Many people worry that confining their dog to a crate is cruel. However wild dogs sleep in dens and even today's domesticated dogs retain the den instinct.
The crate needs to be small enough that the dog doesn't use one end for sleeping and the other end as a bathroom, but it should be large enough that the dog can turn around in a circle to lie down.
A few more helpful hints:
The crate must NEVER be used as punishment. You want the crate to be seen as a safe and happy place.
- The best times for your puppy to be in the crate are:
- Nap time - even when your puppy falls asleep elsewhere, pick them up and put in the crate.
- Mealtime - this will almost guarantee that the puppy is focused on his food rather than what is going on around them.
- When you are busy - it is always better to crate your puppy than have to clean up a mess in the future created when you weren't watching your puppy.
- Bedtime - this will allow you to sleep knowing that your puppy is not getting into anything around the house.
When you your puppy is small, you can use a crate divider to partition it into a smaller space. Move the partition as the puppy grows and will not need to keep buying larger crates.
A dog will not normally soil where they sleep if at all possible. This will be especially helpful in speeding up the housebreaking process.
Crates are available in a variety of materials, some even resemble furniture that matches your room.