by: Nathalie Lafleur
Are you frustrated with your dog?
Does he chew everything in sight? Does he leave puddles and piles everywhere? Is a car ride with your dog synonym of a nightmare?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have a simple solution for you: crate training.
Here are 5 big reasons why you should start crate training your dog:
Reason #1: A Crate Stops Destructive Behaviors
Most dogs are destructive because they don't have anything more interesting to do than chew on everything they can sink their teeth in.
You have to remember that chewing is a natural dog behavior and an excellent way for your dog to burn his excess of energy.
Consequently, your job is not to stop your dog from chewing, but to prevent him from chewing on the wrong things, like chair legs, shoes, socks, etc.
By providing safe chew toys to your dog in his crate, you accomplish two things: you make the crate a wonderful place to be in and you teach him what are the acceptable chew toys in the house.
By the way, my favorite chew toys are the ones I can fill with cream cheese or peanut butter. They keep my dogs busy for a while and my dogs just go crazy for them.
Reason #2: A Crate Makes Housebreaking Easier
A crate will help your dog to control his sphincters. In other words, your dog will learn to "hold it" instead of eliminating whenever he needs to.
Dogs are den animals. What I mean by that is that they like to have their own quiet place and they'll do everything they can to keep it clean.
That's why crate training a puppy drastically speeds up the housebreaking process. Your dog won't want to soil his crate and thus will gain control over his sphincters.
However, this doesn't mean that you can leave your dog in a crate for 10 hours in a row! Puppies need to go out frequently to eliminate.
If you leave your dog in his crate for too long and he ends up eliminating in the crate, you will lose the best tool at your disposal to housebreak him properly.
Reason #3: A Crate Makes Car Rides Safer
My heart stops every time I see a dog with his head out of a window or in the back of a truck.
This is a very dangerous practice since a rock, a bee, a cigarette butt, etc. can hit your dog.
Another behavior that I see very often is the dog that constantly jumps back and forth from one seat to the next or sits on the driver's lap.
Driving requires all our attention and your dog shouldn't be an additional distraction.
A crate-trained dog will rest in his crate during a car drive and make the trip for you and him safer.
Reason #4: A Crate Keeps Your Dog Safe from Household Hazards
If you let your dog roams freely in the house unsupervised, you are really asking for trouble and you unnecessarily put your dog in danger.
A house contains hundreds of potentially lethal objects for your dog. Let me give you some examples:
Do you know that chocolate and onions can make your dog very sick and if ingested in great quantity can kill your dog?
Garbage is also dangerous to your dog since he can choke on chicken bones, cut himself on broken glass, etc.
Also, lots of houseplants are poisonous for your dog, like Poinsettia, Aloe, and Peace Lily to name a few.
As you can see, crate training your dog will bring you peace of mind since your dog will be out of danger when you're not around to supervise him.
Reason #5: A Crate Speeds Up Your Dog's Recovery
If you have to leave your dog at the vet for a couple of nights, your dog will recover much faster because he will be used to sleeping in a crate.
Consequently, if your dog has never been in a crate before and you add that stress to the one of being in a new place, being manipulated by strangers and hearing other unfamiliar dogs and cats around, the whole experience will be unduly stressful for your dog.
By simply crate training your dog, you give him the tools to cope with any situation.
Do yourself and your dog a favor and start crate training him today!