The Great Crate Debate
In the last few years, crating has become a popular tool in raising and training a dog. In the past crates were used only for dog shows in transit and for shipping. Today, using a crate is the norm for many a pet owner. Training articles praise the use of the crate. They cite it for application in a variety of situations and for a number of reasons.
o To create a safe environment for your dog to escape to from humans
o A crate is a cozy place. It reminds the dogs of their ancestral homes – caves.
o Crates are essential for traveling anywhere. This applies to car trips as well as plane and train ventures.
o Crates assist in housebreaking a dog.
o You can use a crate when your animal is sick. It gives them a cozy place to hide away in during this time.
o A crate is the perfect place to leave an animal going through a destructive phase while you work or play.
These are indeed practical, if not admirable reasons for crate training your dog. Indeed, if your dog is truly destructive, a crate is helpful in keeping your home intact while you are out. It becomes a safety issue – one that applies to the well-being of your home and your dog. It also makes sure you retain your sanity and keep your pet.
When Not to Use a Crate
Yet, doggy crates are a tool. They should never be misused. There are instances when you should not call upon the crate to solve the issues.
o Crates should never be the solution to a behavioral or training problem. You should never employ a crate as a means of permanently solving a problem. A crate has no right to be employed as a substitute for proper and cohesive training.
o Crates should act as an alternative place for your dog to lay. It is not the permanent home. If your dog spends more time locked in his or her crate, ask yourself the question. “Why do I have a dog at all?”
o Never confine your dog to a crate for long periods of time.
o Do not leave your dog in a crate overnight or for an entire day.
o Never, ever, use your dog’s crate as a form of punishment. It is a training tool not your equivalent of a puppy slammer.
Who Should You Crate?
There is little doubt that you might want to crate a new puppy or dog. During the day, while you are at work away at school or simply out-and-about, it keeps the puppy safe and clean. If your puppy or dog needs a place to call totally his or her own, use a crate. Yet, no adult dog, properly trained requires a crate as a lifestyle solution. Your dog may well desire alternatives. He or she may well prefer to curl up in a corner on a soft bean bag or comfy bed. I know I would. You should grant these adult dogs the right to have an alternative.
Above all you must remember this. A dog crate is a tool not a solution. Do not use your crate as an escape from your responsibilities as a dog owner.