Some Benefits and Disadvantages of Crate Training: Things Dog Owners Should Consider

Michelle is a professional freelance writer who loves music, poetry, pets, and the arts. She is a techno-geek as well.

The crate. An object with which a dog has a difficult relationship. The subject of crate training a dog is one of perennial debate. Many dog trainers believe, not wrongly, that it is a good way of teaching a dog the proper boundaries and behaviors at home. Others understandably see improper crate use as being way too harsh.

Using a crate to guide a dog’s behavior comes with some benefits and some uncomfortable disadvantages that novice dog owners must consider. As well as delivering a personal take on crate training, this article will give some suggestions on how to use this object in a safe, appropriate and humane way.

The Pros and Cons of Crate Training Dogs


Keeps dog away from harmful substances

Physical frustratiuon

Helps hone den instincts

Emotional distress

Can help with potty training

Dangerous if poorly assembled

Dangerous if not well-ventilated

Dangerous if dog is wearing collar or leash

Disadvantages of of Crate Training Your Dog

The crate has certain cons attached to it if not used with judiciousness. It can have some very adverse effects on a dog’s physical safety and emotional well-being, so these must be properly addressed before a crate can be used.

It Causes Physical Frustration in the Dog

Keeping a dog in a too-small crate would cause it much physical frustration. The physical stress can cause a dog to constantly lick itself and develop stress sores. A dog may also develop stress on his limbs if he is not able to stand properly.

Someone my mother knows kept a schnauzer in a cage for 12 years till it passed away of cancer. The mild manner schnauzer never complained, but was not able to stand up properly because the cage was a little too small for it.

It Causes Emotional Distress to the Dog

This is just a little reminder because much has been said of this subject before. We do not like being confined and neither do dogs. Being in a cage for a long time causes the animal extended emotional discomfort and results in its maladaptive behavior.

The schnauzer I mentioned earlier never resisted being in a cage, but did develop a dislike for people. The cage, when used for a prolonged period, can develop the same feelings in dogs as in humans who have been isolated for a long time.

It Is Dangerous if It Is Not Assembled Well

If a cage is not assembled properly it can collapse upon the dog and cause it physical harm.

It Is Dangerous if There Is Not Enough Ventilation

Some cages have bars that are extremely close together, restricting the air that is allowed to circulate within. This causes extreme discomfort.

It Is Dangerous if the Dog Is Wearing a Collar or Leash

The cage can be dangerous if your dog wears a collar or leash. The collar or lead can get caught on the bars and there is danger of strangulation.

A frustrated westie pup in a cage.

Benefits of Crate Training Your Dog

That having been said, using a crate with care does serve at times to guide a dog’s behavior. Crate training is a useful tool to guide puppies as they are being house trained.

A Crate Keeps Your Dog Away From Harmful Substances

If you have a dog who loves chewing objects, a crate can be a useful tool. A dog, especially a puppy, may ingest something that is dangerous or poisonous if he is left to his own devices without being watched.

It Helps to Hone a Dog’s Den Instincts

Dogs are natural den animals and need a home to go to. A crate, when used wisely, serves as a place a dog can call its own.

Allow me to digress a little and mention a little observation that I have made. My little West Highland, Cloudy, loves her spot under the sofa, a place she has made her own little den.

A Crate Can Help With Potty Training a Puppy

A bigger cage can help localize your puppy and understand where he needs to go to ease himself. A small potty in the cage would help him associate with the scent and know that it is his bathroom.

A Personal Take on Using a Crate to Guide a Dog’s Behavior

Where I am concerned, I personally do not like the idea of using a crate to contain dog for reasons of freedom and comfort, both physically and mentally. Many will share this view.

However, a crate is a useful place for your dog to go to, provided owners have some very important things in mind.

Things to Keep in Mind When Crating a Dog

If crating is to be used as a method of housebreaking or guiding a dog’s behavior, here are a few things to consider.

Do Not Leave a Dog in a Crate for Long Periods

As mentioned, a dog, when left too long in a crate, becomes terribly distressed because of prolonged isolation. Do not keep it there for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time. A dog in a cage for too long will start to emotionally withdraw. It may become hyperactive because its basic freedom to walk around is being curtailed.

If you have a very long workday, you might want to consider hiring a dog sitter who would take care of its walking and other needs while you are away for the day.

