Golden Retriever Crate Training: How to Do it the Right Way

Crate training is a popular and effective method for providing your furry friend with a safe and secure environment. 

In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about crate training your Golden Retriever, from the benefits of crate training to training tips and tricks.

So, let’s get started on creating a positive and effective crate training experience for your Golden Retriever!

Key Takeaways

  • Crate training can help you provide a safe and comfortable environment for your Golden Retriever.
  • Avoid rushing the crate training process to ensure your dog feels comfortable and secure.
  • Please do not use the crate as a punishment or leave your dog in it for extended periods.
  • Crate training can be more effective and enjoyable for your dog if you use consistency, positive reinforcement, treats, and toys.

How To Crate Train Your Golden Retriever

Step 1: Allow your puppy to explore the crate with the door open. Make it more comfortable by providing toys, blankets, and treats. Please don’t force your puppy inside; reward them when they do.

Step 2: Once your pup is at ease, close the door and bring toys and treats inside. Keep an eye on them and let them out if they become distressed.

Step 3: Increase the time your puppy spends in the crate with the door closed gradually, and step away from the crate while they are distracted.

Step 4: Extend the time you are away from the crate. Begin with short walks outside, and use a pet camera to observe your pup’s behavior.

Selecting The Right Crate Size

To ensure your Golden Retriever is comfortable and has enough space in their crate, you need to measure them accurately. Golden Retrievers will typically grow to by 20 to 24 inches tall and up to 75 lbs, so you need to make sure to get them the right size crate. 

Follow these steps to determine the size of your dog: 

1.Measure the height of your Golden Retriever: 

  • Have your dog stand up straight, Measure from the floor to the top of their shoulder blades. 
  • Add around 2-4 inches to this measurement to determine the minimum height for the crate. 

2. Measure the length of your dog from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail.

  • Remember to add 2 to 4 inches to the measurement. 

3. Measure their width by having your Golden Retriever standing with their legs slightly apart.     

  • Focus your attention on the widest part of their body, which tends to be the chest area. Once again, always add up to 4 inches to the figure. 

4. Finally, you want to consider the age of your Golden Retriever. 

  • For example, if you have a puppy, keep in mind that they will grow rapidly. 
  • You may want to choose a crate that will work for their adult size or opt for an adjustable crate with dividers, so you can gradually increase the space as they grow. 
  • Your Golden Retriever puppy will rapidly outgrow a nice crate that is not suited for an adult size. 

Now that you have all the measurements, you can refer to this Crate Size Calculator to find out the right and best dog crate size for your golden retriever. 

What Is Crate Training?

Crate training is the process of teaching a dog to accept a crate as a familiar and safe location. This method uses the dog’s natural instinct as a den animal. When done correctly, the crate becomes a dog’s personal space or “den,” where they feel secure and comfortable. 

It’s commonly used for house training puppies, creating boundaries in the household, and safely transporting dogs.

Why Crate Train Your Dog

Crate training can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog. Here are some of the reasons:

  • House training: Using a crate, you can help your dog learn where and when to go potty. This will make house training more effortless and less stressful for both of you.
  • Safe space: A crate can be a relaxing and safe place for your dog to relax and sleep. It can also help keep your dog out of a mess by preventing them from chewing on inappropriate items or getting into dangerous substances.
  • Traveling: Whether driving or flying across the country, a crate can help keep your dog safe and comfortable. Additionally, many hotels and other accommodations allow crate-trained dogs.
  • Separation anxiety: A crate can provide security and comfort if your dog gets anxious when you leave. Knowing they have a safe place to go can help alleviate their anxiety and make their time away from home less stressful.

Overall, crate training is an excellent way to provide your dog with a secure and comfortable environment to call their own.

Best Age To Crate Train Your Golden Retriever

Crate training your Golden Retriever should begin when they are puppies, between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. You should start crate training your puppy when you bring them home. However, with patience and positive reinforcement, an older dog can be trained to use a crate.

Crate training can be a helpful way to provide a safe and comfortable space for your Golden Retriever to rest and relax, but it should never be used as a form of punishment or confinement.

When done responsibly and positively, crate training can be a positive and effective method for you and your Golden Retriever.

How Long Does It Take To Crate Train Your Golden Retriever?

Crate training your Golden Retriever can take a few days to weeks, depending on your dog’s age and personality. However, with time, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can help your dog get used to his crate.

Add treats, toys, and blankets to the crate to make it more inviting. Increasing the time your dog spends in the crate gradually is crucial.

Remember that crate training should be enjoyable for you and your Golden Retriever. You can quickly make your furry friend feel safe and secure in their crate with a little effort!

Benefits Of Crate Training Your Golden Retriever

Crate training can be super helpful for your furry friend and offer them a bunch of benefits, such as:

  • Prevents Destructive Behavior: By giving your Golden Retriever a cozy and secure space, crate training can prevent them from chewing, digging, or scratching on household items.
  • Prevents Separation Anxiety: Crate training can be a great way to ease your Golden Retriever’s anxiety when left alone by providing them with a familiar and safe space that they associate with positive experiences.
  • Potty Training: Crate training can teach your Golden Retriever to associate the crate with their den, making it easier to hold their bladder and bowels until you take them outside.
  • Keeps Them Safe From Swallowing Things: When your Golden Retriever is in a crate, it can’t accidentally swallow dangerous objects that might be lying around your home.
  • Prepares Them For Travel: If you need to take your Golden Retriever on a trip, crate training can help them feel comfortable and secure while in transit.

