Last Updated on December, 2023
Introducing your beloved dog to a crate is a valuable training tool that provides them with a safe and secure space. However, as your furry friend grows and matures, there comes a time when transitioning them out of the crate becomes necessary.
This crucial step in their development allows them to enjoy more freedom and become an integrated part of your family.
But how do you navigate this process smoothly and successfully?
In this article, we will explore effective techniques and considerations to help you transition your dog out of the crate with confidence, ensuring a harmonious and happy environment for both you and your four-legged companion.
Start by observing your dog’s behavior to know when it is ready to transition out of its crate.
Puppy proof the area and start out with short periods of time out of the crate, increasing based on the dog’s reactions.
Crate training should not be used as punishment, but as a safe space for your dog to feel secure. Transitioning your dog out of the crate requires patience and consistency so they can become an integrated part of the family.
Table of Contents
- When to Start Transitioning the Dog Out of the Crate?
- Why Should You Train Your Dog to Be Out of the Crate?
- How to Transition Your Dog Out of the Crate?
- Supplies You’ll Need During the Transitioning Process
- Factors to Consider When Leaving Your Dog Out of the Crate in the Day
When to Start Transitioning the Dog Out of the Crate?
There’s no exact time frame for this. Best is to observe your dog’s behavior so you can know when’s the right time to start. Here are a bunch of things to look for:
#1: Does Your Dog Listen to You?
If your dog has been around for a while now, it will likely understand you (to a certain extent, at least). But does it REALLY listen to you? Does he follow your commands?
Dogs obey their leader by nature. So if you are a good leader (master), it is likely to respond to your verbal cue.
THIS is why you were successful in crate training. And THIS is how you will also train your pup out of the crate.
So have faith. You can do this!
#2: How Does Your Dog Behave Around Family/ Guests?
It’s natural for dogs to be excited at guests, no matter how old they are. However, this should not be the case every time your kid walks into your shared space or when your mom (who lives two blocks away) visits you every other day.
Free roaming may not be a good move if there is too much excitement around a familiar face or whenever the doorbell rings.
#3: Does Your Pup Still Have House Training Issues?
If your dog is still prone to having little accidents, you may have to put off the out-of-crate transition for now.
Some dog owners let their dogs/ puppies out every ½ hour. If you are one of them, your puppy may not be ready just yet. Teaching your dog how to hold its bladder is vital.
Make sure your dog is potty trained before you open that crate door; cos, let’s be honest, professional carpet/ sofa cleaning is not cheap.
#4: Does Your Dog Have a Good Idea of What to Chew?
Chew bones and other chew toys are great, but shoes and newspapers – nuh-uh!
You can monitor what your dog prefers to chew. Be firm when telling your dog what items are a – no, no!
When is a Puppy Ready to Sleep Out of the Crate?
However, this, again, depends on whether your puppy has the following:
- Completed toilet training
- Completed crate training
- Healthy sleeping habits (sleeps overnight)
- Chewing habits under control (past the teething phase)
And lastly, on your part, how confident are you to leave the crate door open overnight?
Why Should You Train Your Dog to Be Out of the Crate?
As a dog owner, your ultimate goal is to make your pet a part of the family. The sooner, the better. This special bonding requires giving your pup total freedom around your house.
Don’t forget, the crate is their safe space, but deep down, we all know every being deserves to be free, right? And maybe it is time to give that freedom to your dog.
But by doing that, what if you give him too much space?
Picture this: a dog, given sudden freedom, OUT of his CRATE, OUT of the BLUE?
Remember what happened the last time you accidentally LEFT THE CRATE DOOR OPEN?
This is why we tell you that training your dog to be out of its crate is a total process.
We start small – gradually increase (take your time), then go all the way and, Voila! Your well-behaved dog will make others want them to have one of their own!
Let’s get started
How to Transition Your Dog Out of the Crate?
Do you remember the hours you spent giving your dog crate training? You’ll have to go through a similar process all over again. But, hey! We promise you; it will all be worth it in the end.
Okay, first things first…
- Puppy Proof
Make sure you’ve paid enough attention to puppy proofing. All unnecessary distractions such as; food items, shoes, kids’ toys, or household waste should be removed.
The purpose here is not to give any access to the wrong kind of chewable, so you and your dog can stay out of trouble.
It won’t be a pleasant experience having to take away something they’re not supposed to be chewing on. Got experience? That’s why it’s at the top of the list!
- Choose a Safe Spot to Start
We recommend – the kitchen!
Why? You ask…
Well, it’s a place where you are allowed to make a mess! You can always clean once done, and it’s much easier without the sofas and carpets!
- Start slow
Next, you can allow your dog out of the crate but remember not to do so for too long at the beginning. After spending long hours within the comfort zone of the crate, too much space might overwhelm the puppy.
So we start with short periods of time and slowly increase from there onwards. Give it 10 – 15 minutes per session at the start and see how it goes. If time increases result in negative behavior, be prepared to backtrack your process.
- Remove Tempting Items and Provide Tools that Help
This point was probably covered in the puppy proofing; nevertheless, once the trigger items are stored elsewhere safely, give them other reasons to hang out and calm down.
You can put the dog bed out of the crate or have a second bed in the kitchen with some familiar toys. This might calm the nerves and help settle down your dog/ puppy.
- Use Barricades if Needed