How long is it normal to crate the dog throughout the day?

asked 2016-08-30 22:26:19 -0600

I am taking care of a 4 month old puppy right now and the owner never told me that he is crate training. She never said that the amount of time spent in the crate is not optional. She basically crates him overnight (8h), when she works (8-9h) and other 2-3h in the evening. That makes a total of about 19-20h a day. The crate measures 9x17, as she put a divider on it. I think this is way too much time in a way too little space. How long is normal to have a dog crated out of 24h?

PS: The pup is staying with me for 7 more days

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answered 2016-08-30 22:32:14 -0600

That seems excessive. I have heard that as a general rule of thumb, you can crate a puppy for an equivalent amount of hours as they are months old, so 4 hours in your situation. I can understand crating a puppy while she is at work to minimize destructive behaviors, such as chewing, when the puppy cannot be monitored, but expecting anything over 6-8 hours for a puppy without accidents is a lot to ask. Has he been doing well with the crate?

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I crated him that last night and he did whine a little, but he did good. I am home most days, and I just don't feel comfortable having him crated 20 hours throughout the day. I have seen that guide, but I don't find anything about how long they can be crated IN TOTAL.

Maitane Z.'s profile image Maitane Z.  ( 2016-08-31 06:14:33 -0600 ) edit

I totally understand the crating when she's not at the house, but it shocks me the total amount of time.

Maitane Z.'s profile image Maitane Z.  ( 2016-08-31 06:15:00 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-11-29 14:48:14 -0600

Crate training is the best way to potty train, but it is detrimental to keep them crated for extending periods of time. Dogs should not be crated for more than 4 consecutive hours (except for night time, when they are sleeping). Even if the dog has to be crated for that long, you need to let him out to stretch his legs, take his potty break, run around a little bit, and then put him back with a busy bone chew, or a rawhide.
The total number of hours is really hard to pin down, but the breaks and time out of the crate should total at least 5 hours.

All of that being said....if you're home with the dog, and are willing to supervise and potentially clean up any "accidents", I say go ahead and let him out!

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