It is a common misconception that crate training is cruel
unfair and generally inhumane treatment of a puppy. This is untrue as long as the pet has adequate exercise and a chance to go outside before placing in the crate.
Everyone needs a special place to call his or her own and pets are no different. Many dogs enjoy lying in a darkened area such as under a table or bed. It acts as their own private sanctuary and crates can be the perfect substitute that is beneficial to both you and your pet.
Some of the benefits of crate training are a feeling of security and safety for your dog as well as help in training. Crates are also excellent tools to be used in housebreaking a puppy. The natural instinct of a dog is to not eliminate in its personal space. By using the crate, a puppy can be taught the proper places to urinate or defecate.
Crates can also help to control the cost repairs due to the elimination, chewing, digging, and typical destructive puppy behavior. They can also help the pet become accustomed to traveling, boarding and veterinary care.
Care should be taken when choosing a crate. It is important for the puppy to have plenty of room to stand and turn around in. Unless you wish to purchase different sizes, get a crate that will accommodate your puppy’s expected adult size.
When using the crate, it should be kept as a positive, enjoyable retreat. Never use it in punishment. Also, remember dogs are social animals that like interaction with other members of the household. The ideal locations for crates are where the family spends time. Kitchens, dens, bedrooms, living rooms and game rooms are best. Avoid isolated areas such as the garage or laundry room.
If the family is going to be gone for an extended period of time during the day, make the puppy feel less alone by leaving a radio or television playing. This will often calm the pet and avoid problem behaviors such as barking; chewing, and self inflicted wounds from boredom licking.
Introduce your puppy to his or her crate as early as possible. Leaving treats, toys and food are recommended. This will often encourage your puppy to enter it on his own.
The first crating should be after a period of play or exercise and an elimination trip outside. The puppy will be tired and more likely to take a nap. Encourage him to enter the crate on his own with plenty of praise and rewards. If your puppy refuses to enter, gently put him in yourself keeping your tone as quiet and calm as possible. After placing him in crate, latch the door and leave the room.
You can expect vocal protest the first few times but it is important not to give in to your puppy’s wishes. Usually the barking will subside after a period of time ranging from minutes to an hour or so. If it does not, a correction may be needed. This correction does not mean removing the pet and physically punishing it. Remember, you do not want your puppy to associate the correction with you. Some methods that are effective are remote controls for the television or radio. When these suddenly come on without your presence, the puppy is often startled into being quiet. An aluminum can containing a few coins or a water gun used out of site is often affective as well.
These methods for puppies can also be used for adult dogs. Another way of training the adult dog to accept a crate is to place it in the dog’s preferred sleeping space. Put a soft blanket that has his or your scent on it and leave the door open. If the dog isn’t interested in entering the crate, start leave all food inside towards the back. When he or she realizes the crate is the only source of food, acceptance will begin.
Once a dog starts entering the crate to eat, leave the door open for several days to accustom him to the idea. Once he starts entering without any signs of fear, gently close the door and highly praise him for his bravery. If the dog protests the door’s closure, use the same methods of correcting that are listed above for puppies.
Start out both puppies and adult dogs in short periods of time. Never remove him or her from the crate while they are still protesting it. Increase the quiet time span and always praise the pet for good behavior.
Eventually, the dog will view the crate as his own personal home. A place to relax, sleep and avoid the rush of everyday living with the oddity of humans.