Crate Training…. there are so many different kinds of crates out there and so many misconceptions of a crate by dog owners even though crate training is one thing almost all canine professionals believe in. I hope by now you are asking the question of why is this crate so important to our dogs. Crate training is so important to your dog for multiple reasons:
That is right! Are you thinking about adopting a dog or getting a puppy to accompany your already existing dog? Well the best way to keep harmony in your house and make a smooth transition is using the crate. Sure there is time when both dogs can be out together and then slowly increase the amount of time they together, but when the dogs could use a break they should go into their crates to be able to relax and feel safe. Another problem that can arise when adding a new dog into the home is that perhaps they do not share space well when eating their food or having a bone or toy. The crate solves that issue as well. Your dogs should be getting fed and have their own supply of water in their crate, along with any safe toys or bones that they do not share well. You can also solve these problems by contacting a qualified dog trainer. When you also add a new dog to your home , it is a whole new place that can be stressful so we can allow them to take a mental break and relax in a safe place. That way we can make this a great transition for everyone in your home including the existing dog.
Need further evidence to invest in crate training for your dog? Well if your dog has any sort of behavior problem, chances are it can be helped by adding a crate to your toolbox. For the puppies, crate training allows us to effectively house train our dogs and predict when they should go to the bathroom. Using a crate to aid in the house training process saves you a lot of money on cleaning products when your puppy has an accident. Dogs naturally do not want to go in their crate if it is properly sized, the key being a properly sized crate. I’m sorry to burst your bubble for puppy owners, you’re going to have to start with a small crate and increase the crate size as the puppy grows or find a way to restrict access to part of the crate and remove the barrier once the puppy grows. This is so important because if we buy a crate that is too large for our dogs we are not creating that safe, den like place that dogs want and will not go to the bathroom in. If a crate is too big the dog will learn to go to the bathroom on one side of the crate and sleep on the other so they will continually have accidents in their crates. Thus, defeating the help a crate can be for house-training. If your dog suffers from food, resource, or dominance aggression the first step in treatment is making sure they are crate trained because this allows us to give them a place to eat and not guard outside the crate, it also restricts their freedom to make bad decisions and allows us to let them out of the crate when we are going to be able to watch them and make sure they are successful. We do not want them to regress in training by having accidents happen when it could be prevented. Crate training can also help with separation anxiety as well. It is a longer process to be able to leave your dog in a crate for longer periods if your dog has separation anxiety but it can be done especially when consulting with a dog training professional.
One of the major benefits of crate training your dog is their safety. Crate training your dog can allow them to feel safe and secure in your car, your home, or a boarding facility while you are away. You can also buy crates that are easy to carry and can be used for camping, family gathering, and other situations. Why would you want to crate your dog while in the car? Home? Well the answer to that question is why would you not. In your car one of the number one projectiles in motor vehicle accidents has been dogs, this has led to injuries and deaths of many family pets or even other people who are hit by the dog. I crate all dogs while I am driving because I want them to be safe and secure. Even if I am running into a grocery store I want my dogs crated so I know they are not causing damage to my car or perhaps trying to break out a window. In your home, while you are not there, your dog can get into so many different objects that can hurt them or if ingested at times can kill them. Foods that we eat that contain chemicals that cause serious illness or even death to our beloved canine companions. Another incident that can occur while you are away is your dog damaging your house or someone coming to your house and ringing the doorbell, sending your dog into a fit in which they then break something. This can all be avoided by taking the time to crate train your dog. Crates are not a barbaric box that we think we would not want to be stuck in. They are actually amazing to your dog, we cannot say something is bad for our dogs because it looks bad, we need to avoid humanization of our dogs. Your dog would rather be in a crate safe, then going crazy all over your car or house. If you have a dog with behavioral issues, a crate can help them become more successful in their rehabilitation and keep other people safe by crate training them.
So you have decided to begin crate training with your dog, now what happens? First you want to select the appropriate size crate. The appropriate size crate should be big enough for your dog to be able to stand up in without hitting their head and just big enough for the to have room to turn around in. Do not go by the weight recommendations on crates, go by the length and width that the crates are. Some 55 pound dogs are smaller and need smaller crates than what manufacturers say on the label. Next is the type of crate you will be selecting; there are so many different kinds of crates in the world, the wire metal ones, the plastic carrier crates, and the heavy metal ones such as impact crates. I personally love my plastic carrier crates and I think they are the best ones for every dog. I love these crates because they are very handy and mobile. They can be in your car, house, airplane, boarding facility, etc. These are easy to move when you need to move them. They also already create more of a den like feeling for your dog and there is no need to birdcage them with a blanket like with the wire metal crates. The wire metal crates are my least favorite because they leave your dog exposed on all sides and it is really not a comforting place for your dog, that is why I always recommend getting a moving blanket and putting it around wire crates, also known as a birdcage. Follow this helpful infographic in your crate training process: