One of the most common reasons I hear people say they are not crating their puppies or dogs is out of guilt. I’m told over and over how people feel like bad dog owners for putting their dog in a crate during short periods throughout the day.
The thing I want to get through to you is that is OK to feel that way! It’s a perfectly normal human reaction. BUT that shouldn’t stop you from using a crate. Think about it this way: Your puppy is a baby! If you had a human baby in your house right now there would be times where you would put that baby into an enclosed space for containment purposes. Whether you were strapping them into a bouncy chair, letting them sit in a pack-and-play with some toys, or putting them down for a nap in their crib, the point is that you would put your baby down in a contained space for short periods of time. I bet you wouldn’t even feel all that guilty about it because, after all, as much as you love your baby, there are certain things that are easier without them in your arms 24/7. Not to mention that containing them is SAFER when you have a mobile baby who can get into a dangerous situation in a matter of seconds.
Do you have to use a crate for your dog? No! But parents of babies don’t HAVE TO use cribs or playpens either. The point is that using a crate is a tool that can help manage your baby dog’s environment which will not only help you with training, but prevent dangerous situations like getting hold of unsafe objects, chewing on inappropriate or unsafe items or otherwise getting into trouble. I can’t recommend crates enough!
Even adult dogs should be comfortable using one. You never know when you may need to crate your dog so that a plumber, construction worker, or meter reader can get into your home without interruption. You may need to travel somewhere and need to crate your dog in the car or at a location along the way. I also believe all dogs need to be comfortable in a crate in case of an emergency where they need to spend time at a veterinary office for extended care. Being sick or injured will be stressful enough without adding a crate to the mix for the first time. You want your dog to already be comfortable with that aspect of their veterinary visit. A crate can also serve as a safe hideaway from guests or members of the family when they need a moment to themselves, which is particularly important when sharing the home with resident or visiting kids (kids should be taught to NEVER bother the dog when they are in their crate and the dog’s crate is for the dog only and is NOT a play place for kids). Due to the versatility of crates, I’m a firm believer that crates should be your dog’s friend, regardless of their age!
I’m giving you permission to ditch the guilt! If you don’t have one already, or there is one collecting dust in the corner, it’s time to get one and put it to use! Below I’ve included some really fabulous videos on how and why to use a crate. If you are struggling, these videos can help you and your pup learn to love using their crate! They really are a must watch so be sure to check them out.
Nicole L Yuhas CPDT-KA
This blog is intended to be informative as well as entertaining. It contains my opinion which may not reflect the opinions of any organization I may be affiliated with. My opinions should not be interpreted as those of my coworkers, family, friends, casual acquaintances, and certainly not the opinion of my cat, although my dog probably agrees with everything I say, if for no other reason, than because I provide the treats and meals (cats are less inclined to agree with anyone but themselves). Information provided here is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but, as information and opinions change, neither the facts nor the opinions expressed here may be true or accurate at any future date. As I don’t currently own a time machine, I cannot be responsible for things that prove to be untrue, or opinions I change my mind about, should those changes become apparent in the future. It should also be noted that, as I am human, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes in the information provided here. Frankly, even if I were a computer, it is likely there would be errors, as computers, in my experience, can be a royal pain in the butt. This blog may contain affiliate links which you are under no obligation to click. If you click them, they will hopefully take you the place I intended. But they may not. As I’ve said, computers can be a pain. If you find yourself somewhere you don’t think I intended, click your ruby slippers three times together and say, “there is no place like home.” If you do that, and click the “back” button, you should be safely returned. Computers can, at times, have a mind of their own. Any training suggestions or opinions expressed here should be taken as information only and should not be seen as advice particular to you or your dog’s unique situation. Please consult with a training professional before taking any action.