A dog crate is metal steel wire or plastic enclosure that comes with a door. Even though some people may regard them as cages, they are not. In truth, they offer tons of benefits for both the dogs and their owners. Crates reflect ancient times before dogs were domesticated and when they roamed free in the wild and had to use dens for sleeping and to keep themselves safe from various predators. These dens were shallow holes that dogs would dig for themselves in reclusive locations. They were fairly small, with just enough room for the dog to turn and lie down to sleep. While years have passed since such practices were necessary and dogs now live happy lives in human homes, the instinct from those wild days still exists in their genetic makeup and the crate satisfies that need very well.
Discipline NOT Punishment
Crating puppies and adult dogs is useful for discipline and socializing dogs and normally has nothing to do with punishment, nor is it intended for this purpose. It’s a great place to secure dogs while families are working and out of the house, and serves as the ideal opportunity to create passive control by helping to restrict over active animals from destroying property.
A crate is a fantastic training tool as well, when used properly. When crates are over used or used in the wrong way it creates fear and anxiety and it is never recommended to do that to a dog. Each and every dog, and especially new puppies can benefit from crates, as it provides them a safe place to rest and allows their owners to effectively train them in proper and acceptable behavior. More details on effective crate training below.
Negative crate discipline or something that is more reminiscent of punishment is when owners confine dogs for very long periods of time to their crates. Misuse of a crate is never okay, and giving your dog the message that he is a pain and needs to be put out of the way is not okay. Most people use crates effectively, and a dog can be crated for up to 8 hours while you’re at work, and especially when the dog is walked regularly before and after crating.
When making use of the crate for discipline purposes, limit the time the dog spends inside to no more than 15 minutes. You should never yell at the dog when he has to go inside the crate, just be firm. Never leave a dog inside the crate without water and do not yell at them if they should go to the bathroom inside the crate.
Types and Styles of Crates
Crates come in plastic and metal material. The plastic ones are less durable and more prone to damage. While plastic can be cheaper it lacks the longevity of metal, and chewing and wear and tear can make you spend more in the long run. Also, the general quality of the plastic varies. The metal models are more sturdy and more popular with dog owners. As with plastic the quality varies from brand to brand so do the research.
What Size Of Crate Do You Need?
There are several sizes available, small, medium, large and extra large. In deciding on the proper size verify that your dog will be able to stand up in it, turn around and lay down comfortably inside it. You should also plan on the eventual adult size of your dog when buying a crate for a puppy to save money in not having to buy another as he grows.
Prices For Crates
The prices of crates is anywhere between 50 to 200 dollars. Shopping online can save money versus buying at retail stores.
The Best Crate Accessories
- Blanket – A nice soft liner for the crate or a dog bed is essential
- Chew toys
- Water – Attachments are available for crates for easy and clean water access for dogs
General Uses And Benefits Of Crates
- Perfect place for them to feel safe, secure and get some privacy.
- A place to keep them when you have gusts, or repairmen.
- Travel and taking the dog to different places, like the vet.
- House training
- Obedience Training
- To keep the dog calm and in control
- A place for them to stay secure while you are away or sleeping, especially useful for dogs that like to chew on everything
More About Using Crates
Crates for Housebreaking
Puppies possess the natural instinct to maintain their areas and keep them clean so they will not pee or poop near their food, toys or blankets. Using the crate for housebreaking is ideal because when you cannot watch them the crate helps to prevent accidents and teach control. Using the crate can eliminate accidents that can destroy your property and makes house training easier.
Crates and Destructive Dogs
Crates can train canines to be much less destructive and are excellent behavior modification tools. When the dog is placed into the crate it calms them down and this protects your stuff and teaches them to stop destroying household items.
Puppies and Crates
The same as playpens for kids, crates are great for puppies. Like little children, puppies have no self control and really need their owners to set limits and teach them right proper behavior. Puppies go through a lot when they are separated from their mothers, and puppies can quickly learn to appreciate that crate for its security and safety. Make use of the crate for the puppy to sleep in, and when you stick to a regular schedule of feedings and exercise, you will have control over their resting times and when putting the puppy inside the crate when they are tired makes them to learn to love it that much quicker.
New puppies should not be crated for more than 2 hours overnight. Spend lots of time playing, and giving the puppy attention, but when they are bad use the crate for discipline. The crate should have toys, water and a nice blanket to line it for comfort. Never give into barking, howling or crying when the puppy is being disciplined in the crate or out, or they will quickly learn that that is the how they get what they want.