I always get a shocking reaction from people, when they ask me where does Ollie sleep & I reply by saying she sleeps in her crate.
Lot of people think it’s cruel to confine your dog in a crate but if correctly used for limited time, Crate Training can be very useful for the pets as well as for pet parents.
I think a Crate is a wonderful training tool. Crate training must be used as good habit & not as a way/ place to punish the pet. A perfect size crate is necessary depending one each pet’s size. General guideline is that the dog should be able to stand up & turn inside the crate comfortably.
I have been using a wire crate for Ollie from the day when she came to our house. She feels very comfortable inside her crate & goes inside on her own. She also sleeps in it in the night, right next to our bed. We even send the crate to the pet sitter, when Ollie stays with them, as she feels comfortable in it.
As I always say that knowing your pet’s background, parents , their temperaments/ habits is always essential. Ollie’s mother being an outdoor dog, stays in a kennel with her own built in crate for the night. As a pup Ollie used to sleep with her mom & siblings inside the crate. So in our case I should thank Ollie’s breeder for already doing half the work for us. We just had to continue building good association with the crate.
Benefits of Crate Training :
- It can help young puppies during toilet training, as they learn not to mess in the place where they sleep
- It can provide a safe place to relax, when direct supervision of the pet is not possible.
- It can teach hyper/ active dogs to enjoy some down time.
How to get your dog used to the crate:
- Start as early as possible.
- Use lot of positive reinforcement for using the crate from the very 1st
- Use the crate as a place to be comfortable & not as a punishment for your pet.
- Start with feeding the pet’s daily food inside the crate, with the crate door kept open.
- Practice every day for few minutes. Take your pet for a long walk or a good play session before crate time. If they are tired, they will naturally want to rest.
- Use Kong toys stuffed with pet’s favorite treats/ frozen fruits/ cheese etc
- Initially crate your pet for a very short time. Gradually increase the time.
- Put comfortable bedding inside the crate.