By Carol Besler-Snell on 06/09/2016
The Benefits of Crate Training
It is not a cage! Not a prison either! It’s actually a safe place for your dog. Dogs are “den animals” by nature, which means they like to be physically surrounded by something and even seek this out for rest periods. So think of it as your puppy’s “house.”
The Benefits of Using a Kennel are Many:
• First and foremost, a kennel can keep your dog safe when you are not there to watch him. As all dog owners know, they can get into things that we’d never imagine! If your pup is kenneled, he is safe from potential hazards. Studies show that many pups actually feel safer when given less space to run around in.
• Other benefits of kennel training include helping your pup develop a stronger bladder and bowels and giving your dog a safe place to go when they need to be out of the way (like when you have a party or when the repairman comes).
• And remember that at some point during your dog’s life, you may have to board him when you go out of town, which usually means spending at the night in a kennel. You can make it more comfortable for him if he learns to accept the kennel when younger.
How to Get Started
Start by putting up a kennel in a well-lived-in area of the house, like the living room or kitchen. Keep a nice bed plus toys and bones in there. Work with your puppy to “Kennel Up” on command by tossing in yummy treats. Close the door and then let him out. Repeat this several times in a row for several days. Puppies love to have fun with this! I like to make the command even more fun by saying, “Let’s Go To Your Housie!” It just sounds cute….and your friends will be very impressed to see what an obedient dog you have that she goes to her kennel on command.
When Do I Use It?
I recommend using a kennel for your puppy every time she has to be alone (such as when you go to work or go out for dinner) for at least the first year. And for some dogs who may get more anxious about having to “guard the whole big house” while you are gone, you should consider kenneling them well into adulthood.
While many people tend to think it’s kindest to give their dog run of the house, that is not always the case. A lot of times dogs who are left alone run from window to window and bark at what’s outside, worrying about when you will come home to “relieve” him of his “guard duty”!
I also recommend always having a kennel somewhere in your house with an open door. You will be amazed about how many dogs choose to relax in their “house” with the door open!
Read more about the benefits of a kennel on the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center’s web site: