Although you undoubtedly want your dog to be able to live comfortably within your home, it can take time and patience for him to develop a firm understanding of the rules and the expectations that you have for his behavior. During this time, it may be helpful for you to place your dog in a safe space when he is unsupervised, which will ensure that he cannot cause any damage to your property or himself. Although some owners use a spare room or a garage for this purpose, many others prefer to encourage their canine companion to be comfortable and happy in a crate.
What are dog crates?
Dog crates are specially-designed enclosures that are most often made of metal, plastic or wire, with the purpose of providing an impenetrable barrier between your pet at the rest of your house. Many owners worry that confining their pet to a small secure space is an act of cruelty, but dogs are naturally lovers of small, protected spaces that they can claim as their own. Not only will your dog probably adapt to using a crate much more quickly than you expect, but he will almost certainly enjoy spending time in this little corner of this world that is just for him.
What are the benefits of crate training my dog?
There is a range of benefits to training your dog to spend time in his crate – both for you and him.
Secure, safe space
A crate provides the perfect space for your pet to retreat to when the real world gets a little overwhelming. This can be ideal when you have strangers in your home who make him nervous, when you need to make changes to your home such as redecorating that may confuse him, or simply when he just wants a little peace and quiet and space for himself.
Help with housetraining
Toilet-training a puppy often isn’t the easiest of tasks. However, crate training has been shown to substantially speed up the process. Dogs do not like soiling where they sleep and so by encouraging your pet to go outside after a session in the crate, he will hopefully do his business in the appropriate place. A little reward offers positive reinforcement, and you might find that potty-training your pup is more simple than you think!
Even the most well-behaved dog can be boisterous from time to time, and occasionally, this can cause a little wave of destruction in your home. Most of the time, destructive behavior is often due to reasons such as teething, boredom or anxiousness, but sometimes your pet just needs a place to chill out. In addition to providing a calm area, your dog’s crate can also ensure that your home remains intact when you are unable to supervise your furry friend!
Making traveling simple
While some dogs absolutely adore a trip out in the car, others severely dislike any sort of transportation that isn’t using their own paws. Nervousness and even motion sickness are common problems for dogs who aren’t keen on traveling. However, many owners report that those animals who are crate trained are much calmer, relaxed travelers as they are able to be transported in their safe space.
When should I start to crate-train my dog?
Crate training can be done at any age, but most veterinarians, including those at Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center, recommend that you start from a young age, and as young as eight weeks old. Just remember that until your pet is at least 12 weeks, he will not have sufficient bladder control to hold his urine through the night. During this time, you will need to get up and allow your puppy out to relieve himself at least once, possibly twice.
If you are interested in finding out more about training your dog to use a crate, contact and speak to your veterinarian at Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center for further advice.