Potty Training Puppy Without Crate

Can a puppy be raised without a crate?


With or Without a Cat, Raising a Puppy

Let me be clear up front: I am not against crates and do not think they are terrible. In actuality, my Rottweiler still uses the house-raised crate that she was raised in. She occasionally uses it for naps.

However, I do think that crate training is frequently done more for human convenience than for the dog’s best interests, so one must be careful not to overuse this training time.


Myths about crating

“Dogs are like wolves; wolves naturally live in dens.”

Really? Do wolves stay in dens for 16 hours every day? Yes, it resembles a den, but before we assume that wolves don’t live in dens after a few weeks of age as puppies, let’s educate ourselves on the subject. If your justification for keeping a six-month-old pup in a crate for 16 hours a day is that “it’s like a den,” you need to understand that you are relying on erroneous information. And what kind of quality of life are you giving to your cherished pet if you intend to crate him for eight hours at night and then another eight hours while you work (and let’s face it, small breaks are just that—small breaks)?

It’s for their own protection, I say.

Not much has changed. It doesn’t seem reasonable to keep a dog in a crate “for their own safety” if I take care of them. Although remaining in a cage may prevent them from chewing on electrical cords, should we be slightly worried about their general happiness? Shouldn’t keeping them safe require some work on our part, something more than just locking the crate’s latch?

My dog adores her crate, I swear!

Perhaps your dog has grown to love the treat they get when you leave them in the crate to go to work. They may associate it with only good things, and they may decide to take a break there on their own during the day. But instead of staring at four walls for eight hours a day, do you believe they would gain more from interaction with humans or another dog? Dogs are social, pack animals, so they much prefer spending their days engaged in activities with other people. They “will love their den” only if they don’t know any better. The choice is theirs.

When is it acceptable to crate a puppy?

  • When the pup is very young, at night. Puppies that are still young are prone to mischief. It is our responsibility to teach them how to control their impulses and what they can and cannot chew on during the day.If the pup is always crated and we are constantly too busy to deal with a fussy three-month-old pet, it will be impossible to instill these lessons in him. It requires a full-time job. Nighttime is different because both people and animals need to sleep, and we are unable to watch over a young puppy who may occasionally wake up.
  • While you sleep. There is nothing wrong with having your dog take a nap in a crate when he or she is ready. It gives you an hour, and occasionally even two, to complete the house chores.
  • When you go on quick excursions (one to two hours). Unless they had a very busy and exhausting morning and you are certain that they will be sleeping for a while, I would try to avoid leaving the puppy home alone in a crate when he is still young. I would try to prepare ahead of time and tire them before I had to leave.
  • As a rest.This most recent one eliminated our dog’s interest in the comforter and laundry. She would jump on the comforter whenever we were making the bed or folding laundry, fuss over the laundry, bite and chew, and be overly excited about the whole thing. When she grabbed hold of her dog toy, we would always tell her “no biting,” redirect her with a toy, and give her praise. We would crate her until she calmed down (typically no longer than two to five minutes), and then let her out back into the bedroom if this process had to be repeated three times in a row. By the time she was four months old, you could go about your daily tasks with a young Rottweiler pup chewing on her toys right by your side. She learned really quickly that biting our things meant isolation.
  • To keep several dogs secure. Give your dogs their own space apart from one another when feeding them or providing them with a special treat, like a bully stick or stuffed Kong, if you have more than one dog and they don’t get along sharing treats and food.
  • During recovery from illness. Self-explanatory. A dog might need to stay in a crate following operations or certain traumas.
  • In times of need. Things occur. Your pup might need to spend more time in a crate than usual for a day or two if extraordinary, out-of-the-ordinary things happen.


How Can a Puppy Be Raised Without Using a Crate Too Much?

What should you do if your silly pup won’t stop barking?

  • Take her outside.
  • With her, he throws a ball.
  • Go for a stroll with her.
  • Offer her a chewy treat to keep her occupied.
  • Invest time in her.
  • Train! During short training sessions, which also tire them out physically, the dogs get healthy mental exercise that is good for them.

When people say “raising a dog takes a lot of time and effort,” they are referring to this work.

What should you do if you work full-time?

  • Separate a puppy-proof space (perhaps the kitchen) with baby gates, and leave safe toys and durable treats for your pup to play with while you are away.
  • Make plans for dog daycare.
  • Ask a family member if they can watch your pup during the day.
  • Appoint a dog walker. If you want to give your new pet a high quality of life, you must be prepared to pay this expense.

How can you be sure that they are secure and don’t damage anything?

  • Until your pup is capable of acting appropriately on its own, you don’t let them leave your sight. Just like that.

Is Raising a Puppy Without a Crate Simple?

Are these tasks simple to perform? They are not, though. It’s my job. It is work. It takes work. Your finances will suffer, and you’ll be exhausted. In the end, you’ll get a pet that didn’t just “love their crate,” but spent 8 hours a day interacting with people and other animals. To some, this may seem harsh and judgmental, but in my humble opinion, this is what it takes to give a new pet dog a quality life. New dog owners should be ready to deal with this. The crate is just a training tool; it won’t solve all of your puppy’s issues.


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