House Training

The “Con” Side of Crate Training

There are many valid reasons for using a dog crate when training a puppy or adult dog, but when used incorrectly the cons of crate training reveal that there are some dog owners should not use this training method. Let’s take a look at some of these negative reasons and then you can decide for yourself if crate training is a technique you are interested in trying.

Cons of crate training

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 HumaneSociety.org website:

  • Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long.  The same goes for adult dogs that are being housetrained.  Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
  • Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.

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.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Beth75

    Jan 8, 2017 at 3:30 am

    I have a friend who crates her dogs forhours and hours on end alot of times.They whine to be let out but only get let out twice daily.One has severe skin problems and I believe it’s made worse by being crated for so long.I feel so bad for them and would never do that to my dog.

  2. Shannon

    Jan 4, 2017 at 12:32 am

    We got our first puppy in July. He’s an English Mastiff and 7 months old now. We do NOT use a crate. Everyone thought I was an idiot for not crate training, but no one that I knew through my childhood crated a dog, and all those dogs were great. Yes…when he was too little to go upstairs, I slept on the couch and woke up every 3 hrs or so to take him out to potty. When my husband and I both had to work at the same time, I made arrangements to have my parents or brother come over to “puppy sit”. I only work part time, so this was only a couple times a week. He also has tons of toys and things to chew. Was I exhausted? Yes. Did I spend ALL of my time training and playing with my puppy? Yes. But it was soooooo worth it. I have a happy, sweet, affectionate dog who was house trained in a month and has never destroyed one thing!

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