Crate Training an Australian Shepherd: Effective Tips for Happy Pups

Crate training your Australian Shepherd is invaluable for you and your dog. It provides safety, aids in housebreaking, and minimizes unwanted behaviors. By building a positive relationship with the crate, your Aussie sees it as their cozy den for rest and relaxation.

Starting crate training early helps them adjust to boundaries. Patience and consistency are key to a successful experience. Use dividers, choose the right crate size, and follow scheduling guidelines to ensure their comfort.

With perseverance, crate training makes life as a dog owner smoother and leads to a happy, well-adjusted dog.

The Importance of Crate Training

australian shepherd kennel  

Crate training your Australian Shepherd is an essential part of their upbringing and development. This process not only helps manage their energy levels and natural instincts, but also provides them with a safe and secure space they can call their own.

Benefits of Crate Training

There are several key benefits to crate training your Australian Shepherd:

  • Safety: A crate provides a secure spot for your dog when you aren’t around to supervise them. This helps prevent accidents, injuries, and damage to your home.
  • House Training: Having a designated crate helps your dog understand where they should relieve themselves, leading to quicker house-training.
  • Prevention of Destructive Behavior: Crate training can help prevent destructive behaviors by giving your dog a confined area to relax and feel secure.
  • Ease of Travel: A well-trained dog will feel comfortable in their crate, making it easier to transport them during trips.

The Process of Crate Training

Take your time when crate training your Australian Shepherd to ensure its long-term success. Follow these steps to create a positive experience for your dog:

  1. Select the right crate size: Choose a crate that’s big enough for your dog to turn around in and not feel cramped.
  2. Introduce the crate: Familiarize your dog with the crate. Place it in a common area and encourage them to explore it by placing treats or toys inside.
  3. Establish a routine: Establish a routine that involves feeding your dog in the crate and gradually increasing the time they spend inside.
  4. Praise and reward: Encourage your dog to enter the crate voluntarily by offering praise and rewards each time they do so.
  5. Gradually increase crate time: Increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate, starting with short intervals and working up to longer periods.
  6. Use the Crate Purposefully: Utilize the crate when you’re away, bedtime and during travel to establish consistency.

By following these steps and maintaining a positive, patient attitude, your Australian Shepherd will come to appreciate their crate as a safe haven and integral part of their daily routine. Remember to keep the crate-training experience positive, and your dog will soon thrive in their new environment.

Understanding Your Australian Shepherd’s Behavior

crate training australian shepherd

As you begin crate training your Australian Shepherd, you should understand their behavior and unique characteristics. Australian Shepherds are intelligent, energetic dogs who love having a job to do and crave mental stimulation. By understanding their behavior, you can tailor your crate training techniques to suit their needs.

Your Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent breed, and they learn quickly. Use positive reinforcement and consistency in your training methods to keep them engaged and eager to learn. This will help to build a strong bond of trust and keep your dog attentive to your cues.

Keep in mind that Australian Shepherds are also energetic dogs that require physical exercise to stay healthy and happy. Make sure to provide ample playtime and physical activity before and after crate training sessions. This will help them release energy, making them more willing to relax inside the crate.

Finally, remember that every Australian Shepherd’s temperament may vary due to factors like upbringing and genetics. So, it’s important to observe your dog’s specific cues and signals to better understand their behavior. This will help you adjust your crate training program to suit their unique needs and ensure a more successful outcome.

Choosing the Right Crate

crate training australian shepherd in kennels

When crate training your Australian Shepherd, a crucial aspect to consider is selecting the appropriate crate. A suitable crate ensures your dog has enough space to move and feel comfortable.

To determine the right size, ensure the crate is big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. A useful tip is to measure your dog’s length from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail as well as their height when standing. Then, add a few inches to these measurements to get the recommended crate size.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right crate for your Australian Shepherd:

  • Material: Crates come in various materials such as wire, plastic, or fabric. Wire crates are ideal for providing proper ventilation and visibility for your dog. Plastic crates offer more privacy and are lighter for portability, while fabric crates are foldable and easy to store.
  • Divider panel: Look for crates that include a divider panel. This allows you to adjust the living area size as your puppy grows, ensuring they have appropriate space at all stages of their development.
  • Accessibility: Ensure the crate’s door or doors can be easily opened and securely closed. Multiple doors can make it more convenient for you and your dog to access the crate, especially if you have limited space.
  • Safety: Prioritize a crate with smooth edges and no sharp elements to prevent any harm or discomfort to your Australian Shepherd.

Creating a Comfort Zone in the Crate

Creating a comfort zone in the crate for your Australian Shepherd is vital to successful crate training. By making the crate a positive and enjoyable space, it will be more inviting for your dog, ultimately helping them adapt to their new environment.

