When To Use A Dog Crate
Crate training a dog is recommended for those who just acquired a puppy and would like to housetrain them and teach them some rules. As long as it is done sensibly, crate training can be quite effective when teaching dogs to control their potty time and not chew on furniture. As a matter of a fact, most dogs accept their crate as their own personal little cave once they grow up.
Nevertheless, the use of a crate can be done incorrectly, turning the training into a full-time confinement than can be harmful, both physically and psychologically for dogs. This means crate training is something that has to be performed wisely and with sense in order to get the best benefits for both you and your new pup.
So, exactly when do you have to use the crate?
For House Training
When you first arrive home with a pooch, the best idea is to start teaching them when and where to go to the potty right away. Crate training is quite useful in these cases as dogs are creatures that do not soil where they sleep.
This means your pup will learn to control bowel and bladder functions until you let them out of the crate. It is compulsory that once you open the door, you take them outside right away so they can understand where the right spot is to relieve themselves. Also, giving them praise for doing it right will make the learning process quicker.
When You Cannot Supervise Your Puppy
Keeping your pup safe is the first thing you have to think of when you are busy doing other things. Many puppies are lost due to chewing wires or choking on pieces of materials they swallow as they can get into trouble easily when they are very small.
Crates offer a great safety option when you cannot guard your puppy in the house, and will also keep them from chewing your furniture. For this, it’s recommended to leave a chew toy or two inside the crate with them so they can create a chewing habit on the toys they have and not on other inedible things like shoes.
In addition, if you have a small child in your house with your dog, you should never leave them alone. Even if most breeds of dogs are known for being patient and kind with children, some kids can really make a dog lose their temper, as small children tend to play rough on them, pulling their ears or trying to ride them.
Bringing A Puppy To A Home With An Older Dog
This is not necessary for every case, but you can never be sure how your older dog will behave once you bring a new puppy home. On one hand, they can feel like the only child that now has to divide his owner’s attentions, and on the other, a puppy can sometimes be too energetic and playful for an older dog to put up with, so if you don’t have full time to supervise their behavior, it is a good idea to crate your new pup.
For Safety When Traveling
Crates are also extremely helpful and even mandatory to use while you are traveling with your dog. If your dog has to take a flight for any reason, airlines will require you to use a plastic crate in which to put your dog during the flight.
As for car travel, both for your and your dog’s safety, having your dog in a crate is the best practice. This will keep your dog from distracting you while driving, and will keep them contained in the chance of an accident where it is very common for dogs to get loose and run away.
Lastly, if you need to check in a hotel or go into a place where dogs aren’t allowed to walk freely, the crate is a familiar place to keep your dog comfortable in a place they are not familiar with.
When Not To Use The Crate
The matters mentioned above are scenarios where the use of a crate will bring benefits both for you and your dog. But it is necessary to remember than only because the use of a crate in a certain moment will benefit you does not mean that it will also benefit your dog.
A crate is not a place to confine your dog while you are at work. If your schedule makes it impossible to take care of your dog properly, then you should get a dog sitter to exercise him and pay proper attention to them while you cannot.
In addition, you should never crate your dog for more than four hours a day (excluding sleeping time), two hours at a time and never use it for your benefit, i.e. because your puppy is highly stimulated and you want some peace.
Lastly, if your pup or dog seems to be afraid of the crate, you should not force them to go in as this can cause severe behavioral issues. Your dog must always associate good things and safety with their crate or else the training will be harmful.
Crate Training Should Reduce With Time
As your puppy learns where to go potty and not to chew on dangerous things, crate training should diminish more and more. Remember that you do not have to crate train your dog for life, and once they know how to behave, a grown dog doesn’t need time out or to be kept safe when you can’t supervise them.
When your dog is fully grown, and behaves well when left alone, the crate training is over, and from then on, you can leave the crate door open for them to go in and out voluntarily.
The crate becomes their own personal space during the training, and will remain the same afterwards, so it is a good idea to keep it; it is the place where they feel safe and comfortable. If you think the crate is taking up too much space, you can always substitute it with a doggie bed, but you must always offer this to your dog; they, like you, need a place where they can rest and get away from everything else!