In addition to solid and functional obedience, crate training has to be one of the most valuable skills our dogs can have. Before we go any farther, let’s get one thing out of the way right now – crate training your dog is not cruel, inhumane, or mean (check out this video old of some fun crate games). Often times we as humans relate a crate to jail or feel sorry for a dog that is in a crate, but it’s important to remember that we’re training through the dog’s mentality, not our own.
There are several beneficial reasons to crate training your puppy or dog, and yes, by crate training we are expecting the crate door to be closed and locked. In my opinion, here is the most important reason to crate train your dog: At some point in your dog’s life, they are going to be in a crate. Whether it be at the groomer, at the vets’s office, boarding, at a friend’s home, in a car, or anywhere else, it is going to happen. Preparing them for these situations is important and, in my opinion, not crate training your dog is doing a disservice to them as it causes a lot of stress, anxiety, and is extremely difficult on some dogs when they finally need to be put in that situation. Here are some other important reasons why crate training is so important.
- It’s a tremendous aid in potty training your puppy or dog.
- It makes traveling with your dog much easier as they have a familiar reference point wherever they go.
- It’s important aid to creating structure in your dog’s life
- It helps your dog to mentally relax
- It gives your dog a place of their own to go and get some peace and quiet, especially in times of chaos (like Halloween).
- Proper crate training can help reduce the anxiety when leaving your dog home alone.
- It help prevent unwanted behaviors, such as window barking, counter surfing, chewing household objects, and more) when you cannot be with your dog.
Although it may be emotionally hard for some of us, my advice is to put your dog’s crate in the proper location and immediately being crate training your dog from the second he or she sets foot in your home. When your dog is properly crate trained as an adult, you may not utilize the crate as much but continuing to implement the crate into your dog’s daily routine so the benefits of crate training carry over for the dog’s life.