Putting a new puppy inside a crate is a great way to get them accustomed to house training. It allows them to learn how to pick up good habits, and gives a puppy a safe place to be in its younger years.
If your puppy is showing no signs of destructive behavior or bad habits, you may think it is time to give him some extra freedom. However, is it the right time?
It all comes down to whether or not the reason you put the puppy into the crate has been resolved. For example, can he sleep in his own bed, or has he stopped being hyperactive or having accidents inside the home?
If he has, then it may be time to start transitioning your dog out of his crate.
In this article we shall take a look at when to stop crating a puppy, and how to do it successfully.
When Is The Best Time To Stop Crate Training A Puppy?
It can be difficult to know when to stop your puppy from using a crate. One rule of thumb is for your puppy to be at least two years old, but there may be other factors at play too.
1. Behavior Is Not Destructive
If your puppy has some destructive habits and behaviors, once he shows no signs of these when out of the crate, then it is time to stop using the crate for training purposes.
Over a number of weeks, you will want to let him out of the crate for longer periods of time. During this time out of the crate, you will be watching him for destructive behavior and patterns.
Once he isn’t destructive for a long period of time, then you should stop using the crate for this purpose.
2. No Mess In The Crate
Using a crate for housebreaking is a common way to train a puppy to not make a mess inside the home. At first, your puppy is likely to have accidents within the crate and that is normal.
Once he goes a length of time with no accidents, then you can stop housebreaking him. However, if accidents do occur, remember not to punish him.
Just a note, you want the crate to be the right size for your puppy, otherwise he may choose an area to go toilet in. It should be big enough so he can stand up and turn his body around.
3. No Obvious Signs Of Separation Anxiety
Using a crate is a great idea when your puppy is suffering from separation anxiety.
Once the signs have disappeared (such as barking, chewing, destruction, trying to escape, etc), then there is a good chance he has earned some freedom.
Even so, puppies have their own personalities and habits. It has been known that some dogs suffer with it so badly that they need to use a crate for the rest of their life.
It will take time and a lot of patience, but a dog can become calmer when you are not around.
Why Do People Crate Train A Puppy?
Crate training a puppy is one of the best ways to house train him. But not only that, it can be a safe and secure environment in his younger years.
He can adapt to his new surroundings without being destructive to the things that surround him, which could potentially harm him.
But also it allows you to help him during the housebreaking phase, or learning how to sleep on his own at night.
Here are some reasons to crate train a puppy:
1. Curbs Destructive Habits
If your puppy has some destructive traits, then using a crate to help curb them can be really useful. Some of these behaviors include chewing items like furniture or belongings that are not his.
Not only can this behavior be expensive – you have to replace stuff – but he may accidentally ingest something which is toxic to him.
Using a crate to train him can help him to become used to you not being around, which may be what is causing him to have such behavior.
2. Housebreaking A Puppy
Housebreaking a puppy using a crate is a common thing to do. This is because a dog will not usually soil an area that they use for sleep. This means they shouldn’t go to the toilet within the crate.
Your puppy will learn that he needs to hold onto his need for the toilet, instead of making a mess within his den area.
However, just remember that a puppy cannot hold his bladder for the same length of time an older dog can. You may still need to let him out for the toilet if he needs it.
The length of time he can hold it for is something you will learn along with your new puppy.
How To Transition A Puppy Out Of The Crate And Into A Dog Bed?
When your puppy is completely fine not to be in the crate, only then should you transition him to his dog bed.
At first you can leave his crate door open during the night. He will recognize he has freedom, but may still sleep peacefully. This is a sign of being comfortable.
If you find that the puppy is being distracted by a big room with his dog bed in it, put it into a small room. He may find it more comforting and similar to his crate.
If you need to provide positive thoughts about his dog bed, add chew toys and treats so he knows it’s a good space to stay. However, don’t add this during the night.
It can be difficult to know when to transition a puppy from his crate to a dog bed, especially if you are not sure if the training is going well.
Over time, you will be able to see advancements in his behavior that will show you whether he is ready or not.