At What Age Do Puppies Not Need a Crate? (Solved & Explained!)

You should be able to stop enclosing your dog in the crate after they have reached 2 years of age. By this time, dogs are mature enough to behave when they are unsupervised. Younger dogs still have a tendency to get in trouble when they know you can’t see it, so it’s best to wait until your dog matures.

Today we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions crate training, such as how many times you should train a day, when puppies stop barking in the crate, and more. Let’s take a look!

When should you stop crate training?

Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on the dog. You’ll know that they have accepted the crate as their ‘mobile home’ when you see them going to their crate for naps or taking toys into their crate to chew on or to simply drop inside for later enjoyment.  

How long should you crate train a day?

That’s up to you, but 2 or 3 times in a day until your dog is used to the crate is a good idea. You don’t even have to close the crate for very long, simply throw in a treat and firmly say ‘crate!’ to teach them to go inside. Tell them ‘stay’ and close the door for 10 minutes before opening it again.

Give your dog a treat and repeat the process again later. Your dog will usually learn this trick fairly quickly and making a game of it helps to associate happy memories with the crate.

Can a puppy sleep without a crate?

Yes! Your puppy doesn’t have to sleep in the crate, but you will want to make sure that they can’t wander around at night and get themselves into trouble. You can let them sleep on a doggy bed in your bedroom, provided the door is closed, or you could even put them in a playpen if you like.

If you want to leave the door open, a ‘baby barrier’ works quite well, too.  

Is it OK to let puppy cry in crate at night?

It is okay to let your puppy cry if they have been going outside regularly and you suspect that they are just looking for attention. Some crying is to be expected, especially if the crate is new, but puppies will generally settle down within a few days up to 1 week and accept the crate.

How many hours can dog stay in crate?

Many adult dogs can be crated up to 8 hours, although it is recommended that you don’t crate them for more than half of the day. With puppies, you shouldn’t crate them for more than an hour during the day if at all possible.

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They need a lot of attention and can quickly get separation anxiety if they spend too much time in the crate.

Should I let my dog roam the house at night?

If your dog is well-adjusted to the home and at least 2 years of age, then you should be able to trust them around the house unsupervised. This is not the case with younger dogs, as they are not yet mature and may still misbehave when you’re not around.

With puppies, you definitely need to ensure that they are in a crate, playpen, or secured in some other fashion – they can easily hurt themselves and their small bladders mean that they are likely to potty in the house!

Can I crate my dog for 12 hours at night?

12 hours is too long for the crate, with 8 hours being the absolute maximum that you should crate your dog overnight. Dogs are pack animals and as such, too much isolation can lead to depression, separation anxiety, self-harm, and more.

If you need to be away for a lengthy time, it is best to drop your dog off with a friend or consider the assistance of a professional pet sitter.

Should I wake my puppy up to pee at night?

Waking up your puppy at night to pee is fine and it’s a great way to avoid any crate ‘accident’s if your puppy has been peeing in the crate lately. Set up a regular schedule for taking your puppy outside and when the time comes, gently wake your put and take them out to ‘do their business’.

After that, they can go back to sleep and you’ll be able to worry less about any crate ‘accidents’.

How long do you let puppy cry in crate?

Your puppy may be crying to go outside. Puppies have notoriously small bladders and as such, for every month of life they can only control their bladder for 1 hour. Take your puppy outside to see if they need to relieve themselves – they might well be crying for good reason!

Is it better to crate train a puppy or not?

Crate training a puppy is definitely a good idea. It teaches them to hold their bladder and not to potty where they live. It is also good for when you need to travel and with a few treats and some patience you can teach them to go inside every time that you say ‘crate!’.

Finally, it gives your dog a personal space where they can go when they feel uncomfortable or simply want to chew a toy in peace.

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Should the dog crate be in the bedroom?

It is definitely a good idea to keep the crate in your bedroom. Your dog will be less frightened with you nearby and will adapt to the crate much more quickly than if they were isolated in another room. It also lets you hear them easily so that you can take them outside if they need to go on a potty break.

If it’s at all possible, put the crate in your bedroom – it really is the best thing to do.  

Will puppy stop barking in crate?

Yes, your puppy will stop barking in the crate – provided that you ignore it. If your puppy learns that you will respond to the barking, then it is a behavior that they will continue, so you need to do your best to ignore it. Be patient, however, as some pups have been known to do this for up to 2 weeks!