Never Use the Crate as a Form of Punishment

The cage should never be a form of punishment. Using the crate this way will cause a dog to associate it with negativity.

As with children, the dog might even become rebellious and do the exact things you do not want it to. Emotionally disturbed dogs turn to obsessive licking that causes stress sores.

Associate the Crate With Something Pleasant

The crate should be a dog’s little den. It should be a place that it can go to when it needs time of its own and some “dog-sonal” space.

A door to a crate should never be used unless you want to keep a dog safe for certain reasons eg. if renovation work is going on at home and the dog has to be left there for a while during the day. The dog should use the crate as his little home or place, to freely come and go as he pleases.

Consider the Size of the Crate

The crate should be big and comfortable and allow the dog a good stretch. If your dog is not able to stand in a crate, it can develop muscle atrophy.

Never Put Your Dog in With a Collar or Leash

While you are not aware, the dog’s lead or collar can get caught in the crate and cause strangulation.

A crate can turn into a dog’s home if he is trained to associate it with being one. It can also be a safe place for him to be in certain circumstances. It can, however, cause much physical and emotional distress if used in the wrong way or for inappropriate purposes.

Nelia on August 03, 2018:

My opinion about crate training does not matter neither does anyone else's opinion in my eyesI I just see scientific evidence that it is not beneficial to the pet, ie, regulating body temperature, bone and muscle mass or joint health not to be able to move around and stretch as desired. Vey beneficial to the dog owner to be able to pack away his responsibilities in a box at certain times but not beneficial to the pet.

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 20, 2013:

Indeed it does, Deb. you did it well! Thanks for sharing.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on February 19, 2013:

Before I got my first dog as a puppy, I did a lot of research and decided to crate train her. It worked out very well, and she eventually graduated to having run of the house. We then crate trained our second dog, who at the age of 3 (almost 4) still prefers to sleep in her crate every night. Crate training caused neither dog physical or emotional distress. But I agree, it has to be done properly to work right.

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 14, 2013:

That is too true, Nancy! Thanks for sharing!!

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on February 13, 2013:

I like the way you discussed both of the pros and cons on the subject. Some people seem to think that the crate is the only answer.

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 10, 2013:

Thanks, James! If dogs associate the crate with protection and comfort, it can become a safe haven. Thanks for sharing!

James A Watkins from Chicago on February 09, 2013:

Thank you for this excellent and needful article. I have a Westie like the one in your first picture. She has never had a crate but for many years I had a Maltese and the crate worked great for him. It became his private space that no one ever entered. He voluntarily spent a lot of time in it. It became his own little den.


Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 08, 2013:

I think that play pens are indeed a great alternative to crates. Crates do make a dog uncomfortable, especially when the dog is left for too long. Thanks for sharing!

Adrienne Farricelli on February 07, 2013:

As a trainer and behavior consultant, I have been lately recommending play pens and the use of baby gates more than crates. If crates need to be used, I tell owners to make sure to create positive associations and avoid them to assume a negative stigma. In my home, all crates are with the door open, and as such they're a welcoming place to retreat. Voted up and awesome.

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

Yes, many who crate use the crate wrongly and resort to it for convenience, verging on abuse. Thanks for sharing!!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

Yes, many who crate use the crate wrongly and resort to it for convenience, verging on abuse. Thanks for sharing!!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

Thanks, Mary!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

You used the crate with wisdom, Cyndi. So your little one probably got used to it and knew when it was needed! Thanks for sharing!!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

Thanks, Bill, glad to be of help!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 07, 2013:

That's exactly right, Nell. For a dog's safety and for short periods, it's fine. But prolonged isolation is mistreatment. Thanks for sharing!

Nell Rose from England on February 06, 2013:

Great information about crate training, I for one would never use it as it makes me uncomfortable just seeing a dog in one, but if its put in a warm safe place where the dog can see people then maybe for short periods of time its okay, nell

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 06, 2013:

You definitely know your stuff when it comes to dogs, Michelle. You are my one-stop source of dog information and I thank you for it.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on February 06, 2013:

OMG. Is that a Westie I see? They are so wonderful. (Yes, I know every dog owner says that about their breed.) LOL

I did use a crate early on with my Westie if everyone was away from the house for long stretches of time, until he was well trained. Admittedly, it wasn't often that he was alone. The crate was also useful for trips. But the crate was plenty big enough for him to move around comfortably and he never seemed to mind. Now he has free roam of the entire house, rarely has any accidents and doesn't chew up anything. He is the most social dog I have ever seen. I think we have way too much fun with him.

