The Great Crate Debate

Pug in a CrateMany people feel that crate training a dog is appalling and cruel. Yet there are many who swear by it. Let’s see what crate training is really about….

Some experts say that dogs have a natural denning instinct, which is why you almost always find them under something. If you’ve ever woke up in the morning to find your dog curled up under your comforter, this is the denning instinct; this also includes under the table, under your legs, or curled up in a corner. In the wild, dogs are pack animals, they raise their young in dens for safety and protection. This is what keeps the pack going.

Crate training plays on this natural instinct, when used properly the crate provides your dog with a safe, secure place to go when he is tired, stressed out or just needs a break from the kids for a bit. Not only that, but the crate can prevent him from harming himself (like eating things he’s not suppose to when you’re not home) or tearing up your furniture. Crate training is also a great tool for potty training. Most dogs will not soil “their space” and since they are in their crate, it also saves your carpet.

Some view crate training as cruel to a dog, well, it is if you leave your dog in it all day, then put him in it all night too. That much time in a small space isn’t good for anyone’s sanity. If you are doing this, you might need to reconsider having a dog. Your dog should be allowed out of his crate when you are home. If you can’t be home to let him out during the day, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker or taking him to doggie daycare (doggie daycare also allows him to socialize with other people and other dogs).

What if your dog gets ill and has to spend time at the vet’s office? He will be in a crate there. So if he’s already stressed out from being sick and then has to spend time in a crate and he’s not used to it, it will stress him out even more. If he’s used to being in a crate, it will offer him safety and security so that he can recover faster and be less stressed.

If you do a lot of traveling, a crate is the safest place for your dog to ride. It keeps him secure as well as off the steering wheel, gas peddle and everything else. If you fly and take your dog, he will have to be in an airline approved crate. If you all of a sudden shove him in one, he will be confused and stressed out because he doesn’t know what is going on, then of course put him in a plane and you’ll probably have one sick puppy!

So is crate training a good thing, yes, I feel it is, when it is used properly. But, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and whether you choose to use crate training or not is your personal preference. If you would like more information on how to crate train your puppy, please let me know!