How To Kennel Train A Puppy And Succeed At It

February 26, 2017

I used to have a puppy who kept on getting clothes from my closet and creating a nest for him to sleep on. It was one of those “aww shucks” moments that just makes him quite the adorable little beast.

But after a while he kept doing this and to be honest there was a point where it went from really cute too I do not have any clothes to wear to work. So that is when I decided to buy him his very own kennel, which was quite an expensive investment on my part but totally worth it considering the alternative is soiled clothes and puppy fur Mondays.

I ran into a problem when I was trying to get him to sleep in there. My pup doesn’t seem to take to his new sleeping quarters. He would try to look for some clothes of mine or just give up and sleep on the floor. I decided to consult the internet on some techniques on kennel training.

Four years later and my dog absolutely loves his kennel. It did not happen overnight but I can assure you that with a little trickery, love, and patience a dog can easily be kennel trained.

So today I decided to give you some tips on how to kennel train a puppy.


Pros of Kennel Training

  1. If the dog is properly kennel trained, the crate can become his own personal space. It could be a place that the dog can have peace of mind especially if you have other pets that share your home.
  2. It could be a blessing when you travel Kennels that puppies or dogs associate with safety is a big boon when you take him in your car, especially when you drive him to unfamiliar place.
  3. A kennel can help you save some expenses on things like slippers and furniture your curious pup loves to chew on. You will rue the day you did not kennel train little Fido when you get home one day and find your irreplaceable family albums turned to shreds.
  4. A crate can also help you in housebreaking your puppy. Dogs hate soiling their sleeping quarters and would most likely alert you when he needs to go. Most likely if the dog is left unsupervised while in his kennel he would wait for you to come back home before he eliminates waste. This would save you some messy cleanups after.
  5. A crate can save the puppies life when left unsupervised. If confined in a safe and secure kennel, the puppy would be unable to explore your home thus s avoiding things like ingesting poisonous chemicals or even chewing on electrical wires.

Cons of Kennel Training

Cons of Puppy Kennel Training
  1. If done improperly the dog could see the kennel as some sort of fear trigger. You fur buddy could have some psychological fear of the kennel and avoid entering it.
  2. Long amounts of time inside a kennel can make your canine a bit destructive. Aside from his behavior leading to damages to the crate or kennel, the dog could also have injuries resulting from all the chewing and clawing.
  3. Leaving your dog in crates for more than eight hours could lead him to develop separation anxiety issues. This could alter your dog’s behavior towards becoming more aggressive towards other pets and other people.
    Kennel training would require you to get the dog a crate large enough for it to have sufficient space and better ventilated for air which can get quite expensive. Cheap kennels can lead to injuries and could collapse on your pup.

Thing’s You Will Need to Kennel Train A Puppy

Thing’s You Will Need to Kennel Train A Puppy

Via Pinterest

  • A Kennel – This is the most important item on this list and often comes in different sizes and materials.
    There is usually 3 types to choose from: Collapsible Metal Pen, Flight Kennel, and Fabric Kennel. These can commonly be purchased at any pet supply store.
  • Dog Toys and Treats – Kennel training a puppy can also be fun. You can use any of your puppy’s favorite toys and treats or you can make your own using an old tennis ball, a piece of fabric, and some ribbons. Check this post out to know the procedure.
  • Doggy Bowl with Food and Water – Any doggy bowl with your puppy’s dog food will suffice for this. Your pup’s food should be easily digested and contains essential vitamins to promote better overall wellness and development. This post will help you decide on which dog food is best for your pup.
  • Towel or Blanket – To make the kennel training more comfortable, you can place a towel or blanket as a soft bedding inside the kennel. Remove it if in case your little puppy starts chewing on it as this may cause choking.

Kennel Location Matters

Now that you got everything you need to get started on kennel training your puppy, you need to find a good place for your pup’s kennel. 

  • If it is possible, keep the kennel near you when you are inside the house. It helps your pup adjust to being in the kennel and it lessens the anxiety and isolation that your puppy may feel.
  • You can try putting the kennel in the living room or at the hallway as this is where most members of the family hang out or pass by.

