Using a crate (small safe place) to have your dog remain while you are gone should only be done to protect your dog, or for a dog who gets very nervous when left alone.  Confinement to a crate should NEVER be used as punishment.  A nervous dog should love being in their safe small place.  This is very different than simply confining your dog to a small space for your own convenience.  Where appropriate, a crate can be a useful tool if used for short periods of time and with great compassion,  Woof University is our new series of pet-related training tips, and this week we’re looking at how to introduce your new adopted dog to the crate. Providing a safe, fun, and positive introduction between your rescued pooch and the crate can make all the difference in being able to use this tool. Crates are great for potty training, puppy training, or if you need to separate dogs from one another if you’re not quite sure yet how they will interact without your supervision. It’s important to remember that size wise, your dog should be able to stand up and turn around as well as lie down comfortably in the crate. Also, please do not keep your dog in a crate for more than 3 hours a day.

Above all remember the golden rule with crates: they are not a place of punishment! They’re a comfy den for your pup and should be surrounded with positive associations when you’re trying to make them like it!  Never force or push your dog in as he might then learn to be afraid or stressed about the crate. It make take a little time and patience on your part, but you can certainly train your dog to feel peaceful and happy in his very own crate. It’s like his own condo! Click here to watch a video with more crate training tips.

You can also post your pet-related questions on’s Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #AskKatya. Once a week, we’ll be picking a question to answer with video – so feel free to ask us your questions!  Did you like this article? Click an icon below to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and more!