Why You Should Crate Train Your Dog
In the wild, dogs naturally need dens as a go-to for comfort or for when they are feeling scared. Having a crate at home is the perfect place for your dog to find comfort and safety. Just like us, we have our bedrooms to spend our time in when we don’t like to be bothered, as for dogs, their crates can be considered their own ‘den’. It may be harder to crate train older dogs because they are not familiar with being enclosed in a crate. As for younger dogs and puppies, adjusting to the crate may be easier.
With so many reasons why crate training would be great in the household, here are a few:
- Security - If you know you are going be out for the day and don’t want to come home to a mess, you can easily keep your dog in the crate for a couple hours to keep them from making trouble.
- Easy travel - Bringing your dog somewhere? The crate is a convenient way to take your pet around while knowing they are in a safe place.
- Natural disaster strikes - To ensure the safety of your pets, the crate would be the best to easily locate them if a natural disaster were to occur.
- Visitors - If you have visitors over who are allergic or afraid of dogs, the crate would be great place for them to avoid having contact with them.
Choosing a Crate
When choosing the crate, be sure it is large enough for the dog. Refer to this sizing chart for assistance. If you have a puppy, remember they are still growing and can possibly double their size! Understand that puppies can outgrow their crates, so be sure to have an idea of how big they can grow up to before committing to a size.
Introducing the Crate
Keep in mind that introducing the crate in a positive way is a very important process of training. Crates should not be seen as a punishment, but rather a place where they can go to for safety. One general rule of thumb is to never force your dog to enter the crate. Always allow time for your dog to enter the crate by themselves during training. Once they do, reward them with a treat and praise them. Positive reinforcement is always the way to go! Another way to crate train your dog is to associate food with it. For meals, place their bowl in the crate and allow them to finish their food before letting them back out.
If you are planning to leave your dog in the crate for a longer period of time, please remember to include a fresh bowl of water in the crate and a soft towel for bedding. Also include a toy such as a stuffed KONG to keep them entertained throughout the day. This can help them cope with separation anxiety and boredom.