Article Source: bharatbhasha.com
Article by: Stefan Hyross
It is a debate that has been going on for decades: to crate or not to crate your dog? That is the question. ‘Crating’ simply means putting your dog in a cage usually while you are away form your home or to calm your pooch. These cages are usually made form plastic or metal cage for a certain period of time during the day or night.
Those in favor of crate training argue that a crate provides a dog with a safe haven, at place to call its own. The dog feels safe in his little home within the home as familiar smells and objects surround him. The dog can retreat to his crate from fearful noises or boisterous children.
Another advantage of crate training is that it can make potty training that much easier. Dogs will usually avoid soiling their ‘den’ and will wait until they are able to go outside to relieve themselves.
For those against the use of crates, their main argument is that locking a dog in a crate goes against a dog’s nature. As pack animal a dog will naturally want to wonder or travel through their territory. Some people are also have an issue with the size of the crate which is usually just large enough for the dog to turn around in. Having a dog in a confined space removes the dog’s ability to explore its environment and soak up stimulating sights and smells.
Another disadvantage, according to the opponents of crate training, is that some puppies may still relieve themselves in the crate and if left unattended this can be an unhealthy environment for them. They argue that crating an animal is not done for the benefit of the dog but for the convenience of the dog owner.
There are always two sides to every story and the debate on crate training in no different with each side presenting their arguments for and against it. If a few general rules of thumb are followed, there is most likely no harm, and most probably some good can come had from the use of crate training. It is widely accepted that keeping a dog in a crate for excessive periods of time can have negative effects for the dog. Dogs need plenty of exercise and being locked up in a small space is preventing them from any exercise while it may force them to “hold it” for much longer than is reasonable. Ideally, a dog should not be crated for more than two hours maximum.
On the down side some dogs have been known to injure themselves, sometimes quite badly, due to anxiety or frustration from being crated. Keep an eye for sharp edges on the crate and it is a good idea to remove the dog’s collar to avoid it becoming a choking hazard if it were to get caught on something.
One of the advantages of crate training is that it makes it easier for dog owners to take their pet on car, train or even plane trips. Pets who are used to a crate will feel comfortable in the familiar-smelling environment in what would normally be a time of stress.
Critics of crating suggest that other than short trips to the store or friend’s house, dogs tend to do better when in familiar territory. So it might be better to leave pets at home. However, if you do decide to take them on that trip, make sure that the crate is well constructed to avoid any accidents.
This debate probably will not be decide anytime soon. Try to determine how your dog feels about the crate. You may want to try leave the crate door open to if they want to go in on their own. It may be better to let your dog decide for itself.