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Nashville Dog Trainer’s Top Tips for Crate Training Your Puppy

Posted by Sit Happens Dog Training on Feb 27 2023

 Hey folks! Dave from Sit Happens Dog Training here in Nashville.

Crate training your puppy is an essential part of pet ownership. It provides a safe and comfortable space for your puppy to rest and relax, while also helping with potty training and preventing destructive behavior. Here are some top tips for crate training your puppy:

Introduce the Crate Slowly

Before introducing your puppy to the crate, make sure it's the right size for them. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. However, it should not be too big, as your puppy may use one end as a potty area.

To introduce your puppy to the crate, leave the door open and let them explore it on their own. Place treats and toys inside the crate to encourage your puppy to go inside. Once they are comfortable going in and out of the crate, start closing the door for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time as your puppy becomes more comfortable.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key to crate training your puppy. Whenever your puppy goes into the crate voluntarily, give them lots of praise and a small treat. This will help them associate the crate with a positive experience.

It's also important to not punish your puppy for accidents inside the crate. Puppies have accidents, and it's normal. Punishing them can cause fear and anxiety, which can lead to even more accidents. Instead, simply clean up the mess and continue with your routine.

Establish a Consistent Routine

Puppies thrive on routine, so establishing a consistent routine for crate training is essential. Use the crate as a place for your puppy to sleep at night, as well as for naps and during times when you are unable to supervise them.

When putting your puppy in the crate, use a verbal cue such as "crate" to help them associate that cue with going into the crate. This will make it easier for them to understand when it's time to go into the crate.

Avoid Leaving Your Puppy in the Crate for Extended Periods of Time

While crate training is important, it's also important to not leave your puppy in the crate for extended periods of time. Puppies need plenty of exercise and socialization, so it's important to give them plenty of time outside of the crate as well.

If you need to leave your puppy alone for an extended period of time, consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker to give them a break. You can also use a playpen or gated area to give your puppy more space to move around while you're away.

Gradually Increase the Time Your Puppy Spends in the Crate

As your puppy becomes more comfortable with the crate, gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside. Start with short periods of time and gradually increase the time as your puppy becomes more comfortable.

It's also important to vary the length of time your puppy spends in the crate. While some periods of time may be longer, other periods should be shorter to give your puppy plenty of time to move around and play.

To make the crate a comfortable space for your puppy, add a soft bed or blanket inside. You can also add a toy or chew to keep your puppy entertained.

It's also important to keep the crate in a quiet and comfortable area of your home. Avoid placing the crate in an area with lots of noise or foot traffic, as this can make it difficult for your puppy to relax.


Crate training your puppy is an important part of pet ownership. By introducing the crate slowly, using positive reinforcement, establishing a consistent routine, avoiding leaving your puppy in the crate for extended periods of time, gradually increasing the time your puppy spends in the crate, and making the crate a comfortable space.


Dave is amazing!! He changed my dog and I’s lives! He is reliable and hard working. His work not only trains the dog but more especially the owner on how to handle their dog. I would give 6 stars if possible! Thank you Dave!

emily medlock

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Dave helped us immensely with our five-year-old Yorkie mix, Max. Max's behavior at the door, getting the leash on, getting the muzzle on for vet visits -- all that and more had gotten incredibly difficult. We saw *significant* improvements -- in just a couple of weeks -- with minor changes to our behavior and patterns. Dave is both personable and results-oriented, while also demonstrating his love for dogs, including ours. We recommend Dave!

Cliff Vaughn

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We are so glad we met Dave! We adopted a puppy 4 weeks ago, and he has been a HUGE support for us integrating Merlin into our family. He has taught us how to get started training early, and he has responded very fast to any questions we have outside of our sessions. We can't wait to continue working with our new addition to get him trained off-leash like Dave's dog. We can't recommend him enough!

Mikaela Rivera

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I LOVE Dave! I've known him 5 years and I still go back to him with questions, he is committed, responsive and just gets it. He has been my Go To trainer for my 5 year old Weimaraner Grace Olivia from the moment I brought her home - from the beginning he showed so much care and concern for my girl, and she is AMAZING because of his efforts to train me! I am getting a new puppy soon and you better believe he/she will be a Sit Happens graduate as well!

CarrieAnn Kilpatrick

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