Disadvantages of Crate Training a Puppy for Potty Training

Adrienne Farricelli

There are some disadvantages of crate training a puppy for potty training that are worthy of mentioning.

The disadvantages of crate training a puppy for potty training are several and should be mentioned to novice puppy owners considering that they are often given high hopes of crate training being flawless and providing fast results. The truth is, potty training puppies takes time and a good amount of effort is needed during the puppy's first months. A closer insight into crate training and the role the crate plays is important to better understand its main concept.

Disadvantages of Crate Training a Puppy for Potty Training

A crate's main purpose for potty training is to provide the puppy with a sleeping area that is snug enough that the puppy instinctively avoids to eliminate in it based on the instinct to not soil where he sleeps. As much as the crate seems like an ingenious idea, the main problem resides in the fact that young puppies can only hold it for so much.

Many Outdoor Trips

In general, most young pups are somewhat incapable of controlling their bladder and bowel sphincters until the are at least 12 weeks of age, with many attaining more control only around the age of 5 months.

In general, puppies as young as 8 weeks, need to be taken outside of the crate every hour. At 10 weeks, if you are lucky, the puppy may be able to hold it for a couple of hours.

Now, taking out puppies so frequently is not very practical especially when it comes to dog owners with busy lifestyles. Many dog owners indeed struggle taking their puppies out with such frequency and the crate is not meant to park the puppy there all day, but only for those times when the puppy cannot be supervised or is in need of a nap.

Defeating the Crate's Purpose

Failure to take the puppy out of the crate with a certain frequency may lead to the puppy being forced to soil in the crate. This defeats the purpose of the crate and risks desensitizing the puppy to laying on its waste. This predisposes the puppy to eliminate in the crate with more and more frequency.

Needing Positive Associations

Puppies aren't born liking to be confined in a crate. Although puppies have a den instinct to not soil where they sleep, they aren't instinctively comfortable being locked inside a crate.

However, life can be made easier if puppy owners get their puppies from dedicated breeders who take their time to pre-condition their puppies to crates before being sent to their new homes. If you failed to get your puppy from a dedicated breeder, then it will be up to you working on creating positive associations with the crate. This process can take some time.

As seen, there are several disadvantages in using a crate for potty training puppies, but more than disadvantages, they are things to be aware with. If you are a busy puppy owner, you may find it easier leaving your puppy in a play pen with some pee pads in one corner and an opened crate or sleeping area in the opposite side.