Should You Crate Train Your Puppy?

Photo by: @genesis.gsd

Using a kennel to train dogs is a very controversial topic with many pros and cons. While many people go back and forth with what choice is right, they ultimately forget that they do have options! This article is written in hopes of educating more dog owners and providing them with an unbiased opinion. While it is always the owners choice, here are some things to consider.

PRO:

Provides a safe space for dogs.

If you are worried about your pup getting into trouble when you are distracted or not home, a kennel provides them with the security you both need! While it’s always recommended to keep anything harmful or valuable out of your dog’s reach, we know it’s not always easy. Keeping them safely enclosed in their own area with toys and blankets with give them a comfy space. There will be no worries when you are out, because you will know they are safe.

CON:

Your dog will despise the crate.

At first, your dog may not like being contained in a crate. Especially if they have a lot of energy. They also may not like it if they can see you having fun without them. It is not uncommon for your dog to whimper or cry when first going into their crate. This is usually just separation anxiety and most dogs have it.

Some tips to alleviate this:

  • Make the crate a fun thing.
  • Supervise them in the crate at first with the door open.
  • Use treats or toys to lure them into the crate.
  • Do not use force.
  • Start them off in the crate for short periods of time and gradually increase time away.

“I am all for crate training. I think it’s very important for a dog to have it’s own safe spot where they feel comfortable.”

Photo by: @daisy_pup_the_golden

PRO:

It helps with potty training.

Using a crate will help teach your puppy where it is okay to go to the bathroom. Usually, dogs will not go potty where they sleep. Using a crate can also help you to notice the signs of when your pup needs to go out. A young pup will usually need to go to the bathroom at least once during the night. Having them in their crate will contain them until they can be let out. If they happen to have an accident, it is more of a controlled mess and easier to clean.

CON:

If used only as a punishment, it will turn negative.

Using crate training only as a punishment will make for a very upset pup. They will start to rebel and can even get mouthy. They may even start to do everything in their power to destroy their kennel. When their crate has a negative meaning attached to it, it will be very hard to get them to “kennel up.” No responsible dog owner wants to cause their dog unnecessary trauma or stress. If choosing to use a crate, it is important to make it a happy comfortable place.

Photo by: @chester_the_welshie

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PRO:

Can be used to separate high strung dogs from small children.

A crate can be a great investment if you are starting a family! Sometimes dogs can be a little bit too rough without realizing it. If your dog loves to play and gets super excited easily, a crate might fix a problem before it happens. Instead of locking them away in a room, why not give them their own space. This will make sure everyone is safe and there is no possibility for rough housing. If you are a little overwhelmed with having to control a baby and a dog, a crate seems like a great tool to use.

CON:

In certain circumstances, can be dangerous.

Using a crate that is poorly assembled or too small for your dog is very dangerous and can cause a lot of problems. Always make sure to buy the proper size kennel depending on your dogs weight and height. Kennels usually come with separators as well to allow your dog to grow within the kennel. It is also important to lock all locks on the kennel to make sure that your dogs paw doesn’t get stuck between the open door. Never crate your dog with anything around their neck or body. Make sure to remove any bandanas, collars, and harnesses. Also, it is okay to drape a blanket or towel over the kennel, but make sure there is proper ventilation. A dog can suffocate if there is not enough air flow inside the kennel.

“Crate training works great for some dogs but we chose not to crate train our beagle mix because of our busy schedules and living situation. He is doing great confined to one room of the apartment while we’re out and cuddling with us at night.”

Photo by: @noah_the_pup_ny

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