Whether you want one in the lounge and one in the bedroom, or you’ve got two puppies to train, you’re probably wondering whether to have two crates or one. Let’s take a look at your options and what’s best for your situation.
Will crate training with two (or more) crates be confusing?
Crate training with more than one crate is not confusing for a dog or puppy. In the same way that they learn that the word ‘sit’ means popping their behind on the floor, no matter who asks them to sit, they sit. And they’ll learn that a crate is a crate, no matter if it’s in your lounge, bedroom, car or at the vet’s.
It’s the experience of being confined to a crate that we’re training our pups to be happy about, it’s got very little to do with the actual crate itself.
Do Multiple dogs need multiple crates?
If you have a multi dog household, even if you have siblings from the same litter (in fact, especially if you have littermates…) you will need one crate per dog as a minimum.
Can you put two dogs in one crate?
Can dogs share a crate? I would advise against it. Even if two dogs happily share a crate and like to sleep together when given the choice, if something were to happen when the crate is shut and no one is supervising them then a normal, minor squabble can turn into a full on fight in a confined space.
Providing a crate for each dog in a multi-dog household is often recommended for several reasons:
- Personal Space: Dogs, like humans, value their personal space. Having their own crate allows each dog to have a place they can call their own, where they can relax, sleep, and feel safe without the intrusion of other dogs. This can reduce stress and conflicts among the dogs.
- Safety: Crates can be used to keep dogs safe when they need to be separated, whether it’s during feeding times, training, or when one dog needs a break from the others. Having a crate for each dog ensures that they have a secure space to go to.
- Training: Crates are valuable tools for house training and behavioral training. Each dog can have their own dedicated space for training exercises, helping to reinforce good behaviors and prevent bad ones.
- Preventing Resource Guarding: In a multi-dog household, resource guarding (aggression over food, toys, or other items) can be a concern. Providing each dog with their own crate during feeding time can help prevent these conflicts.
- Health and Comfort: Some dogs may need to be crated due to illness or injury. Having a crate for each dog ensures that they can rest and recover comfortably without being disturbed by other dogs.
- Travel: If you ever need to travel with your dogs, having individual crates ensures that each dog has a secure and familiar space during the journey.
- Introducing New Dogs: When introducing a new dog to the household, it’s crucial to have separate crates to ensure a smooth transition and minimize potential conflicts as the dogs get to know each other.
Overall, individual crates in a multi-dog household can promote harmony, safety, and a sense of security for each dog.
Can you put two crates next to each other?
You can but I would firstly never stack dog crates, they should be on the floor, after all, we’re aiming to use the crates with the doors open as the majority of the time. Secondly, I would put a solid divider between the crates if you’re having them side by side. A thin piece of plywood, plastic or even cardboard will do, or you can utilize crate covers to act as a visual barrier between crates.
This is to ensure that the dogs feel as though they have privacy and alone time in a space that’s meant to be calm and relaxing for them.
Ready to start crate training your dog?
All articles on tetradog.com are written by qualified behaviorist and dog trainer, Cheryl Walker.
- · Foundation degree (Level 5) in canine behaviour management
- · WSDA instructor (World Scent Dogs Association) and level 1 competition judge
- · ADTB Puppy level instructor Diploma
- · Diploma in Puppy Training
- · Diploma in canine behavior training
- · Canine First Aider
- · Veterinary Support Assistant Diploma
- · Completed Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Sirius academy
- · Owner of an extraordinary working Cocker spaniel called Huckleberry