Many dogs acclimate quickly to crates.
Properly training a young dog can lead to many years of well-mannered companionship. Dogs who are behaved and respond appropriately to commands may experience less stress, know their place in the family pack and avoid injury by staying out of danger.
Crate training is one component of acclimating a puppy to a new home and routine. Using a crate can simplify the process of housebreaking a puppy. The Humane Society of the United States says that crate training uses a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. The “den” serves as a place to sleep and hide from danger. In addition, because dogs do not like to soil their dens, the crate can be used in the initial stages of housebreaking.
PetMD, an animal health and wellness resource, says there are other good reasons to use a crate in the home. Crates provide a respite where a nervous pet can retreat if he or she needs some quiet time. A cozy crate can be an inviting den for sleeping through the night and prevent separation anxiety from forming in dogs that live in big homes.
The American Kennel Club says crate training is not cruel, provided that crates are used in a positive way. Many breeders and veterinarians recommend using crates for puppies. Rely on these guidelines when crating for the first time.
· Select a well-ventilated crate that is large enough for the puppy to stand up, lie down and turn around. Too much room inside may encourage soiling in one end of the crate, which is what you’re trying to avoid.
· Make the crate a positive experience from the start. Line it with blankets, place toys inside and offer treats when the puppy goes inside willingly.
· Do not lock the puppy up and leave him alone the first time you use a crate. Gradually introduce the crate and stay nearby offering plenty of praise. Start with 10-minute intervals and build up.
· Practice taking the puppy immediately outside for a potty break after he or she exits the crate. Soon the dog will associate the two activities.
· The puppy should not be in the crate for the entire day. This can make him or her resent the crate and prevent the dog from getting the exercise it needs.
Keep practicing with the crate and have patience. After a few weeks, many dogs embrace their crates. When that happens, crates become a safe spot for well-behaved, well-loved dogs.