Friday, August 23, 2019

Should I Crate Train My Puppy?

*This article first appeared on Barking from the Bayou on March 17, 2015. 

 “To crate or not to crate.” That’s a question many new pet parents ask. The question is brought up because many people believe it is a form of punishment to crate their dog. Rest assured, just the opposite is actually true. There are many times in your pet’s life when the benefits of crate training will come in very handy. In the event of separation anxiety, injury, or illness, your veterinarian may recommend crate rest to help to heal. That is not the time to start trying to get your dog used to being inside their crate.

Why is Crate Training a Puppy Important?
  A puppy needs constant supervision when they are out exploring their new environment. Sometimes, you have to be in a different room, go to work, or make a trip to the store. Being able to leave your puppy secured inside their crate ensures you that they will not get into mischief or potentially hazardous situations while you aren’t looking. Think of it as a playpen for your pup. 
  Crate or kennel training is also one of the best ways to potty-train a new pup. Let them take naps inside their crate. Upon awakening, take them outside, and praise them for a job well done. Do not put puppy pads or newspaper in the bottom of their kennel. You want to take advantage of your puppy’s natural instinct not to go where he sleeps.
How does crate/carrier training help?
   In the home, proper crate training can help ease separation anxiety for your dog. When you leave them alone inside their crate, they get the sense of being in a den. It is a secure and safe place for them. If your pet is destructive when left alone, the crate can save your property and your pet from harm. A crate or kennel can be helpful if you have a house full of guests. Having your dog in their safe place can prevent them from being underfoot, given food they aren’t allowed, or being left to deal with excited children.   
   The benefits of traveling with a pet in their crate/carrier are enormous. Whether you are taking a trip to the vet or a vacation to the beach, crate training can make the journey easier and safer.  As much as we enjoy our dog riding along with us when we are driving, a loose dog is extremely dangerous.  It is never a good idea to allow your dog to ride unrestrained in a vehicle.  You and your best friend will be safer in the event of an accident if they are riding in their carrier/crate.
How to Make Crate Training Pleasant
   Your main goal with the crate/kennel is to make it a pleasant experience for your pet. Begin by adding a nice pad and a favorite toy. Leave the door open and allow your pet to explore by going in and out a few times. Once they are comfortable, try closing the door, but stay where your pup can see you. Let them out and leave the door open.     Remember never use the crate as punishment. The crate/kennel should be a positive experience for everyone. It won’t take long before your new family member falls in love with its own special place.

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  1. we give that question a big YES! there are things we can not plan in advance, but they can happen, so we will get crates too and the mama accepts that challenge. we have no clue what the future has in it's pocket for us, so we buy IATA boxes just in case we have to make a french leave once, so we are prepared to travel by land, sea or air.

  2. Definitely yes, although I hated the crate and didn't spend long there as a puppy before I was released forever but I proved to be a good girl and never touched anything that didn't belong to me. You can see my halo, right☺

  3. We don't crate train really. Mom just puts us in our crate as puppies when she can't keep an eye on us and we get used to it. We also are in crates at some of our sports events. Mom isn't a fan of having us in crates, so we are not in them much, even as puppies.

  4. Well, I know one cannot crate train a cat! LOL!

  5. My Florida associate Miss Charlee loves her crate, and hides her treats and favorite toys in there. When I was a puppy, I cried like crazy whenever I was put in a crate. (Think Lady and the Tramp)

  6. Oh Pierre and Bentley with a good buddy by your side everything is fun. Love that photo of you two at the end
    Hugs Cecilia

  7. Dui is the only one that is sort of crate trained. He has a canvas (mancave) that he's had from a puppy. He did chew the zipper off it, but he loves just going into it for a sleep.

  8. We definitely think crate training is a good thing.

  9. We are both crate trained. Both started the way you describe, door open in a pen area with comfy pad and some toys. Eventually the pen goes away. The girls get treats for going in their crates and both go right in when we are leaving to go somewhere. It is also so helpful for house training. Those that have been crate trained have been my easiest to potty train.
    Mabel, Hilda & Mom

  10. Luke was the first of our dogs that we crate trained as a puppy, and it made our lives SO much easier! I'd definitely do it again with any future puppies.

  11. This makes so much sense. We agree, crate training your pup is really important!

  12. You two little love bugs-love that last image.

  13. Excellent post, yes yes crate train!


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