Crate training your dog is a great way to ensure that they have a designated space of their own and can be an especially helpful tool when house training a new pup.
When the environment around your dog becomes too loud or stressful, he or she will naturally seek out a comfy, quiet, and safe place. It’s an essential strategy for keeping dogs from chewing on household items or during housebreaking. Crates are also a secure method to transport your dog in the car.
Here are a few tips to get started on crate training your dog:
Benefits of Crating Your Dog
There are many benefits to crating your dog. These include:
- Providing a den-like atmosphere
- Preventing destructive behavior
- Eliminating housebreaking issues
- Reducing anxiety in dogs
- Teaching dogs to be alone
A crate can also provide a sense of security for your dog and can be a place of refuge when the environment becomes too overwhelming.
Make sure that you select the correct size crate for your dog and never use a crate as a punishment. Crate training can be a very successful way to train your dog and can provide many benefits for both you and your pet.
Inappropriate Time to Crate
A crate is not a magical cure for common dog behaviors. A dog may feel trapped and irritated if it is used incorrectly. For other dogs, however, crates will not be an option. There are some times when it is inappropriate to put your dog in a crate. These include:
- During pregnancy
- When recovering from surgery
- When nursing puppies
- During hot weather
If your dog is crated for too many hours, they may soil the crate. All dogs are different, so you’ll have to use your best judgment when it comes to crate training your dog. If your dog seems happy and content in his or her space, then don’t worry about leaving them there for an extra hour or two. Just make sure they get enough exercise and human interaction outside of the crate as well.
Also, never crate your dog if he or she looks uncomfortable or anxious. Your dog should go into their crate willingly.
Using a Crate as a Punishment
A crate should never be used to punish your dog by denying them access to family members, food, water, shelter, and toilet facilities. Refrain from scolding them for accidents by putting them in the crate. This could make things worse because they will associate the punishment with their crate instead of the accident.
Although crates may be used to manage behavior, they should never be employed as a form of punishment.
For example, putting your dog in a crate with an entertaining toy when friends visit to avoid food or jumping disasters is more successful than waiting for misconduct and then putting them away. Using goodies to entice your dog into the crate until they like going in is also a great way to speed up the process.
How Long to Crate Your Dog
Don’t keep your dog in the crate for long periods of time. A dog who is confined all day and night may become depressed or nervous if he or she doesn’t get enough activity or human interaction. You could have to modify your routine, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a daycare center in order to reduce the amount of time your pup is left alone.
Also, crates are not the only tool available. If you’re trying to prevent a puppy from chewing on things or having an accident at night, you can use a tether in your bedroom so they’re free to move about in a small space but can’t wander off while you’re asleep.
Types of Crates
There are a number of crate options:
- Plastic (often known as “flight kennels”)
- Fabric on a collapsible, sturdy frame
- Metal pens that can be collapsed
Crates are available in a variety of sizes and can be found at most pet stores or online. Some cradles can be adjusted as your dog grows, which is great for pups. Choose a crate size that will fit your dog’s adult measurement when they are still growing.
Potential Problems with Crating
Each dog has a different personality and might react differently to being placed in a crate. Some may cry and howl relentlessly, while others will be quiet and content to stay put for hours on end. If your dog falls into the latter category, crating them during designated times can be an effective way of getting things done around the house.
However, crates can cause problems if they are used incorrectly. A dog will often soil the crate because it is a confined area and can’t get to their toilet in time. This makes them feel uncomfortable and may prevent them from using the crate in the future.
Another problem with crating is that dogs forced to stay in a crate for too many hours may become anxious or depressed. This can lead to destructive behavior, such as chewing on the crate or whining for attention. If you have to leave your dog in a crate for an extended period of time, make sure he has plenty of toys and activities to keep him occupied.
Crating your dog can be a great way to housetrain them, stop them from chewing on furniture, and provide them with a safe space, but it’s important to do so correctly. Make sure your dog is comfortable in the crate and isn’t being forced to stay in it for too long.
If you follow these tips, both you and your pup will be happy with the results.