Start by placing their bed and a few toys in the crate to make it more appealing for your dog. Allowing them to explore the crate on their own terms encourages a positive association with the space. Be patient and wait for your Australian Shepherd to become comfortable with the crate before moving on in the training process.

To further promote the crate as a safe and welcoming area, use treats and praise for reinforcement. Whenever your dog enters or spends time in the crate, reward them with treats and positive reinforcement. This will help create a connection between the crate and positive experiences.

Choosing the right crate size is crucial. The crate should be large enough for your Australian Shepherd to stand up, turn around, and sit comfortably. For Australian Shepherds, consider a crate size of approximately 42L x 28W x 31H inches.

Ensure your dog’s comfort by having a designated dog bed that fits inside the crate. A comfortable bed will encourage your dog to view the crate as their personal safe haven. In addition, you may want to include a cover for the crate to create a cozy, den-like atmosphere.

Remember, patience and consistency are key during crate training. By creating a comfort zone for your Australian Shepherd, you’ll be setting them up for success and making this training process more enjoyable for both of you.

Settling Your Australian Shepherd into the Crate

Initial Introduction

Introducing your Australian Shepherd to their crate for the first time is an essential step. Begin by placing their bed and a few toys inside the crate. Allow them to explore the crate on their own, without forcing them inside. The goal is to create a positive and welcoming environment, so praise and reward your dog with treats when they voluntarily enter the crate.

Establishing Routine

A consistent routine will help your Australian Shepherd feel comfortable and secure in their crate. To get started:

  • Feed meals in the crate: Encourage your dog to eat their meals inside the crate. This will create a positive association with the crate.
  • Crate during nap time: When you notice your dog getting sleepy, gently guide them to the crate for a nap. This will teach them that the crate is a safe and cozy place to rest.

Remember to praise and reward your dog for good behavior, such as entering the crate on their own or staying quiet while inside.

Increasing Crate Time

As your Australian Shepherd becomes more comfortable with the crate, you can gradually increase the amount of time they spend inside. Follow these steps:

  1. Start with short time periods: Initially, have your dog stay in the crate for just a few minutes. Gradually increase the duration of time in the crate.
  2. Leave the room: Once your dog is calm in the crate, try leaving the room for short periods. This will help your dog learn to be comfortable by themselves.
  3. Leave the house: When your dog is comfortable being alone in the crate with you out of sight, try leaving the house for a short time with them in the crate.
  4. Gradually extend the time: As your dog becomes more comfortable being alone in the crate, you can slowly extend the time they spend crated when you are away.

By following this process, you will successfully help your Australian Shepherd feel at ease in their crate, ensuring a positive and secure environment for them.

Crate Training Schedules

Crate training your Australian Shepherd can be a smooth process when you establish a consistent schedule. By sticking to a routine, your Aussie will learn to associate the crate with regular activities, making it a safe and comfortable environment. Here are some key steps to include in your crate training schedule:

  1. Introduce the crate gradually: Start by placing the crate in an area where your dog spends most of their time. Encourage your pup to go inside by placing treats, toys, and a comfortable bed. Keep the crate door open at first, and let your Aussie explore it on their terms.
  2. Mealtime in the crate: Begin feeding your dog their regular meals inside the crate. This will help them associate the crate with positive experiences. As your Aussie becomes more comfortable, you can start closing the crate door while they eat and open it as soon as they finish.
  3. Increase crate time: Gradually extend the amount of time your dog spends in the crate after they’ve finished eating. Start with 10 minutes and work your way up to longer periods. Remember to praise and reward your Aussie when they remain quiet and calm during this time.
  4. Crate training during the day: Begin crating your dog for short periods while you’re at home. Start with 30 minutes and gradually increase the duration. This will help your dog understand that you’ll return, and they should feel secure inside the crate.
  5. Crate training at night: Once your Australian Shepherd is comfortable staying in the crate for extended periods, you can begin using it for overnight sleeping. Make sure to take them for a toilet break before bedtime and as soon as you wake up in the morning.
  6. Establish activity breaks: It’s essential to ensure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. Provide regular breaks for exercise, playtime, and socialization. This will help maintain your Aussie’s well-being and prevent possible crate-related anxiety issues.

Remember to adjust the schedule based on your dog’s age, energy level, and individual needs. Your consistent and patient effort will go a long way in making crate training a positive experience for both you and your Australian Shepherd.

Addressing Common Crate Training Issues

Separation Anxiety

It’s normal for your Australian Shepherd to experience some separation anxiety when first introduced to crate training. To help alleviate this anxiety, make sure to gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate. Start with just a few minutes and work your way up to longer periods.

