To Raise A Perfect Dog, Larry Krohn Does This For The First Two Years (I Do, Too!)

Kentucky dog trainer Larry Krohn talks about what he thinks is probably the one most important thing you can do to raise a perfect dog. You simply can’t use this technique too much. It works because dogs are pack animals and derive a sense of security and well-being from small, enclosed spaces.


We’ve been using the Ruff-Tuff Kennels (available online and at Cabelas). Although we had to order a metal door attachment after one of our dogs began to chew the plastic door. We probably won’t be using any more of these crates because of that one fatal flaw. What we do like about the Ruff-Tuff Kennels is that it’s all one piece with no seams that can separate and come apart. So, if you don’t have a high drive, super destructive dog– these can work well.

We’ll probably be trying these aluminum crates in the future, though.  Better to pay once and cry once, right?

Puppy Crate Training

David wanted to know about puppy crate training in anticipation of his new Bouvier puppy arriving: “I will be getting a Bouvier puppy in September.  He will be my second Bouvier. Great dog.  My first one was very easy to train, but I was a little lax with him. This one will be different.  Do you recommend crate training for every puppy?

Puppy Crate Training For Every Dog?

Do you notice differences between puppies that are crate trained and those that are not?  I have many training books, since I trained a little many years ago, and I assume that methods and techniques have changed with time.  – David.

Hi, David:  Yes, puppy crate training — or even crate training an adult dog— is absolutely necessary. But specifically in the case of puppy crate training, your puppy requires oonsistency so that every time he tries to chew something he shouldn’t, he gets corrected. Every time he thinks about urinating on the rug, he gets rushed outside. Every time he thinks about investigating what’s inside the trash can, he gets corrected.

Puppy Crate Training Is Timeless

puppy crate trainingThere’s no way to keep the dog safe in the house and prevent him from learning bad habits without the crate. Even locking the dog in the laundry room is not a good substitute, as the puppy will learn to chew on base boards and learns that it’s fine to defecate on the tile floor. Whereas the crate brings out the puppy’s den instincts and they do not typically want to defile the crate (if your breeder did his job!)

The other benefit of the crate is that it gives your dog a “safe place” to go when he is insecure and knows he is where he should be, for example: During a thunderstorm.

If you look at all of the top dog trainers both here in America and around the world, they all crate train their puppies.  Why? Because puppy crate training is the only way to keep your puppy safe and prevent him from learning bad habits.

Small Dog – Kennel Training

This is Shorty. He’s a Rat Terrier we just rescued from our local Animal Shelter. We’ll be using Shorty as our new demo dog, for the next several videos, as he has had absolutely NO PRIOR TRAINING. With my system of dog training, we like to start with crate training, so we can keep the dog safe and to prevent him from developing bad habits, when we can’t supervise him.

Is Eight Weeks-Old Too Young To Crate Train Your Dog?

Hi, Adam: I got an 8 week old puppy from a person that just let him run free in his house. I am assuming that the puppy was free to potty any where and it was just cleaned up instead of working on training him to go in a certain place. Now enter me who is trying to crate and potty train. I put him into his crate and he sits there and whines, cries, and scratches at the door. I know 8 weeks is young but he potties everywhere and anywhere, doesn’t matter, in the pen or on the floor. I take him outside and he sits at my feet whining until I bring him in and then he potties. I just purchased your book and am reading it but I need help fast and there is just so much to absorb. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I just got a new house and can’t have him going everywhere.

Adam replies:

Hi, Gini:

No, it’s never too late to start. In fact, we recommend that you start as soon as you get your new dog– regardless of his age.

In the beginning, expect it to take 2-4 days, before the puppy acclimates to the crate.

Watch these videos. It’s a good “quick start”

You might want to focus on this department, too:

Some of the articles jump back and forth, between mentioning “adult” and “puppy”. I’m trying to clean this up. We hired a search engine optimization company, and they ended up doing more harm than good. I think you’ll get the general idea, though. If you have further questions, just post a new question at the top of the forum. We’re here to help you.

– Adam.


Train Your Dog to Avoid Accidents In Crate

Yorma writes to me:

Our 11 year old puppy obviously hasn’t read the dog crating rules and doesn’t know NOT to poop/pee in his crate. He does use wee wee pads when outside the crate and we give plenty of time to relieve himself before placing him in the crate. But after we leave him alone for 30 minutes to an hour…we return to a crate full of poop. We’ve made the area quite small within the crate, where he can barely turn around but it keeps happening. (little if any bedding). Something is in his head and we can’t figure it out. We also clean and disenfect very, very well after any accidents… ANY ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED…but please do not simply send me to a site about crate training. READ THEM ALL and almost none assume the dog will poop repeadedly in. HELP PLEASE!!! Thanks.

