There is often controversy around the subject of crate training. However, crate training is not a cruel practice as long as you do it carefully and properly.
When the crate training experience is a positive one, you and your dog will both enjoy many benefits for years to come. A crate gives your dog a place to call his or her own, encouraging the natural instincts of being a den animal. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose the best dog crate for your pup.
If you are considering using a crate to train your dog first take a look at our infographic, then read on for a deeper dive into the major benefits of the practice!
Reasons To Crate Train Your Dog Infographic
Let’s map out the most valuable benefits that can come from crate training your dog:
1. Housetraining Help
Crates can be an extremely useful tool for house training your dog, especially when they are a puppy. Dogs do not want to soil the area they are sleeping in, so using a crate will help them wait to use the bathroom until they are out of it.
Puppies must be taken to a spot to do their business every 15 to 20 minutes when they are still learning. The easiest way to train them is to put them in a crate for this length of time. Then, take them out and lead them to their pee pads or to a designated spot outside. When they go, praise them for their behavior.
A crate will also help when you have to leave your home, and you don’t want your dog to soil your floor or carpet. As long as they are not left alone for too long, the right-sized crate is a great tool to teach them bladder control.
2. Provides a Safe Space
While dogs are active, social creatures, they also need a place to relax and calm down from time to time. Their own comfortable crate gives them a safe haven to enjoy when they are tired and ready for a nap. They’re also great for dogs who get scared of loud noises, such as thunder or fireworks, and need a place to hide until it stops.
As Dr. Sophia Yin points out, dogs can get stressed from small children – and this can even occur from too much activity in the house in general. Their crate will provide an escape when this occurs. Remember, children should always be taught not to bother the dog when they are in their crate.
3. Damage Control
What puppy hasn’t shredded something they weren’t supposed to the minute their owners are distracted by something else? If you can’t yet trust your dog to only chew on their own bones and toys, being in a crate is the next best thing.
When you leave, put them in the crate with a comfortable blanket and a few toys or bones to keep them busy. You won’t have to worry about coming home to a destroyed house.
4. Distracting Your Dog
Just because you are in the house doesn’t mean that your dog, especially a rambunctious puppy, isn’t getting into trouble. A crate will give them a safe, comfy space to relax when you cannot supervise them.
You may need them out of the way as you are making dinner or painting the spare room, and a crate will keep them from getting under your feet. You won’t have to worry about what they are doing for a short period of time.
5. Protect Your Visitors
A crate will be the perfect place for your dog when you have short-term visitors, such as the cable guy, electrician, or home nurse. Sure, you could always lock them in another room, but you may open the door to scratches on the doorframe and destroyed shoes and pillows.
Let your dog chill out in their crate while visitors are around. This is also a good idea if you have someone over who may be wary of your pup.
6. Travel Safely
At some point or another, you’re likely going to have to bring your dog along in the car. Think vet visits and vacations!
If you get them used to being in a crate from the start, you can use the crate as a travel tool when you are planning to be in the car for longer periods of time. Using a crate keeps your dog safe when traveling by car, rather than allowing them to run around in the vehicle while you’re driving.
7. Vet and Doggy-Daycare Visits Made Easier
When your dog is properly trained to stay in their crate, it will make it much easier if they have to stay somewhere else. Your dog may have to stay overnight in a cage at the vet, or you might leave them in doggy daycare when you take a short trip.
Either way, your dog will have to stay in a cage while you are gone, and being used to a short period of confinement will make the stay a lot easier for them.
8. Evacuation Safety
While no one likes to think about it, there may come a time when you have to evacuate your home because of a natural disaster or other emergency.
If your dog is already crate trained, it will be easier to get them into their crate when you pack up your vehicle. They will be much more relaxed during an emergency when they are in their own crate with familiar toys and blankets. It will cut down on their stress and make the experience a little easier for everyone involved.
A Few More Thoughts
You should never leave your dog in their crate for too long, especially when they are a puppy. All dogs need lots of exercise and interaction with their human owners.
It is the strong opinion of many experts, including that of the Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, that a crate should never be used to punish your dog when they misbehave. If you use it this way, they will get upset and scared when you try to get them to go in for other reasons.
Also, make sure they have plenty of clean, soft blankets to sleep on or a dog bed that fits in the crate properly. They’ll be more likely to go in their crate when they are clean and comfortable!
Proper crate training offers many benefits for you and your dog. We hope you have lots of luck crate training your ball of fur!