Crate Training Your Retriever Puppy

Many people assume that crating a puppy is cruel, but if you understand a bit about dog psychology you can see how crate training your retriever puppy can be a positive experience. As dogs are den creatures, they can quite happily take to a crate and see it as a shelter.

crate train your retriever puppyCrate training is a relatively simple procedure requiring the same persistence and patience that you would apply to any dog training.

The Benefits of Crate Training Your Retriever Puppy

If done properly, crate training can be very good for both you and your dog.

  • Safety. A dog that is accustomed to being crated is easier to transport and feels more secure.
  • Security. A crate can be a source of comfort for your dog. It can be his special place and his refuge.
  • Convenience. When you are busy it is a good place to confine your dog to keep him out of mischief.
  • Training. Crate training makes house training easier.
  • Limits chewing. All dogs love to chew. If you leave chewing toys in the crate your dog will chew those and not your furniture or your slippers.

The Dos and Don’ts of Crate Training Your Retriever Puppy


  • Buy a crate straight away. Have your crate ready before bringing your puppy home.
  • Get the right size. Buy a crate big enough for a fully grown dog but block it off so that it just big enough for a puppy to stretch out and turn around in.
  • Leave it in the same place. Retrievers are creatures of habit.
  • Leave a few toys in the crate.


  • Punish with a crate. Your puppy needs to associate the crate with positive things and not with being punished.
  • Overdo crate time. Limit the time your dog spends in the crate to a couple of hours at a time and never more than 4 hours.
  • Feed your puppy inside the crate. Dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep and feeding will lead to that.

As soon as you get your puppy home is a good time to start crate training your retriever puppy.

  • Position. Put the crate somewhere you can keep an eye on it but not in a high traffic area or where it is too noisy.
  • Treat. Put a dog biscuit inside and put the puppy in the crate, leaving the door open. Make it a positive experience by allowing him to explore the crate without any pressure.
  • Repetition. Keep taking the puppy back to the crate throughout the day and lure him in with a treat or toy.
  • Praise. When your puppy enters the crate and when he plays in the crate, act enthusiastically.
  • Acclimatise gradually. When he has been in and out of the crate a few times, the next time he enters, close the door without fanfare and leave him there for a few minutes. Gradually increase the time that he spends in the crate.
  • Timing. As soon as you let your puppy out the crate, you should have the leash ready to take him outside.

Crates can be extremely useful, so take your time in crate training your retriever puppy to enjoy the many benefits.