If you ask any dog owner, “Can I crate train a dog over 12 hours?” the response will likely be a resounding “No.” The long answer is, while a dog can indeed sleep all night in his doggy crate, he shouldn’t be crated for more than 12 hours at a time. This is too much time spent alone in solitary confinement.
Most dogs sleep on their stomachs during the night and then defecate a bit early in the morning. However, it’s not uncommon for dogs to potty in the middle of the night or after a full night’s sleep. A dog who is consistently crating throughout the day may be having a bit of behavioral issues such as separation anxiety over being left alone. He may also be depressed due to the fact that he’s been alone too long. It’s important to try to help potty train a dog when the animal is young and in good health.
Crates are great for providing mental stimulation for dogs. During the hours of darkness, dogs are incredibly sensitive to their environment. They are alert to anything that is out of place and this includes being alone in the same room as their owner. Dogs who are in their “home” but have no mental stimulation are prone to separation anxiety and can develop problems sleeping. By crating them during the hours of darkness, dogs will receive their required amount of mental stimulation.
Some people believe that dogs who are crated in the evening need to be fed before they are crated the next morning. This is not true. Dogs are fine being fed while crated. The food is given to them between the hours of darkness. Although it is much easier on the dog if they can see their bowl of food, this is not necessary.
It is important to understand that dogs do not have any memory, so they do not understand why they were crated in the evening. As a result, some dogs will develop separation anxiety. This can be very difficult to work through and can lead to other behavior problems. In some cases, it can cause dogs to become violent. It’s important to get a dog crate that is large enough for a dog to turn around and lie down comfortably inside of.
If you have a dog who is constantly stretched out of his crate throughout the day and night, consider crating him for short periods. Try to crate your dog for no longer than 12 hours at a time. There are also products on the market today that help to crate train dogs, without crating them for long periods of time. These products work by having the dog associate his crate with sleep.
Some dogs are able to sleep through the night with the crate turned off. This is entirely dependent upon the individual dog and his ability to adjust his sleeping habits to the crating schedule. Some dogs can successfully sleep through the entire night without moving at all. You will need to try different options to see which ones work best for you and your pet.
If you are wondering can I crate a dog more than 8 hours, the answer to that question is ‘yes,’ but you must do the crating gradually. Never crate your dog for an entire 24 hours. You may need to experiment with keeping the crate on for longer periods of time, depending upon your dog’s individual behavior and the severity of his separation anxiety. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to tell when your dog is ready to enter his crate so that you can then crate him safely and easily whenever you want to.