Too often people think of their dog crate as being a form of punishment. Consequently, many dog owners tend to either not use a dog crate for fear of making their pet unhappy or they use them as a form of correction.
In reality, a dog crate is the perfect “hideaway” for your dog. Dogs need their dens. When family life gets hectic, when company comes over and there are just too many little kids — your dog needs a “safe” place to go to and relax.
The nice thing about a crate is that it is completely open so they can see and be part of their family, while feeling protected when things get too hectic.
A crate also makes dog ownership easier. There are certain times where it is okay to send your dog to its crate. And it makes sense to use the crate for certain events. If you are traveling, their crate gives them a sense of “home” no matter where they may be.
Don’t Leave Your Dog In Its Crate For Too Long
Many people use crating as a means of keeping their pet — and house — safe while they are at work. In these situations, you want to be careful not o over-stress their bladder. To the dog, their crate is their den and they will absolutely refuse to mess it.
The trick as a dog owner is to not over-stress their bladder. Especially puppies. Most young puppies will need to be to allowed out of their cage every 1-2 hours. After they are about 4 months old they should be able to stand staying in their crate for half a work day.
However, until they are a year old, they will really need to be let out at least once every 4 hours to let them relieve themselves.
Keep them Hydrated
Puppies, especially need to be well-hydrated while in their crates. Since you don’t want them to accidentally tip a bowl of water over, you can attach a bottle to the side of their cage that they can lick water out of.
Can you imagine sitting thirsty in a crate for 4 hours? Neither can I.
Proper Crate Sizing
You want to get a crate that is big enough for your adult dog to stand, stretch out, and turn around in. They should not feel cramped in the least.
Many people start with a smaller crate for their puppy and then switch as they get older. I am a cheapskate and like to buy one crate and then add a box to create a smaller “nest” of blankets and comfort for the puppy until they grow.
Crate Training Tips
- Never Use The Crate As Punishment. You don’t want your pet to loathe it.
- Never Force A Dog Into Their Crate. Use treats to encourage them to walk in on their own.
- Make Sure Your Pet Gets Plenty Of Exercise.
- Start Slow. Increase time in crate in ten minute intervals to let them get used to it.
- Night Time Is An Excellent Time To Crate Your Dog. It can also help prevent messes.
- Provide Chew Toys Or Bones To Keep Your Dog From Becoming Bored.
Crating is not a house-training cure-all. However, it can greatly help reduce the number of messes and protect stuff from getting chewed on.