While training can be easier for younger dogs, if you go about it correctly, you can train dogs at all ages to feel comfortable in their crate.
Luckily, you're not too late: Dogs can be crate trained at any age.
It's never too late to start dog training
In fact - as your dog ages it's important for his or her physical and mental health that they have good manners.
Is it possible to crate train an older dog? There is no reason an older dog cannot be crate trained, even if they've lived their entire lives without any crate exposure. The key is to move slowly.
Crate Training Expectations: Crying is Normal At First
With young puppies, crate training generally takes several weeks. Most puppies under the age of about 16 or 20 weeks (4-5 months) won't be able to stand being in the crate for more than a short period of time — typically no more than a few hours.
You may be asking yourself, “Is my dog too old to train?” Despite popular belief, you can teach an old dog new tricks. If you're wondering when it's too late to train a dog, the answer is never! Training a dog as an adult can be beneficial in some ways — he may be less distractible and energetic than he was as a puppy.
Approximately 35% of owners and trainers voted 8-9 months as the toughest age citing new challenging behaviors associated with their puppy's now larger size such as pulling on the leash or counter-surfing.
At this age your pup should know all their basic commands, recognize their name, and have a firm grasp on their potty training, crate training, and social manners. Now's the time to stay consistent and keep practicing commands and training.
6 Months Old
Puppies are entering the adolescence stage by this point, and it is the most difficult stage to start training at. That is why it is important to start training them as young as possible!
Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking. Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot.
Establish a bedtime routine for your puppy to encourage a restful night's sleep. This should include their evening meal a few hours before bedtime, some time to chew on an appropriate toy for decompression, multiple potty breaks to make sure they are running on empty, and then a calm entrance into the crate for sleep.
A few accidents when your puppy's been in the crate for too long is not a cause for concern. Also, most every puppy has an occasional upset stomach, which can result in crate soiling. Unless the pup is making it a frequent habit to eliminate in the crate, there's no cause for concern. Accidents happen.
If your puppy is urinating in their crate, it's likely that they're being left in there for too long. When crate training, it's vital to properly introduce your pet to their crate. Instead of forcing them into the crate, reward them every time they go into the crate so they can have a positive experience with it.
This is based on an average of two walks per day. For example, a four-month-old puppy can be walked for 20 minutes, twice a day, while a seven-month-old puppy can be walked for 35 minutes, twice a day.
Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months.
Opt to give your pup some crate or playpen time to help them calm down, or you can choose to redirect that energy into good, by giving them something productive to do and actively working them through it, like practicing some on-leash training routines.
Undesirable behaviours such as barking, chewing, counter surfing, house-soiling and jumping up commonly begin to occur at around 3-6 months of age.
Puppies go through phases, some owners may find things get easier once they have been potty trained, others may not find things improve until their pup starts to mature at 18 months+. There are a lot of variables, including your dog's personality, breed, your approach to training, and whether you can meet their needs.
When do puppies start to calm down? Most puppies start to calm down as they approach their maturity age, which is usually around 12 months, but for larger breeds it can be more likely to occur between 18 months and 2 years.
From 3-6 months, they should not be left longer than their age in months (for example, 3-month-old puppies cannot be alone for longer than 3 hours). If possible, dogs older than 6 months should not be left alone for longer than 4 hours at a time.
You need an incentive to encourage your dog to come back - a really tasty treat or a fun game with a toy. Show your dog the toy or food. Run away a couple of paces then call your dog's name and say "come" in a friendly, exciting tone - getting down low can also encourage them to come back.
When is a puppy fully grown? A puppy is fully grown once they've reached maturity and their bones are fully developed. This can be anywhere between 8 months and 24 months, depending on the dog breed.
If he does whine or cry in the crate, it's imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he'll keep doing it.
A crate cover, like a blanket or crate-specific covering, can be beneficial to many dogs and can help reduce anxiety and soothe dogs by limiting visual stimuli, which in turn can prevent excitement and barking.