Tips to reduce separation anxiety:

  • Provide a comfortable and familiar environment inside the crate, including a familiar blanket or favorite toy.
  • Establish a consistent routine for crate usage.
  • Reward your dog with treats and praise when they enter the crate willingly.

Excessive Barking

Excessive barking can become an issue during crate training, but it’s essential to address this behavior. Here’s what you can do:

  • Determine the cause of the barking: attention-seeking, boredom, or anxiety.
  • If it’s due to attention-seeking or boredom, try providing toys and other distractions in the crate.
  • If it’s anxiety-related, work on building a positive association with the crate by using treats and praise.

Preventative measures:

  • Exercise your Australian Shepherd before crate time to help burn off excess energy.
  • Gradually expose your dog to the crate and ensure they have positive experiences within it.

Accidents in the Crate

Sometimes accidents can happen, even during crate training. Here are some suggestions to avoid accidents:

  • Ensure your Australian Shepherd is on a consistent feeding and bathroom schedule.
  • Make sure to take your dog out for potty breaks before crate time.
  • Choose the right size crate: having too much space can result in accidents.

Reacting to accidents:

  • Clean the crate thoroughly to remove any lingering odor.
  • Avoid punishing your dog for accidents as it can create negative associations with the crate.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you address the common crate training issues and ensure a smoother experience for you and your Australian Shepherd.

Benefits of Crate Training for Australian Shepherds

Crate training your Australian Shepherd offers numerous advantages that can improve both your life and your dog’s. Here are a few key benefits you can expect when you invest time in crate training:

A Safe Haven for Your Aussie

Crate training provides a comfortable and secure space just for your dog. Your Australian Shepherd will come to see their crate as their own personal sanctuary, a place where they can retreat and relax when they need some alone time.

Easier Housebreaking

Crate training can significantly accelerate the housebreaking process. Since dogs instinctively avoid soiling their sleeping area, your Aussie will learn to hold it until they’re outside. This helps prevent accidents in the house and aides in teaching them proper elimination habits.

Travel Security

Traveling with a crate-trained dog is much easier, less stressful, and safer for both you and your Australian Shepherd. They will feel more at ease in their familiar crate, which can minimize anxiety during car rides, hotel stays, or trips to the vet.

Minimize Destructive Behaviors

A well-crate-trained Australian Shepherd will be less likely to engage in destructive behaviors, such as chewing on furniture or household items. Assigning them their “den” offers a designated space where they can be confined when unsupervised, reducing the risk of damage to your belongings.

Easier Integration into a Multiple-Dog Household

Introducing a crate-trained dog into a multi-dog household can be much smoother. Your Aussie will have their own space to retreat to and feel secure, minimizing territorial disputes and tension among canine family members.

Remember to always keep the crate a positive, welcoming space for your Australian Shepherd. Crate training is meant to encourage a sense of comfort and security, not to be a form of punishment or confinement. With dedication and patience, you can successfully crate train your Aussie and enjoy the numerous benefits it brings to your lives.

Crate Training Do’s and Don’ts

Crate training your Australian Shepherd can be an excellent way to help them learn how to behave indoors while providing them with a safe and secure space to call their own. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when crate training your Aussie.


  • Choose the right size crate: Ensure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. A 42L x 28W x 31H inches crate is usually a good size for an Australian Shepherd.
  • Introduce the crate gradually: Start by placing the crate in a room where you and your dog spend a lot of time. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by using treats and praise. Don’t force them in; let them become familiar with the crate at their own pace.
  • Create a comfortable environment: Make the crate a comfortable and inviting space for your Australian Shepherd. Include a soft bed or a blanket, and consider using a cover to create a den-like feel.
  • Establish a crate schedule: Set up a regular schedule for when your dog will be in the crate, including at night and during your absence. This will help them associate the crate with a safe space to relax.


  • Don’t use the crate as punishment: If you use the crate as a form of punishment, your dog will associate it with negative experiences, making the crate training process more difficult. The crate should always be a positive and safe space.
  • Don’t leave your dog crated for too long: While crate training is beneficial, leaving your dog in their crate for extended periods can lead to stress and physical discomfort. Make sure your Australian Shepherd gets plenty of exercise and interaction throughout the day.
  • Don’t rush the process: Crate training takes time and patience. Rushing your dog into spending long periods in their crate can lead to anxiety and resistance. Make sure you are gradually increasing the time they spend in the crate as they become more comfortable.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can successfully crate train your Australian Shepherd and help them adapt to their new space. Remember to always be patient, consistent, and use positive reinforcement throughout the process. Good luck!