Should You Crate Train Your Dog?

There is still some disagreement about whether or not crate training dogs is the right way to go. Crating a dog involves keeping them in a cage just slightly larger than themselves, usually a plastic or metal one for a time, either at night or during the day.

Those in favor of crate training argue that crating a dog gives is a safe, secure place where the dog can go when it wants to get away from noise or activity and be surrounded by the familiar. A sort of home within a home, proponents call it. These same people insist that crate training makes the process of housebreaking a dog easier, since animals are loathe to soil the place where they lay down and will naturally learn to wait until taken outside to take care of their needs.

MishaThere are of course crate training detractors as well. Their view is that restricting a dog’s movement by keeping it in a cage which offers barely enough room to turn around robs dogs of the opportunity to act on their natural inclination to roam and explore its surroundings.

The no-crating crowd point to those instances where puppies will go ahead and soil themselves while in the crate, despite the arguments made by the proponents of crate training. They make the argument that crate training is really more about the owner’s convenience than it is the best interests of their pet.

Pet owners from both schools of thought of course have the best intentions and want to take good care of their pets. The research which has been done on crate training has given dog owners no certain answer one way or the other, but there is broad agreement that when done properly, crate training has little if any ill effects and can be of some benefit to the dog.

Of course, common sense has to be exercised. Keeping your pet in a cage for many hours on end is not healthy for your dog. Four hours is the maximum length of time you should crate your dog. Keeping your dog cooped up longer than this is a serious strain on their ability to hold back from eliminating and of course, most dogs are far too active to be happy sitting still for this long.

Care also needs to be taken to prevent injury to your dog while in the crate. The cage should be examined to make sure that there are no sharp edges or anywhere that your dog’s collar can snag on the crate. Any cage you keep your dog in should be sturdy enough that it won’t tip or break even under vigorous jostling.

There is one benefit to crate training which bears mentioning here. Pets that have been crate trained tend to have far fewer problems with travel. They’ll be used to staying in a small space and they’ll also have familiar smells when in their crate which goes a long way towards keeping them comfortable during the somewhat stressful experience of travel.

Another school of thought holds that pets should be left at home while their owners travel anyway. However, if it is necessary to travel with your pet, use a well built crate which prevents any foreign objects getting in, as well as falling out.

There’s not going to be an agreement on crate training in the near future; that much is certain. It’s best to decide for yourself. Try crating your dog for a couple of weeks, followed by leaving the door of the crate open and let your dog vote with their feet. Do they steer clear of the crate or do they choose it as a favored spot for their naps? Let your dog have a say and you’ll have a happier pet.

About the Author:

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy