Why a dog crate is indispensable – Part 1
At first glance, putting your puppy into the small, confined space of a crate may seem cruel, but it’s actually one of the kindest things you can do for your dog. Marcus Thompson, a German Shepherd trainer and breeder from Vermont, makes the following connection between dogs and their wolf ancestors:
“Wolves and dogs are den animals that feel protected and comfortable when they’re sleeping in a covered area. The den provides security and a calming effect,” Marcus says. “Besides the bed or the couch, many dogs naturally choose places to sleep in the house that closely resemble a den or crate, such as beneath a desk or dining table, behind the drapes, or in an alcove.”
Who’s the boss?
Also known as a hard-sided pet carrier, a crate is a great training aid that helps you establish who’s in charge. You decide when to put your puppy in the crate and when to take it out, so your puppy learns that you’re the leader. This makes learning other skills easier because your puppy knows it can trust you.
As a destruction-proof zone, a crate gives your puppy a safe place to call its own and to stay out of mischief. Young dogs have a boundless supply of energy and are naturally curious. Left unsupervised, it only takes a few minutes for them to discover the joys (and dangers) of chewing, digging or trash bin raiding.
If you’re unable to keep an eye on your puppy, it’s better to put it into a crate for an hour or so, than to be angry if your little darling gnaws on an antique chair leg or destroys your best pair of shoes.