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The Dog Crate - what you should know about Teaching Crate Training
By: Tippy



One of the first things that you should understand about
dogs is that assigning your own feelings to them is wrong.
Dogs have very different instincts than humans in some
areas. For example, just because you don't like being caged
in doesn't mean that your dog doesn't like to be in small
spaces. In fact, look at wolves in the wild; they make their
homes in a small cave they have dug out. Wolf dens usually
have only one opening, much like a dog house. So rather than
being offended, your dog, especially your puppy, may be very
thankful for the security of a dog crate.

You should understand that a crate is not a "cage". A crate
is a mesh wire enclosed space that has doors that can be
left open. If you put a blanket over the crate then your dog
will actually feel very comfortable and safe in its crate.

This is especially true if you brought your puppy home and
paper trained it in that crate. Providing that there is
enough room for your dog to stand and turn around in it,
your dog will most likely love its crate.

Getting your dog used to and comfortable in a dog crate from
the time you bring it home is a very good idea. If you are
going to be doing any flying with your dog it will be
transported in the hold of the airplane in a crate. If your
dog needs to stay at the veterinarian's office overnight, it
will be in something like a crate. If your dog will be a
show dog, it will need to ride in a crate and stay in one
for hours at the shows. If you ever leave your dog at a
kennel for boarding, it will stay in a run or a crate.

Another reason for having your dog comfortable with its
crate is that when you have company over for dinner you can
put your dog in the crate as a good way to keep your dog out
of the way and from bothering your guests. Also if you ever
leave your dog with a friend then also leaving the crate
(most of which are designed to be easily folded up and
restored) will make your dog feel more comfortable in the
new surroundings.

Crate does not have to equal "cage" in your mind or your
dog's mind. It can be the "safe place" for your dog. If you
associate it that way and give your dog special treats and
attention when it is in the crate then it can become a good
place for your dog and the dog will be happy in it.

The dog crate is also a great way to paper-train your puppy.
By lining the crate with paper and leaving the puppy in the
crate with its food and water your pup will only have the
option of going on the paper. Then you can take it out and
play with it at your leisure. In the meantime the puppy is
kept safe and out of trouble in the crate as it sleeps or
eats.

Never keep your dog or puppy in the crate in a garage or on
a porch where it can get cold. A dog crate is not a dog
house and there is no insulation that can make it a dog
house. A crate is handy for keeping in your home where it
isn't drafty or for taking your dog on trips, that's all.
But crate training is one of the best things you can
possibly do for your puppy or adult dog, and for yourself.



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