Should you crate train a Golden Retriever? The answer for most people is yes. It serves the purpose of helping with potty training, keeping your puppy out of trouble when you leave the house, and for travel.
If you’ve never owned a puppy before you need to know how to crate train a Golden Retriever puppy. The good news is Goldens are easy to train. The process is going to be very quick!
Choosing The Perfect Crate
Before starting crate training you need to pick the right crate and set it up. Don’t select a crate that fits your puppy now, unless he’s already fully grown. Pick the size of the crate you’ll need for when your puppy has grown into a dog.
Most crates have a divider you can use to create the right space for your puppy and adjust it as he grows. Giving puppy too much space provides room to sleep and soil. Give your puppy enough room to sleep stretched.
Crates for larger dogs like Golden Retrievers are heavy. If you are an Amazon Prime member, get one shipped free to your door before your new puppy arrives or look for free shipping offers.
Follow the instructions to set up your crate and place it in the area you want the puppy to rest and sleep for the first 4 months at home with you. If you can, add a crate mat for some comfort.
My suggestion is this not be in the main drag of the house. A room less busy with quiet time will make this process so easy.
Best Way to Crate Train a Golden Retriever Puppy
From day one the crate must be used for night time sleeping and nap time. Puppies sleep a lot in their early years. Introduce your puppy to his crate, let him sniff around to see what it’s all about.
When it’s time for the first nap of the first day, put puppy inside the crate, close the door and go out of sight. I guarantee you the puppy is going to whine. The minute he does go back and bang your hand firmly on the crate and say no. This is the process you are going to repeat until the whining stops.
No this is not being mean, this is training, setting expectations. For the next nap time, do the same. At night time do the same. By day two your puppy should not whine anymore. He’s a clever little puppy, after all, he’s a Golden Retriever.
Time Spans in The Crate
You must set yourself and your puppy up for success. You have to remember an 8-week old puppy does not have good bladder control yet. He cannot go much more than 30 minutes without needing a potty break. So after half an hour, wake him up and take him right outside. If he wakes up beforehand, take him right outside.
Don’t put him right back in the crate, let him have some playtime inside or outside, a little walk, or just some time exploring his new surroundings. I drink of water should be given.
Crate time can be often in these early months, as he gets older his naps may become longer as his bladder matures. I warn you though Goldens can play for hours! Make sure you control playtime and naptime.
As your puppy gets older you’ll find he takes himself off to his crate to have a nap all by himself.
For most humans, nighttime is 7-8 hours. An 8-week old puppy cannot hold it that long. Create a Golden Retriever puppy schedule for potty breaks. Start with a potty break every 3 hours. Take him out for his last potty break, every night, never miss it. You need him to understand that routine.
This ensures he won’t need to soil his crate, and that’s the primary goal. He does not want to, but if his bladder cannot hold it, he’ll have to.
If your puppy is fast asleep when you go to take him out, make the next night a four-hour routine. That quickly means it’s only one middle of the night potty break. As he gets older slowly increase it to 5 then 6 hours.
This crate training progression actually goes fast, even though getting up at night can be a drag. Before long your puppy is staying in his crate for 8 hours at night. He should be able to do this by 4-5 months old. I’ll tell you from experience girls take longer! Mine took an extra 2 months before you got past her 5 am wake up.
Potty Break Alerts
Once your puppy is 4-5 months old, if you’ve been good at day-time potty training, you’ll realize they find their own way of letting you know they need to go out. I have one that whines, one grunts, and my girl comes to find me and pushes me with her paws. If I am not where she is, she’ll whine or bark.
House trained puppies will do the same when in their crate at night. Don’t ignore it! They really may need to go or have an upset tummy. Even if you think they don’t actually need to go potty, it’s not worth the risk that they do. This is the final stage for your nighttime routine. Once you are close to normal waking up time, let your puppy alert you if he needs to go out.
It should not take very long to crate train a puppy. Most of mine were fine on the first night. Older dogs may need more help, especially if they’ve been with Mom too long, or had previous experiences that might affect it. Patience wins the day.
- I suggest giving a final drink at 8 pm, or two hours before you go to bed.
- Remember what goes in must come out so hot days and heavy drinking means more potty breaks!
- Don’t put a young puppy in his crate right after eating. Eating triggers his poop to come!
- Engage a routine of using your crate when you leave the house, even for 15 minutes. He gets used to it fast.
- Crates can also be used for safe transport if they fit in your vehicle.
- Don’t forget to expend the space in your crate as your puppy grows.
- Keep your crate if not being used. Store it away. You may need it if your puppy gets sick and needs to be confined again.
How long do you crate train a Golden Retriever puppy for? This depends. If you go to work you may want to confine him while you are out of the house. This choice is entirely yours. I certainly recommend it in the first year.
Consider what your puppy does while you are at home and not looking. Heavy chewers may trash a rug or chair if he exhibits the behavior. Confinement can prevent this.
My Golden Retrievers all spent the first 5-6 months in their crate at night after coming home. At that age, we just confined them to one room if I go out and at night. (It’s just a bigger crate in their eyes, it has a baby gate to keep them in.) They only roam the house when someone is home.