog Star Rescue blog.

Why is crate training great for dogs?

  • Safe haven during stressful times
  • Pets are more at home at the vet, groomer and during boarding
  • Prepares pet for travel
  • Potty train in less time

How to crate train your dog

  • Introduce the crate by placing it in quiet corner of a room you regularly use.
  • Offer treats and praise when the puppy goes near the crate.
  • Use words of encouragement and treats to gradually work them up to exploring the crate.
  • Use commands.
  • Get them used to having the crate door closed and only close it for a second or two initially.
  • Now feed your dogs their meals in the crate.
  • Train them to go in and out of the crate on commend and then close the door.
  • Work your dog up to leaving the room for an hour or more at a time.
  • When it’s time to leave your dog for a day, say goodbye calmly and without long goodbyes so they have a positive association with you leaving.
  • When you return, wait for your dog’s excitement to calm down. Ignore whining and let your dog greet you when they calm down.


  • Use the crate as punishment
  • Leave your pet in a crate for a long period of time without exercise
  • Leave your puppy for more than four hours


  • Make the crate a warm and happy place
  • Include toys and chews to keep them occupied

Crate training FAQs

How long does crate training take?

Each dog gets used to the crate at their own pace. Be patient.

What do I do if my dog whines in the crate?

Determine the cause of the whining. If they are whining because they want to get out of the crate, you must ignore the behavior. Wait until the whining stops to let them out. Do not yell or shake the crate.

Can crate training cure separation anxiety?

No, some dogs will feel safe inside the crate while their owners are out. But others will get agitated and maybe even injure themselves to escape.