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The only time I've used a crate with puppies is at night, as a tool for housebreaking: I've kept the pup by my side of the bed in a small crate with soft bedding; when he had to pee he would whimper because he didn't want to soil his bed. I would get up, carry the pup downstairs to his potty place in the yard, praise, and take him back to his crate to sleep. With really young pups I would do this at least twice during the night.

It taught the pup that when he signalled, I would take him to relieve himself; he quickly generalized this behavior; we use a bell on the door for our dogs to signal now.

If my husband or I couldn't be with a young pup to supervise, they were confined to a relatively small area which we puppy-proofed and gated off, with their bed and a food-stuffed Kong to keep them busy.

I personally feel that too many dogs in America live in crates.
 
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