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Crate Training

Adventures Of A Dog Moms:

"One of my favorite training tools is the crate. It is often something that people look down on because they place human emotions onto it, claiming it is like a “dog jail” and that they cannot imagine locking their dogs up in one. When a dog is introduced to one properly though, it is like their den, their safe space. I start my puppies in a crate on day one and I cannot imagine not utilizing one.


So, why utilize a crate?


-Potty training-

Using a crate overnight and/or while you are out of the house makes potty training a puppy a hundred times easier. Puppies prefer not to use the bathroom in the same area where they sleep, so when you pair an appropriately sized crate with a set schedule of bathroom breaks you are far more likely to create good outdoor potty habits.


-Meal times-

I have multiple dogs and I believe they each deserve their own private space to enjoy their meals or high value chews. This way they never feel as if they have to guard their food/chews.


-To protect the house-

For the most part, my dogs do not tear things up they are not supposed to, but that does not mean they are not capable of doing so. A dog left to wander the house can become bored or anxious and begin to chew. A dog can do severe damage to furniture or even parts of the home like doorframes or carpeting. For a lot of people, the cost of repairing damage like this is far more than they are able to cover.


-To protect the dogs-

Not only is a dog capable of doing damage to the home, many of the things they could possibly chew on could become a danger to them if ingested. A shredded blanket or piece of clothing can easily become a GI obstruction which quickly becomes an emergency trip to the vet and life saving surgery. There’s also the possibility that they could eat something toxic.


-For the safety of other animals in the home-

My dogs absolutely adore our cats, and our kittens adore them back (the older cats tolerate them). I trust the dogs to play with, snuggle, and love on the cats, but I will not kid myself into thinking they are not still dogs capable of doing severe harm to a cat. I manage their prey drives very well inside the home, but their prey drives are not gone and will never be gone. For that reason, they are not permitted to be out unsupervised with the cats. I have heard too many horror stories of high prey drive dogs who were raised with and loved cats until one day they killed one. I will not let that happen to ours, so the crates are used to protect smaller animals in the home. Similarly, they can be used to protect the dogs from each other if one gets a little too pushy and annoying when no one is around to supervise.


-In case of emergency/crating outside the home-

Even if you do not intend to utilize a crate at home, I highly recommend at least crate training to desensitize them to one in the event of an emergency. If the dog has to be hospitalized for any reason, they are going to be in a crate for the majority of the time. Adding the extra stress of having never been in a crate before will only make the experience worse for the dog. Additionally, if the dog has to go to the groomer or is boarded at a facility a crate or larger kennel will likely be used, and already being comfortable with a crate will make the experience easier.


In general, as long the use of a crate is not abused to the point that the dog gets no time out of one, they are wonderful tools. They keep the dog safe and provide a comfortable escape for them to go and have a nap in. I will always use crates with my dogs and I urge others to stop assigning human emotions to a dog’s space and see them for how useful they truly can be."


How To Crate Train

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