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Alternatives to Crate Training

Black and white dog laying in a dog bed inside of a crate

Crate training is one of the most important aspects of teaching your dog good manners. It helps in confining your pooch to a secure place when you’re not around. Similarly, crates are useful for potty training young pups. However, some owners are forced to look for alternatives to crate training because their canine companions hate confinement.

This usually happens with dogs that were locked in crates as punishment in the past. If that’s the case, it’s highly recommended to avoid dog crates. Keep reading to know about some other options that you can use to train your pooch.

Is It Cruel To Crate a Dog at Night? Click here to learn more.

Alternatives to Crate Training

2 dogs, one large, one small, sitting in a tall fenced area like a dog pen.

Some of the most common alternatives to crate training are as follows.

Use Exercise Pens

Exercise pens, also called Playpens, are very much like large-sized crates and have no top. They provide a bigger area for your dog to play, eat, and sleep. This reduces the sense of detention to a great extent that your dog might feel while being inside the crate.

Generally, playpens won’t work well for large or overly energetic dogs because they take it as an escape challenge. The fact that they can easily win by jumping over or knocking down playpens puts a lot of weight on training.

Install a Baby Gate

Close up view of the top of a baby gate

Baby gates are miniature doors that are installed at the room’s entrance for securing toddlers. They can serve the same purpose for pups as well. This hack can work well because you’re not putting your pup directly in a confinement. Instead, you’re just securing the room in which your dog mostly stays. Hence, your pup will have ample space and freedom.

Again, this may not work well for a large-sized dog. Even smaller dogs that have high energy can’t be contained in a room for an entire day. This is because they require daily exercise to burn their stored energy and kill boredom.

Got your puppy crate all set up but don’t know what to put in it? Check out our post “What to Put in a Puppy Crate at Night?” to find out.

Try Dog Daycare or Pet Sitters  

close up of a brown dog, with other dogs and a play area in the background as if suggesting a dog park.

If you are a workaholic person who seldom finds time to spend with your pup, this can be a good alternative. Dog daycare centers have trained staff along with exercise and playing facilities that will keep your pup occupied. Moreover, your doggo can have the opportunity of interacting with other dogs and learn to behave well in their copresence.

Another option can be hiring a dog sitter or dog walker who can take care of your pooch. The only drawback of these options is the cost. Whether you hire a dog sitter or resort to a daycare center, you will be heavily charged for these services. Therefore, they are only feasible for those who can afford to pay a heavy fee.

Unsure if you should crate train your dog at night? Check out our post “The Ultimate Guide to Crating Your Dog at Night”.

Make a Fenced Yard

Brown and white puppy with a spotted nose with paws up on a playard fence.

If you have the luxury of a spacious backyard at the back of your house, this is an excellent idea. Although it can be a bit costly, this long-term investment will benefit a lot in the long run. Keeping your dog in the backyard can provide him/her more exposure to nature which is the best recreation. Moreover, you will no longer be worried about the cleanliness of your home as your pup will stay outside.

The only issue with keeping a dog outside is its barking, especially if you own a nasty barker. This is because your neighbors won’t be happy about all that noise.

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