The term “crating” is used to refer to the act of using a kennel or crate to train a dog, usually for purposes of potty training. Crate training has become more and more popular than ever before and those who recommend it believe it is actually a panacea. But, perhaps the more important consideration is what the dog thinks about crating.
Dogs are naturally den creatures. This means that dogs naturally gravitate towards a secluded or limited amount of space that it considers its very own haven. It’s a private place where he can relax and not have to worry about defending his territory. A crate can serve as your dog’s den when used properly, which is why it is considered an essential tool in dog training.
Of course, even when something is originally created with good intentions, it can be abused. The same is true with crate training. But the fact that it can be abused does not make it wrong; it just makes it all the more important for you to know exactly what you are doing when you use crating as a training method. Here are some important things for you to remember as regards crate training:
You should choose a crate that your dog can comfortably stand up and turn around in.
You shouldn’t leave a puppy in the crate for more than three hours straight, and you shouldn’t leave an adult dog in the crate for more than eight hours.
Introduce your dog properly to the crate and do not force him to enter the crate at any time.
As much as possible, wean your dog off slowly from the crate as he grows older and crate him only when you have to be out of the house for a few hours.
Even when you’ve already weaned your dog off the crate, keep it available for him to nap in. This will make it easier for you to put him in the crate whenever you have to.
Now, how do you choose your crate? The cheapest crates available are plastic crates. These are the usual crates used when flying with a dog. Dog show vendors usually have good prices for these crates and airlines can even give it to you at wholesale price if you’re taking your dog on one of their flights.
Wire mesh cages are comparable in price to plastic crates, but they can be slightly unappealing to dogs, who prefer the enclosed nature of a crate. It is, however, advisable to use wire cages in warm places because it has better ventilation. For example, you may use a crate in your house and use a wire cage for when you’re travelling with your dog in the car.
Remember that your ultimate goal for crate training is to develop good behaviour in your dog. You should therefore view the use of the crate as a temporary necessity and always work towards being able to leave your dog alone in the house without worrying that he will get into trouble.
You can solve all Dog behavioural problems with consistent training and positive reinforcement. Rememeber as owner, it is your responsibility to ensure this.
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