Crating Your Dog
shudder at the thought of putting their dog in a crate when they leave
the house. "How awful" they exclaim, "to keep Rover cooped up all alone
in a cage."
We often assume a dog would not want to be kept in a crate because we
know we would not like being locked in a cage. But dogs are not human
beings; they are animals. If they were living in the wild, they would
dig tiny dens where they could rest and sleep.
If it is
introduced properly, a crate can become a dog's safe haven and its own
private den. It can provide a feeling of security for the dog, while at
the same time protecting it from household hazards such as electrical
cords or poisonous plants. A crate can also serve as a good tool for
housebreaking because most dogs will not urinate or defecate in the
place where they must lie down.
If you decide to
use a crate, be sure to purchase one that fits the dog. The crate must
be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around. If you plan to
use the crate for housetraining, however, be certain that the crate is
not so large that the dog can avoid its waste if it urinates or
defecates in the crate.
The most important
point to remember about crating is that the crate is the dog's "den."
Forcing a dog into a crate or using the crate only for punishment will
cause the dog to fear its new home rather than cherish it.