Getting Your Dog Used To The Crate: 5 Simple Steps Explained By a Professional

You want to get your dog used to a box and don’t know how to do it?

Or do you even have doubts whether you should use a crate for your dog at all, since you have read that a dog crate is animal cruelty?

I wrote this article to show you exactly what a box means for your dog and how you can positively build up boxing training and get your dog used to a transport box.

In a nutshell: dog box training made easy

In addition to a quiet retreat, dog boxes also offer safe transport for your darling on your car journey.

If you want to get your dog used to a box, it is important that he associates it positively. The easiest way to do this is with step-by-step dog crate training.

Only through a positive experience in the box will your dog feel stress-free and relaxing in the future and will be happy to visit the dog box voluntarily.

Do you not only want to get your dog used to the box, but also want to learn something else? Then take a look at our dog training bible.

Here you will find more great tips that will enrich and simplify your everyday life.

Why is a dog box useful?

Of course, the purpose of a dog box is not to lock the dog in the box day and night.

Dog crates offer your dog a safe retreat, his own realm, so to speak. Here he is left alone and can relax.

Anxious dogs often feel safe and secure in their crate.

Transport boxes during the car journey are purely for the safety of your dog and the occupants.

Are you still looking for a suitable transport box? Then check out the article about the 3 best dog crates for the car.

Dog box training in 5 steps

Put the dog in the box and close the door, but that’s not how it works!

Make sure that your dog only has good experiences in the box! The best way to set up boxing training is as follows:

Step 1

Put the dog box in the living room, leave the door open and just leave it there.

Your dog should look at and sniff the box in peace and quiet.

He’s welcome to go in too.

If he chooses to fool himself, reward him and let him do it.

Step 2

So that your dog associates the box with positive feelings, you feed it in the box for the next few days.

Dinner is best here, as most dogs want rest and relaxation afterwards.

Step 3

Give a command the moment your dog is in the crate.

Think in advance what command you want to use in the future to send your dog to the crate.

Step 4

Send your dog into the crate with the command and offer him a chew that will last a long time and that he likes very much.

This will increase the time he spends in the crate.

Chewing is extremely relaxing for your dog and he automatically makes a good connection with the box

Step 5

Close the door while your dog is chewing. However, open them again before he wants to get out.

Be sure to prevent your dog from panicking because of a closed box door. Otherwise it can happen that he gets afraid of the box because of the negative experience.

Getting the puppy used to the crate

If you have a puppy that you want to get used to the puppy box, you can follow the same procedure as with an adult dog.

It is best to exercise every time your puppy needs to rest and sleep.

Dog crate for housebreaking training – leave puppy in the crate at night

You can also use the box for housebreaking if you use it as a sleeping box for the puppy at night.

Puppies don’t pee on their roost.

But keep in mind that a three-month-old puppy has to be out three to four times a night despite the crate!


Just locking the puppy in the crate and putting it somewhere in the living room and leaving him alone in it all night without him being used to it is a no-go!

What do I have to consider with a dog box?

So that your dog has a comfortable retreat in the future, you have to consider a few things when buying a box.

Size of the box

The box needs to be large enough for your dog to stretch out, turn around, and stand upright in it.

The height of the box should be at least 5 cm higher than the highest point of your dog.

For more info on how to size a dog crate, see this article: Dog Carrier: Which Size For Which Breed?


You should also use high-quality materials. Aluminum has always stood the test of time thanks to its durability.

However, there are also very good fabric dog boxes that have the advantage of being light, foldable, comfortable and space-saving.

Location of the box

Another important factor is the location of the dog crate. There are no suitable places due to the temperature fluctuations at the window and in front of the heating.

Also next to the TV or in passages like in the hallway are not good options, because he cannot calm down there. But even a completely isolated place should be avoided.

It is best to place the box so that your dog has a good view of the room, but also has a quiet environment to relax. He should be able to participate well in everyday life. A place in the living room is suitable for this.

The dog box for sleeping

If the dog box is to serve as a sleeping place for your four-legged friend, you can use a conventional dog transport box. Actually, all models are suitable here, as long as the dog is comfortable in them.

To give your dog a really comfortable place to sleep, you can put an orthopedic dog bed in the box.

If it is important to you that the box fits in with your interior and looks good, I recommend that you take a look at our article on dog boxes for the home.

Get the dog used to the transport box

If you want to get your dog used to the transport box, you can follow the same pattern as with all other boxes. Set up the box in your home first and train until your dog likes to go in on its own.

Then you can move the training into the car. If it works well in the apartment, it should also go into the pit in the car without any problems.

However, many dogs become nauseous on a long car ride, so you should focus on treats rather than a full meal.


Getting a dog used to the crate has nothing to do with animal cruelty if it is set up and handled properly.

Of course, even if your dog feels comfortable and relaxed in his crate, this does not mean that he has to stay for hours with the door closed.

On the contrary. A crate should ALWAYS aim to provide a special retreat for your dog.

Do you have any other ideas you would like to teach your dog? Then take a look at our dog training bible, because here you are GUARANTEED to find lots of great and valuable inspiration!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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