The 'How-to' Dog Blog

Should You Kennel Train Your Dog?

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When you adopt a new dog, everyone you talk to will give you unsolicited training advice. Visit the dog park/don’t visit the dog park. Use a slip collar/don’t use a slip collar. It’s a lot of conflicting information to work through! When it comes to kennel training a dog, you will also hear a variety of opinions, and it’s hard to know what to do.

Personally, I’m a big fan of using a kennel (also called a crate) as a temporary tool to teach the dog how to be calm and well behaved when left alone. My goal is always to get to the point where the dog can safely be left out of the kennel when home alone. For some dogs, that will take a few months. For others, it might take a bit longer.

Reasons to use a kennel:

Reasons not to feel bad about using a kennel for your dog:

How to make the kennel a fun place:

When shouldn’t you use a kennel?

There are some examples where a kennel may not be the best option. For example, maybe the dog has a fear of being in the kennel due to past experiences. If that is the case, I still recommend you try leaving the dog in a bedroom or bathroom without access to the whole house. In some cases, using a baby gate to block the bedroom doorway is better than closing the door. It depends on the dog, of course.

Also keep in mind that a kennel should be used within reason. Puppies will obviously need potty breaks every couple of hours. Most adult dogs will do OK for about 8 to 9 hours in the kennel. Ideally, only 4 to 5 hours. Every dog is different, but most do adapt to our work schedules pretty well.

Do you prefer to kennel train your dogs?

About Lindsay Stordahl

Lindsay Stordahl is a blogger for She has a black Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats named Beamer and Scout. Lindsay owns a pet sitting business called Run That Mutt and also maintains the blog ... Add Lindsay to your Google+ circles at . You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @ThatMutt.