Crate Training Benefits - Not just for housebreaking.
- Author Anna Hernandex
- Published November 12, 2012
- Word count 1,040
Crate Training Benefits #1 - Housebreaking a puppy
Puppies have a natural instinct to not soil in their den.
This instinct can be used to your advantage for housebreaking.
If you leave your puppy in a small room, you'll notice that the room usually has two sides. One side where she plays/rests and the other where she relieves herself. Clearly, a room is too big to take advantage of the "clean nest" instinct. The same result can happen in a crate that's too big for your puppy. In this case, your little guy will be resting on one side of the puppy crate and soils on the other. If the puppy is confined to a properly fitted crate, she is likely to "hold it" until she is taken outdoors.
Crate Training Benefits #2 - Deterring Destructive Habits
An untrained puppy should never be allowed to roam free in the house.
Leaving him unsupervised in your home puts him and your possessions at risk.
Your puppy could encounter dangerous items such as toxic chemicals, toxic plants, electrical cords, fans and medicines. The most common danger I've seen has been when they swallow an everyday item that you would normally deem harmless and it gets stuck in their digestive track.
He may make confetti from the Sunday comics or turn your favorite sneakers or the leg of your antique chair into a chewing toy.
These bad digging, tearing and chewing habits are difficult to correct once they have started.
The best approach to preventing these unwanted behaviors is to confine the puppy. Keep him in his puppy crate with a couple toys when you're away from home. When you are with him at home and he is running around free, it's your job to teach him which items are off limits.
Crate Training Benefits #3 - Give your puppy his own space
A puppy will easily and happily learn that the crate belongs to him.
It's his private place where he can go when he feels tired or grumpy.
He can take his favorite toy or chew item there without the family cat or another dog interfering. The crate is also a place of security for the new puppy, giving him a sanctuary when you have unruly children or a friend's incompatible pet visiting. In situations like these, the puppy may go to the crate on his own. You may want to give him a treat in the crate so that he can enjoy himself without being bothered by the visitor.
If the puppy crate is wire, you can put a blanket over the top during the visit to ensure privacy.
Doing this with a wire crate is recommended for it's strength and because it allows for proper ventilation. If visiting children seem likely to poke about the puppy's crate, simply tell them that your puppy is taking a nap and shouldn't be bothered.
Crate Training Benefits #4 - Travel Safety
If you need to take your puppy somewhere in your car, a crate is a safe method of confining him. Your puppy could interfere with your driving. Crating allows you to open the windows for ventilation without the risk of him jumping out.
It also keeps your car damage and potty free, if you need to leave the parked car for a bit. (Be sure to park in the shade and crack the windows, of course)
If you need to leave the puppy at a friend's house, a boarding kennel or a veterinarian's office, his own puppy crate will help to alleviate anxiety he may feel when separated from you and his home. The crate becomes his own portable "room" and place of security.
If you take your puppy on a vacation, you will find that many motels and hotels permit crate trained puppies, since they cannot damage the room if they are confined.
Many families have fenced in enclosures in the rear of their car for their pet. A crate serves the same purpose, but it's also portable and offers a safe, familiar, comforting environment.
Crate Training Benefits #5 - Time Out Area
A puppy is often overly rambunctious. If a long walk or a play session doesn't calm him down, you may choose to redirect his energy by giving him a toy and puppy crate time out for a short while.
A very important rule when crate training is to NEVER let your dog think he is being punished or banished when he is put in the crate. When bringing him to it, be friendly and encouraging to him. You should also give him one or two of his favorite toys.
Giving him a treat each time you bring him to the crate is a good practice also.
Crate Training Benefits #6 - Give your puppy some flexibility of location
Who doesn't love the idea of falling asleep with a super cute puppy and waking up with his cute face right next to you? For many people, this becomes a habit that's hard to break. What's more natural than a den animal sleeping with his pack?
If this isn't what you want, there's a way to still allow your puppy to bond with you, in the bedroom, without actually being on your bed. I'm sure by now you've guessed that I'm talking about a dog crate.
Let's face it, puppies are a handful. If you have chores to do, most people will keep their puppy in another room. In the crate, he can be safely in the kitchen, while you're chopping food for dinner. Try vacuuming with a puppy in the room and you will understand what I mean.
Your puppy will still need training for proper house manners and family etiquette, but using a crate may help you maintain a sense of loving companionship while he learns acceptable behavior.
Crate Training Benefits #7 - A safe place to recuperate
When your puppy or dog needs to be confined because of illness or injury, a dog crate can really be a blessing. After all, when you're sick, don't you prefer to be in a private, familiar, safe place until you are better? The crate will shield your recuperating friend from other pets, children, or anything that will interfere with him getting a really good rest.
Check out our blog to learn more on best practices when crate training.
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