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Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor kennel crate can satisfy many dogs' need for a den-like enclosure. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, to prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture), to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house which can be moved from room to room whenever necessary.

A kennel crate also serves as a travel cabin for you dog when traveling by car or plane. Additionally, most hotels which accept dogs on their premises require them to be crated while in the room to prevent damage to hotel furniture and rugs.

Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or "hang-out" in. Therefore a crate (or any other area of confinement) should NEVER be used for the purpose of punishment. 

We recommend that you provide a kennel crate throughout your dog's lifetime. Some crates allow for the removal of the door once it is no longer necessary for the purpose of training. The crate can be placed under a table, or a table top can be put on top of it to make it both unobtrusive and useful.

Frenchie Babies sleeping in their crate in thier PlayPen area... all our babies are used to crates.... This was a plastic crate we used for young babies... As you see it does not have a door and these puppies are in our Expen Set up. We do not use plastic crates anymore, but even when we did, we never had a door on them. Only used these to keep the babies warmer while in their expen set up because they are enclosed as opposed to all open as the wire crates, but the babies started chewing on the plastic crates... it's what puppies do... So we threw out the plastic type crates and we switched to wire crates for ALL ages and they work best. If they get cold in the wire crate you can always cover it with a blanket or towel....

Preparing the Wire Crate/Ex Pen area:

This baby has a crate attached to the ex pen, a bed outside of the crate (where he is sleeping in the photo), toys, bowls and a pee pad.... 


Furnishing Your Puppy's Crate

Toys and Treats: Place your puppy's favorite toys and dog treats at the far end opposite the door opening. These toys may include the "Tuffy", "Billy", "Kong", "Nylabone" or a ball. Toys and bails should always be inedible and large enough to prevent their being swallowed. Any fragmented toys should be removed to prevent choking and internal obstruction. You may also place a sterilized marrow bone filled with cheese or dog treats in the crate. 

Water: A small water bowl with ice water should be attached to the crate door if your puppy is to be confined for more than two hours in the crate.

Bedding: Place a towel or blanket inside the crate to create a soft, comfortable bed for the puppy. If the puppy chews the towel, remove it to prevent the pup from swallowing or choking on the pieces. Although most puppies prefer lying on soft bedding, some may prefer to rest on a hard, flat surface, and may push the towel to one end of the crate to avoid it. If the puppy urinates on the towel remove and replace with clean bedding. It's a process and takes time. 

When we first wean our babies from mom they are right in our living room in a kiddie pool. They stay in this set up until they are ready for their PLAY PEN (EXPEN) Set Up... which is a playpen with a crate attached to it. Our puppies KNOW what a crate is when they go to their new homes. We do NOT confine our young babies EVER to a crate with the door closed. We use a playpen. Below is one litter in a kiddie pool set up while away from mom. We no longer use these plastic style crates, but decided to leave the photo here....


Location of Crate

Whenever possible, place the crate near or next to you when you are home. This will encourage the pup to go inside it without his feeling lonely or isolated when you go out. A central room in the apartment (i.e.: living room or kitchen) or a large hallway near the entrance is a good place to crate your puppy. If you use the set up we use here, your puppy will already be used to sleeping inside a wire cage. Just needs to get used to being along and away from it's littermates once it goes to its new home.

Some pups may howl or cry, but give them time, they will get used to it.... DON'T GIVE IN.... hard... but a must....

Introducing the Crate to Your Puppy at your home....

In order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort, security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:

  • Feed him in the crate/playpen area, it's what they are used to here. 

  • In the beginning, praise and pet your pup when he enters. Do not try to push, pull or force the puppy into the crate/new set up at your home.  At this early stage of introduction only inducive methods are suggested. 

  • You may also play this enjoyable and educational game with your pup or dog: without alerting your puppy, drop a small dog biscuit into the crate/playpen. Then call your puppy and say to him, "Where's the biscuit? It's in your room." Using only a friendly, encouraging voice, direct your pup toward his crate. When the puppy discovers the treat, give enthusiastic praise. The biscuit will automatically serve as a primary reward. Your pup should be free to leave its crate at all times during this game. Later on, your puppy's toy or ball can be substituted for the treat.

  • It is advisable first to crate your pup with the door closed for short periods of time while you are home with them. In fact, crate training is best accomplished while you are in the room with your dog. Getting him used to your absence from the room in which he is crated is a good first step. This prevents an association being made with the crate and your leaving him/her alone. Again, this is why we use our expen set ups... they have more room and are not confined to a small cage. 

A Note About Crating Puppies

Puppies under 4 months of age have little bladder or sphincter control. Puppies under 3 months have even less. Very young puppies under 12 weeks should not be crated with the door closed, as they need to eliminate very frequently (usually 8-12 times or more daily). Why we use our expen set ups.

Important Reminders:

  • Collars: Always remove your puppy or dog's collar before confining in the crate. Even flat buckle collars can occasionally get struck on the bars or wire mesh of a crate. If you must leave a collar on the pup when you crate him (e.g.: for his identification tag), use a safety "break away" collar.
  • Warm Weather: Do not use plastic type crates for French Bulldogs. They can overheat in them. Frenchies get hot very easily so wire cages are the best for them.



