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Crate Training

Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Position Statement

The following statement reflects the opinion of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers recommends the use of crates for puppies and dogs as a short-term training tool and as safety equipment throughout the dog's life.

Crates are a valuable tool for house training, as well as for managing the environment so dogs avoid developing problem behaviors such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing.  Crates also provide safe restraint in the car, and make it easier to travel with your dog by providing short-term confinement options in a hotel or anywhere else you might visit. Crate training also helps minimize stress during times of emergency, while boarding in a kennel or while spending a night at the vet clinic.  When introduced properly, a crate becomes a safe place that many dogs seek out when they need a break from a hectic home environment. 

Introduce dogs to the crate gradually and make sure that it's a pleasant experience.  It is important to choose a crate of appropriate size and adjust confinement times as the dog matures in order to build long term success.  Avoid using the crate as punishment, and avoid crating a dog who is experiencing anxiety, whether that anxiety stems from the confinement itself, separation from a loved one, or from environmental factors like a thunderstorm or other dogs.

The APDT does not recommend the use of crates as a confinement tool for extended periods – this is a tool best used in conjunction with a comprehensive training and socialization program guided by a professional dog trainer. To find a trainer in your area visit the APDT trainer search page.

For detailed tips on choosing a crate, introducing your dog to it, and appropriate crating schedules, see this article on our website at www.apdt.com/veterinary/articles/crate-training

Approved October 2012

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