When it comes to dog crates it can be a contentious issue. For as many people who are advocates for crates, there are also plenty of opponents.
Used correctly in a humane way with plenty of outside time and exercise for your dog, crates can fulfill a useful purpose, while becoming a comfortable and familiar place for your favorite friend.
Why Would You Consider Dog Crate Training?
A crate is a useful and non-harmful dog control device that not only provides dog owners with a way to prevent unwanted behaviors, but can also be a comfortable haven for a dog who is gently trained to see it as a safe retreat and place to sleep.
We would never advocate placing dogs in crates for extended periods, or using them as a punishment device, and as long as they are used in the correct manner, dogs often grow to love their special spot in your home.
1. Your Dog Should Have A Sense Of Ownership And Belonging
No matter how little or much we may have, we all have a certain level of esteem with the value we attach to our belongings.
As such, even our loyal furry friends experience the same feelings. They too have a magnetic affection with things they own. It’s through these items that they become happier and better companions.
To add another illustration, to prevent your dog from playing with your shoes or socks or anything else unacceptable, you buy it some toys. Right?
Similarly, to give it something it can associate with home, you can get it a crate – a place it can rest and sleep.
If you want to keep your dog off your sofa or away from certain rooms, the best action is to make sure it has a place that gives it a sense of ownership and belonging.
- Remember, the goal is to create a safe haven, not a prison for your pooch.
2. Your Dog Should Own Its Den Within Your Household
Through human pampering, dogs have mostly lost their need for fierce survival skills, and they are expected to behave more like humans.
Today instead of living in dens and caves they live with us in our homes, they sit in our lounges – they even sleep in our beds!
But buried deep within, regardless of what we want them to believe or behave, they still have their ancestors instincts.
So, to bring your dog closer to its native lifestyle (that of living in a den), owning a dog crate is a must.
3. A Crate Will Help Your Dog Cultivate Respect For Your Boundaries
We all have different lifestyles and different ways of treating those that are close to us, however there are some traits that are bedrock to all relationships such as:
- Respect of other people’s boundaries.
- Giving them their privacy.
It’s true, whether it’s your spouse, children, or friends, the feeling that someone respects your boundaries and gives you a sense of privacy creates harmony in our lives.
These two create a peaceful coexistence between family, friends, neighbors, and the world, and similarly these simple principles should guide us when relating to our pets.
We should therefore responsibly train and instill traits in our dogs that guide them to respect our boundaries and privacy.
Fortunately, to make your dog respect your boundaries and privacy is as easy as creating an environment that fosters these positive behaviors.
Take for instance when your dog is tired or lazing in the house it needs to have somewhere familiar that it feels like it owns, and the best way to achieve this is through a dog crate – its own little den.
4. A Crate Makes Training Your Dog Easier
Well, it’s arguable that crate training is cruel and inhumane, but remember the concept of a den; like their ancestors dogs love their own territory.
That’s why, when it comes to discipline, a crate will speed up your training.
There are dogs like pitbulls that are known for stubbornness and are intelligent, but sometimes don’t take instructions easily.
If there is an item I highly recommend is a crate, it will be an allay to help you instill characteristics in your dog that are acceptable when living in your home.
A crate can be a gentle yet firm way of letting your dog know when you are serious, but should never be used for punishment or extended forced separation from you.
Below Are Two Tips To Guide You When adopting a Dog
If you plan to adopt a puppy regardless of the breed, start making it used to a crate from the first time you make it a family member.
If it’s an elderly dog from an animal shelter, introduce it to the environment the first time you take it from the shelter. Then again immediately when you reach home.
These simple steps say, “this is your territory buddy you’re going to fall in love with it.”
Here is a step by step process to coax your dog into a crate
Start it simple from the time you bring the crate home.
1) Start by setting the crate and let them inspect it.
Caves are natural habitats to dogs.
From the word go, they will be interested and sniff around to inspect their new home. However, make sure you’ve laid the necessities: Crate pads. A doggie bed or a blanket.
These are cues that will persuade them.
2) Signal to them to get inside the crate.
To achieve this, you’ll have to use a three-step process of persuasion depending on the outcome.
Start by ordering them with a firm but steady voice using commands like “Crate” or “Go to bed” or “Go inside”. Make sure to adopt one of the commands and use it consistently to avoid confusion.
