If you’re trying to decide whether crate training your beagle puppy is worth it or necessary, or would like some tips on how to prepare – then you’re in the right place.
Crate training has so many benefits, and it’s something that every beagle owner should consider for their new pup to help make life significantly easier for everyone.
If you’ve never crate trained a beagle puppy before, or need some additional tips on the best way to get started, this step-by-step guide will cover everything you need to know!
Why Beagle Puppies are Commonly Crated
Beagles are one of the most common dog breeds to be crated for a variety of reasons, including their mischievous and playful nature, a curiosity of everything, inability to control themselves when they’re excited, destructive behaviors, difficulty housebreaking, and generally not being able to sit still for more than a few seconds!
They are pack animals, which means that they love being surrounded by other humans and pets. So when they are left to their own devices, they can get themselves into trouble.
Beagles are prone to separation anxiety when left alone suddenly and unexpectedly, bringing out the worst in them. They are also notoriously difficult to potty train.
Crating is used as an effective tool to train beagles as it provides them with a quiet and safe space where they can rest and helps to prevent them from chewing on items around the home that can be harmful to them (and your pocket!)
Is it cruel to Crate Beagles Puppies?
Many owners can feel guilty about crating their pups – after all, their beagles are part of the family.
The reality is, as humans we feel that confinement can be cruel, but for beagles, it provides a much-needed sense of security and somewhere safe to settle and rest when the environment around them becomes too overwhelming.
If used incorrectly, dogs can feel trapped and frustrated in their crate, which is why it’s so important to use suitable and effective crate training techniques.
They can be taught through positive reinforcement to love the crate, just as a child does with their own bedroom, and crate training is recommended by breeders, trainers, and vets for all dogs, not just beagles.
Is Crate Training Necessary for a Beagle Puppy?
Crate training is necessary for a beagle puppy if you are likely to leave them at home unsupervised for any length of time.
As beagles are inquisitive dogs, they are likely to get themselves into trouble by chewing and eating things around the home that they are not supposed to, including poisonous houseplants and small items that they could choke on or cause a blockage in their stomach.
A high proportion of beagles are also given up for adoption due to their destructive nature and loud barking, which can be eliminated if they are properly crate trained from a young age.
What’s the Alternative to Crate Training?
These will act as a safe space when you can’t watch over them, however, it will not provide the same level of comfort and reassurance that a confined space (such as a crate) would provide.
You will have to ensure that any area where your beagle roams freely has been beagle-proofed, and all items that pose a danger are well out of reach.
READ: Why Do Beagles Eat Poop?
The Benefits of Crate Training your Beagle Puppy
Crate training your beagle puppy has tons of benefits. It provides them with their own personal space where they can relax and feel safe, along with reducing their anxiety levels (and yours!)
If completed consistently, it can dramatically improve the relationship beagle owners have with their pups, as destructive behavior is extremely stressful for both them and their dogs.
7 Benefits of Crate Training Beagles Puppies
1. Gives them a sense of security
Once beagle puppies are used to their crate, they will understand that this is their home and safe space where they can take themselves off to, no matter what else is going on around them.
2. Somewhere comfortable to sleep
Beagles naturally tend to find small spaces and dens to curl up into, and a crate that is the right size will provide the perfect place for them to rest their head.
3. Significantly helps with potty training
Confinement helps to encourage control of their bladder as they will try to avoid having accidents within the areas they sleep, speeding up the time it takes to housebreak them.
4. Familiar ‘home’ in new environments
Whether there is lots going on at home or other stressful events taking place, their crate is one thing that will provide reassurance and consistency. It also makes it way easier for someone else to look after your beagle puppy too!
5. Safe place when not being supervised
Beagles can get up to a lot of mischief, so making sure that they can’t cause harm to themselves and your home is a key priority when they are left on their own.
6. Makes traveling much easier and safer
Transporting your beagle in a crate is the safest and most comfortable way to travel, and the familiarity of their ‘home’ will make it far less stressful for them.