In short, using the crate didn't seem to have any adverse affects, but then he wasn't "confined" to it too often.

Great hub.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 06, 2013:

I've never used a crate for my dogs, but I can certainly see advantages to them. My daughter uses one to put her dog in for road trips. She buckles the crate with the seat belt. I think she is wise to do that for the dog's safety.

As usual, this is a great Hub for us pet owners.

Voted up, and shared, Pinned and Tweeted.

Mary Craig from New York on February 06, 2013:

I totally agree with everything you said Michelle. Let me further state, I've had dogs all my life and never used a crate, however, with my current dog we did use a crate when he was a puppy as he was shipped to us in a crate. He treated it as his safe haven and so did we. Now, three years later, when he wants to be alone (away from pestering kids)- he goes in the crate, when he knows he's done something wrong - he goes in the crate, when I put my suitcase on the floor - he goes in the crate. So, I guess you can see I'm not against PROPER crate training and neither are most dogs.

Loved this hub and voted up, useful, and interesting.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on February 06, 2013:

Having dogs when I was younger and Kevin, too, we never have crated our dogs, but like you know others who have. You bring up some valid points on both end of the coin. And do believe this article will be beneficial to those considering this. Thanks as always for such wonderful in depth articles and have of course voted and shared, too!!

Michelle Liew (author) from Singapore on February 06, 2013:

An article on the pros and cons of crate training a dog, and things an owner should consider when doing so.

The Benefits of Crate Training a Standard Poodle

By Richard Cussons | Submitted On July 21, 2008

A well-trained Standard Poodle is a pride of its owner and a joy to people around. That is why many dog owners, experts and enthusiasts alike consider training as an important part of every dog' life. There are various ways and training methods in order for a Standard Poodle to become well-mannered and pleasant to be around. Regardless of the objective of the training, be it housebreaking, obedience or agility training, training for circus acts, guide dog or rescue dog, appropriate training method plays an important role in this part of the story. It is one of the contributing factors to achieve successful training result.

One method widely used and found effective by most experts is crate training method. Perhaps some might wonder how could some people find crate training effective when the process involves confining a dog. But contrary to what other people think, crate is in fact one of the best things an owner can offer his dog provided it is properly used. By nature, dogs are den-dwelling animals - they consider their den as a safe place they can call their own and can find shelter during cold and warm season alike.

A crate is used as a den substitute. It is one of the effective methods to help train dogs to act appropriately - eliminate at the right place at a certain time or chew only his toys not your precious shoes and other household items. Dogs will try not to soil their den as much as possible, thus motivating a dog to wait until taken outside. Just determine your dog's regular potty time so that you can be able to take him outside at the right time.

A crate also provides safety during travel. Placing a dog inside the crate when transporting by car keeps him in place thus ensure safe driving, prevents him from becoming lost, prevents him from running freely where he is not allowed and prevents him from being hit if in case accident occurs.

Just bear in mind that the crate should not be used to punish your dog. Never lock up the dog and forget him for extended periods of time, especially without water and food. You may also want to add toys and soft bedding material in the crate to make it more comfortable for your furry friend.

Crate is indeed an ideal training tool - a must have for every dog owners.

Crate Training a Dog or Puppy While at Work

All pet parents ponder over what to do with their dog or puppy while at work. Your furry friends can get lonely or anxious and make a big mess. You can keep your pooch safe and comfortable while you’re at work by crate training a dog or a puppy.

Many people don’t prefer this method and consider it cruel. Yet, when done right, puppy crate training can be a solution for leaving a dog home alone.

Have you ever wondered how your pup is doing, left at home all alone while you are miles away? Now you can watch your pup, talk to them and even hear them bark back with a Petcube pet camera.


Fortunately, there are a couple of methods that you try out if you’d like to remove the threat of your pet getting hurt by the cage. Some of them are:


Picking the right style and size of a container for your four-legged friend isn’t enough – training him to utilize it correctly is just as important. Getting the pet used to be inside of his kennel is of crucial importance, as the dog should never see his cage as a prison.

