If you aren’t familiar with the concept of crate training, you may find the idea a bit strange, or even slightly inhumane. However, it is an extremely effective strategy for dog training and behavior management. The following is the first of a two-part series on crate training and will discuss how it can correct potentially problematic characteristics.
If you are introducing a new puppy into your household, you will naturally want to encourage healthy and manageable behaviors while keeping your dog happy and comfortable. While it seems almost counterintuitive, crate training can offer tremendous help in achieving your training goals.
Why crate train?
Dogs like security and routine. Their natural instinct is to find a lair in which they can relax and feel safe. Crates offer that kind of security, since it is an enclosed space they occupy alone. Crate training addresses the following issues:
- Housebreaking. Dogs will not defecate in their own den (unless there is no alternative). Crate training helps you teach your dog the appropriate place to relieve themselves.
- Keeps your dog from unwanted chewing. When dogs are sequestered in their crates, they aren’t wandering around your home looking for furniture legs and shoes to destroy!
- Helps acclimate your dog for travel. When a dog has been successfully crate trained, it is very easy to get them to go into their crate in preparation for a trip to the vet – particularly if it’s a long stay for a complicated treatment.
- Helps your dog become comfortable with boarding. If you have to keep your pet in a boarding situation for a few days, their comfort with the crate will allow them to spend time in unfamiliar environments more easily, since they will continue to be in their own little den regardless of where they are boarded.
If you want to make sure your crate training experience is successful, make sure your dog has the right disposition. Certain conditions can make your dog an unideal candidate for crate training, such as nervousness or previous trauma surrounding kenneling or enclosed spaces. If your dog suffers from some health concerns like digestive distress or DCM (Zignature, Castor & Pollux, and Nutrish are good pet food brands with health concerns), crating may not be a feasible option, since your dog may find it difficult to control their bodily functions while in the crate.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the do’s and dont’s of basic crate training.
I am a proud and intrepid dog lover and mommy to two beautiful rescue pups. I’m also a blogger and amateur photographer.