5 Reasons why crating can be beneficial to every dog owner
I’ve noticed that this is a hot topic for some, and it’s often because we view it in an emotional way instead of logically. The use of a crate has a lot of benefits, even if you don’t plan on using it for life. By teaching your pup to crate nicely, you are giving them a chance to have down time, and create a safe space of their own. Does the crate have to be for life? No way! I always try my best to progress my dogs out of crates, BUT some dog’s just can’t handle the freedom! If you have issues with a puppy tearing your house apart and getting into dangerous items (it can be chemically, OR simply an item that can cause blockage), a crate can be a serious life saver. This week in particular, I have had a couple young puppies in boarding at home that struggled with being crated. I can’t possibly have 7 dogs running around my house at all odd hours of the day without supervision, so a crate is necessary for the safety of everyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of having my dogs roam my house, as long as they are capable of doing so without destroying my home that is. So if I’m pro free roaming, why would I recommend crate training a new dog? There are a number of reasons…Let’s get real…
- You. Don’t. Know. This. Dog.- PERIOD. When you either adopt an older dog, or bring home a puppy, you have no idea what this dog is capable of as of yet! Why make this a possible disaster when you can introduce a crate, and create a safe space for your new friend? When I board new clients, they often ask me if I crate, and without hesitation I always say yes. I have 2 large dogs of my own, and up to 4 dogs in boarding at a time, and they often have behavioral issues so it’s not wise to just free roam them around my house all night while we sleep!
- Safe Space- Like I said above, it’s a good idea to create a safe space for your buddy. I don’t let my kids bother the dog crates, because they need to know and feel confident that it’s their space. I mean I don’t want my kids in MY room, so I get it (joking…kind of…). If you introduce a crate correctly, and in a positive manner, then you can build a reasonably safe spot that your dog can feel good about going inside of. When neighborhood kids run through my house, my dogs will often put themselves in crates to get away from the craziness.
- Boarding, Daycare, Travel, and a Vet Visit- Okay, so sometimes you need to leave town, and there is NOTHING wrong with that. But dog’s need care scheduled for them when you leave, and that leaves you with a few options.
- You can totally do in-home dog watching and have someone come hang with your dog in the comfort of their own home, and that’s great…but unless you are the ONLY client, and they are sleeping in your home, they have to leave sometimes too. So here’s the skinny, dog’s do weird things when they are dealing with a life change as simple sometimes as a vacation, so…this is where you’re awesome safe space comes in super handy!
- Traditional and In-home boarding are both great options, and they pose the same styles as daycare on average, which means at some point your dog is in a run, or crate. Think about it this way, I board in home for my clients, and I crate dogs when I leave, and when I sleep because I also have personal dogs, so I can’t guarantee the safety of everyone roaming my house all night while I’m sleeping. I can’t watch them, and that’s a LOT of dogs just running around with a couple of kids, and a parrot mixed in, so we keep a very structured house.
- If you leave a dog at a Vet’s office for a day, or overnight, they are going to be crated…so why let them feel any unneccessary stress simply because you don’t want to teach crate care at home.
- Traveling is often paired with a crate or small space. Would you want the first time your dog rides on a plane/train/car/bus to be in a crate they have never experienced before? That’s a LOT of stress for any pet, so preparing them for these life possibilities by teaching solid use of a crate from the start will help ease some of the tension if you have to use any of the avenues listed above.
- Safety in the Home- Dog’s are some curious weirdos, and love to eat the most random items at times, so crating is a great way to acclimate a dog to a new space. If you keep it positve, it just becomes part of a routine and your buddy is safely tucked away from any harmful chemicals, cords, and potential internal blockages. Let’s not forget your beautiful furniture, shoes, and electronics…I think they tend to LOVE the taste of remote controls the most 🙂
- Down Time- This is so important, because spending time away from your dog is good for them! There is definitely a reality behind CREATING a separation issue…we tend to over humanize the reason we THINK our dogs are exhibiting what we would consider a spearation anxiety, but in reality we create most of it. I like to offer “Nap Time” in the middle of the day where all of the dogs either go to bed or a crate and rest while the kids do. It’s a win win for everyone! I get some time to catch up with work, and I don’t have to have my eyes on all of my minnions at one time. The benefit is, it’s helping my dogs relax in their safe space, and giving them a chance to learn to be on their own.
So let me just recap, and throw some honesty out there. My dog’s are now free in my house when I leave for the day, and when I sleep. Vino was the longest to progress out because he was a food crazed weirdo and tended to be a bit destructive if left alone and free. But we slowly worked out of the crate, and now they get to lay on my beautiful white leather couches when I’m gone ? …My boarding dogs are crated for safety reasons, and if I happen to have a Houdini in the house, EVERYONE get’s crated because supervised safety is my number one priority with all of my dogs. I LOVE that Vino and Karma are great at minding their own when I’m gone, but they earned it. They both learned to function in a crate, and now I know if I need to board them, leave them with the Vet, or crate them for a particular reason at home, it’s not going to stress them out. So do your dog a big favor, and let them learn to be alone sometimes, and offer them every facit of training to make things easier on them in the long run! Only you know what your dog is capable of, and what type of lifestyle works best for you, but remember, this is a 15+ year promise, and you have no idea where life can land you in that time frame…it may be in a crate 🙂