Most of the injuries we’ve mentioned take place during escape attempts, which is not something that can occur with a well-trained pooch that knows his place and has a proper feeding, bathing, and walking schedule.

Soft-sided for calmer breeds

If you’d like to prevent your calm pooch from hurting himself while he’s inside the box, purchasing a soft-sided model is your best choice. As the name suggests, these enclosures are made of soft, mesh-like materials and have interiors that provide comfort and warmth. There are no parts and sections that can hurt the pooch, while the overall weakness of the structure won’t present a problem since your pet is calm and not an escape artist.

Indestructible for Aggressive Dogs

If you’re an owner of a dog who is big, strong, and aggressive, an indestructible model is the one you should go for. These kennels are manufactured from sturdy materials and are made in a way that prevents the dog from escaping while not hurting him in any way. The best models come with anti-corrosion coating and are weather-resistant, allowing owners to place them outside.

Crash Test Certified Models

Traveling by car puts both the driver and his pet into potential danger. Using a container that is not crash-test certified may lead to injuries and death of your pet in case of a crash. Certified models, on the other hand, are very safe and just might save your dog’s life in an accident.

The dangers of cages are, actually, quite easy to avoid – a properly trained dog will never try to escape out of his enclosure and won’t ever find himself in a situation that could lead to an injury. Moreover, don’t forget to repair or replace the kennel if any part of it is broken, and always use crash-test certified models when traveling by car.

Perhaps the biggest reason many people, dog owners and non-dog owners alike, have against crate training is some people will leave their dog inside the crate for long periods of time. It needs to be understood by these individuals a dog crate is NOT meant, nor is it designed for housing a dog for several days as a substitute for placing the dog in a kennel. This is a big con of crate training some canine owners fail to understand. The longest you should leave a dog you are crate training in the confines of the crate is eight hours while four is the norm most professional dog trainers recommend.

The things that can manifest as a result of lengthy stays in a crate are your dog will learn to associate going into the crate with being left alone for amounts of time they do not like. The dog will begin to fear the crate and never enter it unless forced to do so. These cons of crate training again go back to dog owners who are not properly schooled in how to correctly use a training crate. The dog will begin to struggle in the crate doing their best to find a way to get out. Chewing and clawing to get out often results in the dog injuring itself, and tearing up the crate. These frantic struggles by your dog will lead to separation anxieties, changes in the dogs demeanor, he or she most likely will become aggressive towards other animals and even family members, and in general turn an otherwise happy, social able, easy going dog into a far less desirable pet.

A couple of other cautions from the website:

Other crate training issues include the physical condition of the puppy or dog. If your dog has medical conditions or is ill resulting in their lack of controlling their defecation and urinating, they are going to soil the crate. This then leads to additional medical issues arising if the dog has to live in these conditions for any length of time. Yes, there are cons of crate training all dog owners who use this method must understand. Knowing how to correctly use a dog crate for training is vital if you decide to train this way.

Crate training has made our life much easier, both for housetraining our dogs and life ever since. They go to their crates occasionally during the day for whatever reasons, and also know to go there for the night when we simply say “bedtime”.

How do you feel about crate training a dog? Please leave comments and advice below.

Stop Destructive Chewing And Nurture Chew Toy Habits

Golden Retrievers chew as puppy’s, as adolescents and most as adults too! It’s a common trait for the breed that comes from their working retriever genes and you will not be able to prevent it.

So to save your house and belongings, you need to teach them what they can and can’t chew and an important part of this is preventing bad habits from forming.

Whatever your Golden is regularly able to and allowed to chew on is what they will become fixated on and chew as a habit.

So if your Golden is able to regularly chew slippers, shoes and cushions, they may form this as a habit and habits are very hard to break.

When you’re supervising and catch them chewing something they shouldn’t, you can redirect them to chew something that’s allowed. But if you can’t watch them you should put them into their crate with acceptable chew toys. This accomplishes two things:

  1. It prevents them from being able to chew the wrong things and so prevents bad habits forming.
  2. They spend much more time chewing on the correct toys you do want them to chew on and they form strong habits and addictions to these.

The result? Less or no chewing on the things they shouldn’t and an addiction to chewing on the things that they should.

Watch the video: Dont CRATE Your Dog? (September 2021).