However, if they become stubborn or fails to understand the command, entice them with treats. Let them enjoy their first token, observe their reaction as they get interested for more.
With enough curiosity, toss some inside the crate. If they don’t follow the treats, gently place them inside the crate.
In either case, don’t close the door before they complete the inspection and relax.
You don’t want to associate the crate with bad experiences, that is why it’s important you make this the first exercise when you adopt them.
3) Close the door and reward them.
Once the inspection process ends and you feel like they are relaxed, shower them with praises.
Something like rubbing your hand on their head or giving them a treat. Then gently close the door.
4) After a while inside the crate, let them out.
Remember, you want to be gentle with them to create positive experiences that will make them enthusiastic about the new item they will own henceforth.
5) Repeat the process.
To make sure they are happy with the crate, repeat and rinse.
This time, try to use commands alone – try to make the commands gentle yet firm.
If they understand your commands, close the door and shower them with more praises.
After a while, let her out. If something goes awry, go back to square one.
Usually, this type of training doesn’t take that long. For the first day, it should take you only 15 to 30 minutes.
How To Coax A Puppy To Get Inside The Crate
For the case of puppies, which are most challenging, try using its dog food to lure them and aid them in overcoming their fears.
Use these precise steps:
- First, let them take their meal in front of the crate.
Observe their reaction. If they are afraid, try to make it comfortable by praising them.
- For the next meal, place the bowl halfway inside the crate.
If you did it right at the first stage, they should be comfortable.
- Then, for the final move, place the bowl with food inside the crate.
But here is the important point to note, make sure they go inside alone without a push. Do this consistently in conjunction with the previous exercise until the crate and commands become a natural stimulus..
In the next point, we will shift our focus to specific types of challenges that dog owners encounter, such as when you own an extremely destructive dog, or a dog with the problem of anxiety separation.
5. Using A Dog Crate Helps Train Destructive Willful Dogs
You’ve gone to work, and you’ve left this innocent looking dog locked in your house, but what’s happens in the evening when you come back? Chaos. Disaster. Destruction!
It has pulled your beautiful lounge apart, and made a right mess of your house. Even worse, it may have broken out.
Fortunately, if you own this kind of dog, there are heavy duty crates built just for them.
If you have a Pitbull then check out our reviews of dog crates for Pitbull’s.
This type of behavior can land you in trouble it is associated with aggression, and the consequences can become more serious if you do not exercise caution in time.
Before things turn sour take your dog to behavioral training and socialization classes, and, don’t forget to ask for crate training lessons.
6. Crates Make It Easier And Safer To Travel With A Dog
If you are like me, traveling and hiking is one of the MUST do activities with my dog.
However, it’s sometimes tricky to make him just sit at the back seat or at the trunk of my truck, and it can be dangerous tying him in with a chain or rope.
So, to avert the risks, I have a crate that he knows means it’s time to traveling.
With only that and a blanket inside, I make sure my buddy is comfortable during the journey, and it gives me a reassuring feeling that he is safe.
Common Types Of Dog Crates For Transport
When we consider the mode of transport, the crate that you are going to use to transport your dog by air is different from the one you will need by the road.
Type Of Crate For Air Transport
If you intend to travel by air with your dog, you will need a crate that is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant.
That means, the crate must conform to certain specifications like having a name tag, and being open enough to allow air to flow inside with ease.
Type Of Crate For Road Transport
For road transport, there are no specific specifications like those in air transport.
Fortunately, there are crates built for road transport, and they usually came with hooks or places you can strap them in with.
7. For Overnight Veterinary Stays
If you’ve been in and out of a veterinary hospital you’ve probably noticed a crate is a must.
You don’t want your pooch to have its first experience with a crate in the hospital.
This first-time experience, may stress it to the point of slowing its recovery.
8. Visitors in your home
When people visit your home you don’t want to offend your visitors with your enthusiastic dog jumping up on them.
A crate is a great option to keep them restrained in the case of visitors who aren’t comfortable with dogs, or who are wearing expensive clothing easily damaged by claws.
9. A Crate Is A Relax-Inn
Dogs unlike humans, use a big chunk of the day either lazing, sleeping, or relaxing.
A crate will offer a safe haven to keep-off unwanted interactions.
As a result, it will allow them to enjoy their days sleeping in their crate when they feel like it, and leaving the door open regularly helps them learn that a crate belongs to them, and is not a prison for punishment.