Ask the Trainer: Should I Crate My Dog While I'm Away? - The Dogington Post
Ask the Trainer

Ask the Trainer: Should I Crate My Dog While I’m Away?

cratepuppy

Dear Kevin,
We recently got a puppy, Athena, an English bulldog. She’s a few months old. My question is should I put her in the crate when I leave for errands or work for a few hours during the day? Or perhaps gate off the kitchen ? We have two cats and whenever I gate off the kitchen she barks the moment the cats sit on the other side of the gate. I don’t want her barking all day but I want to potty train her properly.
Thanks,
Katlin

 

Hi Katlin,

This is a good question. I definitely recommend doing crate training. I think being crate trained is a great skill that every dog should have. That being said, I would say you do have the two options when you leave. You could gate off a room, or crate her.

One of the main benefits of crate training is that most dogs will not eliminate in a properly sized crate. This is because they do not want to sit in their own waste. That being said, I don’t really recommend a young pup be crated for an 8 hour day. Realistically it is too long and just about every pup will have an accident in the crate because they physically cant hold it any longer.

That is where using a gate system or a playpen can come in handy. When using the gate or playpen I would recommend sticking a pee pad down for her while she’s young. That will give her an appropriate place to eliminate.

So, I would say that if you’re only leaving for a couple hours, use the crate. If you’re leaving for more than that, use the gate system.

For the barking issues, you could try to put a visual blockade onto the gate. Maybe tape some paper bags to it or something so she can’t see through it. That should stop her from barking at the cats.

Thanks for your question!

Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA

Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org)  and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V,  follow him on Facebook by clicking here.

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