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Oct 31

To Crate or Not to Crate?

Is your dog’s crate a safe haven, a den, – or a punishment cell?  Always ensure that the crate is big enough for your dog or dogs to stand up and stretch out.

There are people do not like crates for dogs because they perceive them as punishment cells – somewhere a dog is sent to in disgrace or for “Time-out”  Dogs do not understand the concept of “Time-out” – they cannot connect the “punishment” with the crime. Sending the dog into a crate in disgrace will never work.  I remember one incident at dog training, when we were teaching our dogs the “away” command to bed.  One owner shouted the command so loudly, and in such a strong voice that his dog cowered and pee’d on the floor.

The dog’s crate or “bed” should be a cozy, safe haven, like a “den” in the wild.  It is somewhere a dog can retreat to for safety and comfort.  It is somewhere that a dog will be pleased to go.  Try covering the crate with a blanket, to make it dark, warm and inviting.  Feeding your dog in his crate will create pleasant associations, and your dog will soon come to see his crate as his home.

A crate is often the best way to transport a dog (or cat) in the car.  It will provide a degree of protection in case of an accident.  If you have multiple small dogs as we do, try fitting 2 crates in the back of your car.  This gives flexibility and makes loading/unloading easier.

…  Anne