Lets be honest – we all love spoiling our furry canine babies. Letting them do whatever they want is part of that spoiling treatment. However, it goes without saying that giving our dogs the ultimate freedom to act out their natural inclinations is not advisable on the long run. We teach our children how to behave and we should also teach our dogs how to be well-mannered. Some basic obedience training, housebreak training and crate training are the basic things we need to teach our dogs.
Crate training refers to the process of teaching dogs how to accept their crates as safe and familiar locations. Crates are either plastic or collapsible metal pens, large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around.
If correctly and properly used, the crate has many advantages. In fact, many dog trainers, behaviorists and professionals recommend using a crate.
The Benefits of Using a Dog Crate
1. The crate ensures your dog safety while you are not at home
When left unmonitored dogs can get quite creative. That creativity often includes getting into trouble – chewing cables, digging in the flower pots or even eating things that are not intended as food. These behaviors are not only destructive, but can also be dangerous for the dog’s health and well-being. Keeping your dog in a crate while you are not at home not only keeps your dog and house safe, but also puts your mind at ease.
2. The crate offers your dog a sense of security
Despite being social animals, dogs like having their own private dens where they can retreat. The crate offers a sense of security and allows your dog to hide and be at peace whenever it feels tired, anxious, stressed or simply wants to chill out. Simply stated, the crate hones your dog’s den instincts.
3. The crate helps in potty training
Using the crate as a confinement method is an essential part of successful potty training because most dogs refuse to soil their nests and will hold it until let out of the crate. Using the crate prevents elimination accidents at night or during your dog’s alone time.
4. The crate is good for forming a habit
Eventually there will come a time in your dog’s life when it will have to be confined for traveling or during a stay at the vet’s office. If your dog is already crate trained, these situations will be accepted as normal. On the other hand, if not crate trained, being confined for the first time only adds more stress and anxiety to the already stressful situation.
In a nutshell, crates are incredibly effective and useful short-term tools for managing and training dogs as well as keeping them safe. Well…not just for keeping the dogs safe, but also for keeping the house safe. If bored, dogs can develop destructive behaviors and cause messes. However, it should be well noted, that the crate should only be used when the dog is alone and without supervision. When you are at home, you shouldn’t keep your dog in the crate. You can always leave the crate’s door open, but it should be up your dog to decide whether to stay inside the crate or not.
If properly approached crate training can be fun and easy. The crate training should be conducted in a slow but progressive manner. For your dog to accept the crate, it must always associate it with something positive. Be patient and consistent. Keep in mind that younger puppies are easier to crate train than adult dogs with already formed habits.