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.