The easiest and best way to prevent inappropriate dog behavior such as destructive chewing or house breaking or training accidents is with the use of a dog crate. Crate training a dog allows you to leave your home, sleep through the night or work uninterrupted knowing your dog’s behavior is under control. These “playpens” prevent your dog from potentially hurting themselves or getting “into trouble” within your home. A dog crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car.
It is very instinctual for dogs to want to retreat to a “den-like” area. If you properly teach your dog to use the crate, they will think of it as their safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.
Dog crates should be introduced to dogs in a very positive manner. To help dogs feel at home in their crate, it is important not to use the dog crate as punishment or discipline. Make sure that your dog’s crate is located in a central area within your home, where they spend most of their time. It can be comforting for your dog to have a soft towel or blanket in their crate, as long as they are not destructive with it. Each time your dog walks into their dog crate, they can get a special, tasty “crate treat.” If your dog only gets that special treat when they are in their crate, they will look forward to going into their crate!
The crate is a secure retreat for your dog and also the key to successful and fast house-training. Dogs naturally do not like to soil in the area where they must sleep and eat. In order to keep their sleeping area clean, dogs teach their own bodies how to physically “hold it” when they need to eliminate. Once this important concept is learned, it is our job to follow the necessary steps of successful house-training when our dogs are out of their crate.