Is a Crate Good for Your Dog? Pros and Cons Explained

Are you a dog owner wondering if a crate is a good idea for your pet? Crate training has become a popular method for housebreaking puppies and providing dogs with a safe space to relax and sleep. However, there are pros and cons to using a crate, and it’s important to consider your dog’s individual needs before deciding if it’s the right choice for them.

Overall, the answer to whether a crate is a good idea for your dog depends on various factors, including their age, personality, and lifestyle. Crate training can provide benefits such as helping with housebreaking and preventing destructive behavior, but it’s important to use the crate properly and avoid leaving your dog in it for extended periods.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of crate training and help you determine if it’s the right choice for your dog. We’ll discuss how to choose the right crate, how to properly introduce your dog to the crate, and tips for using the crate safely and effectively. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of whether a crate is a good idea for your dog and how to use it to improve their overall well-being.

Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Benefits of Crate Training

Crate training is a popular practice among dog owners. It involves using a crate as a safe and comfortable space for your dog to rest, sleep, and spend time in. Here are some of the benefits of crate training:

Potty Training

One of the primary benefits of crate training is that it can help with potty training. Dogs instinctively try to keep their sleeping areas clean. By confining your dog to a crate when you’re not able to supervise them, you can help them develop good habits and avoid accidents in the house. Be sure to take your dog outside to go potty immediately after you let them out of the crate.

Depositphotos 308508332 S e1641830221445

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Behavioral Training

Crate training can also be useful for behavioral training. If your dog has destructive habits like chewing or digging, a crate can keep them from causing damage to your home. Additionally, if your dog struggles with separation anxiety or other behavioral issues, a crate can provide a sense of security and comfort.

Traveling with Your Dog

If you like to travel with your dog, crate training can be especially beneficial. A crate can provide a familiar and safe space for your dog when you’re on the road or staying in a new place. Additionally, many airlines require dogs to be in a crate during flights, so crate training can make air travel less stressful for your pet.

Depositphotos 548374668 S e1645468474399
A small white chihuahua dog stands in a large gray plastic shipping box and looks at the camera. The dog is ready to travel.

Overall, crate training can be a helpful tool for dog owners. However, it’s important to use the crate appropriately and not leave your dog in the crate for extended periods. According to the American Kennel Club, “Dogs should not be crated for more than six hours at a time, except overnight.”


Choosing the Right Crate

Size and Type

When it comes to choosing the right crate for your dog, size is crucial. According to the American Kennel Club, the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. To determine the right size, measure your dog from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail and add 2-4 inches. The type of crate you choose will depend on your needs. If you plan to travel with your dog, a portable crate with solid sides is a good choice. Wire crates are excellent for home use as they allow for better ventilation and visibility. Plastic crates are ideal for dogs who prefer privacy and are great for car travel.

Depositphotos 24176919 s 2019 e1625849481316
pug in a wire dog crate looking out a viewer

Location and Placement

The location and placement of the crate are also important factors to consider. Choose a quiet and comfortable spot in your home where your dog can rest without distractions. Avoid placing the crate near drafty areas or direct sunlight.


To make the crate more inviting, add some accessories. A soft and comfortable bed or blanket can make it cozy and warm. Toys and treats can also help your dog associate the crate with positive experiences. However, be careful not to overcrowd the crate with too many accessories as it may become uncomfortable for your dog. Sources:

Crate Training Dos and Don’ts


Do Make the crate a comfortable and inviting space for your dog. Use a soft blanket or bed inside the crate, and place it in a quiet area of your home where your dog can rest without being disturbed.

Do make crate training a positive experience for your dog by using treats, toys, and praise. Give your dog treats and toys inside the crate, and praise them when they enter the crate on their own.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Do use the crate as a tool for house training your dog. Dogs have an instinct to keep their sleeping area clean, so using a crate can help prevent accidents in the house.


Don’t use the crate as a form of punishment. Your dog should view the crate as a safe and comfortable space, not a place where they are sent when they misbehave.

Don’t leave your dog in the crate for extended periods. Dogs need social interaction, exercise, and regular potty breaks.

Don’t force your dog into the crate. Let them explore the crate on their own and enter it voluntarily. Forcing your dog into the crate can create negative associations with the space.


