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Using a Dog Crate

Pet Gear Home 'N Go Soft-Sided Pet CrateHave you been wondering if you should use a dog crate for your dog? I would recommend that you do, if possible.

Especially if you get your dog as a puppy, you should be able to get him used to using a crate. Dogs don’t think of the crate as punishment (unless you make it seem that way). They think of it as a little house or den.

Here is some information on crate training your puppy, from The Fun Place:

Dogs are den animals; they do not soil their sleeping and eating areas. This trait has been passed down to your domesticated dog by their distant relative, the wolf. We are going to use this characteristic to housebreak your puppy. …

Place the pup in the crate saying “go to your room” –I usually throw a couple dog treats in–. If you decide that pup should have something to lay on I suggest a towel or something easy to clean. Keep in mind the pup is still a baby and the crate is not a magical cure. The pup is going to have a few accidents. How many depends on how fast he catches on and how diligent you are at training.

When you let the pup out of the crate, take him outside immediately. Use the same door all the time and take to him to the same spot where you want him to go to the bathroom. Read more…

After a while, the dog will think of the crate as his own little den, and will often go there if he doesn’t want to be bothered or wants some quiet time.

I would say that a crate will work most of the time. However, occasionally you get a dog where it does not work, like my own dog Shelley. Of course, I got her when she was already several years old, so she did not get used to it as a puppy.

And for some reason, she hates to be closed in. She is like Houdini. When I leave her at the kennel, when I go on vacation, they have to put a special hook on the door, or she can figure out how to get out!

For more information on crate training, see this booklet:

Crate Training Your Dog How to maintain a positive, loving attitude while being firm and consistent with your dog. Advice on choosing the right crate, step-by-step instructions, and tips for dealing with crate-related behavior problems.