Crate Training a Border Collie

Before we got our Border Collie I was always against the idea of crate training. I thought it unnecessary and frankly a little mean. Quite honestly I really did not know what it was all about, or the purpose of it, and simply was against it on principle. Crate training a Border Collie turns out to be a great way to go. It seemed to me that putting a dog in a little box was the lazy way to raise a dog and, if you had to put them in a box, why in the world even have a dog? Well, like most things I thought I knew about dogs, this was something that I relearned when it came to our Border Collie puppy.

If you are thinking of getting a Border Collie puppy and have some of the same feelings I did about crate training I encourage you to look deeper into it and learn more about the practice. After several talks with the breeder and other owners of the breed (and the fact my wife wanted to do it) I decided to give it a shot. Looking back now, a couple years after we got our puppy, I am very glad we did the crate thing. The dog was happier, we were happier and it turned out to not be that big of an issue at all. (We used one like this…Folding Metal Dog Crate…it was $60 very well spent)

Crate Training your Border Collie

We threw a blanket over the top and put a bunch of bedding inside. Ned loved it.

The first thing I had to understand is that the idea of the crate is not as a place to stick the dog when they misbehave. This had always been my impression of the process. The crate is basically a stand in for the den in the wild (like a wolf den). It is a safe place for the dog to rest and sleep in. It gives your puppy a place within your house that he can call his own, it is his spot and no one else’s. The crate must never be used as a punishment and I highly recommend reading up on this in a puppy training book from a professional trainer.

Secondly I was pleased to learn that instinct will not let the dog relieve himself in the crate. This is very handy! Once we got Ned the Border Collie accustomed to his crate he would sleep in there at night. When we got up in the morning (very early) we’d take him directly from the crate to outside where Natures call was answered. This process made house training the dog really very easy compared to other dogs I’ve had.

Thirdly it was interesting to note that the dog actually liked the darn thing. Once we adopted the crate method very often our Border Collie could be found napping or simply hanging out in his crate. If he could not find a particular toy we would check in his crate and sure enough he would have a stockpile of tennis balls and bones in there. In his chewing days as a puppy, before we redirected him to Kongs, we would find all sorts of things in the crate from shoes and flip-flops to paperback books.

If you have been thinking about crate training really do look into it. It was a great experience for us and for our Border Collie. Look online or grab a puppy training book to get the details on the method. I can tell you one thing; the next puppy we get we will without a doubt be using the crate method. Check it out!

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  1. Karen says

    First off, I love your site! I have a Catahoula Leopard dog, which is a lot like a border energy-wise – he even sleeps on the couch just like the picture of your dog!!

    I, like you, was TOTALLY against crate training (although I didn’t know anything about it – just had the same feelings as you described). But when used correctly, it is such a blessing. Probably the best money spent on my dog!

  2. Cherie says

    Hi there,

    I love your site! I even ordered one of the books you recommend (101 Dog Tricks).

    My border collie is 3.5 months old. Right now, we are only using his crate at night. He has been great, although I am super concientious not to let him go more then 4 hours without a potty break.

    That said, I am noticing more and more that when I get up at 3 or 4:00am, HE is not ready to get up. Could it be that he is ready to stay in his crate for longer periods of time? I would sure love this. :)

    What method did you use to train Ned to longer periods of time in crate (or did you just extend him with age?)


  3. says


    That is a great book and super cheap as well. As for the crate time it was a very slow increase over time but I think the age thing was the main factor. Think they just learn to hold it longer as they get more mature. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Brenda says

    Hi, I have a 19month old border collie and she’s great when you’re at home, but leave her on her own and she just wrecks!!!!!! Doesn’t matter if she’s inside or outside, she finds something to destroy, chew and eat! I’m at the end of my tether and really need help as I can’t leave her out with washing out, or a plant pot in sight. she’s even trailed matting off the trampoline and decimated that. Inside she’s bitten charger wires, letters, doors, mats, clothes etc etc etc!!!!! Please help.

  5. says

    Great site and some useful (and reassuring) hints and tips for introducing my new BC puppy into the home. I have 101 dog tricks on order and have started a blog as a journal of the whole experience from T minus 11 days.

    Here’s to a life full of hard work and exercise, hopefully rewarded with a dog as awesome as your Ned.

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