Sometimes controversial, dog crating is the best way to housebreak a puppy. The reason for this is extremely simple, as they do not like to relieve themselves in any way close to where they sleep or eat. So, they will hold it for longer when in their crate. This will prevent your puppy from having an accident in your home when you are away, and is considered to be a great puppy potty training tool. By no means should your puppy be confined within a crate unnecessarily, as this is cruel. Perhaps that’s where the controversy begins and ends.
Make the crate a happy place, not a place of punishment. It will serve to be your dog’s home. Make it comfortable and stuff it with lots of toys so that he will be kept busy. At the same time, chew toys in the crate will teach him to chew on his toys, not your furniture, and not other personal belongings, like shoes. If done properly, your dog will consider the crate his den. You’ll find that he will go in there when he needs some time alone and relax. There is no need to lock him in the crate once he has been housebroken and well-trained.
How to Prep the Dog Crate
The crate has to do its job in a positive way. In other words, it is imperative that he goes to it with out question. That means preparing the interior of the crate in a smart way so that he learns to pee and poop outside, and not in your home. Therefore, line the crate so that it is cozy. Never use newspaper, as it is likely to be used as a toilet.
Surround the crate with bumper pads. Doing so will prevent numerous types of injuries when puppy crating, and it will also make it more comfortable when he leans against the side. Place a rug beneath the dog crate to provide grip and prevent it from slipping and sliding.
Remember to include lots of fun chew toys in the crate, as well as some kibble were couple of treats. For young puppies who have been recently separated from their mommy and litter-mates, place a towel-wrapped hot water bottle by your puppy to provide him the warmth he felt when he was with his family.
Where to Place the Crate
Dogs are pack animals and the like to be close to their family as often and as much as possible. That said, place the dog crate in a high-traffic area, so that even when he is crated or simply relaxing in his crate, he is still a part of the family. Otherwise, he may feel isolated, which is never a good thing for a dog of any age.
The Do’s and Don’ts About Dog Crating
If going in and staying in a crate is a pleasant experience, it is never cruel to use dog crating as a positive training tool. It is however cruel to come home to a torn up and punishing your puppy. He just doesn’t understand that it was wrong. Using a dog crate properly builds a stronger bond between you. But, it is not a place for him to be thrown into and forgotten about.
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If you think that crate training is cruel, see what the experts have to say:
The Humane Society of the United States states that crate training takes advantage of a den animal’s natural instincts, where a wild dog views it as their place to sleep, as their home, where it’s safe. In your home, the crate is where they stay safe and secure without destroying your home while you’re out.
The American Kennel Club states: “understand that crate training is not cruel.” Despite some opposing dog crating, even veterinarians recommend the use of a crate when training a puppy.