Dog Kennel Training

Dog kennel training, or "crate training" serves many helpul purposes to dog owners. Kennels are effective methods of housebreaking, traveling with your dog, and keeping them safe when you are away from home.

Purchasing a Kennel

Kennels come in many shapes and sizes. A cost effective way to kennel your pup is to purchase one that can be sectioned off. The kennel you purchase should be big enough for your dog when he is an adult. Many kennels offer a feature that allows a portion to be closed off. This is especially important when using your kennel for housebreaking. Look for a kennel that includes a water bottle and padding to save on costs.

Furnishing the Kennel

Your dog's kennel should include the following essentials:

  • A water bottle made for crates. These specially made bottles dispense water when licked. Water bowls should not be placed in kennels since they are easy to tip over.
  • Bedding for your dog. This can be a small bed, blankets or towels. Because kennels have hard bottoms, it is important to provide your dog with a soft place to sleep.
  • Dog-safe toys. Toys that are large and unedible can make kennel time fun for your dog. Do not leave toys with your dog when he or she is unattended. All toys, even those deemed indestructable, can pose a choking hazard.

Introducing the Kennel

Some dogs will acclimate faster than others so patience is key when introducing your dog to a kennel. To help your dog feel more comfortable, put an item of clothing you have worn recently in the crate. The scent will soothe and calm your dog. No matter how difficult, do not to go to the dog whenever he is whimpering. This will quickly teach them that barking and crying gets your attention. Be patient with your dog and eventually they will enjoy the time spent in his kennel.


Kennels are effective methods of housebreaking puppies. A kennel is only effective if it is not too large. A puppy will not want to go to the bathroom where they sleep so it is important to eliminate extra space in the kennel where the dog can relieve himself. Remember, young puppies need to relieve themselves nine to twelve times a day and most dogs aren't fully potty trained until six months of age. Give your puppy plenty of time outside the kennel and reward him or her with a treat when they go to the bathroom in the desired location. If your dog does have an accident in the kennel, do not punish. Simply clean out the crate with a non-ammonia based cleaner and try again.

Kennel Basics

  • Always remove your dog's collar when they are in the kennel to prevent strangulation.
  • Only kennel your dog in a comfortable climate.
  • Your dog must always use the restroom before entering their kennel to prevent accidents.

Remember, never use the kennel as a punishment. It is important that your dog view the kennel positively. If used correctly, your dog will be happy to be in his kennel and see it as a place of comfort and shelter.