Crate training a dog with two crates, is it confusing?

Crate training with two crates

Crate training with two crates is to have two crates for one dog, a crate for him to sleep in and another in the living area or the garden.

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Many questions are asked about the use of two crates for one dog, mostly if it creates confusion for the dog especially in the early stages of the crate training program.

Can dogs have two crates?

Yes, a dog can have two crates, one for the night to sleep in and one for the living area, and it could indeed create some confusion for the dog especially when you are just starring the crate training process and you are still working on creating a positive association with the crate.

What we recommend is to use the metal crate and get two of the same crate which is very affordable this way your dog is less confused about it, the one we recommend is the Midwest Ultima Pro Metal Crate (check the current price at Amazon).

Many dog owners find it to be more convenient to have two crates so they don’t have to move one around too much.

It is mostly used by dog owners who prefer their dogs sleeping in the same room with them, so they install one in their bedroom.

I have many crates around the house yet I don’t use two crates for the same dog, I find it to be confusing for dogs, and I think it breaks the whole idea behind the crate being a safe and intimate place.

Maybe it’s not the case but I am not used to the idea of having two crates for one dog and I don’t mind moving the crates around by night since mine are easy to move around.

However, there are many dog owners who use two crates for one dog and it seems to be working just fine.

I mean if it suits you and makes it easier for you to have two crates it’s not going to be impossible to make a dog used to be in two crates you just have to link one with the bedtime and the other for daily activities.

Why would you consider crate training with two crates?

Like I mentioned earlier if you don’t like to move the crate around the house night and day, you can find crate training with two crates more convenient.

If you have a built-in furniture crate it would be difficult to move the crate around, so using another crate for sleeping or for the garden is a solution.

The dog crate furniture that matches your house furniture is quite good actually and blends perfectly with the home decor.

If you’re considering one of those to keep a great room design, there are some nice options, you can check them some furniture crates on Amazon.

Besides the fact that it is convenient to have two crates, it can help the dog feel good about it and consider it as a playpen.

Also, having a multi-story house could be a good reason to have two crates, one on the main level where he hangs around during the day and one upstairs for bedtime.

If you do travel with your dog often or do outdoor activities and the one you have is too large for travel, getting one that can be checked in for flights or that fits in the car trunk is a good idea

How dogs handle having two crates?

Dogs are denning animals for sure, they like to have a home where they can relax and feel safe.

However, having two crates may create confusion, but it would entirely depend on how you present it.

The dog will probably think of the second crate as a playpen or just a chilling area and use the one he considers home to sleep.

Some dog owners have had two crates for their dogs and they rarely hang around the one they sleep in during the day, so they will think of it more as a kennel.

It is possible though to have different kinds of crates so the dog can distinguish the two and have a clear idea about each one.

Will crate training with two crates take longer?

This is actually the objection I personally have about crate training a dog with two crates, I believe that crate training is a fairly easy to do process built around having good experiences in a certain place (the crate).

However, if you have to make the dog used to being in two places and encouraging him to interact with two crates, I think it could be a long process.

However, I have never tried doing it, I have a process (you can check out in this article) that is working very well for me so I am not very keen on experimenting. Furthermore, I have multiple dogs in the house, and having two crates for each one would make it a dog refuge.

And one more reason I am not very pro having two crates is that I don’t like my dogs used to be in many crates. For me, crates are personal space, and each dog has his sanctuary with absolutely no trespassing, so having a dog moving from one to another all the time may give him the impression that every crate is a place he can hang out in.

Should you have matching crates when opting for two?

As we said crate training with two crates is more of a convenience decision but is it less confusing to have two exact matching crates? Or maybe using two different crates would help the dog distinguish the sleeping crate from the regular one?

I tend to feel like using matching crates could be easier when crate training, your dog could be less resistant if it’s actually two different environments.

If I am to choose an option I’ll definitely get matching crates unless the one you have in the main living area is quite heavy or decorative, in this case, you really have no choice.

Crate training a dog with two crates: final thoughts

  • You can crate train a dog with two crates; one for sleep and the other for relaxing during the day.
  • Crate training with two crates can be an easy solution if the crate is large and heavy to move around.
  • Having another crate in the bed area will enable you to have a decorative dog crate that matches your house furniture.
  • If the crate you have is too big and can’t be moved around, another one for travel and outdoors could be great.
  • Crate training with two crates could be confusing to dogs.
  • Dogs are animals that adapt easily if you put in the effort you can have him comfortable in two crates.
  • Crate training with two crates could make the training longer.
  • You can use matching crates to reduce confusion and speed up the crate training.

All in all, as long as you keep your dog happy, he will be comfortable in one or two crates.

4 thoughts on “Crate training a dog with two crates, is it confusing?”

  1. Hi iam a busy Mom, driving my kids all over the place for sports. Keeping puppy safe, i need a car crate, but we also live in a two story home. And eventually I will need to make sure the puppy is crate trained for long day outings. We could have matching smaller / medium sized crates, one up n one down. As i would like potty training faster. But i will need a different style for car while a puppy. Puppy stage is challenging with stairs n bedroom safety…but once puppy can hold bladder and communicate. Size for car crate for Labrador puppy ?

    1. Hey Stacy, the size will depend on a couple of factors the first if it’s a mixed breed or a pure lab and if you’d like to get a small crate and change it later or get one that is the perfect size when fully grown.
      The best size for a grown lab is a 36-inch or 42-inch crate. What I would recommend is a crate with a divider and you can adjust it as your puppy grows and even use it later on in the house.
      I always recommend Midwest crate for my clients and readers because they’re great for fast crate training and potty training, can go in the car, and is easy to move around.

  2. I have two puppies in a larg crate with a front and side entrance they sleep in the crate at night they will not go to the bathroom in the crate we let them out every two hours to go outside we want to get another large crate and connect it to the side opening of their existing crate hoping they will use the bathroom in the new crate is this possible or just a pipe dream signed desperate and trying to sleep

    1. Hey there,
      I would not recommend using one crate for two dogs, it’s often not a good idea and it contradicts the very basic idea of the crate which is a safe and personal space for every dog, as for the possibility of having the puppies go to the bathroom in the crate, it’s not going to work,dogs are fairly cleananimals and would prefer not to do their business where they sleep.

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