Can I Crate My Dog For 12 Hours?

Can I crate my dog for 12 hours

Questions like “can I crate my dog for 12 hours” has been a hot topic among dog owners for long. The thing is many dog owners stay that long at work and feel they are doing the wrong thing keeping their furry friend that long.

But here is the deal; keeping your canine friend in the crate for 12 hours is a bit long and unhealthy. But crate training, in general, is not a bad idea.

However, factors like energy levels, age and how long the dog can hold his bladder are things to consider before taking this crate training your pet. I have taken time out to discuss everything you need to know about crate training so you can make the right decisions.

Why People Crate Their Dogs

You may be considering crate training as an avenue to keep your dog safe. But the benefit far outweighs dog safety. And it is also something everyone you may want to give a try.

Crate training might be ideal for your pet. But have in mind that how one pet adapts to life in a crate differs from dog to dog. Here are reasons to let your dog stay in the crate for a while.

  • Tackles destructive behavior

Is your dog exhibiting a destructive behavior? If yes, then crate training might help to calm him down. Even when you aren’t home, it will help prevent your dog from destroying your belongings or increase your workload by turning the house upside down.

  • Ensures the safety of your dog

Allowing your dog to roam the house freely is not the safest of ideas. I understand you don’t want him to feel bored, but realize he won’t stay in the crate all day. Leaving your dog in the crate will help to keep him safe and prevent him from chewing on cables, or other materials that can become a choking hazard.

  • Your peace of mind

Could my dog be sleeping? Is he alright? Is he shocking? These are the things that are going to cross your mind when you didn’t crate your dog before leaving for work. The worst is when there is no one in the house, or you aren’t expecting anyone.

But when your dog is in a crate, you will have more peace of mind. The only thing you might be more concerned about is the time your dog spends in the crate. And that won’t be as serious as allowing him to wander about freely.  Anything can happen in such a situation.

Things to Consider Before Crate Training Your Dog

  • Consider your dog’s safety

Alright, your pup might not complain about whatever choice you make on his behalf concerning crate. But then, they don’t need to complain before you do the right thing.

For your dog’s safety, it is better to choose a crate that he won’t be able to chew through, something like a plastic or metal will be a good idea. And with that, you won’t ever have to deal with issues of your dog choking.

  • Choose a durable crate

The sturdiness of the crate is another thing you have to consider. It is essential to buy a durable product that will serve your pup for a long time.

Don’t be surprised to find that he is already used to the old crate and may find a new one strange. So whether you are buying a plastic or metal crate, go for a strong brand.

  • Crate size matters

Your dog size is another critical factor you need to consider before splashing the cash on a crate. Know that if the crate is too small, then your dog won’t be comfortable in it.

He won’t be able to turnaround, stand up, or lie down properly in a smaller sized crate. So, choose the size that matches your pup.

In addition to the challenges mentioned above, your dog may likely develop joint and other health problems. So choose crate size wisely.

  • Make the crate super comfy

Alright, when I say make the crate super comfy, I meant to pad and provide the necessary things that will make your dog fall in love with his new unique home.

Make sure his favorite food, treats or toys are inside his haven before leaving for work. You can also use a water dispenser so your dog won’t accidentally spill his drinking water all over the place.

  • Give your dog some exercise

Remember what athletes do before engaging in their sports? They warm their bodies up. Anyways, your dog isn’t preparing for any sporting activity, but a little bit of exercise before allowing him to enter the crate might prevent an avoidable accident.

So, consider giving your dog some exercises before and after leaving them in the crate. A simple walk with your dog is sufficient.

The bottom line is to make your dog’s crate comfortable and habitable. Once the dog starts enjoying life in the crate, then he won’t have any difficulty spending time there.

Conditions Under Which You Should Never Crate Your Dog

How long should your dog stay in the crateAlright, you need to understand that allowing your dog to live in a crate for 12 hours is unfair treatment. It’s a cruel act and may seem like punishment to your beloved pup.

Again, dogs differ in the manner in which they react to life in a crate. Some require more activity than others. You also need to understand that many pups cannot handle crate life well.

Anyway, you can try to assist your young pup by encouraging them to live in their crates more often. Don’t be surprised when the dog’s likeness for crates increases as he grows older.

However, for the first few weeks, you are going to introduce your dog to a crate, you need to monitor him strictly. If he shows any sign of panic or separation anxiety, then it will be a bad idea to let him continue living in a crate.

Instead, create a puppy-proof area in any part of your home and make it comfortable for your pup. Such an environment will be better for your dog that is having problems coping with life in a crate.

How Long Should Your Dog Stay In The Crate?

Now let’s look at two separate times of the day; night and day. How long should your dog remain in the crate during these two periods? Let’s find out.

  • Leaving your dog in the crate at night

Your dog will be resting during night hours. So, it can remain in the crate throughout the night.

But then, you need to be sure he can control bladder before you decide to leave him in the crate for long during night hours. If he can’t, then wake him up and direct him to the toilet.

Unfortunately, you may have to do this often for your young pup. It could be as often as 2-3 hours during the night.

But outside of this, there is no problem allowing your dog to remain in the crate throughout the night. He should be less active and resting at that time too.

  • Leaving your dog in the crate during the day

Dogs are usually very active during the day. So, allowing yours to remain in one spot for 12 hours is unfair.

But as said at the beginning, the age and ability of your dog to hold his bladder are factors that determine how long he should remain in a crate.

Check the chart below:

Note: This table is to give you an idea, and not a permanent guide.

Age Duration/Time Maximum
1. Adult dog (healthy ones) 8 hours
2. 17 weeks old and above 4-5 hours
3. 15 – 16 weeks old 3-4 hours
4. 11 – 14 weeks old 1 – 3 hours
5. 8 – 10 weeks old 30 – 60 minutes


Helpful Tips For Crate Training

Managing work and attending to your dog in a crate at the same time can be a bit challenging. However, you can use these ideas to address the situation.

  • Potty-train your young pup so he won’t develop a habit of messing up his crate.
  • Understand that young canine friend requires more attention than older ones and cannot hold their bladders for long.
  • Give your dog a mid-day break from the crate. Don’t let him stay in the crate for long in a stretch. You can arrange with a dog walker to help give your dog some leg exercise after hours of staying idle in the crate.
  • Reduce crate time when your dog is sick and can no longer hold his bladder for long.


Every weekday has a massive impact on your dog’s overall health. So, leaving him inside the crate 12 hours during the day is not ideal.

You can allow your dog to be in the crate for some hours while you go to work but remember to return home to give him some mid-day break. If you can’t, then you should find someone to render assistance.



About David Huner

David Huner is a dog lover. Dog training has become a passion for him. With many years of experience he is here to share his tips and ideas. His goal is to provide exact dog training solutions. His favorite quote is "Train your dogs, enjoy your life and be happy"

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