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Why Every Dog Should Be Crate Trained

Dogs are natural den animals, they feel safe when settled in a nook with a roof over their head and with their back protected, so crate training suits them perfectly. The crate effectively becomes their bedroom, their safe space, and it’s important for a number of reasons.

1) In case of injury or illness

If your dog gets sick or injured and needs to stay at the vets overnight they likely will need to be kept in a crate (or containment pen). They're already going to be stressed in the new environment, crate training beforehand means that they will recognise the vet's crate as a safe space and settle easier.

The same is true for surgery recovery, most dogs will be put on full crate rest when recovering from surgery or healing a broken leg etc. This can happen to any dog, any breed, at any time and again, your dog having prior crate training and recognising the crate as a safe place will aid their recovery.

2) It keeps them safe when unattended

Lots of dogs find it rewarding (and therefore reinforcing) to chew. An unattended dog that is bored will often turn to chewing for something to do, and this can endanger them. They could chew live electricals, they could swallow sofa fabric, toxic foods or chemicals, they could eat medicines that have been left out, etc. All of these things can be prevented by crating your dog when they’re unsupervised, keeping your dog safe and saving you from a very expensive potential vet bill.

3) It helps with toilet training

Dogs view their crate as their safe bed space and as such they don’t toilet in it (unless they can’t hold it for a specific reason). Crate training is so helpful for toilet training puppies because it allows you to structure their day and introduce a toilet routine.

4) To keep them secure when there's an emergency

Sometimes life throws curveballs and the absolute last thing you want is to have to add 'where is the dog and are they safe' to the stress. Having a crate trained dog means that when your day is turned upside down and you have to rush out of the house you don't need to check the counters are clear of food or make sure you've put away your inhaler, you know your dog is safe and secure.

5) It keeps your home safe

It’s just as important that your dog is safe as your home is kept nice! Replacing a chewed up sofa or coffee table is not cheap and you deserve to come home to the house as you left it. Your dog should add value to your life, not take away from it. You shouldn't have to spend dinner playing defence to a counter-surfing dog, pop them in their crate and enjoy a peaceful meal.

6) It promotes independence and healthy relationship attachments

While crate training on its own doesn't fix separation anxiety, it does teach dogs how to settle independently.

7) You can use the crate to build exposure to sounds and noises

Fireworks, the doorbell, neighbours cars. If you have crate trained properly, your dog will feel settled and safe when in their crate, and the introduction of new sounds and noises won't phase them. Place Training is also recommended for this, for the same reasons.

8) You can control their sleep schedule and add in naps as needed

This is particularly helpful in puppies and young dogs that become over-tired and hyper or destructive. Crate training gives you the ability to structure their sleep schedule so you can crate them for a nap even if they haven't realised they need it yet. This is also helpful for dogs on a training plan; dogs can get mentally tired from a training session and giving them a scheduled rest afterwards gives them time to soak in what they learned.

9) It makes adding new pets to your home easier

All of your pets will have different needs and sometimes that need will be some alone time. 'Crate and rotate' is a popular method for managing dogs in a multipet home and is exactly what it sounds, alternating crate time for your dogs so they each get some free alone time. Even dogs that co-exist perfectly will benefit from this when it comes to feeding time.

10) Travel and holidays

Using a crash-tested crate is the safest way to transport your dog in the car and is also helpful for dogs that struggle with car journeys, struggle to settle on them or get too overwhelmed looking out of the windows. Your dog will also likely need to be crate trained for most kennels or home boarders, again for their own safety, if you leave them to go on holiday. Some hotels and holiday rentals also require crate training in order to be pet friendly.

Bonus: There are no cons

There's literally absolutely no negatives to crate training your dog. Even if you crate train your dog and then stop using it day to day, that's fine. It's difficult to do it wrong and even dogs that have been abused with kennels or crates in the past (being left in them for much too long) can be successfully crate trained.

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