Dog crates can be a bit of a touchy subject for some. I've heard it all, the dislike of containing a dog, left over feelings from a dogs previous life, just plain cruel, projections of human emotions on the "sad" dog etc. I would like to discuss here some of the many benefits of crate training your dog.
By properly crate training your dog, you do the following for them:
- Create a safe environment to ensure both your dog and your house are safe when you leave
- Build a spot for the dog to move to if they feel uncomfortable or feel like they need to move away from something
- Aids greatly in house training
- Teaches the dog about limits and allows the owner to take a break from the dog if needed
- Ensures that if emergencies happen, you have reduced some of the stress by teaching your dog it is ok to be confined - all vets offices will put your dog in a crate if they need over night stays, operations etc. and its better to get them comfortable before something like that happens
- You have a spot to place your dog to travel safely in the car
- Excellent for traveling and visiting family/friends/hotels
- Can aid in helping dogs with separation anxiety
It is, of course, best and easiest to get your dog used to the crate from day one. Some breeders will start crate training puppies as young as five and six weeks old, and this helps immensely for the transition with the new owner.
Older dogs who have never been in a crate can take a bit longer to get used to the idea, but if you introduce it in a positive way, starting when you are home (not when you leave) you will reap the benefits of this awesome tool.
Over all the crate should be viewed as a beneficial tool, not as cruel punishment. It could save your dogs life one day.