- Training with the crate gives dogs a sense of security and safety and their owners peace of mind.
- Crate training is an essential part of housebreaking puppies, as dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters.
- Crates help dogs learn to self-soothe, or deal with their anxiety, during situations where they become distressed, such as fireworks, a thunderstorm, or construction noise.
- Crates provide comfort to rescue dogs, since many are fearful around certain people or environments.
- A crate (rather than the entire house) means less territory to patrol, making it easier for dogs to relax.
Training with a crate makes life easier
Although many dog owners may feel guilty crate-training their four-legged friend, enclosed spaces create a comforting shelter for your dog to rest and relax in. In fact, dogs instinctively seek out small spaces to create protective shelters for themselves. Crates are useful training tools for puppies, safe havens for senior dogs, and sometimes even lifesavers in emergencies.
Most veterinarians, trainers, and breeders recommend crate-training dogs from a young age. Crate training is an essential part of housebreaking puppies, as dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping quarters. They learn to hold their bladder while they’re in the crate, so you won’t have to clean up messes.
Crate training can help prevent compounding a dog’s stress during emergencies. In worse-case scenarios, dogs may be required to crate-rest when recovering from surgery. Dogs are less likely to have complications following surgery when they can relax in a safe and secure environment rather than accidentally aggravate injuries because they can’t settle down.
Crate training comes in handy during everyday life for dogs seeking a break from a bustling household or a familiar place to rest. Crates help dogs learn to self-soothe, or deal with their anxiety, during situations where they become distressed, like fireworks, a thunderstorm, or construction noise. Dogs can retreat to their crates when situations become too chaotic or scary. It also helps dogs confront new situations successfully, like the addition of a new baby or a loud social gathering.
“If the dog’s freaking out, they think: ‘I can go hide in my crate and it’s safe here and nobody’s gonna bother me’. That helps them out for their lifetime,”
says Christine Kroh, intake coordinator at Beagles to the Rescue.
Crate training benefits all dog types
Crates keep curious puppies safe and secure when you’re not able to supervise them. Dogs instinctively try to keep their sleeping areas clean. As such, the crate helps puppies learn to hold and strengthen their bladder and bowel muscles, making housebreaking less of a chore for you and your dog.
For rescue dogs, a crate provides a safe space to adjust to their new surroundings as well as the luxury of not having to fight for their own space. Crates provide comfort to rescue dogs, given that many are fearful around certain people or environments. This is particularly true of dogs with a traumatic past of neglect or abuse. Crates allow rescue dogs to know they have their own territory and that no one will hurt them there.
“With rescue dogs, the biggest behavioral issues we see are barking and being destructive,” states Kroh.
Many rescue dogs lack socialization, which can result in problems with destructive behavior or barking. Crate training will improve their confidence and curtail problematic behavior.
Since dogs feel responsible for their own territory, insecure dogs need less space to protect. A crate (rather than the entire house) means less territory to patrol, making it easier for dogs to relax.
For Successful Crate Training
- The first and most important step in crate training is to make it a positive experience.
- Try feeding them meals or treats in their crate so crate time feels like a reward rather than a punishment.
- Never leave dogs in their crate all day.
- Limit crate time based on how long they spend in their crate daily, their age, and level of house training.
Arford Kaitlyn. "Crate Training Benefits: Why A Crate Is Great for You and Your Dog" Nov 19, 2019, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/why-crate-training-is-great-for-your-dog/
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