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Everything that I've read on housebreaking and training says how important and beneficial it is to crate train your new puppy. But it also seems to have a lot to do with working pet owners. My question is, how does crate training work for a stay at home family? When would we crate him? And how does the crate come in to play if ultimately, we'd like our puppy to be able to have free range in the home?

Right now our puppy lives in a 6 sided exercise pen in the middle of our living room (with resilient flooring). So far potty training isn't going well, though I know it's only been a week, but I'm starting to wonder if crate training would help?

Thanks!
 

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I think crate training is always a great and important thing to teach. Even if you won't use it a lot in the future, you never know if your dog may get injured or need surgery and need crate rest. And that's not a time you want to have to crate train. And also, it could help a lot with potty training. Some dogs just can't learn to hold it very well without a crate.
 

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I'm home all day, every day with both of my guys. They were still both crate trained, and every day I put them in their crates for about an hour so I can do whatever I need to do (usually work out) without them bugging me. :p

I'm a huge believer in crate training! I think it helps out a ton with potty training.
 

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Hi. As you know, our set-up is similar to yours. My husband is home on Wednesdays and we still follow our same routine as the days no one is home. Jasper gets put in the crate in a room with the door closed at 8:30 am so my husband can be home but not walk by the puppy a million times. It's been working well. I will also crate him if I need to leave the house for anything. Like yesterday I decided not to bring him to pick my son up from school b/c I wanted to run a quick errand afterwards, so I took him out to pee, then crated him from 3-4:15. It's a safe way to keep them out of trouble and also reinforce holding their pee/poop. AND, I have learned that it is good for my sanity to be able to LEAVE for an hour or two without him and know he is safe and I won;t come home to a mess. For sizing, you want him to be able to stand up completely, turn around, and be able to lie down comfortably. I have a 24" and Jasper does fine in it (6 pound puppy). I leave him with a couple chew toys and his blanket.
 

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I stay at home, too. The puppy is in his crate at night and if we leave the house. Sometimes I'll put him in there for an hour if I need to get things done around the house and can't watch him. A lot of times he chooses to nap in there on his own. Eventually I'd like him to have free run of the house like our other dog but it's nice to know that he'll be okay if he ever needs to be crated.
 

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Excellent points! I hadn't thought about possibly needing to use a crate in the future!

We picked up a small crate yesterday afternoon and I set it up in his excerise pen without the door attached. I put his self warming bed pad inside with a kong and a new chew toy and let him just wander in and out for the rest of the day. He seemed mostly comfortable with it, so I put the door on and once I noticed he was all the way inside, I gently closed the door. He stayed in happily for a few minutes and then I let him out. We continued like that most of the evening. Toward bedtime, I was reading to the kids on the couch and he went inside the crate on his own and went to sleep. I was able to close the door without even a peep from him and he slept soundly all night! I wasn't sure how it would work out, but he seems to like it and I'm really hoping it'll help with potty training. I'm paranoid about him going potty inside, but I'm watching him like a hawk!

Thank you!
 
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