Your Labrador: Crates and Crate Training

crates and crate training

In this article we are going to look at why dog crates and crate training are growing in popularity, what they are used for and point you in the right direction for finding out more with some useful links to in-depth articles.

Dog crates and cages can be surprisingly controversial!

Some loath them, some love them.

Some think that they are downright cruel, and would not dream of caging their beloved Labrador

We get to the bottom of the the crate and cage debate in this crate training resource centre.

The Rising Popularity Of Dog Crates

More and more dog owners are buying a crate for their new puppies.

Every time we post an article on crate training on The Labrador Site, we have three different types of comment.

  • Questions
  • Objections
  • Support

We often get questions from people that need help with crate training.  They might be unsure how long they should leave their puppy in a crate.

Or are wondering how to encourage their dog to go into the crate of his own accord.

your labrador - crates and crate trainingWe also have objections – comments from those who think dog crates are instruments of torture!

Don’t forget that for many of us older folk, crates are a relatively new invention.

And some people feel very uncomfortable about the sight of a dog behind bars.

I think it is important that we look at and address the concerns of those who feel crates may be harmful to our dogs.

Finally  we get many comments from people for whom a dog crate has been a life saver.

Careful intervention with a crate can save destructive dogs from a one-way ticket to the pound, speed up housetraining, and give puppies a peaceful haven in busy homes, especially where there are small children.

Obviously it is important to consider all aspects of crate use, and you’ll find articles on this website that do just that.

Proper Use Of Dog Crates

Despite the reservations of many of us who grew up in the years before dog crates existed, there is no doubt that crates are widely used nowadays, and are here to stay.

There is also no doubt that there are benefits to the appropriate use of dog crates for many dogs, and disadvantages to the inappropriate use of a crate.

If we are going to crate our dogs it is clearly important that we do so without causing physical or mental harm or distress to our furry friends.

And the information on this website is aimed at ensuring dog crates are only used in a caring and sensible way, and to the benefit of our Labradors and their families.

A Crate Training Resource

This page brings together all our crate training links in one central resource, and we hope you’ll find it helpful.

Here you can find out how dogs feel about crates, and how some people feel about crates.  We address valid concerns about the potential for abusing the use of a crate, show you how to use a crate kindly, and much more.

When And How To Crate Train

We look at family situations where a crate is a bad idea,  and situations where a crate can really help.

We show you how to use crating to help with house-training, how to teach your dog to go happily into his crate and how to make sure that your dog is never distressed or harmed by being crate trained.

Articles On Crate Training

It’s all here, so check it out!

Each of these links takes you to an article on a particular aspect of using and choosing dog crates for Labradors at various stages in their lives.

Enjoy the articles and feel free to add your comments.  You can also join us in the forum to discuss crates, crate training, and all other aspects of raising and caring for Labrador Retrievers

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. In the last 30 years, I have had 7 labs and used a crate for all but one of them. Used correctly, it can be a good thing. All 6 of my dogs loved their crates and would often be found in them napping.

  2. My boy loved his crate until he was about 2 years old. Over a few weeks he got more and more stubborn about not wanting to go to bed. By this age he had the run of the house at most times during the day, had stopped chewing anything other than chew toys so packed it away. We are not sure why he didn’t want to go in anymore, it was summer and he may have preferred to move around a bit more to keep cooler.

  3. My 5 1/2 year old lab is facing possible hip replacement surgery due hip dysplasia. This has been a total shock as never displayed the classic signs just a sore back. He was 3 when I got him and I’ve no idea if he’s ever been in a crate. How do I get an older dog used to a crate and what can I do to help him recover from surgery and get him back to his old self

  4. My 5 month old pup LOVES his crate! And has done since day one. When we are out he goes in there, for no longer than 4 hrs. But it has become his little safe spot, we leave the door to his crate open when were home and he likes to nap in there, if he gets spooked (by the vacuum lol) he will go right to his crate! I think the key is to make it a happy place for them, never put him in the crate for being bad! Good luck!