To crate or not to crate?

Only 12 days to go until we pick up our cocker spaniel puppy Charlie and we’ve been doing lots to try and be prepared. Neither of us have had a dog before in our families so there is a lot to learn!

Last week we went for a look around our local Pets at Home to pick up a few bits and to be honest I started to get a bit overwhelmed by it all. I’m so excited to be getting a dog but seeing all the hundreds of different options for beds, bowls, leads, food, toys etc I started to worry that we wouldn’t get the right stuff for him and I didn’t know what to get for the best! I never realised how many different options there are for literally everything!

We ended up buying a bed, lead, bowls and a couple of other things, but then taking half of it back a few days later after further research it wasn’t right.

We went back again and asked for a bit of help from a lovely girl working there and now I feel much more confident about it all. This probably sounds really stupid but I had a panic moment I wouldn’t be able to look after him properly. Seriously if I’m like this about a dog I have no idea what I’m going to be like when we start a family!

Anyway we’ve done lots of reading about crate training after it was recommended to us by a few people and the breeder who we are getting Charlie from. We initially decided we didn’t want to do that as we didn’t like the idea of a “cage”. But we’ve come to realise that it sounds like it’s actually better for him, and that is what is most important here. We’ve read that dogs like dens and this will be like his little space where he can get some peace and rest. Plus when we go and stay with family and friends we can take his safe place with us so he will always feel comfortable. So for the moment we’ve taken back the dog bed we bought and got a crate with cushions and covered it with a blanket!

Any advice on this would be appreciated! If you have (or haven’t) crate trained your dog I’d love to know what you think are the pros and cons?!


3 thoughts on “To crate or not to crate?

  1. hey! just came across your blog from Instagram πŸ™‚

    I have a working cocker spaniel pup and like you, he was my first dog.

    I was also in two minds, however, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in regard to him. although it seems bad initially, my pup loves his crate and knows that it’s a place for him where he can chill out and sleep, whilst feeling safe.

    we leave the crate open in the day and he can go in and out when he pleases. he’s almost a year old now and at night time, he goes in there himself when he feels tired and we shut the door and he’s perfect till the morning!

    when we first got the puppy, the first 2 nights he was crying but DON’T give in, I know it’s so hard! but honestly, don’t because then they’ll get into the routine of you coming down and they’ll be a nightmare later on.

    we had 2 bad nights and after that he went in on his own accord and has been the perfect dog throughout the night, absolute god send!
    as he’s almost a year now, he still goes in the crate at night and is quite happy to as he knows what to expect and understands that it’s bed time now!

    biggest advice I can give is to not give in the first few nights although it’s natural to check and see if they’re okay, don’t!

    during the day if you leave the crate open he can come and go as he pleases too. we have never used it for punishment or anything else which is why I think it’s worked fine. couple of toys before you shut the door and they will be happy pooches!

    love my spaniel, they have the best temperaments πŸ™‚ happy crating!


    1. Hi Victoria,

      Thanks so much for your comment and advice. I started this blog in the hope to share my experience and for advice from others so it’s much appreciated! We’ve had Charlie 2 days now and he’s so lovely! We went for the crate and he seems ok with it. The first night he didn’t cry at all but yesterday seemed to have found his voice! Sticking at it though!

      Thanks again for your advice, if you have any other tips please let me know!

      Naomi x


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