1) Why should I crate train my dog?
Crate Training is the fastest and most humane method of housebreaking dogs. Have you ever seen a dog under a table, chair or bed? The reason is that dogs naturally want to seek shelter, even in a house. If you don't provide it, they will create it themselves in an effort to feel safe and secure. A crate serves as a den for your dog.
2) How does crate training work?
Like babies, puppies cannot control their bladders until they mature (usually between 3 and 6 months). Dogs have a natural instinct to avoid eliminating in their dens. Therefore, confining your puppy in his crate for the proper amount of time encourages him to "hold it" until you take him outside for a walk. Pet Dreams offers Free Crate Training Tips with more step-by-step details.
3) What about housebreaking older dogs?
It is never too late to crate train your dog! The number one reason dogs end up in shelters is behavior problems. Crate training, at any age, can help break bad habits and solve most of these problems.
4) How long do I need to use the crate?
Crates are not just for training- they are good for the lifetime of your dog. By providing a crate for your dog, you are in essence providing him with his own bedroom. Crates are especially important for older dogs that use it to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday family life, which often includes small children or other pets that may harass them.
5) How safe is crate training?
Dog crates are the best housetraining tool available. They provide a room for your dog while protecting your home furnishings from damage. However, even a crate isn't an absolute safe harbor for your pet. As per crate manufacturers warnings, you should always remove standard collars before placing your dog in a crate. Otherwise, your dog is at risk for possible strangulation if his collar or ID tags become caught in the crate's bars. Pet Dreams' Cratewear bumpers are the only bumpers made high enough to help prevent collar strangulation and other crate-related injuries.
6) I was told that dogs like their crates, so why do I have to force mine inside?
There are many reasons to not enjoy a bare metal dog cage.
Comfort: When dogs lie down in their crates, they are leaning up against wire bars, which can be very irritating. Crate bumpers and pads, like Cratewear, provide the comfort your dog will appreciate.
Security: Wire crates leave your dog exposed on all sides. Crate covers provide den-like security.
Location: Separating your dog from the rest of the family can add stress. Dogs are social animals, so the ideal location is a room full of activity. Your dog will enjoy his new room while still being part of the family. At night the bedroom is an ideal place for a crate so your dog will feel the security of being close to you.
Time: Confining him in his crate for excessive periods of time will be a negative experience for your dog. After housebreaking your dog, we recommend removing the door from the crate so he can enjoy his den any time he chooses.
7) What can I do to make my dog's crate more appealing?
Use Cratewear to make his crate safe & comfortable
Put appropriate toys and treats inside the crate, which will entice him to go in on his own.
Feeding your dog in his crate can develop a positive association with it.
Give your puppy lots of praise when he enters the crate.
8) How do I stop my dog from whining or barking the crate?
Again, make sure the crate is in a good location. Veterinarians and trainers recommend covering the crate to give your dog the privacy he needs to feel secure. If your dog can see you, he'll want to be with you outside the crate. Crate covers lower the number of distractions your dog sees, which reduces barking and stress. Note: Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety should not be crated. If you feel your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and is showing clinical signs, please avoid crating him until speaking to a professional.
9) What's in it for me?
Dog crates give your dog a place he can claim as his territory. Providing your dog with a comfortable room of his own will help keep him off your furniture. In addition to the safety and comfort benefits for your dog, Cratewear will enhance your wire crate to fit your decor, making the crate an attractive addition to any room. All of this results in a more positive training experience for you and your pooch!
© 2005 Pet Dreams - Pet Dreams® and Cratewear® are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Written by A. Grignard
Visit http://www.petdreams.com for our complete line of dog crate covers, crate pads, and pet beds. Our site also contains more crate training tips, FAQs, articles, and forums!