What Age Do Dogs Stop Using Crates?

As pet owners, we often face the dilemma of determining when our furry companions are ready to graduate from being confined in a crate to freely roaming the house. While every dog develops at their own pace, it’s generally recommended to stop closing your dog into a crate around the age of two. This is because, before reaching this milestone, dogs are more prone to getting themselves into mischief without proper supervision. Their curious nature and boundless energy can lead them towards trouble, such as chewing on furniture or exploring forbidden areas. It’s during this crucial period of maturity that dogs learn the necessary skills and self-control to behave appropriately when left unsupervised. Larger breeds, in particular, tend to reach full maturity at a later stage, making it even more crucial to wait until they’ve fully developed before allowing them free rein. By understanding the appropriate age to transition from crate confinement to freedom, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends while fostering their independence and trustworthiness.

What Age Do Dogs Stop Crying in Crate?

During this time, it’s completely normal for puppies to cry and whine when they’re placed in the crate. This is their way of expressing their discomfort and anxiety about being confined. Puppies are social animals and naturally crave human interaction, so being alone in a crate can cause distress.

As puppies grow older and gain more bladder control, they’ll be able to hold their pee and poop for longer periods of time. This means they’ll be able to stay in their crate for longer stretches without needing a potty break. As a result, they’ll gradually cry less and become more comfortable with being in the crate.

Each dog is different, so the exact age at which they stop crying in the crate can vary. Some puppies may stop crying as early as 12 weeks old, while others may take a few months. It’s important to be patient and consistent with crate training during this time.

To help ease their anxiety, it’s important to make the crate a positive and comfortable space for your puppy. You can do this by placing their favorite toys or treats inside the crate, and gradually increasing the amount of time they spend in it.

It’s also important to remember that crate training isn’t meant to be a form of punishment. It should be a safe and comfortable space for your dog to relax and rest in. By gradually increasing the time they spend in the crate and providing positive reinforcement, your puppy will eventually learn to associate the crate with positive experiences and will stop crying.

How to Gradually Increase the Amount of Time a Puppy Spends in the Crate

  • Introduce the crate as a positive and safe space
  • Start by placing treats and toys near the crate to create a positive association
  • Gradually move the treats and toys inside the crate to encourage exploration
  • Feed your puppy near the crate to build positive associations with mealtime
  • Start closing the crate door for short periods while your puppy is inside
  • Slowly increase the time your puppy spends inside the crate with the door closed
  • Provide comfortable bedding and chew toys to keep your puppy entertained
  • Avoid using the crate as punishment to maintain a positive association
  • Offer plenty of praise and rewards when your puppy willingly goes into the crate
  • Stay consistent with the crate training routine to help your puppy adjust gradually

It’s crucial to approach the process of weaning a dog off the crate with patience and gradual increments of time. Rushing this transition can result in setbacks in housebreaking training. To ensure success, steadily introduce 15 and 30 minute extensions to your dog’s freedom outside the crate.

How Do You Wean a Dog Off the Crate?

To wean a dog off the crate, a gradual approach is crucial. Rushing the process may result in setbacks in housebreaking training. The key is to increase the time slowly and repeat moments of freedom frequently. By doing so, the dog will gradually adapt to spending more time outside the crate.

One effective method is to progressively add 15 to 30-minute increments to the dogs freedom. For instance, if the initial crate time is one hour, gradually extend it to an hour and fifteen minutes, then an hour and a half, and so on. This gradual increase allows the dog to become more comfortable and confident outside the crate.

During the weaning process, it’s important to closely observe the dogs behavior. If any signs of anxiety or restlessness occur, it may indicate that the freedom time is being increased too quickly. In such cases, it’s advisable to slow down and give the dog some extra time to adjust before continuing to extend the freedom period.

Additionally, it can be helpful to create a positive association with being outside the crate. Offer treats or favorite toys during the freedom periods to make the experience enjoyable for the dog.

Consistency is key when weaning a dog off the crate. Stick to a routine and try to provide the dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation outside the crate. This will help alleviate any excessive energy or boredom that could potentially lead to destructive behavior.

Ultimately, the goal is to gradually decrease the dogs reliance on the crate while ensuring their safety and well-being.

Implementing a Crate Training Schedule: This Topic Could Provide a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create an Effective Schedule for Crate Training, Including Specific Times for Meals, Potty Breaks, and Crate Time.

  • Create a routine for your puppy by establishing specific times for meals, potty breaks, and crate time.
  • Begin by introducing the crate to your puppy as a positive and safe space.
  • Feed your puppy in the crate to promote a positive association with the space.
  • Take your puppy outside for a bathroom break after each meal and before crate time.
  • Gradually increase the duration of time your puppy spends in the crate, starting with short intervals and gradually lengthening them.
  • Ensure that your puppy has plenty of toys and comfort items in the crate to keep them occupied.
  • Avoid using the crate as a form of punishment to maintain a positive association.
  • Stick to a consistent schedule to help your puppy understand the routine.
  • Provide praise and rewards when your puppy successfully follows the crate training schedule.
  • Be patient and consistent throughout the crate training process.

Source: How to Housebreak Your Dog – Ben-Jee Kennels

As dogs grow older and become fully house trained, they’ll naturally require more space to freely move around. It’s important to assess their size and behavior to determine when it’s safe to remove the crate and transition to other forms of confinement or freedom within the home.

Do Dogs Outgrow Crate Training?

Once a puppy has reached their adult size, they may no longer require such a confined space. The purpose of crate training is to provide puppies with a safe and secure place to rest, sleep, and relax. As dogs mature, they develop better bladder and bowel control, making it less likely for accidents to occur. Consequently, they may no longer need the restrictive dimensions of a crate.

However, it’s important to note that even if dogs outgrow the physical need for a crate, they may still benefit from the sense of security and routine that a crate provides. Many dogs find comfort in having a designated space that’s exclusively theirs. This can be especially useful for dogs who experience anxiety or have a tendency to destroy things in the house when left alone.

As dogs transition out of crate training, it’s crucial to gradually introduce them to increased freedom and assess their behavior. Some dogs may adapt quickly to being left alone in a larger space, while others may require a more gradual transition. It’s advisable to start by confining them to a small, dog-proofed room and gradually expand their access to the rest of the house over time.

If a dog shows signs of regression, such as soiling the house or engaging in destructive behavior, it may be necessary to reintroduce the use of a crate temporarily or provide alternative management solutions. As with any aspect of a dogs training, it’s vital to observe their individual needs and adjust the training approach accordingly.


In conclusion, the appropriate age to stop using crates for dogs is generally around two years old. This is because dogs are more prone to getting into trouble and acting out before reaching full maturity. Larger dogs, in particular, may take longer to develop proper behavior and self-control. Therefore, it’s essential to consider individual factors such as breed, size, and developmental progress when determining when to transition a dog out of crate usage.

Scroll to Top