Why Crate Training Is Important For Your Puppy
“I would never lock my dog up in a crate, it’s so cruel and he hates it.” Wrong! I cringe when I hear this. Do these puppies look stressed? Anxious? Upset? We are firm believers in the crate, and use it as the foundation for all training. Here’s why you should, too:
Free-roaming gives your dog opportunities to make poor impulse-based choices, setting him up for failure. If I can’t have my eyes on a puppy, he is contained for his safety and my sanity. Crate training means that in your absence, your dog can’t make mistakes, thus setting him up for success.
While crated, these two puppies cannot destroy my favorite shoes, dig in my houseplants, electrocute themselves chewing on a lamp cord, swallow legos causing a painful and pricey (or even deadly) bowel obstruction. The crate is a safety mechanism. Safety, safety, safety. Can’t stress that enough.
Crating is critical to housebreaking efforts. It is the most effective housebreaking tool in our arsenal. A dog does not want to eliminate in an area where they eat/sleep. Crate size is very important - too much real estate, no bueno. Keep it small. They need enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around, and that is all.
You may have noticed your new puppy seeks out small, covered spaces to nap, such as under the coffee table. Denning is instinctual for a dog. You can build on that instinct by providing a den like environment for them via the crate. This gives a puppy a place to settle, unwind, and escape stimulation. It is not healthy or normal for a dog to remain in an adrenalized, stressful state - the crate gives them much needed downtime.
Crate training builds patience, impulse control and is a key part of the non-negotiable rules and routine of daily life. It’s a place to rest quietly between training sessions to process the information they just learned.
The crate is an essential part of preventing separation anxiety. The puppies in this video are contained while I cook dinner, and they are perfectly content. Your dog does not need to follow you around 24/7 and pester you for attention nonstop. Crating teaches a dog to self soothe, practicing calm behavior when you ARE home, so the habit of remaining calm in the crate when you’re away is instilled.
Structure is so therapeutic for dogs. It helps them to feel safe and calm because they clearly know exactly what they should be doing, rather than stressing out or making poor choices. It is reassuring.
Calm, well-behaved dogs get included in more aspects of daily life. So keep your dog safe and help them succeed by using a crate. You’ll be glad you did!
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