7. You can enjoy peace of mind
Knowing that your beagle puppy is safely confined within its crate, it eliminates the fear of returning home to possible destruction and ensuring they are not developing any bad habits.
How Hard is it to Crate Train Beagle Puppies?
Crate training a beagle puppy can be challenging, but armed with the right information, guidance, and willpower – it is easily achievable. The hardest part is not giving in to the howling on the first night or two, after which the process becomes far less challenging.
Just as you would with a newborn baby, you will have to get up in the night for the first few days – in a beagle puppies case, every 2 hours or so.
You may be wondering whether crate training your beagle puppy will be worth all the effort, after all, it’s going to take a fair amount of patience and persistence from day one.
One thing we can promise, is that if you put in the hard work for the first week of bringing your beagle puppy home, you will set yourself up for success (and far less stress) in the long term.
When to start Crate Training a Beagle Puppy
Crate training a beagle puppy from day one will prevent any unnecessary stress later on in their life and is far easier than leaving it for when they have settled in – even if it is only for a few days.
Most people will get a puppy at 8 weeks old, but no matter how old the puppy is – it is important to introduce them to the crate as soon as they arrive home.
If they are accustomed to freedom in your home beforehand, then crate training will become a much bigger challenge for you both.
Crate Training Adult or Rescue Beagles
Crate training adult or rescue beagles may take a little longer than crate training a puppy, however, it can still take anywhere from a few days to two weeks.
When you know very little about the history of a beagle, this can make it more challenging until you understand whether the use of a crate was abused by its previous owners.
For more relevant information see our guide on How to Crate Train Adult or Rescue Beagles.
What type of Dog Crate do Beagle Puppies Need?
The best type of dog crate for beagles is a metal or wire crate which gives them a full view of their surroundings and is durable.
Beagles will chew on anything that can give way (such as plastic or cloth) so a wire crate is an absolute must. They also provide better ventilation than fully enclosed crates.
Crate features should include:
- Heavy-Duty Slide Bolt LatchWire Divider
- Easy Assembly (without tools)
- Travel-friendly/Portable Design
- Pull-out tray
What Size Dog Crate for a Beagle?
The perfect crate size for an adult beagle is usually no more than 30 inches wide. Beagles prefer an enclosed space – much like a den, although it should still be big enough for them to sit, stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.
The other reason that you shouldn’t get a large crate is that it will hinder their potty training. Beagles will not want to soil the areas in which they sleep, and if they have too much space in their crate, they will find an area large enough to potty in.
Although a 25-inch to 30-inch crate is the ideal size for a fully grown beagle, this needs to be smaller for a beagle puppy.
The best way to deal with this is to choose a crate with a divider that can be used to adjust the size as your beagle grows and will save you from having to purchase new crates sizes.
Where should you place your Beagle’s Crate?
Beagles are pack animals, and so love to be close to their humans and other pets. The ideal (permanent) place for their crate is in a quiet corner of the most used or busiest room in the home so that they do not feel isolated.
This will also give them space to retreat to their crate should they prefer to escape the noise or rest up.
Your beagle should be able to see the room from the front of their crate, with the back of the crate against a wall.
The crate position should avoid:
- Direct sunlight
- Hot temperatures
- Cold temperatures
- Drafty conditions
- Noisy appliances (such as washing machines)
NOTE: When you are crate training a beagle puppy from Day 1, it’s best to initially place their crate close to your bedroom at night time, gradually moving them further away until it is in the permanent position.
We’ll cover this in the step-by-step guide shortly.
READ: Do Beagles Shed?
How to Prepare for Crate Training a Beagle Puppy
Time for the exciting part!
Preparing to crate train your new beagle puppy means that you are close to bringing that bundle of joy home with you soon!
There are a few things that you’ll need before they arrive in order to make crate training easier and a lot less stressful. Also, see our post on Every Possible Item You’ll Need to Consider for a Beagle and Your Home.
8 Things You Need for Crate Training
1. Dog Crate
A suitable metal crate with a wire divider and pull-out tray for easy cleaning.
