Dog crates are incredible tools. We can use them for many different purposes and in many different ways. A crate can be extremely useful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, house soiling issues, fear and phobias or even aggression issues towards other people. Examples include dogs who get extremely excited when people ring the doorbell or knock on the door, dogs that will jump and enthusiastically greet visitors at the front door and even dogs who have poor social or self-control skills. It can be used as a bed, a playground for small puppies or something we can use to help keep the dog safe while traveling by car. Dog trainers will often recommend the use of dog crates, due to their versatility and adaptability.
Does your dog like to chew your wife’s shoes beyond repair when he’s home alone? Try leaving him inside the crate instead. Make sure you offer him a favored chew toy, perhaps stuffed with the most delicious dog food. Short periods of time in a crate can be very effective means of curbing this behavior while you train your pet. It is important to remember that extended periods of time can be harmful to your pet. Your dog needs to be let out for regular exercise, food and water. Dog crates are not meant as a form of captivity.
Do you have trouble when feeding your dog because he growls and protects his food bowl from the children? Consider feeding him while he is comfortable inside the crate. This will help control the dog from practicing unwanted behavior while promoting the children’s safety during behavioral training. Did he jump at grandma Susan and make her fall when she came to visit last? You can teach him to go to his crate every time someone knocks on the door. Do you have to spend thousands of dollars on furniture every time there’s a thunderstorm and your dog panics? If he’s inside his crate, he won’t be able to destroy your things and after some appropriate training he will actually seek out the safety of his dog crate. Remember, the object of dog crate training is to provide a safe space for your dog, while promoting desirable, positive behaviors.
Does your two-month old puppy pee and poop everywhere? Keep him inside the crate when you’re not actively supervising him. If he stays in there during the night, it will certainly help him to calm down and fall asleep faster. Does your dog have to go to your sister’s house for a week, while you’re on vacation? When you’re packing your dog’s possessions (his food, leash, toys…) make sure to bring along the dog crate. Your dog will appreciate having access to a familiar and comforting den and help him through any adjustment process.
If you’re planning on adopting a puppy or bringing a new dog into your home, the majority of dog professionals recommend the use of a quality and appropriately sized dog crate. If the dog is still a puppy, you don’t need to choose a small crate. After all, the puppy will grow! The best thing to do is to choose a crate that will fit the dog’s size when he’s fully grown. Large dog crates that are too big often provide incentive to use the empty space as a bathroom, while getting small dog crates that are too small for growing dogs can start create concerns about physical and even mental health.
Many dog crates come with a divider that allows adjustment to the size of the crate as the puppy grows to adult size. When choosing dog crate sizes, remember this: it should allow the dog to turn around, to stand and to lay down comfortably. You should also choose a model that can be easily cleaned, as accidents may happen and the dog crate will need to be kept clean and dry, especially if it is used as the dog’s bed. Most dog crates are made of metal and can be easily be covered with a dog crate cover to create a more comfortable den-like feel for your pet as well as provide a more pleasing look for your home. Another option would be to use a blanket or a towel draped over the dog crate. For all those DIY-ers, the possibilities are in your hands!
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