If your puppy or dog is hyperactive, or you have to leave your pet at home alone and they aren’t house-trained well, a dog crate is a great solution. But, if you leave your dog in their crate for too long, it can cause behavior problems. There is just no substitute for playtime and training. Leaving your dog in their crate too long can ultimately undermine a crate’s effectiveness as a training tool.
The Benefits Of A Crate
A crate can help your dog feel secure, calm and comfortable. By their very nature, dogs are extremely unlikely to soil the area where they sleep. Because of this, crates are a great help with potty-training your dog too. If you have a dog that frequently has accidents in your home and is not picking up house-training easily, a crate will help you avoid this issue.
Crates are also invaluable for hyperactive dogs, giving you an easy way to calm them down. Most dogs, when put in a crate will immediately calm down and in turn, they’ll become much more receptive to your training.
Crate Time For Puppies
Puppies have a harder time holding their bladders than their older counterparts, so when you crate your puppy, you want to lean towards the side of “too little” time in the crate. Opinions differ on the exact amount of time, but the Human Society has released information suggesting that if your puppy is under six months old, they shouldn’t be left in a crate longer than three to four hours.
Others have created formulas, such as “leave puppies in their crates by taking their age in months and adding 1” (e.g. a 4-month-old puppy can stay in a crate for up to 5 hours).
When it comes down to it, you have to get to know your puppy, monitor their behavior and over a few weeks’ time, figure out what their personal limit is.