Should I crate train my dog?

Now more and more often you hear the advice to use a crate for the dog. But there is also an opinion that this way is not good. Therefore, dog owners may be in doubt: should I crate train my dog or not?

What the experts say about crate training

I decided to interview dog training experts to find the answer. Here’s what information I received.

I recommend training a dog for many reasons. Teaching a dog to enjoy being in their crate is a wonderful way to add a management option when training.  For example, when potty training a puppy, to be successful, eyes must be on your puppy at all times.  When you can’t watch your puppy, providing a safe place, such as a crate is a great option.  The same can be true for a variety of situations, cooking dinner, workers in the home, big human gatherings where you might not be able to focus on your dog at all times.

Not to mention, if your dog ever has to spend time at a grooming salon, boarding facility, or kennel, if he already is happy and accustomed to being crated, these situations won’t be as stressful. Care must be taken when teaching a dog to love his crate, You don’t want to use the crate as a form of punishment or in lieu of training and interaction. It’s a tool and should be used wisely. 

Tonya Wilhelm has been a professional dog trainer for over two decades. She loves to spread the word about positive ways of preventing and managing behavior issues with a holistic approach. 

Crate training is very beneficial! It provides dogs with their own space to decompress, it keeps them safe when unable to be supervised, prevents potty accidents, and prevents nervous dogs from interacting negatively with new people and other dogs. Not all dogs find crates comforting, but if trained appropriately it can be a incredible management tool.

Autumn Rose Reynolds – Dog trainer, a graduate of Victoria Stilwell Academy.

Benefits of crate training

Crate training may not be easy, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s why:

  • A crate helps potty train a puppy. Dogs won’t pee in a place that they consider their den. So, you can put your dog in a crate to teach its bladder control.
  • You can leave the dog in the crate when you are not home. The dog will be safe there and will not get into trouble. Also, the dog wouldn’t wander around the house and ruin things and furniture.
  • You can use the crate to help your puppy sleep peacefully at night, and to calm down a hyperactive puppy.
  • The dog will be able to hide in the kennel when it is scared or wants to be alone. Animals feel safe in their den. 
  • If your dog is crate-trained, you can transport it in the car or airplane. A crate may also be necessary to limit the movement of a sick animal, for example, after surgery.
A crate can be especially helpful for dogs that have been picked up from a shelter. They are more likely to suffer from anxiety and are prone to disruptive behavior.

Is it cruel to crate a dog?

People may think that it is cruel to crate dogs. It’s not natural for humans, like imprisonment. But experts say that it is natural for dogs to look for a secluded place, a shelter in which they can hide.

This means they feel good and safe in a crate. Organizations such as the Humanesociety, AKC, and RSPCA recommend crate training, but only if the rules are followed.

Yes, dogs can whine and cry in a kennel. They are trying to get their owner’s attention that way. If you respond to such manipulation, your pet will take advantage of it.

Babies who are used to being in their parents’ arms behave the same way. But they need to learn to be self-sufficient. That’s why parents are taught to ignore every demand of the baby so that the child can spend time in the crib.

Conclusions

Crate training can be very useful for dog owners. Even if you don’t plan to use it every day or night, the crate comes in handy in everyday life. For these reasons, I am in favor of crate training. 

But there are a few points:

  • crate training will be successful if done correctly (gradually, no pressure). It will take time and patience to get the dog used to the kennel, just like it takes time to potty training;
  • do not leave your dog in the kennel for a long time;
  • it is important to choose a kennel that is secure and also comfortable for your dog;
  • if your dog absolutely refuses the crate, even if you’ve tried every method, you shouldn’t force it. Consult a professional or try another option.

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Alternatives to crate training

If you don’t want to crate train a puppy, there are alternatives:

  • playpen. The pen serves the same role as a cage, but it has more space. There will be space for potty and playtime.
  • baby gates. You can use them to enclose some safe room for your dog. 
  • instead of locking your dog in a crate while you’re away, you can use a doggie daycare or nanny service. But this will not solve the problem if you need to transport your dog.

That’s all. Thank you for reading. Write to us about your experiences with crate training.

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