2. Food Bowl
Heavy-duty food bowl for feeding inside the crate whilst you are crate training. A water bowl is not necessary for inside the crate (more on this later).
3. Dog Training Treats
When introducing your beagle puppy to the crate it’s important to use tasty (and smelly) dog treats to create a positive environment. You may be using lots of these to begin with, so try to choose one with small pieces that are low in calories.
4. Bedding (washable)
It’s likely these will be soiled/chewed/destroyed regularly by your beagle puppy – have several options available at any time. Big fluffy-filled beds are not a good idea and are very likely to be chewed to pieces by beagle puppies! Non-slip bed pads or VetBeds with a small blanket on top are all you need.
5. Crate Cover
Covering the sides of the crate with a blanket or bed sheet at night is a great way to help your beagle puppy adjust to bedtime, and provides additional security and warmth for them (which they love). It also helps reduce stimulation from their surroundings when they should be sleeping. Just be sure to make adjustments if it’s already too warm in the house.
6. Towels (microfibre)
Whilst you are potty training your beagle puppy there is going to be a lot of back and forth from the yard. Muddy or wet paws and minor accidents will mean lots of wiping up, and towels will help keep the bedding in the crate clean and dry – not to mention getting your puppy used to being handled with a towel. Microfibre towels are great as they dry quicker than cotton.
7. Durable Chew Toys
Toys are a great way of keeping your beagle puppy entertained, so long as they last for more than a couple of minutes! Beagles are known for obliterating ordinary dog toys, so choosing tough chew toys is best. Soft, fluffy toys can pose a danger to beagles if ingested and should be avoided when they are unsupervised.
8. Mother’s Blanket
Give your breeder a blanket or fleece that they can leave in the pen with mama beagle and siblings for a few days before you pick up your puppy. Their scent will imprint on it which will help your puppy settle in much quicker when they arrive home with you.
READ: Do Beagles Stink?
Beagle Puppy Crate Training: Day 1 Step-By-Step Guide
Not to be too dramatic, but today is the day when you’ll be changing your new beagle’s life in a big way!
For their whole life until now, they have spent every waking and sleeping moment with their mother and siblings, and you’ll be removing them from this familiar and safe environment into the unknown.
The least we can do is help prepare them (and ourselves) for what is likely to be an emotional few days for everyone in the household.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Get The Crate Ready
Before you head out in your excitement to pick up your new beagle puppy, have the crate ready and in place to makes things easier on your return.
Place the crate in its permanent site with a non-slip liner and a toy inside. Have your food bowl, water bowl and training treats close by. Ensure the crate door is propped open so that it won’t startle them if it’s knocked against the crate.
Check the areas around the home that your puppy will have access to, and remove anything at or near ground level that shouldn’t be within their reach, including shoes and houseplants.
2. Introduce Your Beagle to the Crate
When you arrive home with your puppy, the first thing you’ll want to do is let them go for potty outside in the yard – even though it’s likely they have already relieved themselves several times during the journey home!
Give them a treat once they have been and then introduce your beagle puppy to the crate. Put them down on the floor close to their crate, cut a small piece of mother’s blanket/fleece, and place it inside.
Let them freely explore the area around the crate and see if they naturally make their own way in. If they stray too far, gently guide them back towards the crate with a treat in hand and a happy voice.
3. Creative a Positive Environment Inside the Crate
The crate needs to be a safe and happy place for your beagle, and they should voluntarily make their own way in. Placing a couple of treats inside the crate is a sure-fire way of enticing a beagle, and should do the trick on most occasions.
Place one treat near the door of the crate first, and then another inside the crate. If they don’t go in – that’s ok, no need to force them. Try using a toy instead and repeat these steps. Don’t forget that happy voice!
Coupled with their mother’s blanket, you are already creating a positive environment inside the crate.
4. Play Crate Games
Another great way to create a positive association is to play games in the crate with your beagle puppy.
5. Crate Feed your Beagle
As beagles are totally food-obsessed, it becomes even easier to create a positive association with the crate by feeding them their meals inside.
Let your beagle puppy watch you prepare their meal – you will almost certainly have their attention at this point. Place the bowl of food inside the crate (towards the middle).
