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Why your Dog should be in a Crate…

August 20, 2010

 

The short answer is "Security" & "Safety".

 

Some people believe that putting a dog in a crate is mean or inhumane.  To the contrary, if you love your dog, it should be crate trained.  Dogs are "den" animals by nature.  That's why they might crawl under a table, desk or chair to take a nap.

 

Where a person may envision the crate as a prison cell, the dog will accept the crate as its doghouse or bedroom (if it has been properly trained).  Your dog should be accustomed to a crate just in case you find it necessary to travel with the dog by air, board your dog or if your pet must stay overnight with the Vet.

 

A crate is a must when traveling by car.  If you become involved in an accident and your dog is not in a crate, your pet will be in a life threatening situation.  You and your passengers will be in greater danger too, if a 70 lb. animal is flying around the inside of your car upon impact.

 

A dog in a car without a suitable restraint is like transporting a child without a car-seat!

 

The "fold-down" wire crates are useful when traveling.  Many hotels will accept dogs only if they will be in a crate. If you visit friends or relatives and stay over-night, they too will appreciate your dog being properly crate trained.

 

Crates can be used to segregate dogs to dissipate tension or to calm dogs that are being to rambunctious when the relatives come to dinner.  But, like anything else, crates can be misused.

 

Dogs should not be confined in a crate for long periods of time.  The crate must NOT be used for punishment.

 

Tips on crate training:

  • Buy a good quality crate

  • get one large enough so the dog to stand, sit, turn around and lie down

  • Teach the dog to enjoy the crate

    • Place a treat in the crate and let the dog eat it and exit freely

    • Later close the door briefly

    • Increase the duration of time in the crate gradually over a few days

    • The dog should be able to stay for up to 2 hours in about 3 days
       

  • Reinforce the fact that the crate is a good place

    • Locate it where to dog is still part of the family

    • Feed the dog some meals in the crate

    • Give the dog toys that are ONLY available when in the crate
       

  • When you let the dog out -- Don't make a big deal about it

    • Just be "matter-of-fact" like leaving the bedroom (not like a rescue)

 

Our advice - put all animals in a crate.  If you must transport a dog, and you don't have a crate, at least buy and use one of the many other types of restraints available today.

 

Never let your dog put his head out a car window or ride him in the back of a pickup truck.  Dogs will jump from moving vehicles or they can take a rock or other object to the head or eyes.

 

The AKC has more information about traveling with a dog.  You may want to visit their "Canine Travel Tips".

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