Southern Charm Mini Aussies/Mini American Shepherds of Georgia
Karla, Mike, and Kirsten Benjamin
Karla 770-241-1485 Mike 770-633-3555
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Dog Crate Training
A dog crate is an enclosed area your dog is kept in, and potential intruders can be kept out. The aim of a dog crate is therefore not only to keep your dog under control, it is also a way of making your dog feel safe and know that he has his own “den” in your home. A dog crate should therefore be well decorated with something comfortable for the dog to rest on, a bowl of water that cannot easily be spilled, playthings and perhaps some food. Some dog owners train their dogs to use a litter box so that the dog can relieve itself inside the dog crate without having to feel that it is making a mess in its own “den”. This is done with the use of an exercise pen or two attached to the crate.
A dog crate is usually made from wire or molded plastic, but all sorts of materials and designs are available, and you can also make your own dog crate if you are a handy person. Many dog owners choose the wire crates that are very easy to assemble. The dog crate must of course be sturdy enough to keep your dog inside.
Why dog crate training? There are several reasons for dog crate training. Some dog owners shun the idea of dog crates, because they have seen many bad examples of how irresponsible and cruel dog owners misuse the dog crate and keep the dog locked up inside for most of its life. Placing your dog in a dog crate should never be a substitute for walks, exercise, play etcetera. There are however many situations when even the loving and caring dog owners can find crating highly useful. That is why it is a good idea to do dog crate training with your dog from the start.
Dog crate training will for instance come in handy if your dog becomes sick. When a dog is ill, its behavior might change drastically. The pain can for instance make it defend itself, and if you have small children around it is best for the dog as well as for the kids to crate the dog while it is healing. Remember, a dog crate is not a prison, it is a den, and most dogs like to retreat to their safe den when they are ill. If you have taught your dog to use a litter box, it is also a good thing to place it in the exercise pen when your dog is ill, because it will always be close to the litter box and will not have to wait for you to pick up its signals and take it outside. Imagine not being able to instantly go to the bathroom when you are sick, and being forced to wait for someone else to realize your distress and take you out - not very nice, right? A litter box is naturally not a substitute for outdoor walks, but it will greatly decrease the risk of “accidents” and place less stress on the sick dog since it will not be forced to hold it.
Dog crate training can ideally be combined with house breaking your dog, since dogs have a natural aversion against soiling their own den. Dog crate training will therefore make your dog more interested in waiting until your take it out, or at least search out the litter box in the corner of the dog’s play area.