If your beagle puppy is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 3, place the food bowl all the way at the back of the crate.
If they remain reluctant to enter, place the bowl close to the door. Each time you feed them, place it slightly further away.
NOTE: Water bowls are not needed inside the crate as you will be regularly letting them out for a drink. If water is placed inside, puppies will drink far more than they need, leading to frequent accidents and subsequent distress.
6. Close the Door for the First Time
Once your beagle puppy looks happy wolfing their food down, close the crate door whilst they are still eating. This is the best opportunity as they are suitably distracted!
On the first occasion you do this, open the door as soon as they’ve finished (and before any opportunity for them to whine).
With each subsequent meal, leave the door closed for a little longer, until they can remain in their crate for 5 minutes or so after eating (without whining).
7. Step Away from the Crate
If your pup is crate training well, step away from the crate (but remain in view) and wait a few minutes. Repeat this step whilst increasing the duration of time with the crate door closed.
If your puppy begins to whine as soon as you close the door, turn your back to them and wait until they have calmed down.
After 10 seconds if they are still calm, turn around and let them out of their crate. Increase this time as your beagle makes progress.
Repeat this process until your pup becomes familiar with which behaviors are rewarded.
8. Increase The Time
Gradually increase the duration your beagle is left inside of crate until they can spend about an hour or two without needing to go for potty breaks.
If they’re not ready after a few days of crate training, go back to the previous time increment and try again.
NOTE: Whilst they are still very young (8-10 weeks) it is likely they will need to relieve themselves soon after a meal. You can help increase the duration in the crate by coinciding feeding times straight after their last pee.
9. Potty Breaks
During the first few days of crate training, you will need to keep a close eye on your beagle puppy at all times if you want to housebreak them as quickly as possible.
An 8-week old beagle puppy can relieve themselves every 30 minutes or so during waking hours, so you’ll want to make sure they go on the puppy pad or in the backyard as much as they can.
As they grow and learn, they’ll be able to control their bladder for longer:
- 8-10 weeks: 30-60 minutes
- 11-14 weeks: 1-2 hours
- 15-19 weeks: 2-4 hours
- 20+ weeks: 4-5 hours
When they have accidents elsewhere, such as a rug or carpeted area, this scent will linger no matter how well you clean it, and will be used as a cue by your puppy to go there again.
Look for the signs in your puppy needing to go potty – beagles normally start sniffing the ground and circling around just before they let out nervous whines.
You most likely will not be able to distract them with treats at this point, so pick them up and take them to the area required, and them give a treat when they are done.
10. At Bedtime
You can be assured that it is unlikely you will get much sleep over the first two or three nights, and your patience will be tested – but do not give up!
It is only fair to expect that this tiny little pooch will be whining for mama beagle during the first night, but will very soon adjust to their new family and way of life.
Crating your beagle puppy at night time is extremely important in order to keep them safe and help set boundaries.
On the first night, move the crate to your bedroom and place it near the door, with the front of the crate facing your bed. Cover the top and sides with a large blanket or bedsheet to help your beagle associate this with ‘sleep time.’
After your beagle has been potty for the last time, show them to their crate and give them a treat. Avoid any playtime or other distractions that may stimulate them.
TIP: You may want to think about giving them a treat that they only associate with going to bed, such as a puppy dental chew that is always reserved for bedtime.
Set your alarm for every 2 hours throughout the night to let them out for potty. Puppies can hold their bladder for longer at night as their systems slow down.You will want to try and avoid any accidents in their crate as this is likely to distress them.
Be prepared for some sleep disturbance on the first night – they will whine. A lot!
The most important thing you can do here is to make sure you do not give in to them. If they have been potty and are whining straight away – ignore them. If you let them out, then they will know exactly what they need to do every single time.
We promise, if you follow these guidelines, they will settle in their crate during the night within two to three days. They just need time to understand what is expected.
NOTE: As time passes, you will learn how long your puppy can hold its bladder, and by day three or four, you should be able to increase the duration between potty breaks.
11. Clean up any Accidents Straight Away
Your beagle puppy will have several accidents in their crate, which need to be identified and cleaned up right away.
Beagles, just like most other dogs, do not like sleeping or playing in soiled areas and this can lead to a negative association with the crate.
You can normally tell an accident has occurred as your beagle will probably be sitting in a clean corner of the crate, pushing the soiled blanket away from them.
Always have lots of clean bedding available so that whilst one is in the wash, you have access to spares.
The reason you only want a small piece of mother’s blanket/fleece is that it’s less likely to be pee’d on by the puppy.
A large blanket will cover the surface area of the crate which they will not be able to avoid, and ideally, a mother’s blanket shouldn’t be washed as this will remove her scent. If you have only cut a small piece and this gets soiled, you should have some leftover from the rest of the blanket.
12. Introduce Command Words
Once your pup looks like they are getting used to their new den, it’s time to begin introducing command words associated with the crate.
Many people choose to use ‘crate’ or ‘bed’ when crate training their beagles, however, anything distinctive and short will work.
You will also need to choose words associated with positive and negative behaviors, such as ‘no’ and ‘good dog.’
You can begin to teach them to go to their crate by holding a treat in your hand whilst pointing and saying the command word ‘crate’
When they enter the crate, close the door first and give them the treat whilst saying ‘good dog’
Use these commands and always give praise whenever your puppy gets it right.
13. Work on Distance and Duration
Gradually increase crate time by a few minutes every day, whilst also walking away and leaving your puppy in their crate. Work towards 1-2 hours crate time after 2 weeks, with plenty of exercise in between to ensure they are tired.
It is important for them to get used to and understand that being in their crate for short periods whilst people are at home is a normal part of their day.
14. Let Your Beagle Out When They Are Calm
It is normal for puppies to throw tantrums when first left in their crate with the door closed. What is important, is that you only let them out when they display calm behavior.
Crate training will not be successful if puppies are let out every time they whine, bark, or scratch at the crate. This teaches them the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
Instead, we want to show them that calm behavior is rewarded. When your puppy starts to whine, turn your back to them until they have stopped.
In the first few days, you will need lots of patience to get this right, as puppies are still developing at rapid speeds and need time to understand what works for them.
15. Be Consistent
Crate training success relies on consistency.
In an ideal world, you would have taken a week or two off work in order to focus your full attention on adjusting your beagle puppy to their new life.
In reality, this cannot always be achieved, however, there should be someone available all of the time for the first week your puppy arrives home.
Continue with daily crate training sessions until your Beagle is fully housebroken and is showing signs of being content on its own in their crate.
Don’t Give In!
There’s no option to take a ‘day off’ from crate training, so you will need to be prepared for what is potentially going to be a tiring couple of weeks, just as you would expect with a newborn child!
The first night is by far the most testing of all. They are likely to whine all night long, even after you have taken them out for potty. This is normal behavior and to be completely expected.
Beagles are extremely stubborn dogs, even as puppies. It will require you to be more stubborn than them in order to make crate training work.
One of the most important things you can do to help make crate training easier (both during the day and at night) is to ensure your puppy is exhausted from exercise. Lots of physical and mental stimulation will mean they are too tired to think about kicking off in the first place!
21 Crate Training Do’s and Don’ts
- Do get the right size crate
- Do try to get mother’s blanket
- Do keep experiences in the crate positive
- Do keep giving treats and praise
- Do take them out for potty regularly
- Do exercise your beagle before crate time
- Do create a tight and confined area in the crate
- Do leave the crate door open during the day
- Do leave toys in the crate
- Do leave the crate door open
- Do keep in the crate whilst at home
- Do clean up accidents quickly
- Do be consistent and persevere
- Don’t use the crate as a punishment
- Don’t force your beagle inside the crate
- Don’t put puppy training pads inside the crate
- Don’t let them out when they are whining
- Don’t let them sleep on your bed
- Don’t make a big deal of your arrival or departure
- Don’t abuse the crate
- Don’t put a collar, harness, leash, or any other item on your beagle (when in the crate)
For a detailed guide of these do’s and don’ts, read a full list here of our Top Crate Training Tips.
