What About Crate Training?

Dog Kennel

Wired Dog Kennel

You’ve heard it, and some might be hesitant about it.

Crate-training. Why is it such a controversial topic?

Well, for starters, many people like to view human emotions on animals. This is called ‘Anthropomorphism’. I have mentioned this before, but I still hear a lot of this, and wanted to talk about it again.

Definition:
an·thro·po·mor·phism [an-thruh-puh-mawr-fiz-uhm]
noun

The attribution of human form or behaviour to a deity, animal, etc.

This is a mistake many dog owners make. Dogs are not people!

Canines are different in a few ways. A few that come up immediately when I think about are:
1) Canines are pack animals
2) Canines are den animals
3) Canines are NEED a strong leader for the pack
4) Canines cannot use English or human body language to communicate

Now that we have established dogs are not people and they can happily be a member of the family WITHOUT being treated like a human, let’s move on to crating.

Plastic Crate

Plastic Crate

A kennel, crate, cage, etc – this has are 10 perks to teaching crate-training:
1) Potty training
2) Being in a safe place, creating a ‘den’.
3) Preventing destructive habits.
4) prevention of separation anxiety
5) Teaching independence
6) Getting used to being in a crate
7) Teaching a natural ‘calm’ state
8) Using as a ‘calm down/time out’ area
9) Using as a containment/quarantine or separation tool
10) Travel tool

Crating is used inappropriately when:
1) Dog is in the crate for too long (like 14 hours or something)
2) Used as a punishment
3) Crate is too big/too small
4) Putting multiple animals in the crate
5) Letting other animals or family members (especially children) be in/around the crate when the animal is in the crate.
6) Tricking the dog to go in the crate

Custom Dog House

Custom Dog House

And many others, but this is an introduction to why crates are a good idea. Many dogs end up loving their crate, and know when it’s bedtime (if they sleep in the crate at night), they know when they want quiet time, and they know they will be safe there.

Dogs do not feel ‘trapped’ (unless they have a medical condition or severe separation anxiety) in a crate, they feel safe. It’s a place for them to go when they need to calm down, or learn how to be by themselves. This is a pretty big deal if you have a puppy. You want to prevent the separation anxiety from forming by teaching them to be alone. They will need to find ways to entertain themselves (sleeping, is what we want them to do).

I will be posting how to crate train your dog in the future, but this was just to open up conversation on any experiences you want to share about it!

12 thoughts on “What About Crate Training?

  1. We had a rescue dog who was used for breeding and showing (and was discarded when these days were over) and spent a lot of time in her crate. She came with her crate and we’d never used one before. I thought it was barbaric because I wasn’t familiar with them. We soon realised this was her safe place and it became the ‘top spot’ with all the other dogs too. We used it again when we got a puppy and again it became a safe place, not a punishment place. We’ve stored our crate for years on end and taken it out again when it was needed for a new dog- especially rescues, who seem to appreciate their own place away from children and other dogs and interference.

    • They really, really do love their own place! This is another conversation I have quite often! I like to post about the common problems I see with my new clients, and common conversations I have over and over and over and over… and over. 🙂

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