Crate Training: Is It Bad for My Dog and Why Do People Do It?

You’ve decided to add a new member to your family, and this one has four legs, lots of fur, and loves to give slobbery kisses. You’re getting a dog, and you couldn’t be more excited!

While being a pet parent is certainly wonderful and fulfilling, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s up to you to make sure that your pet is well taken care of so that he can live a happy, health, long life. With that said, when you decide to bring a dog into your home, there’s no doubt that you’re going to stock up on all of the necessary supplies; nutritious dog food, the right sized dog bowl, toys, a bed, a leash, a collar, a harness… But there’s something else that you might be on the fence about purchasing: a dog crate.

A lot of pet parents, especially those who have never had a dog before, are hesitant about crate training. The idea of leaving a living being inside a confined space seems a little inhumane, and the last thing you want to do is treat your pup poorly. But is crate training bad for dogs? If you’re under the assumption that it is, read on to find out why it isn’t and why you should consider doing it.

Is Crate Training Bad?

Veterinarians and dog trainers alike answer that question with a resounding no. Of course, to humans, it seems like a crate will make a dog feel like he is being punished and cut off from his human pack; but in reality, that’s not how a dog views it.

Canines are instinctually den animals. When they’re in the wild, they seek out dens, as they provide them with shelter from the elements. Dogs look at a crate as type of den; it’s their safe space and place of solitude. Even if you don’t provide your pooch with a crate, it’s pretty likely that he’s going to seek out a “den” somewhere in your home; under a table or a bed, for example.

It should be noted, however, that you should not confine your dog to a crate for extended periods of time. If you’re headed out to work for the day, you can certainly keep him in for the duration; but, you should make sure that you plan to let him out and take him for a walk, a potty break, and some one-on-one time in the middle of the day. If you can’t do it yourself, you should make arrangements with someone else.

Why Do People Crate Train?

So, now that you know a crate won’t harm your dog, you’re probably wondering why you should consider using one. Here’s a look at some of the proven benefits that crate training provides.

  • Potty training. Crate training is the most recommended approach for canine potty training. Dogs are clean animals and they won’t mess their dens, and since they view a crate as a den, it’s a great way to prevent him from making messes in the house until he knows when and where to use the bathroom.
  • Security.As mentioned, crates offer the comfort and security of a den. In other words, your pet will feel safe and secure when he’s in his crate.
  • Convenience. aIf you plan on traveling with your dog, chances are that he’s going to need to spend some time in a crate. If he’s crate trained, he’ll be used to it, which will make traveling with him a lot more convenient.
  • Peace of mind. Crates offer pet parents peace of mind when they have to leave their dogs alone. You’ll have confidence knowing that he’s safe, comfortable, protected, and that he won’t be soiling your house or destroying anything.