How long does it take to Crate Train a Beagle Puppy?
Crate training a beagle puppy takes time and patience. For the first two or three nights, you can expect a reasonable amount of whining from them until they understand that the crate is their safe space to rest.
In terms of the length of time it takes before a beagle puppy is content with its crate – this usually takes around two weeks, if training is delivered consistently (and whilst they have company at home).
It can take up to 6 months for them to fully adjust to the crate when they are left at home alone (for around 4 hours at a time).
How long should I Crate Train each Night?
Beagle puppies should be kept in their crate all night whilst you are sleeping, with the caveat of letting them out regularly throughout the night.
An 8-10 week old puppy will need to relieve themselves every 2 hours or so whilst they are learning how to hold their bladder. As time passes, you will begin to understand how long you can go through the night before needing to let them out for potty breaks.
How long should I keep my Puppy in its Crate?
Aside from crating a beagle puppy overnight, they should only be kept in a crate for short periods of time during the day whilst you are still training, usually one or two hours during the first couple of weeks.
Beagles are social animals and need to be around their people, so they shouldn’t be crated all day long.
It’s not fair to crate a beagle puppy all night long and then again when you go to work. They need frequent breaks to stretch their legs and plenty of exercise in between.
Friends, dog walkers, and doggy daycare can help if you have certain days where they will have little interaction with others.
How do I tell when my Puppy needs to go Potty?
When your puppy needs to pee, you can expect to hear concerned or nervous whining whilst they are circling around and sniffing the floor, trying to find somewhere to go.
You will become more familiar with these signs as you get used to seeing this behavior just prior to them relieving themselves.
They should be let out of the crate and into the backyard or a puppy pad as soon as possible to help reinforce the correct location for the potty.
Shake a treat jar to get them back to you and place one as a reward in their crate to help with potty training.
What should I do when my Puppy Barks or Whines in their Crate?
What you should do when your puppy barks or whines in their crate depends on the reason for this behavior.
There will be times when puppies are scratching at the crate frantically, whining, or barking when they don’t need to relieve themselves.
When you are certain this is the case, and you have given them plenty of exercise, and met their needs, they should not be let out until they have calmed down for a short period of time.
You can try to teach them how to calm down by turning your back to them whenever they bark or whine, and wait until they have stopped.
If you let them out whilst they are barking, this will only reinforce that they need to continue with this behavior in order to be let out, hindering any crate training progress you may have made so far.
How can I tell if Crate Training is working?
Every day you can expect to see progress from your crate training if you have been consistent.
Experiencing your first night without any barking or whining is a major milestone, as is seeing your puppy carry themselves off into their crate during the day for some peace and quiet.
The ultimate milestone is when they are happily playing in their crate with the door closed whilst there is lots going on around them, or they sleep for the whole duration when they are left alone at home.
Rest assured, we guarantee that crate training will pay off after a couple of weeks of persistence!
Transitioning Away from the Crate
You may be thinking…woah! Transitioning away from the crate? After all this hard work?
That’s right. Crate training a beagle puppy in this regimented fashion is only for a small snippet of their lives with you – which is great news!
The purpose of crating a beagle puppy is to help house train them and teach them how to behave and interact appropriately. Once they can hold their bladder and control destructive behaviors they should be trusted with a little more freedom.
Transitioning away from the crate should be gradual, decreasing the amount of time they spend in their crate during the day.
The crate will always remain a safe place for your beagle to sleep at night, and many owners will continue to crate them during bedtime until they have fully matured – at around 3 years old for a beagle.
Wrapping Up Our Crate Training Guide
Crate training a beagle puppy doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you can find the time, dedication, and patience along with a few useful tips, you’ll be good to go.
By following these simple steps, you can train your puppy to love their new home and help them understand what it means to be a part of the family.
We hope this Step-By-Step Guide has helped give you the confidence to get started with crate training your beagle pup! If you have any questions, leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you. Happy training!