German Shepherd Crate Training

Quick & Effective Crate Training For Your German Shepherd

Before you start crate training your GSD, you need to know that GSDs are not against crates.

They love to be in a place that they know is safe and theirs. Training a GSD to live in a crate helps in a number of situations. When you want to go somewhere and leave the dog at home, a crate helps in keeping your dog safe. When a GSD is left alone without supervision, it feels a variety of emotions including depression, boredom, sadness, anger, etc.

These emotions are the number one cause of destructive behavior in GSDs. Keeping your GSD in a crate also helps when you are training it to follow the house rules.


Why is it Necessary to Crate Train a GSD?

  • Crate training should start in GSDs initial days at your home.
  • It is best to start to coach it when it is just a puppy.
  • You will need to introduce the crate to your dog if it is not yet housetrained.
  • If you don’t trust your dog to act properly in the house, use a crate.
  • If it hasn’t learned the house rules, keep it in a crate.
  • If you have little kids in the house, make sure you make your GSD learn to live in a crate, especially in the night time when no one can supervise it.

What Crate will be the Best for Your GSD?

If you try to crate train your dog in a crate that is small and uncomfortable, you will not be able to get the right results. It is important for the owners to know that the crate needs to be soft and the right fit. Your dog will be spending most of its time in the crate; that’s why it needs to be perfect.

The crate you choose for your pup should have enough space for it to relax and stretch. The bottom of the crate should have a soft cloth, towel or rug on it so that your dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable. You will also need to leave your pup’s small toys inside the crate so that it can play when bored.

A crate made out of wood is best for GSDs. Make sure that the crate has good openings. Avoid buying a commercial crate for your GSD as the dog will not feel safe in such a crate.

GSD Puppy Crate Training

How to Train Your GSD to Live in a Crate?

If you have bought a puppy, it will be easier to crate train it rather than adult GSDs. Below are effective tips to make your GSD learn to live peacefully in a crate.

  • Don’t let your puppy sleep with you in bed or else it will not like sleeping inside the crate.
  • Get a good sized crate.
  • Keep your GSD pup inside the crate at night time.
  • Add a few toys to the crate so that your puppy feels happy.
  • Keep the crate in a specified place.
  • Place the crate in a room where there will be people around to supervise the dog.
  • Do not place the crate in a chaotic place during the initial days of the puppy at your home as it will feel scared and uncomfortable.
  • Do not choose a huge crate for a little pup as it can roam around and make a mess of it.
  • If your GSD exhibits bad behavior inside the crate, do not let it out, or it will develop bad habits and never learn to behave.
  • If your puppy behaves well inside the crate, let it out as a sign of appreciation so that it learns to behave.
  • Do not leave the puppy inside the great for a whole day as it will make it destructive and angry.
  • Crate training will also help when you take your pup to the vet or in the car.
  • Do not buy a crate that has very little open spaces.
  • Change the crate when your puppy starts to grow-up.
  • Don’t change the crate too often as it will confuse your GSD.

What are the Benefits of Crate Training?

Crate training a GSD has many benefits, not only for the dog itself but the people in the house as well. A few prominent benefits of crate training are:

  • Training your GSD to stay in a crate will give it time to relax and sleep.
Two GSD in Their Crates
  • It will help the dog get disciplined and improve its overall health.
  • It will improve the owner-dog relationship.
  • It will make the dog respect your more. It will help you pose yourself as the alpha of the pack.
  • It will help reduce dog barking, crying, and whining.
  • It will keep your GSD away from getting destructive and messy.
  • It will make the dog less authoritative and dominant over different areas of the house.
  • It will make the dog feel safe and comfortable.

German Shepherds love to stay in a secure place, protected from enemies. In the wild, these dogs find a small nest for themselves which is a hiding place for them. They hide in a nest because it makes them feel safe from weather changes and other animals.

