Crating a dog when you leave for the day, go on a trip, or have company over may cause feelings of guilt, but is the safest place for your dog. Your dog thinks the family is his pack and that your whole house or apartment is his den. For many dogs, however, the house is too large of a den, with many unwanted opportunities for stress and confusion. A properly used crate can be the dog’s sanctuary. It also serves as a valuable tool for owners to manage the dog’s behavior during the training process, especially toilet training.
Dogs are den dwelling animals that will often curl up and go to sleep when they are comfortable. Many dog owners want to rush weaning their dog off of the crate because they feel guilty. A lot of times this guilt comes from a feeling of taking your dog’s freedom away when crating. In many instances, the word “cage” is used instead of “crate”. The word “cage” gives the connotation of “being behind bars”, which is then associated with dogs that are abused. All of which leads to emotions of guilt.
A crate creates a safe place for your dog and your home. Leaving a dog unattended can be life threatening if your dog ingests clothing, trash or even part of toy or bone while you are not home. For younger dogs that are teething, there a chewing hazards – electrical cords, furniture, and wood working. In a multi-dog house, a fight could occur, leaving you with expensive emergency vet bills. Unfortunately, these cases happen more often than you think.
There are many other benefits to crating your dog and keeping it part of their lives. During travel, your dog has a safe place to adapt to new environments, which will reduce stress. Crating a dog recovering from injury or illness will help her heal faster. The easiest way to potty train a puppy is by crate training. Guests that do not like dogs will be more comfortable in your home. Nervous or fearful dogs will feel safe in their crate when new people come over. By letting go of that guilty feeling and focusing on doing what is best for your dog, you will be rewarded with a better relationship.
Crate training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to train a dog. The single most important aspect of dog and puppy training is that you reward and praise your dog or puppy each and every time she does the right thing. The more time you spend with your puppy or dog, the quicker and easier it will be to train her.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery county and northern Chester County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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