Adam replies:

Hi, Yorma:

Is your dog 11 months old, or 11 years old? Please let me know. If he’s 11 years old, I’m curious why you’re crate training now, and if he’s displayed separation anxiety in any other contexts?

It’s very likely your dog is suffering from separation anxiety… which isn’t really a true housebreaking issue in light of what you’ve described.

This is what our local veterinarian recommends. The last time we were there, she told me that she’s had a lot of success, with a lot of different dogs using the DAP Diffuser:

Please report back (good results or not) and we can go from there.

Or, if you’d like to try two remedies at the same time: Ask your vet about a med called “Clomicalm” (or something similar that she might suggest?) It’s basically an anti-anxiety type med. It’s not forever, it’s just to get him over his issues.

Keep me posted. — Adam.

Getting a timid dog out of her crate to potty

JMDay writes to me: “Hi – we adopted a shelter dog two weeks ago. She is a lab mix (emphasis on mix) and is extremely timid. According to the shelter, our girl is about 4-5 months old and was dumped in a bar ditch along the highway. She had lived at the shelter for a couple of months before we got her. Our vet has checked her out and says she is healthy. My husband and I are attempting to crate train her and want the crate to be her “safe” place. The challenge is getting her out of the crate to go outside to potty. There are no children in the house and we have another 10 year old dog that virtually ignores her. She will allow us to approach her and pet her. She “cowers” in the corner when we attempt to remove her. We know we must be very patient and kind, but we’re frustrated that getting her in or out of the crate is an ordeal without picking her up. Any suggestions… and thanks! ”

Adam replies:

It’s not an issue of being “patient and kind”. We already know you’re that kind of person, because you adopted a dog like this in the first place.

Here’s the real secret to helping a timid dog get over their timidity: You ignore the timidity. You treat them just like you would a normal dog. If she won’t get out of the crate, you call her name and then immediately reach in and BRING HER OUT. She will gain confidence by DOING. Doing activities.

But she needs you to make her do these activities. That means: You make her do it, you don’t “ask her” to do it, and then wait to see if she has the confidence to do it or not. You make her do it, and then after she does it a couple of times, she pokes her head up toward the sky and says to herself, “Hey– I just did that!”

This builds confidence in your leadership, too.

The trick is to make it “no big deal.”

When you make her sit, do not allow her to droop her head down. Sit means: Sit with your head held high.

You make the body do it, and the dog’s mind will follow.

Make sense?

Please keep me posted of your progress.


Make My Dog Get In The Crate

Dear Adam: I bought and read your book; Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of both mine and my dog’s heart!

Here’s my problem: Yoshi is my 8-month-old, Rhodesian Ridgeback/Anatolian Shepherd mix. Yes, I found him at the dog park when he was 3 months old; he had been abandoned. Yoshi is now a healthy, happy 7-8 month old 75 lb. pup. He’s very “high energy”, to say the least.

However, he is responding really well to the training techniques from your book (although he’s stubborn sometimes; I have read that Anatolian Shepherd is not a dog for a first-time handler-me- but now he’s with me and I’m definitely not getting rid of him). I am a full-time student at Cal State, and was living in [omitted]. Every time I’d leave Yoshi at home to go to class, he’d chew destructively, even though he has my cat to keep him company.

I moved back to Santa Barbara in December, and into my mother’s house, because she has two dogs, and I thought once Yoshi had more company, he’d stop chewing. I was wrong. The other family members can leave and there’s no problem. However, if I leave him here, even in the company of family, he chews.

Last week he ate my cell phone, which was deep inside an overnight bag which was zipped closed. My mom was in the next room. I want you to understand that I personally have never seen this dog eat Anything; its only when I’m not around. I can’t get him into a crate. I bought a nice big one for him, and he just won’t go in it. So I’ve been locking him in my bedroom with the cat when I leave for school.

This week he’s eaten an entire file cabinet and its contents, among many other things. I’ve tried ignoring him for five minutes before leaving; I’ve given him herbal calming drops, etc. Nothing seems to work. He used to be fine in the car, so I’d just take him everywhere with me. Last week he ate my Sheepskin seat cover, and destroyed the Emergency break in the car (again, among other things) within a 45-minute period.

