For dog owners, crating is a contentious subject. If you have been thinking about crating your pup, you have probably asked around, searched the web and even watched a few videos to try and understand why it is not okay for your pup to sleep in the same bed with you. You might have even read a number of magazines just to know about dog crating.
Dog crating has almost as many pros as it does cons. For this reason, we have almost as many people crating their dogs as we do those who are not. Below, we have a list of the advantages and weaknesses of dog crating and after reading them, you can decide which way you want to go.
Pros of Dog Crating
First off, we start with the reasons why you should crate. They are:
a) Your pup is able to exercise its natural instincts
A dog’s natural instinct mostly involves a den of its own where it is the boss. By crating it, you give it its own space where it can rest and relax at any time. As a result of being alpha in its own environment, the dog is able to grow more protective and sharp, as it understands that it needs to take care of its own space.
b) There is less intrusion into your personal space.
Crating enables you to interact with your pup without him being in your personal space. Puppies are known to chew regularly and bigger dogs at times knock down furniture and even books, which at times makes such a mess in your personal space. Through crating, you are able to control the pup’s movement to ensure that it doesn’t mess up your place.
c) A crate can be used to potty train your pup.
Crating your dog can help you in potty training him because he will have an area within which he expected to go if he needs to. Within the crate (click here for heavy duty crate choices), you can have a potty where the pup will be led to relieve himself. This eases your work big time.
d) Traveling will be much easier.
When traveling with your pup, you will need to have him contained. In planes, for example, he will be placed in a crate. If your dog is crate-trained, holding him in a crate while traveling will be much easier as he is used to it. An untrained dog is harder to travel with as it might feel that it is being punished by being placed in the crate.
e) Crating can make the pup feel more like family.
Did you know you can customize crates by building them as an extension of your house? They can be customized as an end table, an actual coffee table, and some can be built into the house with a window of its own! With such a space of its own in the house, the dog will feel more accepted and as a member of the family.
Why You Should Not Crate
If you have already decided you want to crate after seeing the advantages above, that is okay. If you are still skeptical, below is a number of cons:
a) It may lead to the grumbling and whining of your pup.
Your pup may feel that the crate is some form of punishment, and as a result, he might whine and cry when in the crate. He might feel that he is being left out of the fun around him while in the crate. You can prevent this by, first, ensuring that you never use the crate as a form of punishment if he does something wrong. Secondly, find something for him to play with, in the crate, like a toy, so that he can amuse himself.
b) It might be dangerous if the size and make is wrong.
Whatever the size of your pup, ensure that it can comfortably stay in the crate. Movement within the crate should be possible, and the make should be such that the pup can breathe comfortably. It should also be warm enough.
c) The other side of potty training.
If you are using a crate to potty train your dog, ensure that it is done gradually. Smaller puppies find it difficult to hold their pee for a long time, and letting them out regularly to relieve themselves is advised. If they hold their pee for long periods, they may end up resenting their crates.
So, to crate or not to crate?