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Nope, crate training isn’t cruel. Dogs actually prefer to have a “den-like” space to themselves, just like their ancestors did. Crates mimic the close quarters of a wolf’s den, so think of it as a place where she can be at ease. And as the pros will tell you, it also simplifies housebreaking.

That said, there are a few important dos and don’ts when using a crate—never use it as punishment, for example—and things you can do to maximize the benefits of crate training. Check out the AKC’s free e-book on Crate Training here.

About this Series

At the AKC, we know better than anyone that your dog can’t be treated like a car or an appliance, but we’ve named this series “A Dog Owner’s Manual” because sometimes you probably wish your lovable companions came with one.

These concise guides give you the tools, tips, and direction to be a responsible and confident dog owner who brings out the best in your dog. Give them a test drive!

Find a dog trainer near your location and take the Canine Good Citizen test for your dog.

Our Gift to You

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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

This program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. In CGC, dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title. Dogs with the CGC title have the suffix, "CGC" after their names.