Lesson #5 – Is a crate basically a dog cage that is like a prison for your dog ?
Let us explain: Above all, dog owners need to realize that “CONFINEMENT” doesn’t mean the same thing to you as it does to your dog. Their very own crate is the one place a dog can go where they know they don’t have to DO anything, such as protect or alert or even keep you company.
In the crate, I really don’t have to make any decisions at all… and for me, that’s a HUGE relief.Sonali the Saluki
Crate training is an effective method used by many dog owners to house train any dog as well as keep them safe from the potential dangers around the house. Your dog should be actively encouraged to think of his crate as a safe area – somewhere that he can go to get some rest or some peace and quiet. Make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dog, putting in some toys and soft bedding to put him at ease.
Here are some of the best opportunities to make use of crate training, followed by some important things to remember about this method.
Keeping Your Dog out of Mischief: It is not always possible to keep an eye on your dog. For example, if you are cooking or on the phone, your puppy could get up to all sorts of mischief, and he could put himself in danger. This is a good time to put him in his crate, where he can have a rest, play with his toys, and generally chill out while you get on with what you have to do. You can also use the crate if you have to go out for short periods of time, although this should only be when your puppy is totally used to the crate and enjoys being in it. You should confine him to the crate for short periods while you are actually in the house before trying it when you go out. Without doing this, you will not know what your puppy’s reaction is to being confined for a period of time.
House Training a Puppy: A puppy is unlikely to soil his own rest and play area, so the crate is a good way to teach him to hold it in until you take him to the designated area to do his business. This will teach him control of his bodily functions and reinforce the fact that he should only do his business in the designated place. Be careful not to let your puppy go for too long in the crate, as he may need to go to the bathroom and if he is not let out will be able to do little else but go in the crate. Once this has happened, you could find that he starts to do this more and more and it may become a hard habit to break.
Things to Remember About Crate Training
Don’t force it: Never try and rush crate training, otherwise you will make things more difficult for you and your pet. It can take your dog a while to get used to it, and you should be patient and understanding with him.
Monitor the time: The crate is not meant to be a place where your dog spends all of his time. It is not a substitute for responsible dog care or your warm companionship. Having a dog is pointless if you are going to put him in a crate all day while you work, all evening while you have dinner and get the house tidied, and all night while you sleep. The crate should be used as and when you need it, not as a permanent measure to keep the dog from under your feet.
Careful with puppies: When you are using the crate for your puppy, remember that she will need to relieve herself quite often. You should let her out and take her to her designated area around once hourly to avoid accidents inside the crate.
No collars: Make sure that you take his collar off before you put him in the crate, otherwise you may cause a choking hazard.
Make it comfortable: Your dog should see the crate as a safe area (a place of their own). Therefore, aim to make it as comfortable as possible, with toys, blankets, and anything else that will make the dog feel more at home. In addition, remember your dog always needs access to fresh water so make sure that this is provided.
Do not use it as punishment: Your dog should never be sent to her crate as a form of punishment. Similarly, you should make sure that she cannot be harassed by anyone while she is in her crate. Remember you want her crate to seem like her safe haven.
Do not use a second-hand one: You will have a much better chance of getting your dog to successfully use a crate if it is brand new. A second- hand crate will carry the residual smell of its previous occupier, which your dog will probably not like.