Crating Your Dog


Many people shudder at the thought of putting their dog in a crate when they leave the house. "How awful" they exclaim, "to keep Rover cooped up all alone in a cage."

We often assume a dog would not want to be kept in a crate because we know we would not like being locked in a cage. But dogs are not human beings; they are animals. If they were living in the wild, they would dig tiny dens where they could rest and sleep.

If it is introduced properly, a crate can become a dog's safe haven and its own private den. It can provide a feeling of security for the dog, while at the same time protecting it from household hazards such as electrical cords or poisonous plants. A crate can also serve as a good tool for housebreaking because most dogs will not urinate or defecate in the place where they must lie down.

If you decide to use a crate, be sure to purchase one that fits the dog. The crate must be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around. If you plan to use the crate for housetraining, however, be certain that the crate is not so large that the dog can avoid its waste if it urinates or defecates in the crate.

The most important point to remember about crating is that the crate is the dog's "den." Forcing a dog into a crate or using the crate only for punishment will cause the dog to fear its new home rather than cherish it.