While many people feel that crating their dog is cruel or unfair, it actually provides a sense of security and is one of the fundamentals of having a well-behaved, balanced dog.
Often times, a dog makes poor choices in its home due to stress that he or she feels. This stress is often caused by too much freedom and lack of leadership. The crate handles both of those issues. Crating can be used when you are home to create a calm environment for your dog while cleaning or working around the house. A dog that follows its owner constantly and is always under foot is actually stressed. Teaching your dog the crate creates a calm state of mind at home will help your dog tremendously in many situations that involve crating outside of the home.
Using the crate is also necessary if you leave town and have to board your dog, or if it has to spend significant time at the vet (overnight or teeth cleaning). Practicing duration in the crate when you’re home allows you to teach/correct any negative behavior.
When choosing the crate, opt for a size that is large enough for your dog to stand in and be able to turn around. But bigger is not always better. Selecting a crate that is too big can also create stress, so be sure to properly fit your dog to the correct size. As far as material, wire crates tend to be most popular and work great. Dogs find it comforting to have a “cave like” feel. Cover all sides but the front with a blanket. This should have a calming effect on your dog. Remember, to never use the crate as punishment. It cannot be a positive experience and a negative experience.
The crate should only be used for security and comfort. Lastly, don’t feel guilty about crating your dog when you leave home. What is ideal behavior for your dog in the home when you’re away? Relaxed and sleeping. Provide a crate for your dog and that is the behavior that you will see. You will have less stress too by knowing your dog is relaxed at home and not destroying any of your belongings.
The author of this article, Karen Harrell, is the owner/operator of Dynamic Dog Training AZ LLC out of Mesa, Arizona. She is a balanced dog trainer dealing will all types of dog issues. For more information please visit: www.dynamicdogtrainingaz.com, Karen@dynamicdogtrainingaz.com, www.facebook.com/dynamicdogtrainingaz or call 480-540-1089.