I apologize for the length of this e-mail, but I don’t know what to do. If I leave Yoshi outside, he spends his time frantically destroying expensive plants that don’t belong to me (they’re my mother’s) and I simply cannot afford to replace them. Please help me. I love Yoshi, and I cant bear the thought of this being an “unfixable ” problem.

He’s made so much progress in other areas; he was sick when I found him and I feel like I saved his life. Some have told me (not professional trainers) that he has irreversible brain damage from his mysterious illness, and will always chew and destroy and be stubborn. I think he’s got a serious case of separation anxiety. I have thus far been unable to help him with the methods suggested to me thus far. Help!!! Sincerely, Cori.

Dear Cori: Thank you for the question. What I am about to say may be interpreted by other people as brash and offensive, but I have the feeling that YOU will accept it openly and without becoming defensive because you are the type of person who recognizes when advice is given in your best interest. Okay, ready?

You must drop this helpless attitude you’ve adopted. You are the master. He is the dog. If you tell him to go in the crate, then come hell or high water, when you walk away from that dog… HE’D BETTER BE IN THAT CRATE!!! If you’re not willing to think like THE ALPHA DOG, then find a new home for the dog with someone who will. I don’t mean to come across as brash, but for Chrissakes… he’s YOUR OWN DOG. If you can’t even make him go into the crate, then there is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG with your relationship with your dog. And it doesn’t have to do so much with the dog.

The problem is within you. You must be able to protect your dog from himself. If you leave him out again, it’s possible he may kill himself. The dog is not brain damaged. Or if he is, then it has nothing to do with this behavior. He is experiencing separation anxiety. read the section in my book on separation anxiety. If you’ve already read it, I’d urge you to READ IT AGAIN AND PAY ATTENTION. Do exactly what the article says, and you’ll be able to lick this thing. Good luck,


The Truth About Crate Training

HILLARY was courageous enough to step forward and ask: I would like [to know] the truth about crate training. I have heard many people strongly advocate crates, but I am having trouble finding this method of housebreaking and training “nice”.

ME: “Nice” is simply a value judgement you’re placing on a training tool because you’re looking at your dog as if he were a human. And that’s were you’ll run into trouble. See, dogs are motivated by drives and instincts which are completely different than ours. One of these instincts is called a “den” instinct.

What we’ve found, by watching dogs in the wild, is that they will naturally build or find a small, enclosed area that allows them to feel safe (there back can be protected when they sleep), shelter (from the weather) and to protect the young. Many dog owners will often notice that there dogs will naturally curl up beneath a desk, under a table, under a bed, or in a closet… because if fulfills this sense of security and well being.

HILLARY: How can leaving a dog in a crate, even if it is big enough for him, be humane? How can this not enforce negative behavior in the dog if it is locked up for hours?

ME: The crate should be only big enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in… but not so big that he can defecate and urinate on one side and sleep on the other. How is it humane? It’s completely humane. Imagine leaving a baby– or even a toddler — in your house, unsupervised, before he has the maturity and understanding of the “house rules”. He’s going to get into trouble… right? He may even hurt himself, or worse. Maybe he’ll burn the house down. Or maybe he’ll eat something that will get lodged in his digestive tract. So… we confine him in a crib… or a play pen. Can he get out of the crib by himself? No way. That would be dangerous.

Do you understand the analogy?

You’re right… we wouldn’t leave the baby in the crib for 16 hours straight. But a few hours, here and there is okay… and at night.

HILLARY: Why are crates good? What are the effects of putting a dog in one as opposed to not putting a dog in one?

ME: Leaving a dog out of a crate, unsupervised, before he has proven that he knows and abides by the house rules is courting disaster. He’ll start chewing, digging, ripping and destroying things sooner or later, and because you’re not there (or awake) to correct him, he then starts to think these behaviors are “okay” and then they become behavior patterns which are much harder to break.

HILLARY: How long is too long to crate a dog?

ME: It depends on the age of the dog. For adult dogs, all through the night. During the day, not more than 4 hours at a stretch without taking the dog out for some exercise. Puppies may need to be taken out more frequently.

Realize this: Adult dogs spend roughly 80% of any 24 hour cycle either sleeping or resting. And with puppies, you’re probably looking at more like 90%. All you’re doing with the crate is saying, “Sleep here!” Not, “Here, then here, then over there.”

HILLARY: And if the dog is to be crated for hours, how much time should be allotted for exercise?

ME: Again, it depends on the age, breed, and drive (energy level) of the dog. You’ll know with your dog if he’s still bouncing off the walls. The crate will be one of your most important training tools.