    Be certain that your puppy has fully eliminated shortly before being crated. Be sure that the crate you are using is not too large to discourage your pup from eliminating in it. Rarely does a pup or dog eliminate in the crate if it is properly sized and the dog is an appropriate age to be crated a given amount of time. If your pup/dog continues to eliminate in the crate, the following may be the causes: 

  • The pup is too young to have much control.
  • The pup did not eliminate prior to being confined.
  • The pup has gaseous or loose stools.
  • The pup drank large amounts of water prior to being crated.
  • The puppy or dog is experiencing separation anxiety when left alone. It's part of being a puppy, they get lonely and have to learn it's okay to be left alone.
  • The puppy can just be stubborn. Unfortuntalely some people want to say ALL dogs will not eliminate where they sleep.... NOT TRUE, this is why we use the expen set ups. Some puppies are just stubborn or some just do not care to pee or poop in a crate until they get older. Not all dogs are the same, we can't paint them all with the same brush.  Patience and time are what is needed when raising a puppy.

Note: Puppies purchased in pet stores, or puppies which were kept solely in small cages or other similar enclosures at a young age (between approximately 7 and 16 weeks of age), may be harder to housebreak using the crate training method due to their having been forced to eliminate in their sleeping area during this formative stage of development. This is the time when most puppies are learning to eliminate outside their sleeping area. We use our expen set ups with our litters and they learn to potty away from their crate/blanket area.

Accidents In The Crate:

If your puppy messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon your return. Simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer (such as Nature's Miracle ir plain White Vinegar & Water in a spray bottle). Do not use ammonia-based products, as their odor resembles urine and may draw your dog back to urinate in the same spot again. 

Our girl Tazyy .... she was 100% crate and potty trained in an oversized, crate/cage. These are fine as long as the dog is crate and potty trained. If I have to leave them in a crate, I prefer to give them lots of room, rather than not enough.

The Crate As Punishment

NEVER use the crate as a form of punishment or reprimand for your puppy. This simply causes a young puppy to fear and resent the crate. If correctly introduced to his crate, your puppy should be happy to go into his crate at any time. You may however use the crate as a brief time-out for your puppy as a way of discouraging nipping or excessive rowdiness.

[NOTE: Sufficient daily exercise is important for healthy puppies and dogs. Regular daily walks should be offered as soon as a puppy is fully immunized.

Barking In The Crate

In most cases a pup who cries incessantly in his crate has either been crated too soon (without taking the proper steps as outlined above) or is suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious about being left alone. Some pups may simply under exercised. Some breeds of dog may be particularly vocal (e.g., Miniature Pinchers, Mini Schnauzers, and other frisky terrier types). These dogs may need the "Alternate Method of Confining Your Dog", along with increasing the amount of exercise and play your dog receives daily.

When Not To Use A Crate

Do not crate your puppy or dog if:

  •  Puppy has not eliminated shortly before being placed inside the crate. 

  • (See Housetraining Guidelines for exceptions.)
  •  Puppy has not had sufficient exercise, companionship and socialization.
Buying a Wire Crate:

Where to buy a crate: Crates can be purchased through most pet supply outlets, through pet mail order catalogs and through most professional breeders. Check Ebay also, they sell new wire cages at great prices. We use the 30" one for our adults. Plenty of room in those.

The Cost of A Crate:
Crates can cost between $35 and $150 depending on the size and the type of crate and the source.

The Cost of Not Buying a Crate:
The cost of not using a crate:

  • your shoes 
  • books
  • table legs; 
  • chairs and sofas; 
  • throw rugs and carpet, and 
  • electric, telephone and computer wires. 
  • The real cost, however, is your dog's safety and your peace of mind!!! 



Alternative Method Of Confining Your Puppy :

EX PENS. These are great alternatives to crates. They are open, portable and bigger than crates. You can shape them in different shapes, make them bigger, smaller and they aren't as confining, no top, so make sure you don't have a high jumper or get the tall 4 ft ones... This is the setup we prefer... We make sure the floor is not carpet, we set up an expen, with crate in one corner, toys, water bowl, tray with puppy pads/newspaper to one side. It's the best method we feel for the pups instead of crating very young puppies or puppies who must be left alone in the house for lengths of time.

You can also Use a small to medium-sized room space such as a kitchen, large bathroom or hallway with non- porous floor. Set up the crate on one end, the food and water a few feet away, and some newspaper several feet away. Confine your puppy to this room or area using a 3 ft. high, safety-approved child's gate rather than shutting off the opening by a solid door. Your pup will feel less isolated if it can see out beyond its immediate place of confinement. Puppy proof the area by removing any dangerous objects or substances. We still prefer the Ex-Pen set up as seen here:

This is Lola, one of our puppies at her new set up in her new home...

This is Casper, one of our puppies at his new set up in his new home...

Lucy Lu in her set up at her new home...


Stella's set up... wire cage covered with towel to keep her warm... Linoleum piece of flooring on top of area rug to make it sanitary and at the same time warmer and softer, more cushy for the baby....


Buddha in his set up... Pee pad on the right side....


4x4 pen set up with crate, puppy pad "holder" on the right... an extra bed pad outside of the crate and her bowl... this was a set up photo I received before this "Frenchie Family" received their baby "Bella Bean" from us....  this new mommy was prepared and ready for her baby....

Our methods are just that... our methods. Use what works for your and your dog!!!

Ok, so we know Kennels/Crates are for going inside, but some
Frenchies think they are Snoopy and like to sleep/lay ON TOP, so there HA!...


Ask the Trainer by Magic Mildred



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