In part three of my management series, I am going to talk about crates. Crates are a wonderful way to manage a dog. It also provides many dogs with a sense of comfort and a place they can call their own. Crates should be a place that your dog loves going to, so make sure to never use it as punishment.
Below are some reasons why I think crates are one of the best ways to manage a dog:
- Potty training: The mantra for potty training is constant supervision. So what do you do when you can’t keep an eye on your busy pup? When you can’t be there to watch Fido, he needs to be in his crate. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Any bigger and they could pee in the crate. I really like the wire crates because they come with an insert that allows you to adjust as your puppy grows so you don’t have to invest in multiple crates throughout puppyhood.
- Relaxation time: Crates are a great way to teach puppies to relax and self soothe. It’s a great idea to get your puppy onto a schedule and to schedule in some down time in their crate. This can help prevent separation anxiety, so make sure to give them some down time both when you are home and when you are out of the house.
- House guests: If you have a dog that gets very excited when guests come over, put your dog in his crate. Once all the guests have arrived and your dog is calm, you can let him come out and greet everybody. The crate allows your guests to arrive without being greeted by jumping and other bad behavior. It also ensures that your dog isn’t practicing any of that bad behavior.
- Quiet retreat: Sometimes Fido just needs to get away from all the commotion in the house. Whether it be from a rowdy kids birthday party or just a place to relax after a romp in the park, every dog needs a place that they can call their own. Make sure your kids and guests know that when the dog is in the crate, he needs his quiet time and shouldn’t be disturbed.
- Safe zone: Think of the crate as a place where you know you can put your dog and they are safe. If you are having the repairman come over to fix something, you know you can put your dog in his crate and he is safe and the repairman is safe from your guard dog and/or professional face licker. Crates are also great for emergencies. Need to go into your basement during a tornado warning and don’t want to worry about where the dog is? Put them in their crate with you in the basement.
- Car restraint: The safest way for a dog to travel is in his crate. Just make sure to buckle in the crate so it doesn’t roll around.
- Bed time: It’s nice being able to go to bed and knowing that your dog won’t be getting into trouble when you are asleep. Use the crate as a bed. Bring it in the bedroom if you want your dog to be close to you.
How have you found the crate to helpful? Let us know in the comments!
Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and owner of Touch Dog Training, is a certified professional dog trainer who employs positive reinforcement behavior modification techniques intended to deliver results while building stronger bonds between dogs and their owners. Erin practiced her craft in Chicago for many years as a Senior Trainer for AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior. There she taught dog training classes and also conducted private, in-home lessons with pets and their owners. In March 2015, Erin relocated to Colorado and is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with dog owners in the Denver/Boulder metro area.
This post was originally published on the AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior blog.