To Crate or Not To Crate?
Crating dogs has been a common thing for many generations, but that does not mean that everyone has agreed with the confinement right from the beginning. There are many people who oppose crate or kennel-training, saying it is cruel to keep your pets confined. Regardless, there are lots of benefits to this practice. For one, a crate or kennel will give your dog a sense of security.
If you crate or kennel-train your dog correctly, it might be the most effective pet management system you could ever desire. When you use this method for appropriate periods, it can help you achieve other goals too. For instance, if you crate train your pet at the appropriate time, it can significantly impact house training, training on how to settle and relax, and preventing destructive behavior.
When a dog is crate-trained, it learns to love the crate, beginning to see it as his own safe and private place. So when your dog does not want to be bothered, he can go to his private place to relax there. If he feels tired and in need of a nap, the crate comes to mind. The training serves to make them accept the gift because when they have accepted it and begin to love the crate, you will notice how he treats it as a home.
Besides benefiting the dog in the family, owners also get their fair share of benefits when crate training
When a dog is crate-trained, they concurrently learn to stay away from trouble. Whether it is a puppy or a mature dog, you can use a crate to make them stay away from trouble or causing destruction whenever you are not around or not in a position to supervise directly. Besides, the fact that you cannot always be around makes such training very necessary. Moreover, if a dog is served with delicious treat whenever it is put in the crate, it begins to view the crate as a place to enjoy some downtime. Such activities also condition relaxed behavior.
How to Choose a Crate
There are many ways to choose the right crate for your dog or pup. They come in different types, sizes, and installation locations. There are plastic crates, wire crates, and fabric crates. Whichever you choose, you must set your priorities straight. Wire crates are the most common and are preferred more than the other types.
Besides being the most economical type, you can fold them flat for easy storage. Also, if your dog needs some privacy in his wire crate, all you have to do is throw a blanket over the crate to create a cover.
Plastic crates are sturdy, and dogs tend to feel better protected in them. But they are not sturdier than the metal crates, which are not as common though. If you need crates for small dogs to travel in, it would be better to go with the fabric models. The rigid plastic or metal crates are often preferred for stubborn dogs who like to run away.
You can be a little more creative with your dog crate choice. How about you take a crate that is fortified with strategically placed zip ties? Or one that matches your decor? There are lots of fashionable crate-furniture combos that you can also use as end tables.
Size is one of the most common factors to consider when choosing your crate. For instance, large crates are considered to give the dog a lot of room and give them a more relaxed feeling. If it is large enough, a small portion can serve as the dog’s toilet, which should be seen as a vital source of convenience. Bigger is always better, as long as you have a space large enough to accommodate it. A large-sized crate is more comfortable since it provides enough space for him to stand, stretch out, and turn.
Crate Training Tips
The training you give to your dog should create a positive impression. Your canine friend should see the crate as a positive place. To succeed at that, you need to introduce him to the crate gradually. Rushing things may make the dog feel endangered or nervous. If you are too fast, he may even see it as a punishment.
If it is a new dog or puppy, it will work best to acclimate him to his crate by tossing in a treat or something yummy. Leave the door open so that he can get in and out freely. Placing a comfortable mat inside the crate can attract the dog. If he has a favorite sleeping item, put it inside the kennel.
Another method involves the use of cue in and out. Whenever he goes in the crate willingly, you toss in a treat. That would encourage the dog to want to go in more. Similarly, learn to increase the duration that the door stays closed when the dog is inside. The period should increase gradually at an interval of a few days. If you start locking the dog in for too long by the first training phase, he may take it wrongly. Be patient and gradual with the training.
Although most dogs naturally take to a crate, some often whine, cry, bark, and make a fuss when locked in a crate. While opening the door and letting the dog out may seem the best thing to do when he makes such noise, you should not give in. The idea is not to let him learn that crying, barking, whining, and creating a fuss will get the crate open.
As you can see, the benefits you and your dog can reap from crate training are strongly influenced by how properly you conduct it. You can also use it to administer discipline to the pup. Whenever he misbehaves, putting him in for a time out would help mold his behavior. So, to answer the question, “To crate or not to crate?” I would go with crating.