Crates and Training
Dogs have a natural tendency to squeeze their way into tight spaces, be it under chairs, behind lounges or underneath the coffee table. Though this might seem curious to their owners, it’s actually an intrinsic quality in all dogs. Being den animals by nature, dogs have a tendency to search for den-like spaces, indoors and outdoors, to use as a resting place. To that end, dog crates are a fantastic investment, mimicking dens and providing a safe, secure and homely environment that a dog naturally clings to. Crates can also be used for ‘Crate training’, a fast and effective method to housebreak your puppy. But what do you need to look for when purchasing and using a crate?
Firstly, it is important to choose the perfect size crate for your pup. The crate must be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn and stretch. However, ensure that it’s not too large so that your dog can’t use it as both a bathroom and bedroom. After puppy stage, you can find a crate for your adult dog that has a divider panel, demarcating two rooms your pet can use for different purposes.
After you purchase your crate, it is important to know where to place it. During the day, keep the crate in the living room to make your dog feel included in the family activity. At night, either move the crate to your bedroom, or buy a second crate that is kept in your room, for the dog to sleep. It is vital that your dog can sleep near you because they instinctively enjoy sleeping near their pack.
For crate training purposes, there are certain rules and rituals that must be adhered to. The crate is not a space for eliminating waste, so it’s important to train your dog on where and when to properly defecate. When you release your dog from the crate, you should take him/her outside immediately, and encourage them to defecate there. It’s important to praise them when they succeed, but also have patience if it takes them a little longer to do ‘their business’. Ensure that your dog is supervised at all times while training them to go to the toilet outside rather than in the crate. Keeping a regular schedule with your crate will ensure that your puppy will be properly and quickly house trained.
Your pet may require persistent dog training to accept its own crate as a place to sleep or rest while relieve itself outside the crate. Often, training a dog becomes one of the dog sitter’s job.
Crates are also ideal for absences and curbing destructive behaviour. Dogs can become anxious and destructive when unsupervised and bored, keeping them in crates while you are away can help prevent this. It ensures they are confined in a secure place where they can sleep until you return. In conjunction with this, it is important to make their crate experience a pleasurable one so that your dog is comfortable in your absence. Dogs have a tendency to get separation anxiety when they are isolated, so it is important that the crate provides a sense of security and happiness for your pet. Punishment should never be doled out in crates. That said, also ensure that letting your dog in or out of their crate isn’t a big deal, so that they can ease naturally into the process. Travelling with your dog is also made easier with the use of crates, and the experience will be stress-free for both pet and owner.
Crates are wonderful sanctuaries for your dog and provide ample opportunity to train your dog. It also indirectly helps to cure separation anxiety in dogs when owners are away. Some owner’s even find crate training a useful way to pursue dog house training.