Alternatives to Crate Training


A playpen is a great alternative to crate training. It provides a safe and secure space for your dog to play and rest. Playpens come in different sizes and materials, so you can choose one that suits your dog’s needs. You can also add toys and a bed to make it more comfortable for your dog.

IRIS USA 24" Exercise 4-Panel Pet Playpen with Door, Dog Playpen, Puppy Playpen, for Puppies and Small Dogs, Keep Pets Secure, Easy Assemble, Fold It Down, Easy Storing, Customizable, black

Baby Gates

Baby gates are another alternative to crate training. They allow your dog to move around freely in a designated area while keeping them away from areas where they shouldn’t be. Baby gates come in different sizes and materials, so you can choose one that fits your home’s layout. You can also use them to block off stairs or other dangerous areas.

MYPET North States 40” Paws Portable Pet Gate: Made in USA, Expands & Locks in Place with No Tools. Pressure Mount. Fits 26"-40" Wide (23" Tall, Fieldstone)

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!


Tethering is another option for keeping your dog confined to a certain area. It involves attaching a leash to a stationary object, such as a table leg or a doorknob. This allows your dog to move around but keeps them from wandering off or getting into trouble. However, it’s important to supervise your dog while they’re tethered to ensure its safety.

Sources: –

Training Tie Down - Short Tether for Dogs & Teething Puppies (4 feet)


In conclusion, crate training is a great idea for your dog. It provides a safe and comfortable space for your pet to relax and feel secure. It also helps with house training, preventing destructive behavior, and provides a sense of security during travel. However, it is important to choose the right size and type of crate for your dog. Make sure it is big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably.

Also, avoid leaving your dog in the crate for extended periods, as it can lead to anxiety and other behavioral issues. Remember, crate training is just one part of a comprehensive training program for your dog. It is important to also provide plenty of exercises, socialization, and positive reinforcement to ensure a happy and well-behaved pup. 


Is it better to keep a dog in a crate?

Crate training can be quite beneficial. It keeps your dog out of trouble when you can’t watch them so that they won’t chew things around the house, but it also teaches them to relax a bit and entertain themselves.

 Your dog will even learn to go there when they are stressed and they must know that they have a ‘safe’ place of their own.

Is it cruel to use a dog crate?

As long as the crating is done properly, it’s not cruel at all. A new dog needs to learn to entertain themselves and to get used to their surroundings. If unattended, they can easily gets themselves in trouble around the house, stressing them and stressing you.

Think of it as a ‘doggy crib’ in the beginning, so that you may ensure that that they are supervised until they learn to function on their own in the household.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Should I get my dog a crate or a bed?

That all depends on your dog. If they are already well-adjusted and will stay out of trouble, then a bed might just be the best option. For a new puppy or an older dog that doesn’t know these rules yet, crating is generally going to be best.

 It helps to ensure that all of their explorations of their new home may be supervised and the better for both you and your dog.

What if I don’t want to crate-train my puppy?

If you don’t want to crate train your pup, you will still need a ‘puppy safe’ area to put them when you cannot supervise them. A good way to do this is to invest in ‘baby barriers’ so that you may cordon off an area which you have made ‘puppy proof’. A bathroom is usually the easiest option for this.

Should I lock my puppy in a crate at night?

Crating is definitely best for both you and your puppy. Young pups cannot be left unattended, as they will likely chew items around the house, knock things over while exploring, and likely have ‘potty accidents’.

They have small bladders and need to go out on a regular schedule, so crate training will keep them safe, and out of trouble, andthat you potty train them in the bargain.

Does crate training help with separation anxiety?

No, unfortunately, crate training is not going t separation anxiety. The isolation of the crate is more likely to exacerbate the issue. For separation anxiety there are different methods that should be employed, such as socialization so that your dog gets used to other animals and people and learns to relax and entertain themselves when you aren’t there.

Do dogs like small crates?

Small is okay, just be sure that it falls into the category of ‘cozy’, rather than confined. A small space with room enough for your dog’s toys and bed will be well-received, as dogs naturally seek out ‘dens’ where they may sleep and feel s, different methods shouldnstead of cramped, a small crate will work just fine.