If your GSD is not getting used to the crate, let us know so that we can help you train it in an effective way. You can also sign-up to our newsletter and take help from our informative e-books on GSDs. We are here to ensure that every GSD owner knows everything about their dog and creates an everlasting bond with them.

Last Updated on April 22, 2022 by Shepped Team

24 thoughts on “Quick & Effective Crate Training For Your German Shepherd”

  1. A question I have regarding crate training is what do I do when my pet is put in his crate and he barks and cries? He does this at night time when its bed time and when he gets put in the crate when nobody is home.

  2. Hi! We have a GSD 6 Mos old and are crate training her for at night and when we are gone. We just got her yesterday…what tips could you give us to help her?

    1. I had the same problem. My GSD kept going the bathroom on the newspaper until I read that if you take the newspaper outside and get her/ him to pee on it then each time you go outside get a new piece and take half of the paper off and so on until you have no newspaper left and she/ he is going outside and not inside! Make sure your GSD doesent get into the habit of going inside again or else it will be harder.
      Good Luck!!

  3. Hello
    We are trying to train our 10 week old GS puppy. Iv put her dog bed in it and toys / chew toys ect.. As we put her in she can come and go all day as she pleases but at night or when we shit the door this puppy gos nuts biting scratching and going nuts barking. Wining tearing the bed to shreds I have a u haul packing blanket on top to give it some enclosed comport and she’ll pull that packing blanket through the bars and it’s very scrarry for me to watch her go nuts.
    One thing is I got her from a puppy mill and she wasn’t socialized a lot iv have had her now for 10 days, only way to get her not to act up is to let her sleep with us and it’s not working out to well. Can’t you please just something for us to do.
    Thx you..

    1. I hate to say it but this is what happens when you buy from a puppy mill and the puppies are not properly socialized. My first GSD was the same way. We tried professional training him as he got older but he remained aggressive to the point that we had to give him to a shelter because he was biting us and our children.

    2. Lynette (Cone) Gibson

      Congratulations on your new family member! I am sorry to hear of the trouble your family is experiencing (and the stress this poor little furry baby girl is going through). It can be rough adjusting for the first few weeks…even months in some cases. But rarely are we blessed to experience love on this earth such as the love that a furry family member can give. They love so unselfishly and with their whole being. They are so incredible!
      However, this does not help you with your current situation. May I please share with you what our puppy boys’ trainer told us to do for them? They also were “going wild” and were very destructive. (A far cry from the well-behaved merry little men that they are today!) We were advised to not only have a favorite toy in their extra-large crates, but to also make bed time/crate time a time when they are lavished with much praise and some tasty treats that they love. (It is amazing how willingly the boys will go into their crates “for the right price” (treats and lots of praise given in happy, well-modulated tones). Like you, we also have comfy dog mattresses for our boys (a few inches thick).
      Our vet and the boys’ trainer also recommended Bach Flower Remedies. Have you and your wife ever tried these? You can read more about them at Their “Rescue Remedy” is wonderful. Many of our veterans with PTSD issues also use similar remedies with great results. My husband is one of these. It is amazing what a blessing natural remedies can be and how effective they can be.
      If you and your wife and family are careful to make “crate time” a time where your little gal feels lots of love and praise and comfort and receives treats, you should see the same sort of results we have been blessed to experience. And that is nothing short of miraculous because we didn’t think we could take it much longer and were looking for a new “forever home” for the boys. They even destroyed 1 couch and 2 loveseats and an expensive dining room set of ours while in destructive mode. (Not to mention many shoes, clothing, an antique beautiful Chinese tea table, and a door frame…the list goes on…) If you can hang on and pray for patience to get through these trying times of puppyhood, and if you can employ strategic tactics that work for her, it will be so incredibly worth it…all of it…just to have your furry loved one still with you later. Hang in there! I will be lifting you all up in prayer from over here in North Carolina. And by the way; thanks for the chuckle about your spell check comment. I can appreciate that!

