Crate Training: Benefits of Using a Crate
Brought to you by the AKC GoodDog! Helpline – the AKC’s 7-day-a-week training support service
By Hilarie Erb, AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer
By now, most dog owners know that crate training is a key to helping puppies succeed at house training. But don’t put away the crate once the puppy has mastered it! It is a valuable management tool for your dog’s entire life.
Chances are you had your own room as a child, and it makes sense for your dog to have one too. Your parents probably sent you to it when you were in trouble, but you also spent plenty of time there voluntarily. Dog professionals make crates part of their dogs’ permanent lifestyle. Here are a few reasons why you should too:
- Gives your dog a safe place to be. You have a room that you can escape to, your dog needs one too.
- A place for him to be when unusual things take place – the plumber coming to make a repair, for example.
- It’s the safest way to travel in a car. If your dog travels with you often, consider purchasing an extra crate to keep in your vehicle. He will be thrilled to go with you even if he doesn’t get the dangerous thrill of hanging his head out the window, hopping all over the car, or lunging at anyone who comes near the car.
- Hotel safety. A dog should never be left alone, loose, in a hotel room. A crate will prevent an escape should someone enter, as well as prevent any damage she might cause in the strange room.
- If you own more than one dog, there will be times they should not be together: training, feeding, or they just need relief from each other.
- Some people should not be subjected to your dog’s unwanted affections. They may be frail, have small children, or simply afraid of dogs. When they visit, it’s a perfect time for your dog to be in his crate with a nice treat.
- You have a houseful of guests. Too many people who may give him inappropriate things, too many chances for him to steal things, too many chances for him to slip out the door.
Many dogs are afraid of loud noises like thunder and fireworks which cause many dogs a lot of anxiety. Worse, some dogs will be so frightened they may bolt and run until they are lost if a door isn’t closed quickly enough. Put the crate in a cozy place that your dog likes and give him an extra special treat while he’s in it. Practice this at random times throughout the year so that it will have positive associations – not just with scary noises.
Now you know why crates are good for more than house training. Make good things happen while your dog is in it; never use it as punishment. Never leave a puppy or dog in one all day. It should always be a happy place, even if you had to put your dog in it while you cleaned up the couch stuffing from all over the floor.
For more tips on crate training your puppy: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/basic-training/a-beginners-guide-to-crate-training/
Join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline TODAY at the discount price of $59.99 – $40 off the regular fee. This provides lifetime training support for your dog. No renewals ever necessary.
For more tips and advice on training your dog, join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by experienced dog trainers: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.