Crate training can be a challenging task, let alone crate training multiple puppies at the same time, but it’s not impossible if you have the proper tools and you follow the right technics.
Crate training multiple puppies at the same time does not mean they can share the same crate, but each puppy needs his own separate crate even if it’s litter-mates puppies however, they can share a playpen.
How many crates you need to crate train multiple puppies?
To crate train multiple puppies even litter-mates each puppy needs his own separate crate and this might seem exaggerated and more convenient to have a large crate for multiple puppies, but if you think about the very basic idea behind crate training you’ll realize that crate training is basically providing your dog a safe and personal den-like space where he can relax and lay down when he needs it.
The crate is a personal space for your dog and when it’s shared by multiple dogs (sometimes pets) it will turn it into a chilling spot and each puppy will find his own den.
Having multiple dogs in the same crate can be even dangerous especially if one is larger than the other, you can check out this article about crate training two dogs together.
What type of crates do you need for multiple puppies?
When it comes to crate training whether it’s one dog or multiple puppies our recommendation is always the same the Midwest Ultima Pro wire crate (check the current price at Amazon), this crate does a really great job when it comes to crate training, it has double doors and a divider which is really helpful especially at the early stages of crate training.
This crate is especially great when it comes to crate training multiple dogs since it can be folded flat making it really easy to store when the puppies are not in their crates.
It is relatively cheap especially that it has a free divider included that can be used when the puppy is too young.
The crate should always be a bit larger than the puppy but not too large, or else the dog would pee in it, that’s why the divider is really great and you can use the same crate for the dog throughout all his growth stages.
Can multiple puppies share a crate with a divider?
No using a divider for a large crate may seem a cheap solution but two dogs should never use the same crate even with the divider.
Dogs are very sensitive to smell and having the smell of another dog in the crate would make the dog uncomfortable.
Using two small crates is far more effective than a large crate with a divider and two small crates are almost the same price as one large crate anyway.
Crate training multiple puppies at once how hard is it?
The hardest thing about crate training multiple puppies at once would be at night if one wakes up and starts barking he’ll probably wake up the rest and to keep each puppy away from the others’ crates.
Other than that if every puppy has his own crate and the others aren’t getting in there all you have to do is follow the same crate training steps you’d follow when crate training one puppy.
Crate training littermate puppies together
Although littermate puppies would be less likely to object to sharing a crate, it can’t be considered crate training if they do share one crate.
Littermate puppies are to be considered like any puppies and the crate training process is just the same.
Can multiple puppies share a playpen?
Using a playpen for multiple puppies is a great idea especially when you have multiple puppies to train at the same time.
The playpen is a great alternative to the crate, but it can do an even better job as a complement to the crate.
The crate we recommend using is the Midwest Wire Crate (check the current price at Amazon), it is also easy to set up and folds flat and can even be attached to the Midwest crate.
What we really recommend for multiple puppies is to use the playpen during the day and the crates at night, this way you don’t have to set up multiple crates during the day, and it’s way easier for you to crate train only at night.
How to crate train multiple puppies
The crate training process is almost the same for most dogs and the steps you have to follow are also the same, but having multiple puppies to train at the same time can make it harder so how do we deal with that?
The best way to go about it is to start early in the morning one puppy at a moment, while the others are in the playpen.
1 introducing the puppies to the crates
You need to confine the other puppies in the playpen and have the puppy that you’re working with on a leash and just take him around the crate and let him sniff around.
Your puppy needs to get used to the crate before it’s time to get in it, you can’t expect a puppy to sleep and feel comfortable in a crate he’s never been in from day 1, that’s why this introduction step is important.
do not force your puppy into the crate let him explore on his own and walk around it, puppies are naturally curious and will eventually be interested to know what is it.
When your puppy is showing interest in the crate and tries to get in it’s your sign that he is ready for the next step.
2 Exploring the crate
Once your dog is interested in the crate start by securing the doors of the crate open to avoid any incidents that might freak out the puppy and make him feel trapped.
At this phase, the double doors of the wire crate come in handy making it easier for your puppy to explore the crate without feeling trapped inside especially that it offers an open view.
Using treats at this point would make things easier and if you want to know more about how to use training treats and read this article.
Start by tossing a treat or two in the crate and let the puppy get in there to get it and once he’s inside reward with more treats and verbal praise to associate being in the crate with good things happening.
You need to repeat the process multiple times until your puppy starts to offer to go into the crate to get the treats and that’s the sign that he’s ready for the next step.
3 Spending time in the crate
Now that you’re puppy is getting in the crate to get the treats it would be a good time to start feeding him his meals in there.
Feeding time is a happy time for dogs so associating it with the crate will sure make your puppies love the crate.
While your puppies are feeding in their crates you can go ahead and close the door of the crate, and wait until they’d finished their meal before you can let them out.
When you notice that your puppies aren’t objecting to staying in the crate while feeding you can increase the time they spend in it after their meals.
A great way to keep the puppies busy in the crate after the meal is chew toys, what we suggest is to use the Kong chew toy (check the current price at Amazon), it can be filled with treats to make a food puzzle that will keep your puppies busy in the crate for a while.
There are plenty of recipes online to fill the kong just make sure you use something that is low on calories not to mess with your dogs’ daily calorie intake.
Gradually increase the time your puppies spend in the crate closed after their meals until they make it to 30 minutes which is enough to move on to the next step.
4 Staying alone in the crate
At this point, your puppies are able to stay in their crate with you around, so you want to leave the room and leave them in there, however, you need to do it gradually.
Start by leaving for a minute then come back and move around the room without paying much attention to them, just let them see that you are around and that it’s ok for them to stay in their crate while you’re not there.
If you notice that there are no objections and the puppies aren’t freaking out you can get out of the room for longer periods until they can spend 30 minutes alone in there.
You can now leave the house for a short errand and when you’re leaving make sure you do not make a scene out of it, your dogs should not associate being in the crate with you leaving the house.
Crate training multiple puppies at night
Crate training multiple puppies at night will for sure be challenging and that’s for two reasons; when one puppy wakes up he’ll probably wake up the others and the potty breaks.
Before your puppies go into their crates for the night you should make sure they are not given water at least two hours prior and they’ve just gone for their potty break.
Young puppies have small bladders and mostly won’t make it through the night without waking up for a break, so you want those breaks to the minimum and that’s why you should take them just before they get in the crate.
When they do wake up for their potty break you should get them back to their crate as soon as they’re done, it should not be playtime.
If your puppies are whining or barking in their crates at night ignore it first if you let them out they’ll know that the way out of the crate is by whining and they’ll just keep doing it.
If they continue whining and would not stop for more than five minutes just try to break their whining cycle by just talking or tapping gently on the crate, this usually makes them stop, and once they do praise them to enforce good behavior.
Conclusion: crate training multiple puppies
When crate training multiple puppies the best method is to use the playpen during the day and the crates at night.
The playpen will keep your dogs busy and they’ll be able to interact and play with each other while at night the crate offers an intimate and personal space for each puppy.
Follow the crate training steps and take it slow, do not rush your puppies into the crate and always work with one puppy at a time, so you can focus on him and it is best to use the most cooperative puppy as an example for the others.
Make good use of the training treats and the chew toys and be firm and patient at night because it will take only a few days for your puppies to stop whining, and for better results always make sure your puppies have vigorous exercise before going into the crate for the night.References