The many benefits of crate training a dog become obvious with each day of use. Many people share the secret of this product, others shy away from its use. Understanding crates – from the dog’s point of view – illustrates why this device is so wonderful.
Any wild canine will secure a small snugly fitting space to call its own. This space represents security to the dog. In its den it cannot be attacked or bothered, so it is able to fully relax. This instinctive desire for a secure den is the basis of the psychology behind using a crate as a training aid. Once the pet owner has overcome his/her prejudice against “caging” a pet and accepted the sound reasoning behind crate training, he and his dog can begin to enjoy the benefits of the marvelous crate.
To accustom your dog to its new crate, prop open the door and allow the dog to explore the confines of the crate. Placing food or a favorite object inside will encourage it to step in. When the dog is comfortable, close the door and keep it confined for five or 10 minutes. When you let the dog out, do it unceremoniously. Releasing the dog should not be a major production.
Each time you put the dog in the crate, increase the length of time it is confined. Eventually the dog can be confined for up to four hours at a time. If the crate also serves as the dog’s bed, it can be left crated throughout the night. Don’t overuse the crate, though. Both you and your dog should think of it as a safe haven, not a prison.
Use the soothing effect of the crate to convey to your dog that it is bedtime. Many dogs will earn to go directly to their crates when they are ready to call it a day. Often the use of the crate will convince a restless dog to stop howling at the moon or barking at every little sound, allowing its owners to sleep through the night undisturbed.
Many dogs receive their meals in their crates. Finicky eaters are made to concentrate on the food that is offered and, as a result, overcome eating problems. For the owners more than the dog, the crate serves as a way to regulate the food intake of the dogs. If dogs in the same household have different diets, crate feeding is almost essential. It also can make mealtimes less stressful if you have a dominant dog that tries to keep others in the household away from its food bowls.
House training is easier with the help of a crate. Until the dog is dependably house trained, it should not be given the opportunity to make a mistake. A healthy dog will not soil its den – the place where it sleeps. If the crate is the right size for your dog – allowing just enough room to stand up and turn around – it will not soil its crate. If you purchase a crate for a puppy based on the size of the mature dog, you may need to block off one end to keep the puppy from sleeping in one corner and using the other for elimination.
Any time you cannot keep a close watch on the puppy, place it in its crate. With the assistance of a crate, house training can be painless for you and your dog. No untrained dog should be given the run of the house while its owner is away. This is not only foolhardy from the standpoint of protecting you belongings, but also from the standpoint of protecting the dog. N untrained dog could chew through an electrical cord, get trapped under a piece of furniture it has upset or be poisoned or choked by a piece of trash. Use a crate to protect the dog from itself.
If your dog becomes ill or needs surgery, confinement in a crate will assure it the extra rest it needs during the recovery period. The crate can serve as a hospital bed too.
In dozens of ways, the addition of a crate means better care for your dog. It allows for consistency in training. It helps the dog feel secure. It makes travel safer and more comfortable. Once you have experienced the benefits of crate training your dog, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.