We love happy calm dogs!
Crate training is an essential component of comprehensive dog training that can provide numerous benefits for both dogs and their owners! Training dogs to love their crate is a perfect way to foster happy and calm dogs. It involve patience, consistency and setting your dog up for success. If you follow this principle, your dog will learn to love his crate. But why is it important to get your dog to love his crate?
Other than the obvious reason of potty training, when your dog is happy in their crate, you can do other things in and around the house, while at the same time avoiding common destructive behaviors such as chewing inappropriate things, counter surfing, and jumping on guests. If you have children, having your dog happily crated can support boundaries for both your pups and your children, as well as ensure children toys are not chewed on. Crates can also be useful if your dog is nervous around strangers, and you have a person coming over to work on your house.
Safety for the Dog
Providing a safe place to relax and retreat to when your dog wants space is paramount for a pup’s peace of mind. When our dog goes into their place of comfort, it is a cue to us adults and kids to give them space. A crate is like a bedroom for dogs and everyone should have a safe place to go to and take breaks from the hustle and bustle of daily activities. No matter how old the dog is, it can be useful.
My older dogs used to go to their crates when my son started crawling or choose to lay there. It was a cue to me as a parent that my dogs needed a break from my active son. It is a much better choice for our dogs to make rather than react in different ways when they want a break and I always rewarded those good decisions from my dogs and my toddler as he starts to make good choices too.
During times you can’t proactively supervise your dog around your children or around the house, the less trouble they will get into if they are in their crates. There are less opportunities for them to ingest unwanted and dangerous things, and run out of the house if the front door is left opened.
For our loved senior dogs, it can help deal with health problems such as incontinence, cognitive dysfunction, nighttime wandering, or canine cognitive dysfunction just to name a few.
Special Cases and Emergencies
Adding a healthy amount of time to rest as part of your dog’s routine can provide a sense of comfort and predictability into their life. This could look like napping or just chewing on a delicious treat in their crate whether there is activity around or not. They feel more confident to tackle the rest of the day. Knowing what to expect with a predictable routine can do wonders and when they have this time to chill and relax, they tend to be better behaved other parts of the day.
Secondly, they can take this skill different places. When they are placed in a new situation such as an unfamiliar place, they can rely on this familiar and comfortable spot – their crate.
Thirdly, it can also teach dogs to have an off switch and build on their impulse control so they learn that they don’t need to be entertained all day. Once they are comfortable in the crate, you can start to build on impulse control by teaching them they are also let out by being calm and patient.
In a multi-dog household, it can also serve the purpose of separating the dogs so you don’t leave them unsupervised when you leave the house. You can also have one dog in the crate to take turns training them or taking them out for a walk. I think whenever you have more than one dog, crate training is an absolute must and all the other benefits stand out even more!
Lastly, your dog being crate trained opens up their as well as YOUR world to more adventures. You can easily transport your dog in a car and take them on road trips knowing that they are safe and comfortable. A lot of hotels might need your dog to be crated if you have to leave your room. If you want to get your dog into dog sports such as agility, canine freestyle, hunting, and so on, being crate trained is very helpful and most of the time, a necessity. If you are a hiker, you can prevent your car from getting dirty by getting muddy by using a crate. You can also dog open your dog up to being able to go on group hikes and walks with groups of dogs using a local dog hiking/walking service. This will save you the stress on days you might be busy, and you know your dog needs that exercise and enrichment.
All in all, crate training is such a useful and important “Life Skill” for your dog, and you will be doing a lot of justice to your dog, yourself and society if you teach them to be comfortable in their crate. Spending the time and putting in the effort now will have a huge payoff so why wait to have a happy and relaxed dog?