For many dog owners, a crate is a useful tool for both training and containment within the home. In this installment in our series about dog crates, we will discuss what not to do when crating your dog.
Leave Blankets in the Crate
While your dog deserves a soft area to lounge, loose blankets can quickly become dangerous as they pose a strangulation risk. Instead of placing blankets and towels in your dog’s crate, consider a padded crate cushion. If your dog likes to “fluff” up a bed, use bedding such as shredded newspaper as a safer alternative.
Use the Crate as Punishment
Your dog should associate his or her crate as a safe place to rest. Never put your dog in the crate as a form of punishment, or else your pet will have negative associations with the kennel. Instead, if you must place your dog in “time out” use an area of your house that your pet does not frequent, such as a spare bedroom.
Crate without Training
Another common mistake that dog owners make is to kennel a pet without first properly introducing him or her to the crate. Similarly, dog owners should not leave their pets in the crate for extended periods of time, especially in the beginning.
Use as a Substitute for Proper Training
While the crate is useful in many situations (especially when potty training or containing a destructive animal), it is important that the kennel not be used in place of proper training. The crate should be used as a supplement to the dog’s training, and proper exercise and boundary-setting are still important.
Let Dog Out of Crate when Whining
One of the biggest mistakes a dog owner can make is to let a dog out of the crate when he or she is whining or barking. When doing so the dog can become conditioned to this behavior and begin whining every time he or she wants to leave the kennel. Only open the crate door when your dog is calm and quiet.
Buy the Wrong Size Crate
Finally, dog owners often want to buy the largest size crate possible for their pets. However, the best kennel is the one that is just large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in. In our next blog post, we will discuss how to buy a crate.
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.