Putting your dog in a crate is not a bad thing. In fact, when done properly, crate training benefits not just your pup, but your entire household.
“I would never put my dog in a cage.”
“We adopted our dog from a shelter, so I don’t want him to feel like he’s back in a pen.”
These are just two common statements pet professionals hear when discussing crate training with clients. The truth is, a crate serves as a safe, comforting place for your dog when he is introduced to it properly and trained to use it in a positive fashion. A crate should never be used as a form of punishment.
Why Crate Train?
Dogs seek out dens for comfort and safety in nature; they provide shelter from harsh weather, offer a gathering place for the pack and a safe spot for sleeping. An appropriately sized crate satisfies the innate need for security that your puppy would get from a den in the wild. If your puppy is afraid of thunder or doesn’t like big crowds of people, a crate is a perfect retreat for him. From your perspective, a crate is a great tool for house training, sound sleeping and a safe way to transport your dog. Getting your pet used to the crate as a puppy makes things easier on you while preventing a lot of experiences that may cause anxiety in your dog later in life.
Dogs instinctively avoid eliminating in their den. Thus, crating your dog while you’re out of the house is likely to prevent potty accidents. Puppies in particular need to go to the bathroom regularly, but the process of crate training will result in a dog that knows to go only when he’s outside.
If your dog is conditioned at an early age to sleep in his crate, the likelihood of an uninterrupted night of rest for both of you increases. Taking your pup along with you on trips or even in the car to the park or vet is much safer when he’s in his crate.
In the movies, bringing a new puppy home often seems like a spontaneous and idyllic moment that families share together. But in reality, adding a puppy to your family is like deciding to have another child. You will want to take the necessary time and steps to decide if this is truly the right time for a furry addition to your family. If you know that now is the perfect time to bring a puppy home, the next step is finding the right puppy for your family dynamic. These tips will help you as you make this exciting and important decision.
Tips for Choosing the Right Puppy for Your Family
Consider your current living situation and the space that you call home. If you and your family are city dwellers who live in a small apartment, consider the size of your home and the outdoor space you have available before you decide on a puppy. Perhaps a smaller breed is the best choice for your family. Families who have larger homes with ample room to run around may find that a large breed dog is best.
Think about the things that you like to do together as a family. If your children love to practice their favorite sports activity in the yard, an active dog may be a great choice. However, if you and your family would rather spend your days inside reading a good book, a docile dog that prefers to snuggle would be better suited.
Evaluate the personality types of each family member and try to identify the type of temperament you would like in a new puppy. If you have kids that are shy and reserved, it would not be wise to get an outgoing dog. Instead, find a breed with an equally cautious temperament so that it will match the family dynamic.
Once you have decided what type of puppy is right for your family, you should begin your search as soon as possible. You will be thrilled to have a new addition playing around the yard. At that point, it will be time to make more equally important decisions, such as those regarding the health and welfare of your new pup.