Is the time right to stop your dog from sleeping in a crate? We’ve compiled some of the most helpful research on this topic, outlining when it is most appropriate to change their cage habits.
For your convenience, we’ve also included some tips and tricks for successfully training your pup to settle in their new bed.
Before we get started, here is a brief explanation of what a crate is:
“A crate is simply a wire cage that your dog can sleep in at night, usually in the same room or on the same couch. The practice has been standard practice for dogs who stay with us overnight. Many people use crates to house their dogs while traveling – although this is not necessarily the ideal situation for an adult dog. Cages are also used for mobility training. A crate simply gives the dog more control over the nervousness he or she may feel during travel while keeping them safe.”
Now let’s get some advice!
At what age do you let the dog sleep out of the crate?
Dogs between 9 and 15 months of age can begin sleeping out of a crate, which makes them more independent than they are.
For older dogs, up to three years old, the crate provides a place to sleep until training is complete. For puppies younger than nine months old, the crate is often used as a place to rest their heads and body while snoozing.
Depending on your dog’s specific needs, they can still be created even if you are home at night.
If you think your dog is ready to stop sleeping in a crate, should you keep them out of it?
Keeping them from sleeping in the crate is not recommended, even if they are older. It may cause your dog’s confidence to suffer and may make them feel left out or alone. Many dogs enjoy staying in their crates, so cutting their time can create anxiety. Additionally, humans tend to sleep better when all their canine companions are snoozing nearby, so having a crate available can help relax you at night.
Should I Keep My Dog in a Crate?
Many people are concerned that keeping a dog in a crate can make them feel trapped and anxious. This is true for some dogs but only for some. If your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety like barking, constant pacing, or trying to chew through the crate, usually, it is best to get them out of the crate for a while.
Remember that dogs are social animals, and leaving them alone overnight can be hard on them.
Signs Your Puppy Is Ready to Sleep Outside of The Crate
You should wait until your dog has learned his basic training commands and has become comfortable with you handling him.
Ensure he has been trained for a sufficient amount of time before removing him from the crate.
Your dog trusts you and is comfortable around you, even if he is sleeping in another room or on the couch. If your dog wants to remain in his crate but is acting frantically while trying to get out, then it’s time to let him sleep outside his crate.
It’s important to ensure your dog is included in the crate because he has not learned to behave when ignored. This can build up your dog’s separation anxiety and cause them to act out.
If you notice your dog getting anxious and unhappy because he is left alone, you should leave him in his crate while you are home. Once your dog has calmed down, you should let him sleep with you or in another room in your house.
How to Prepare Your Puppy to Stay Outside of the Crate at Night?
First, you will want to put the treat in a small dish in the kitchen or somewhere your dog cannot see you.
Next, take your dog for a walk or play with him for about an hour. You want him to be tired from playing before you begin this process.
After he’s played for a while and tired out, begin by putting a couple of treats on his bed. Then move around the room and do something else for about 30 seconds. When you return, give him another treat. Repeat this for about 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes, bring the dish of treats to your dog and say, “I’m going to take this!’ Now pick up the dish of treats and walk toward your dog’s crate. Once you have put the treats in the crate, give him one last treat and close the door.
If he tries to get out, ignore him. Stay in the room, and when he stops trying to get out of the crate, praise him and give him a treat.
Repeat this process until your dog is calm.
You will then want to start leaving the house for short periods. If your dog begins to bark or whine, you should ignore it for about 10 seconds, then return and give him a treat. Repeat until your dog learns that being quiet will make you return sooner.
As your dog gets more comfortable with staying in the room, you can start leaving him alone for longer periods of time.
There is no hard and fast rule when your dog stops sleeping in his crate. This can be a difficult decision to make, and it may depend on the individual dog.
If you are concerned about your dog’s anxiety after he stops sleeping in a crate, I suggest getting them out of the house for some time.
Once they have calmed down, wait until after their training session before putting them back in the crate. They will appreciate the additional time outside of their cage.