Crating your Dog

When getting a new dog, whether a puppy or an adult, a lot of planning should be considered. Just like people, there are no two dogs alike. Each and every one has specific needs. Some need more grooming than others; some have behavior issues, while some are easier to train. The list goes on and on.

Picking out what kind of breed is on the top list of considerations. Many dogs are good with children, others are not. Of course if there are children in the household, this is not even a consideration.

A consideration for both you and your pet is whether or not the dog is going to be crated, and for how long a period.

There is a lot of controversy on whether you should crate a dog or not. Many believe it is not a good idea to have a pet if they are going to be in a cage for a long time. First of all, how long is a long time? Second is, a dog is a den animal, a crate can serve as his safe haven.

My experience with crating my dog has been the best thing I could do for both he and I.

At 6 years old, he is still crated. Two big reasons: #1. He has been crated from the first day I got him at 8 weeks old. #2. My belief is that a dog being a den animal needs and is comfortable with a safe haven which in our case is his crate.

How long is too long depends entirely up to how long an animal can hold his bodily functions without being uncomfortable. It’s not hard to figure out, once you learn your dog’s potty habits. Most dogs will not soil the area in which they sleep. A puppy on the other hand is quite different.

When Austin was just a puppy, and I had to leave him for 5 hours at a time, I would put doggie pads in an area of his crate. As soon as I came home, whether or not he soiled the pads, I would bring him outdoors and give the command to pee or poop. (Your preference of words is yours, but keeps it short) I treated him immediately and praised him before bring him inside.

I find that treats work very well with dogs for many reasons, and crating a dog with a treat is one. Be sure it’s a treat that he will not choke on. I never leave a treat with Austin unattended.

If you have a dog that has not been crated or does not like to be crated, I believe treats for him can work. You’ll need to be consistent with what you do with your dog and crating. Encourage him to go inside with a treat. Once there, praise him and leave. If he barks, howls, cries or whatever, let him do this for only a short time and then in a very stern voice tell him “STOP” and leave. Return to him with a treat, only when it is time for him to come out. (Your terms, not his) He will soon learn that being crated is not so bad! And you in turn can be comfortable knowing that not only is he not tearing up the house or getting himself in trouble, but that he is safe, and believe it or not, he is comfortable too! He’s just waiting for that something yummy to come to him.

Do this:

For the love of dogs today

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