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Crate Training

This training helps each pup accept being alone. As with all training crate acceptance is a progression. The handler will support each pup to help build their ability to remain calm in a crate. Ideally the handler can be disengaged and eventually the crate tower can be placed out of site.

As learning progresses through repetition, the pup associates the crate with a positive place to be highlighted with a food filled toy and getting out when quiet. At the end of the session, the door is opened when pup is quiet. DON’T PRAISE or make a big deal FOR LEAVING THE CRATE, the skill we are building is *loving your crate*.

Key Points:

  • pup is happy, relaxed and accepts being alone and confined
  • support lessens as pup demonstrates the ability to settle
  • handler moves away only when pup is comfortable
  • keep a watchful eye on pup and his body language. 
  • Pup’s movements should be slow, relaxed, quiet (ei: tail and breathing slow, sits on own, lays down). 
  • Watch for pup stress signals (ei: fast tail movements, rapidly pacing, climbing and or pawing crate,    ears pin back, panting, whining, crying and or barking just to name a few). 
  • *If pup is showing signs of stress handler is progressing too rapidly; support the pup. Do not abandon a stressed pup, you are there to help pup learn to self-settle.

Giving support can look like: 

  • Move crate tower to a quiet space,
  • speak quietly to pup,
  • Touch pup through the crate,
  • drop kibble when pup is quiet,
  • place a plush toy in crate,
  • place a hard toy in crate.

Suggested Age to Time Chart


Age SessionPaired or SoloDurationCrate Conditions
3-6 weeksWhen pups are in penAll pups24/7Passive crating (no door) in 200 vari kennel. Fleece in bottom. Mom in pen but outside of crate. 
3-6During CleaningAll pups60 minActive crating (door closed) in 500 vari kennel. Fleece in bottom. Add stuffed milkers at 4 weeks.
4 weeks, 2 days1Paired3minIn 500 vari kennel with stuffed milkers. Sprinkle kibble for struggling pups. 
4 weeks, 4 days25min
4 weeks, 6 days35min
5 weeks, 1 day4Paired5 minWire crates with suffed toy and towel on bottom. Stuffed milkers. Sprinkle kibble for struggling pups. 
5 weeks, 3 days510min
5 weeks, 5 days6Solo10min
6 weeks715min
7weeks 8Solo20min
8 weeks  30min 

*The times listed are suggested times only. It might vary from pup to pup and litter to litter.       

Our goal is to expose puppies to the crate in a positive way!

Crate examples

200 vari kennel with fleece in bottom.

400-500 vari kennel with fleece in bottom.

Wire crate with towel and stuffed toy.

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