How to Kennel Train A Puppy

Thing’s You Will Need to Kennel Train A Puppy

There are only a few steps you need to take to kennel train a puppy but the results often vary on your dog’s behavior, age, and your patience and persistence.

There are puppies who are curious and will immediately explore (and even try sleeping) the kennel, but if your puppy is a bit apprehensive, here are steps you can take to kennel train your puppy.

Step 1: Let your puppy know that the kennel is a safe place

  • Take your puppy near the kennel and let him explore it at his own leisure.
  • Make sure that you talk to him in a friendly and reassuring voice.
  • Ensure that the doors are fully open and there is no chance for him to get hit and be frightened.
  • Do not push your puppy to go inside the kennel if he does not want to.

Step 2: Bring food inside the kennel

Once your dog is at ease with the presence of the kennel, get a doggy bowl and put some of his favorite food in it. The main idea here is for your puppy to associate being in the kennel with things he likes. 

  • Start by placing his bowl near the kennel entrance, if he goes near it, try to push the bowl a little farther inside the kennel.
  • Only place the kennel as far as your dog is willing to go. At this point, do not close the door yet. Do this step a few times until there is no more reluctance from your puppy.
  • When you feel like your puppy is comfortable enough, push the bowl in the farthest corner and once he is happily eating inside the kennel, try to close it.
  • Leave the door closed for a few minutes before you let him out.

Step 3: Prolong the kennel period

If after a few tries, your puppy has been comfortable enough to take his meals inside the kennel, you can move on to the next step which is to prolong the time he spends inside the kennel.

  • You will be needing your pup’s doggy treat for this step.
  • Call your pup over to his kennel and reward him with a treat. Encourage him to go inside his kennel by using the words “get in” or “kennel” or “inside”. When he does, praise him and give him a treat immediately.
  • Once he is in, closes the door and sit beside the kennel for about 5 minutes. If your pup is calm, go to another room for more minutes, return and sit beside the kennel again. Let him out quietly after a while and give him treats.
  • Do these process a few more times each increasing his kennel time until you are able to leave him without whining for about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Go out and leave your pup inside the kennel

Now that your pup is getting used to being left inside the kennel for a little over 30 minutes, you can slowly try to leave him in the kennel while you go out for a short while.

  • But before leaving the house, call him to his kennel like what you use to in the third step, and command him to go inside his kennel (give him a treat after).
  • Before closing the door, give him one of his favorite toys so he can keep himself occupied while you are gone. Make sure that you do not get too emotional when you leave him as this might cause him to feel anxious and make him start to whine.
  • As soon as you get home, quietly let him out of his kennel and reward him if he does not get too excited. Do this step with gradually increasing interval until you are able to leave him for longer periods of time.
  • Do continue to kennel him even when you are at home so he would not feel too isolated when he is left in his crate.

Step 5: Get him to sleep inside his kennel

Finally, if you are already able to go out and leave your pup inside the kennel, you can now try to get him to sleep in it at night. Line his kennel with a blanket or towel so it would be more comfortable for your pup.

Have your pup go inside his kennel using the usual command, do not forget his treat after. When he is comfortable, close his door and bid him goodnight.

  • Just a word of caution, though, puppies have smaller bladders and he might need to eliminate at least once during the night. Make sure your pup’s kennel is near enough for you to hear your puppy’s whine so you can let him outside to do his business.

Your puppy will eventually be able to sleep through the night without having to be let out. You can then start moving the kennel to a preferable location for you.

Here’s a video for you to better understand how to kennel train a puppy: 

When deciding if you want to kennel train your puppy, always remember to check out both advantages and disadvantages of a kennel trained puppy. When done incorrectly, kennel training could have some really negative effects on your pup.

However, when done in the proper manner, kennel training can become one of those things that can help both you and your dog’s physical and mental well-being with great impact. The results can save your puppy from injuring himself as well as giving him his own safe haven in your place.

If you have stories and comments regarding how to kennel train your dog feel free to write in the comments section below.


About the Author


Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.

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