New puppy – crate training

We have a new puppy – J.D. – and we thought in the beginning that we would crate train him to be in his crate while we are at work so that he doesn’t chew on things and poop and pee all over the house. But he’ll do the same thing while we are asleep at night and he isn’t crated… I can’t leave him in his crate all night and then during the day while we are at work too – that’s too much time being confined to a cage… Then we thought maybe we could crate him at night and leave him in one room during the day but we live in a duplex and he will whine and bark and the disturb the neighbors as well as poop and pee all over the floor. I REALLY don’t want to use puppy pads because they make the house stink and there is no guarantee that the dog will use them anyway but… I’m confused on what I should do. Leave him out during the day and crate him at night? Crate him during the day and let him get into mischief while I’m sleeping? Leave him out all the time and only crate him as punishment? (don’t think this is a good idea though)

Any advice would be helpful. Usually I work from three to ten at night and I don’t want to leave him in a crate for seven or eight hours… Advice?? What did you do?
I don’t work every single day of the week.

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    4 Responses to “New puppy – crate training”

    1. Sam W says:


      Some people worry that crate confinement is cruel, but if you do it right, your dog won’t see it that way at all. His crate can be a cozy den where he retreats from household chaos or just relaxes. And once he’s housetrained, your dog will have the run of the house as well as a nice little den of his own–just leave the door open for him.
      here are some guidelines:

      hope this helps.

    2. kristendw78 says:

      I would suggest getting an x-pen. You can attach that to the crate so he’ll have a bigger area to roam around in and not be crated all day. Then at night you should crate him. If at all possible, you or someone you know should come home during lunch break and take him out to go potty and play with him. A young pup really needs to be taken out to potty once or twice an hour until they’re about 3 to 4 months old, then once and hour should be fine. If you can’t be there to let him out and don’t want to use puppy pads, then I would suggest making yourself a sod box or litter training him. They do sell dog litter, and you should be able to find plans on making a sod box online.

    3. AJ says:

      Honestly, I dont think it was a good idea for you to get the dog with your schedule. BUT, since you did I think you should leave him in the crate while your at work, take him out to play and potty and relax outside of the crate for a couple hours after you get off work, put him back in the crate while you’re in bed, take him out to potty as soon as you wake up, play and relax outside of the cage…make sure you are taking him out frequently, and then back in the cage when you work.

      Good Luck, I still think it was a bad idea…

    4. wishnuwelltoo says:

      It is only 1 hour for each month of age, so a two-month-old puppy can only be alone/hold its potty for two hours at the most. You need a dog walker, pet sitter, family/churchfriend/neighbor help, come home during lunch. Some people I know use the crate at night and an x-pen, or child gate them in the kitchen with a tarp or litter box method. It isn’t forever, just while the puppy is first little. I use a crate* to potty train with, but only for potty training and then I break it down and store it. I put blankets and a small food and water dish in the crate. Dogs don’t potty where they eat and sleep. When they are first little, I only expect them to hold their potty for 4 hours, and then 6 hours, then 8 hours and so on. So when they are first little, I set a timer or alarm clock to wake myself up at night to take them *out. I only allow my puppy in the bedroom* or the living room, only one room at a time. They have to graduate to more space. If I allow them to have full run of the house, it will overwhelm them. I take them out the same door each time. I tie a dinner bell to the door handle. Do not use a jingle bell as they could get their toe caught in it. So when they are little, I ring the bell for them, and then open the door to go *outside to potty. When they get bigger, I take their paw and whack the bell and open the door to go potty. Eventually getting to the place where the puppy will ring the bell and let me know when they need to go potty. Dogs want to please you, so it is your job to let them know what behaviors please you and what doesn’t. So when my puppy goes potty, I give her a treat*, and clap, and make a fuss and praise her. So she learns that going potty outside makes me happy. If she has an accident, make a disgust sound like “tsst” and take her out right away. I never yell* or spank* my puppies. Take them out when they first wake up, after they eat or drink, before nap, finish romping, when their activities change, or when they are sniffing around. Some puppies go pee right away, but may not go poop until 10 minutes later, so wait for the poop. I have a little play time here, because sometimes I think they are done, and they are not. Puppies train at their own pace. While I may have a puppy that hasn’t had an accident in several weeks, I don’t let my guard down. I don’t expect my puppies to be "fully potty trained" until one-year-old. If they have a setback, shake it off, and start over. I only have my puppies in the crate when I am not watching them. When I am sleeping, cooking, ironing, doing chores, basically when I am not watching her. All other times, she is out of the crate practicing being a "big girl." This is the time I train her how to behave in the house. So we are practicing "no barking", ‘no biting", "no jumping", and "don’t eat the furniture." I also have to practice "playing inside" so she doesn’t knock over things. You must keep the puppy in sight when they are little because they don’t know the difference between newspaper and carpet, and you don’t want them sneaking off and getting into trouble. Some puppies can sleep through the night around 3-months-old, but their bladder is grown around 6-months-old.

      *I use a CRATE to train with. It is the method I prefer, compared to other methods I have tried. I noticed that if they are in the crate, while I am doing chores, they are o.k., because the crate allows them to see me and be re-assured. The crate can also be a comfort when stored in the basement for dogs who live in areas where thunderstorms and tornados are an issue. . However, use the method that works best for you…..a laundry basket, a cardboard box, a woof-woof house, x-pen, child gates, whatever works for you.
      *OUTSIDE, pee pad, litter box, whichever method you are using. When the puppy is first little, keep the pee pad, litter box near the food and water dish, so the puppy can eat and drink, and then go potty. You can move it away as they get older. The pee pad has a scent that smells and initiates potty. Sometimes a pee pad makes a sound that scares some puppies, so you might want to use a litter box if that happens. The pee pad allows a puppy to walk around, but a litter box keeps the puppy in one place.
      *BEDROOMS, I use the bedroom and living room for training, because it works for me. Choose rooms that work for you, but watch for rooms that are damp, or drafty. While my puppies sleep in the bedroom during training, once they are trained, I let them sleep where they want to. They don’t have to sleep in the bedroom forever.
      *TREATS. While I use treats for training, you don’t have to. I like Charlee Bears for training (a little cracker for a little mouth,) I use them for training, but once they are trained, I cut back on them.
      *SOME PUPPIES will go potty in the same spot each time. Some puppies have to be told to go potty. A command like "go out" for pee, or "go finish" for poop, might work for you, keep saying “go finish” until the puppy poops. This is a good thing to train if you travel with your dogs. By using commands, the puppy won’t get confused when you are visiting someone, on vacation with you, or when you get to a new home. The command will tell them what you want them to do in an unfamiliar place. You might also want to use a leash method, so the puppy doesn’t sneak off, or for strange places.
      *YELLING. It is not a good idea to "yell" or "spank" your puppy and then take them outside when they have an accident. They may get confused and think that going outside is punishment. While you want to correct them, if you are extreme, they may not want to go outside again. Shake it off, and resume your schedule. You have to keep it real. Puppies train at their own pace, but a puppy can only hold their potty for a few hours. A guide would be 1 hour for each month of age, plus 1 hour, so a three-month-old puppy should only be expected to hold their potty for 4 hours at most.
      SOURCE: These tips, tricks, and ideas were contributed from many brilliant minds. Thanks for your help!