The reason that people have issues with dogs using crates goes back to their innability to look at things from the dog’s perspective. The owner often says to me, “I don’t want my dog in a cage, that is cruel” etc ,etc……..like, anyone who uses a crate for their dog on occassion should be written up for abuse. In reality, the crate is very useful. It is a huge aid in housebreaking because the dog quickly learns to love his crate and want to keep it clean. It is a safe place to be.
Dogs like the concept of a den where they can relax. It is a place where they go into a resting phase of their day. Dogs that experience any level of anxiety are usually worse when allowed to be free especially when you are away from home for a few hours. There have been videos on TV shows such as Animal Planet where dogs go into a frenzy and tear the house apart when their owners are gone. If they had been taught to be in a crate during such times, there wouldn’t have been devastation and destruction.
I often describe the scenario of a little baby put on the floor out in the open and left for a time. Do they feel comfortable and secure with all that wiggle room? No!!! They would rather be held close or have surrounding “walls” to make them feel secure. Crates are wonderful tools. It is a place to put the dog to sleep, to rest while you step away for awhile, to get out of the line of fire of children and guests. They are superb for traveling and keep the dog and you safe while in the car.You wouldn’t think of leaving your child flopping around loose in the car just because you perceived it to be nicer. That is absurd! Dogs that have learned to use a crate are much more at ease if ever left at an animal hospital or boarding kennel. The best time to introduce the crate is when the pup is young. An older dog can become familiar with crates also, but it has to be done graduallly.