Crate training is a great way to help your Golden Retriever feel safe, secure, and comfortable while preventing destructive behavior and keeping them healthy and happy.

How Long Should Your Dog Stay In The Crate?

The answer depends on the dog’s age and specific circumstances. Here’s a breakdown:

Puppies: Generally, the age of the puppy in months plus one is the number of hours they can stay in a crate without a break. For instance:

  • 2 months old: Up to 3 hours
  • 3 months old: Up to 4 hours
  • Puppies shouldn’t be crated for longer than this without a bathroom break.

Adult dogs: They can handle up to 8 hours in a crate, ideally with a break in the middle. However, it’s best not to make this a daily routine.

Overnight: Many dogs can stay in a crate overnight without issues. Ensure they’ve had ample opportunity to relieve themselves before bedtime.

Special Situations: If your dog is sick or injured, crate duration might need to be adjusted based on your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Always ensure that any time in the crate is a positive experience for the dog, supplemented by regular breaks, exercise, and playtime outside of the crate.

Transitioning From Crate Training To Allowing The Dog More Freedom In The House

As your furry friend grows and becomes more comfortable in their crate,the next step is to integrate them seamlessly into household freedom. The shift is a delicate balance of patience, supervision, and positive reinforcement. Here’s a structured guide to achieve this:

1. Gradual Exploration

  • Start by letting your dog explore a restricted, safe space under supervision.
  • As comfort grows, extend the time they spend outside the crate.

2. Monitor and Supervise

  • Observe your dog closely during early freedom stages to prevent accidents or mischief.
  • Ensure your home is dog-proofed to minimize potential hazards.

3. Essential Amenities

  • Keep their water bowl accessible.
  • Designate a comfortable resting spot outside the crate.

4. Positive Reinforcement

  • Reward good behavior with treats or praise.
  • This encourages adherence to house rules and reinforces desired behavior.

5. Patience and Individual Pace

  • Recognize that each dog’s adjustment speed varies.
  • Display patience and affection throughout their transition.

With time and consistent guidance, your furry friend will seamlessly integrate into the household, striking a balance between freedom and behavior.

Mistakes To Avoid When Crate Training Your Golden Retriever

Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when crate training your Golden Retriever:

  • Don’t Rush Crate Training: Take your time with crate training, and do not rush it. Before leaving your dog alone in the crate, be patient and make sure your furry friend is comfortable and safe.
  • Don’t Use The Crate As a Punishment: Do not use your dog’s crate as a form of punishment. For them, the crate should be a positive and safe space, and associating it with negative experiences can cause anxiety and fear.
  • Don’t Place Your Dog In The Crate For Extended Periods Of Time: Avoid leaving your pup in a crate for long periods. While some time in the crate is acceptable, providing sufficient opportunities for exercise, socialization, and bathroom breaks throughout the day is essential.

Tips and Tricks In Crate Training

  • Be Consistent: Consistency is key! Maintain a consistent routine and use the same commands each time you place your dog in the crate.
  • Use Toys And Treats: Place toys and treats inside the crate to entice your dog to enter. This will make the crate a more positive and enjoyable environment for them to be in.
  • Making Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise Throughout the Day: Ensure that your furry friend receives appropriate exercise throughout the day: a tired dog is happy. Ensure your pup gets enough exercise and playtime throughout the day, so your furry companion can relax in the crate when the time comes.
  • Get Them To Love The Crate: Encourage your dog to love the crate by placing your dog’s favorite blanket or toy inside the crate and gradually increasing the amount of time they spend in it.

FAQs About Crate Training

How can I tell if my golden retriever is too stressed in the crate?

Excessive whining, barking, panting, and restlessness are all signs of stress in a Golden Retriever. If your furry friend exhibits these behaviors in the crate, they may be too stressed.

Can I use a crate for my adult golden retriever?

Yes, as long as it is appropriately sized and they are comfortable in it, you can use a crate for your adult Golden Retriever.

Can you leave a puppy crying in the crate?

Leaving a crying puppy in the crate is not recommended because it can cause separation anxiety and other behavioral problems. Instead, it is critical to gradually acclimate them to the crate and create a positive and comfortable environment.

Should you put a blanket over a dog crate?

Yes, draping a blanket over a dog crate can provide a sense of security and darkness, but ensure proper ventilation is maintained.

What age is too late to train a puppy?

While it’s ideal to start training puppies early, it’s never too late; older dogs can still learn with consistent training.

Galen has been connecting quality Golden Retriever breeders with loving families since 2012 and is the founder of My Golden Retriever Puppies. He and his wife have four children and love spending time together, traveling (lived oversees for 4 years), enjoying the outdoors and connecting Golden families.