Put my dog in a crate? Are you crazy? That is inhumane! That is how I felt years ago when I first heard about dog crate
s. After all, a dog crate is a cage made of wire or plastic that you use to 'Lock Up Your Dog'. Well I can tell you that it is not inhumane. Dogs look at the world differently than humans do. A dog sees a crate more like a room of his own, sort of a security blanket. A crate satisfies a dogs den instinct inherited from his den-dwelling ancestors. Once accustomed of his crate your pet will have a feeling of security when in it. A crate can help you achieve a better relationship with your pet by preventing unwanted behavior when you aren't available to supervise him. If he's in the crate when you are not there to supervise him, he can't get in trouble.
Some advantages of using a crate:
- You can housebreak your dog more quickly by using the confinement of a crate to motivate your pet to wait until taken outside, since canines naturally avoid soiling their den.
- Your dog can enjoy the security and privacy of his own 'den', which he can retreat to.
- Your dog can more easily adapt to staying in unfamiliar places as long as he has his familiar space to be in. Your dog can be included in family outings, instead of being left behind alone.
- You can be sure that when leaving your dog alone in his crate, nothing can be soiled or destroyed and that he is comfortable, safe, and not developing bad habits.
-Your dog can travel with you without risk of getting loose and becoming lost or interfering with safe driving.
Using a Crate for a Puppy:
- A puppy should easily adapt to a crate as his very own space.
- A crying puppy is more likely crying due to unfamiliar surroundings rather than being confined. Do not reward a barking or crying puppy with attention! If you are sure he doesn't need to eliminate, ignore him until he is quiet, and then take him out of the crate. You do not want him to learn that barking or crying will result in you removing him from the crate.
- Do not leave food in your puppies crate and do not feed him immediately prior to confining him. You can place a chew toy in the crate for your pet.
- Close your pet in the crate whenever it is necessary to leave him alone.
- Avoid placing your pet in a crate longer than 4 hour intervals during the day. If you will be gone longer than 4 hours, place the crate with the door open in an enclosed area such as a bathroom or laundry room. Place newspapers on the floor of the room to facilitate clean-up. Your puppy should soon stop eliminating overnight and then may be placed in a crated in his regular place.
Crate training older dogs:
- A crate can actually help alleviate a dog's anxiety, but it must be introduced gradually and in a positive manner.
- A dog's first exposure to a crate should be pleasant one. The crate door should be left open.
- Encourage your pet to enter the crate voluntarily using a toy or food.
- When he enters the crate, praise him enthusiastically, letting him exit whenever he wants.
- When he enters the crate confidently, coax him to lie down and give him a treat. Shut the door briefly, while you sit beside the crate or when there are people in the room.
- When you feel your dog will remain quietly in the crate, leave him alone for 5 - 10 minutes and increase the time gradually.
- In time, you will not need to shut him in the crate, he will most likely appreciate having his own space.
I highly recommend crate training your dog. You will find using a crate for your dog has many advantages over letting him have free access to your house or apartment.
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