Advice on crating a dog during the work day?

Last week I adopted a 4(ish) month old cocker spaniel mix. The rescue group I adopted from crate trains all of their dogs so she sleeps in her crate every night with no real fuss. However, so far I've only used the crate for very brief periods during the day (quick gym trip, grocery shopping, etc). At the end of the month, I'l return to work and be there from roughly 730-330 each day (though I will try to get out earlier when I do not teach last period).

So, my question is, any advice on making sure she can spend the day in the crate? I assume just building up the time during the day and continue using positive reinforcement when she voluntarily goes in it for naps?

Also, any advice on if I should crate her at night AND during the work day? Or try letting her loose at night so she doesn't always feel cooped up? I plan to give her about an hour and a half in the morning of feeding/walk/play time...

Sorry if these answers are obvious. I have limited crate experience.

Asked by Livvy on Aug 8th 2014 in Crate Training
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That's a very long time in the crate for a 4 month old cocker spaniel. I would see if I could get someone to let her out or hire a dog walker during the day to break the time up for her. At night if she's housetrained you could let her sleep out of the crate and just put her in the crate in the morning with treats and safe toys.

Member 1049166 answered on 9/11/14. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


That's too long for a puppy to be ethically crated alone, and would be detrimental to potty training as well. They're either going to go in the crate or they're going to hold it and get a UTI.

I would have someone come around 11AM for an hour or two and feed/water her and exercise her.

Before leaving her in the crate for any length of time you should be teaching her that the crate is the best place in the world. Feed her in it. Leave treats randomly in there for her to find.

If she starts whining or barking, take her out and bring her outside to potty, play with her a bit, then bring her back in and give her a kong or toy that she wants to gnaw on and try again.

If she continuously whines or barks she's not ready and is finding the cage to be an aversive environment instead of a safe place, and you need to go back to step one.

I would also suggest going with an escape-proof playpen instead of a crate. Kikopup on youtube has a great video regarding them and using them.

Kira answered on 9/16/14. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think a possible solution to your problem may be to set up a small room such as a washroom or kitchen that you can shut the door on/block exits with a gate then put down puppy pads for the dog. This will allow you to keep her confined so as not destroy your house while allowing her some freedom. If you can afford it pay a neighbor kid to come in at noon or take your lunch break to come home and let her out for a little play time. There are also services that will come to your home and walk your dog and give it a potty break. Doggy day care is also offered in most cities. Your dog CAN stay in a crate for the full time however if you decide to do that when you get home from work you will need to spend a lot of time and energy making up for the dogs confinement with play time exercise and such. It really is not the best solution. I use a crate that is for a great dane to confine my Chihuahua so she can move around and have a puppy pad at the far end.

Member 1078017 answered on 10/24/14. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer