How to Set Up Your New Dog Kennel

Choosing the right size kennel is essential for providing a safe home for your dog.
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When you bring home a new puppy, a dog kennel or crate creates a safe bedroom for your pooch. Providing a crate or kennel helps to aid in house-training and preventing destructive behavior while you puppy learns his manners. Setting up a new dog kennel correctly and in the right location helps to make your new puppy feel comfortable and not afraid of being confined. Outdoor kennels provide security in yards without fencing, but should provide a comfortable place for your pooch.

Indoor Kennel

Step 1

Evaluate your kennel size to ensure it is a perfect fit for your dog. The kennel should have enough room for your dog to stand in and turn around. For sleeping, the kennel should allow your dog to stretch his legs. Keep in mind your young puppy will grow. The kennel should be large enough to grow with him. Use a divider wall in large kennels for small puppies. This keeps them in a smaller area, enabling training, while still providing a kennel large enough for them to grow without having to purchase a new kennel.

Step 2

Place the kennel in a room where family members frequent, such as the family room. The idea of a kennel or crate is not to isolate your dog. Keeping his kennel within view of family members allows him to socialize even when he is inside.

Step 3

Put a blanket or towel inside the kennel to provide a soft, comfortable place for sleeping if you're past the potty training stage. With new puppies, they may mistakenly potty on their blanket or even chew it up. The addition of a durable toy provides entertainment for your puppy and something appropriate for your dog to chew. Most of time you don't need to place a water bowl in a crate unless your veterinarian recommends it.

Outdoor Kennel

Step 1

Place your outdoor kennel in a location that is relatively flat so when it rains, standing water will not be a problem. Choose a location where at least part of the kennel offers shade so your dog can escape the heat.

Step 2

Place a raised bench or elevated dog bed inside the kennel. This provides an elevated resting spot so your dog can get off the cold or damp ground. A doghouse is another option that provides a comfortable resting spot as well as an escape from the sun’s rays on a hot day.

Step 3

Keep a large water bowl filled with fresh water inside the kennel to provide your dog with constant access to water. Include durable chew toys for entertainment.


  • Do not confine a dog or puppy for longer than they are able to control their bowels and bladder.


  • Gradually introduce your dog to his kennel by leaving the door open and inviting him in with toys or treats. As he becomes comfortable and enters the kennel on his own, close the door for short time periods. This helps to reduce kennel and confinement anxiety.

Items You Will Need

  • Indoor or outdoor kennel
  • Blanket or towel
  • Water bowl
  • Toys
  • Raised bench or bed
  • Doghouse (optional)