The Dog Crate– A Canine Essential
Creating a den is a natural urge that harks back to the dog’s wolfish roots, and a crate duplicates this function. When filled with special treats, a soft blanket or comfortable pad and a toy or two, it reinforces your puppy’s security, and soon he will retreat to it on his own. Pet crates come in a variety of styles and are made of an assortment of materials—from straight wire to plastic and metal to a furniture-grade solid oak version– a potential heirloom!
A correct-sized crate should be wide enough for your pup to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down in. Some people start with a smaller crate and graduate to a larger one as the puppy grows. The advantage is that a dog will rarely soil his own living quarters.
A larger crate that will accommodate your dog when he’s full-grown provides an alternative. Partitioning off a section with small boxes to reduce the actual space the puppy uses creates the same effect as a smaller crate. Adjust its usable space as he grows.
Many responsible breeders start crate-training puppies by six weeks of age, soon after they’re weaned. If yours is not yet adjusted, here’s how:
- Choose a location.
- Place the puppy in the crate in an area with some activity. However, you want him to be relatively calm; this encourages adjustment to being around his human family. Close the door, treat him, and offer effusive praise. You cannot overdo this!
- Start his confinement to five minutes and quietly remain within sight. Gradually increase this time.
- When you’re at home, continue the practice of putting your puppy in the crate for brief periods with a toy or snack to occupy him and help him associate the crate with fabulous things. Feed your dog in his crate sometimes. Each time he enters his crate on his own, congratulate him!
- Placing the crate in your bedroom at night will make him feel more secure. Avoid proximity to drafts or heaters.
- Always have the crate available with the door open. You will begin to notice that sometimes he will retreat to it on his own.
Forcing a dog to spend excessive time in his kennel defeats an important purpose of crate-training. If left there too long, the dog may be forced to soil it. This in turn, breaks down his natural inhibitions against converting his boudoir into a bathroom. Furthermore, over-crating could predispose him to bladder stones in later life.
Common wisdom advises that puppies up to eight months old can control their bladders for as many hours as their age in months, plus one. Ergo, a two-month old puppy should be continent for three hours. However, puppies need plenty of exercise and opportunity to explore their environment, so crating an eight-month old dog all day is discouraged.
Four hours is a good maximum in order to heed your dog’s psychological and exercise needs. Sensory deprivation that comes with long periods of solitary confinement is harmful to your dog’s psyche.
Crates have saved the lives of many dogs involved in automobile accidents. Secured in a vehicle– bungee cords and seat-belts work well together. Furthermore your dog will associate it with adventure, travel, and being with you.
Sağduyulu bir şekilde kullanıldığında, it protects your puppy and your house when you cannot be home to supervise, and following surgery or if your dog is injured, it’s indispensable when the vet recommends crate rest.
You’ll ooze with gratitude that you have such a wonderful and versatile tool. No dog should be without one.