How to Stop Using a Dog Crate

Looking to get your dog to be more open and friendly? Worried that staying in the safety of their cage is making them less social, more fearful, and keeping them from developing normally?

Well, no worries, because in this article we’re going to answer all the questions you have, and we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about how to stop using a dog crate.

How to Get Your  Dog to Stop Using a Crate

How to Stop Using a Dog Crate

To get your dog to stop using a crate, you’ll need to transition them out slowly while also addressing their security issues which is making them want to stay there. Remember that we talked about doing things like leaving the crate door open, and putting the crate in a closed-off room. These will both go a long way.

You’ll still, however, need to work on what has been causing them to want to stay in their crate. While it’s normal for dogs to want a sense of security, if they’re refusing to come out or retreating into the crate anytime the slightest bit of worry for them pops up — you have an issue.

Neglecting your dog’s need to be in the crate too much will only lead to the problem growing and multiplying into further issues. Soon, they could be doing things like barking whenever you leave, chewing things up around the house, peeing inside, and more (if they’re not already).

“Okay, so what am I supposed to be doing then?”

Well, let’s think about why your dog might be being fearful first. You’ve probably heard before that all dogs are pack animals and that in every pack there is a pack leader. One of the leader’s responsibilities is to look after and protect the other members of the pack.

When your dog is spending too much time in the crate and showing other signs of fear/stress, they are essentially saying to you that they don’t trust you as their pack leader. They don’t feel that you can keep them safe from whatever is out there, so they retreat to the little safety they feel like they have.

Show your dog that you are not only their pack leader, but a capable one, and you’ll end all their fears and worries — and they’ll stop spending excessive amounts of time in their crate too.

“Perfect. But how do I do that?”

I’d recommend an excellent free video series that’s on just that subject — how to be your dog’s pack leader — by a renowned trainer named Dan. And don’t worry, because he loves dogs just as much as we do, so you won’t ever have to be mean or even raise your voice.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. Never done anything like this before? No problem, because his videos are made exactly for people like you. He explains everything so that it’s easy really to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so you’ll start seeing results before you know it.

At What Age Do You Stop Using a Dog Crate?

The age you stop using a dog crate has no perfect answer, as it is going to vary depending on the individual dog’s personality and development. However, most experts agree that puppies should not be crated for more than three or four hours at a time. Remember that dogs are cursorial mammals, meaning that have developed specifically to run.

Once your pup has reached adulthood, you can gradually lengthen the amount of time they spend outside of the crate until they are eventually able to stay out of it altogether. In the meantime, however, you should keep things cozy and ensure that the crate is plenty large for your growing pup!

Signs Your Dog Is Ready to Stop Using the Crate

There are several signs that your dog is ready to stop using the crate. These include marking in the house, chewing on furniture or tearing things up around the home, whining or barking incessantly when confined, and excessively scratching or digging at their crate.

If you notice any of these behaviors, it’s probably time to start transitioning your dog out of the crate for good. Don’t hesitate as their frustrations will only grow out and they could start lashing out at any people or other dogs they interact with.

When Can I Stop Crating My Dog at Night?

When you can stop crating your dog at night will vary depending on the individual dog, but most are ready to be weaned off their crate no later than two years old. By then, you can likely trust that they’re ready to have more open space and freedom without feeling unsafe or getting into trouble.

How Do I Transition My Dog Out Of the Crate?

How to transition your dog out of the crate has no one-size-fits-all answer, as each dog will respond differently to moving out of the crate and will need slightly different approaches. However, a good way to get started with things is by leaving the door to the crate open and gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends outside it.

If your dog seems hesitant or anxious about being in an open space, you can begin by placing them with their crate in a room with closed doors. Leave the crate door open, but the door to the room closed so they can get used to having more space, but still having some safety. You can then begin slowly easing them out into other parts of the house, along with their crate.

I’m sure you’re eager to implement all this advice on how to stop using a dog crate, so I’ll let you get started. Soon, your dog will be freer and less fearful and you’ll be able to enjoy life together to its fullest extent. Good luck with everything and thanks for reading our article  “How to Stop Using a Dog Crate!”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.