When it comes to crating your dog, many people feel very guilty or uncomfortable with a few things – typically the amount of time their dog is in their crate when owners work away from home, if the dog has to go back in their crate if their owner wants to go back out of the house again, and on top of all of that, their dog sleeping in their crate.
Crate training and predictable behavior from your dog while unsupervised go hand and hand! It’s not uncommon for folks to feel so bad about the 6-8 hours of crate time while they are at work, that they get home and leave their dog out of their kennel while they run to the store for errands or go out to dinner. Unfortunately, many times people return home to a variety of things – like chewed up furniture, things missing from the trash can or counter top, pee and poop in the house, etc – things that are easily controlled and prevented with their dog’s crate training routine, but are given the green light when left out of the kennel.
A similar pattern can happen with dogs who spend time out of the crate overnight. Not to say some dogs won’t simply rest on their dog bed in your room, but many dogs (particularly those not mature enough or have not earned the right by general improvement in their behavior and state of mind) will make mistakes or get into trouble while they are unsupervised as their owner sleeps.
If you are giving your dog an opportunity for exercise and potty relief a few times per day, kennel time isn’t really that much different than your dog laying somewhere else in your house. The only difference is that when they are done with their nap in their kennel, they may wake up and eat their provided food or chew on their dog toy because those are the options – on the flip side, your dog outside of the crate has more opportunity to make mistakes and get into things they shouldn’t.
Utilizing a kennel when you can’t supervise your dog helps set your family up for success, and that’s why most trainers encourage puppy and dog owners alike to help create routine and boundaries in their home with crate training.
They’re going to do a lot of laying down anyway, why not make sure it is in a controlled and safe place?
All these pups look pretty comfortable – crate or not 🙂