How long is too long?

When crating our dogs, there are a few factors to consider; age, comfort level, bladder control, and training. 

Puppies need to go out far more frequently, as do dogs with limited bladder control. We also have to take into consideration how long they are being isolated. Isolation of social creatures can be detrimental to their development.

As they get older (and have completed their Crate-ivity course) they can tolerate longer periods of time.  

Here is a chart that may be useful: 

AGE

DURATION

​2 mo (8 weeks)

​3 hr

​3 mo (12 weeks)

​4 hr

​4 mo (16 weeks)

​5 hr

​5 mo (20 weeks)

​6 hr max

​I generally suggest dogs 6 months of age and older are only crated for a max of 4 hours at a time with significant opportunities for exercise, elimination, and socialisation. This may require a professional dog walker to assist in a regular workday.  

No longer is 8+ hours in a crate acceptable* – we cannot expect our dogs to be isolated and forced to hold their bladder/bowels for this length of time. Could you do it? I doubt it very much! 

We don’t want to cause house-training issues, isolation distress, and destructive behaviour among other things! Let’s enrich their environment

*Caveat: overnight crating is different – we generally expect 8 hours (except for required potty breaks for puppies, older dogs, or ill dogs). Doesn’t that put into perspective how long they are crated during the day? Consider the accumulated crate-time in 24 hours and really consider their enrichment. They are animals, after all!