When we think of animals and the word “crate”, we often immediately think of the worst-case scenarios and the scariest stories of animal cruelty. Interestingly, crates are not always perceived as a torturous place for our beloved furry friends.
They can offer useful spaces for a variety of reasons.
Contrary to what we may have heard, small spaces are often seen as safe spaces for many dogs. They find refuge in the sense of being in a tucked space, and a crate may do just that. What we do not always realize, is that dogs are den animals. Crate training is a great way to reinforce behaviors in pups from a young age.
By no means should you leave your puppy in a crate for hours on end! But rather create a safe space and teach them the security of a crate over time. You can begin by doing this for short periods of time, no longer than 10 minutes, and slowly increase the time. Once your puppy is comfortable for a period of 30 minutes, it is an indication that they feel safe and can be left in for a few hours.
By doing this training from a young age, our precious dogs learn to associate crates with comfort and safety. There are however certain actions we should avoid. For example, do not use the crate as a punishment box, and do not use the crate as a feeding point. This will teach pups to associate the crate with food or bad behavior instead of a place of comfort, which defeats the entire purpose!
When done correctly, crate training can be the perfect way to make your dog feel most at home.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay