Notes from Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book, “Before and After Getting Your Puppy”

In addition to teaching how to crate-train, Dr. Dunbar is most well-known for teaching: How to socialize a puppy, and how to potty-train a puppy.

How to Crate-Train a Puppy


  • Playpen, crate, bed
  • No-spill water bowl (no food bowl…all kibble should be fed by putting into the Kongs)
  • 2 Kongs
  • Puppy pads (only for when you are away from home)
  • Metal leash (chew- proof…you will often carabiner this to your belt) and carabiner
  • Slip-collar (the dog doesn’t wear a collar for fear of choking, but you can use the slip collar for a few minutes when bringing the dog out to potty.)
  • Freeze-dried liver treats (3 lentil-sized chunks per potty)
  • Puppy kibble

Crate introduction:

When you get your puppy, introduce her to the crate:

  1. Stuff two Kongs with puppy kibble (with a liver treat stuffed in the small hole)
  2. Let your puppy sniff the Kongs
  3. Place the Kongs in the crate
  4. Shut the door with the puppy on the outside
  5. Your puppy will beg you to open the door and let him inside.
  6. Let her into the crate, and your puppy will be preoccupied with the Kongs


  • Whenever the puppy is in the crate (in the daytime), she should have a kibble-filled Kong to chew.
  • Whenever the puppy is in the playpen, she should have the kibble-filled Kong tied to the inside of the crate (so if she wants to chew it, he has to be in the crate).

Click here for Part 2 of Dr. Dunbar's potty training method.