When someone suggested to me to kennel up my dog, I thought this was cruel. Then one day, she got into something that made her choke. It scared me enough to realize that crates are not such a bad idea after all. When it comes to whether my dog likes me or whether she is safe, I choose safety.
Types of Crates
oWire Crate-The dog is able to see out and be a part of the family activities. It has a removable tray to help with cleaning.
oPlastic / Enclosed Crate-This one is more enclosed and it makes it harder for the dog to be a part of the family. They are better used for traveling or for shipping rather than in the home.
oMesh Crate-This is not a practical crate for the home because it can be destroyed easily.
Choosing The Right Size Crate:
Only allow enough room for your dog to turn around and lie down. If the crate has too much room, the puppy will eliminate at one side, and live at the other. Because crates can be expensive, buy a big enough crate for an adult size dog. The crate should be big enough for an adult dog to stand up and lie down in a comfortable stretched out position. Use a divider for your puppy until she is potty trained.
Be sure your dog is safe in his crate. Never use a collar, leash, or harness while your dog is in his crate. Do not leave toys in with him because he could choke.
Dog crate training – Teaching a dog to accept his crate.
The best time to teach a dog to accept a crate is when she is a puppy. However, older dogs will usually adapt easily. To get your puppy to go into his crate is pretty simple. Bribery! All dogs love treasures. Select a phrase that you prefer to use to get your dog to go into his crate. You could say "kennel-up", "go to your bed", "go to your room", "cage-up", or even "pick your nose"! It does not matter what you choose. It just has to be used each and every time you want him to go into the crate. Have fun with it! Just remember to be consistent. With the collar in one hand, and the treat in the other at the end of his nose, guide him toward the kennel. Once there, open up the kennel, say the phrase and point. Shut the door, and give him his well deserved treatment while praising him with saying "good plus your phrase"!
Use the crate only in a positive manner.
It is very tempting to use the crate as a place for punishment. It is imperative that you do not do this. If you do, this will cause the dog to hate the crate. This will have the reverse affect you want for crate training and cause you even more frustration.
However, your puppy may need a time out and you may need a break from her. If this is the case, try to use your phrase in a cheerful manner and kennel her up for a little while. Chances are she is probably ready for a nap after all of that dog obedience training!
Important tips when using a dog crate.
oWhining and crying are inevitable. You may choose to ignore, however, she can go on for hours! Correcting is your best choice. Correct her with a firm, not mean, "Quiet" or "Lay Down".
oTo help prevent whining, give her something to do. Remember not to give plastic toys to a dog without supervision. Instead, purchase a Nylabone or stuffed Kong. Puppies seem to love the Kong! Peanut Butter is an all time stuffing favorite!
oAlthough you want the crate to be a safe, comfortable place for your dog to want to be in, you do not want to put a blanket or towel in the crate until the puppy is potty trained. A towel will only encourage him to pee, because it will soak it up. And, more than likely the dog will chew it up. However, once your dog is reliable and can hold until time to go out, you can give him a blanket or towel. After all, you want your puppy to be happy. Use an old towel you do not care about, ever, it will be chewed up!
oPuppies and dogs should be in the crate not only when you are gone, but when you are at home, too. If you put your dog in the crate only when you leave, she will feel this is a punishment and can develop separation anxiety. She should not be in the dog crate all day long. In fact, the more she is with your family, the more she will be a part of your family. Just put her in the crate at specific times, like when you are eating or at nap time.
oKeep the crate where the family will be. Do not put the crate in a basement or garage. This will isolate the dog and cause social problems.
oIf too much activity is going on when your puppy should be sleeping, you can put a blanket over the cage to help settle him down.
Occasionally, your dog will be old enough to be out of the crate. However, many dogs tend to feel secure in their crate, especially when sleeping. It is all up to you and your dog. However, dog crate training is an essential tool to help keep your puppy safe while training her to be a happy new addition to your family. Good luck and happy shopping!