  4. I recommend not letting pup sleep w/you. Keep the crate in your room next tk your bed so pup doesn’t feel isolated or punished. You can calm (talk & pet). Put a drop of lavender essential oil in crate. I give mine a treat when she enters so she always looks forward to going in the crate. The transition may be rough, but be consistent . You are the alpha! Good luck!

  5. Question my gsd is 5months and he doesn’t go potty in the house at all. And when he’s in the crate he will tell me when he has to pee but he will poop in the crate. He is blocked off so he only has room to lay down and he has a bed in there. I know dogs don’t usually go where they sleep so I’m not sure why he goes poop in there.

  6. Hi, I have kept my 5 month old GSD in a crate since I have had her. However, she continues to use the bathroom in it every day and night. She does not have food or water in the kennel with her and she has a divider up so she only has enough room to sit, stand, and lay down. I can take her outside and she refuses to go potty outside. She will constantly keep her nose to the ground and sniff and pace, but will not go potty. As soon as I bring her inside and put her in the kennel, she will go to the bathroom. Do you have any suggestions, tips, or tricks on how to correct this behavior? Thank you!!!

  7. Just got my GSD today from the breeder at Norfolk. He doesn’t know any command, he whines and cry at night inside his crate.. Any suggestions? He’s 10 weeks old.

    1. Take him out to a specific spot every 2-3 hours to pee for about a week. I know it is painful for a dog owner, but this routine will pay dividend. After a week, he will whine when he needs to go. I use this approach with my 9-week old GSD puppy and she was potty-trained that way. As she gets older, her bladder can hold more. She is 14 weeks now, and she can hold for 7-8 hours.

  8. Our GSD puppy is 4 months old and does not like his crate. It was in a spare bedroom which we would go into and watch tv during the day and sit in the room to play with him. He would occasionally go into the room and sit but not in his crate. We have since at the suggestion of a trainer moved his crate into the living room and placed his bed and toys in it. He still does not like his crate at night. He goes in to get his toys and occasionally sits on his bed but at night will not go near it. We use every trick to get him into it including playing fetch with his toys into it during the day. Using treats during the day to get him in and let him walk in and out of it without locking it during day. At night he won’t go near it. We sometimes lock him in for 5 or 10 min during the day at the suggestion of same trainer. It hasn’t helped him like it at night. Any suggestions?

  9. Just got a German Shepherd today. One year old, no structure and not obedient. He has lived outside in a backyard most of his life until now. Won’t go in his crate and when he does he won’t stop howling, barking, and crying. Not sure what to do. We have a 5 year old who sleeps with another smaller dog so we need our GSD to stay in the crate for her safety . This is the first night at our home and we are a little worried

  10. Trying to crate train my sheperd pup but she cries and cries we can hear her out on street .its a large crate with a divider in it .i divided crate in half .left her at night cring for 4hrs then gave in and she fell asleep on our bed.i then picked her up and put her in her own bed

  11. My GSD recently turned 4 months old. Name is Samson and he has been doing great with crate training and I usually keep him crated only during night as well as few hours, no more than 3 hrs about 3 times a day. Just today he peed 3 times even though he was outside about an hour before. I know he knows to paw at the door. Any advice? I feel I need to crate him when I would normally let him have free living room. I was with him each time and was able to say “oh no, outside” and took him right out where he finished.

  12. Need help I have a 9 month old gsp and am trying to crate train my pup has severe separation anxiety and destroyed my house so started the crate but now it’s destroying the crate I’m at my end

  13. I got a 8 month old adopted GSD and it will go in the crate ok but as soon as I close the door and leave the room the dog goes crazy and as broken loose twice. Any suggestions

  14. We are getting our daughter a GSD mix mostly GSD from a shelter. She is very sweet and good natured. The puppy will be home during the day and that is the main time it will need to be crated. Will it be an issue if the dog sleeps with my daughter and then is crated during the day while we are at work?

  15. Thank you for the great article, please also guide us about exactly how long should the puppies be inside the crate and how long outside.

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