Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Crate Training Puppies

Question from Cathy in Newark:
Our 12 week old puppy hates her crate. We crate her most of the night and she is panting loudly and is restless. I am guessing her behavior is due to anxiety. I am afraid the continuous panting and anxiety could be bad for her health.

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Excessive panting and anxiety are not a risk for a healthy puppy. However, watching your puppy become stressed in the crate is upsetting and can leave you feeling guilty. Crates are not used for punishment. They provide a safe haven for your dog and promote good house training behavior.

Make sure the crate is comfortable and safe. Don't provide too much free space or your puppy will be inclined to urinate and defecate in the crate. Feed your puppy in the crate to create a positive association. Reward your puppy with a treat and praise every time it enters the crate. Keep favorite toys and treats in the crate. If the crate is not in your bedroom, it is okay to relocate it close to your bed to give your puppy a sense of security.

Posted January 17, 2008

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