Training a puppy is anything but easy, yet it is a necessity for your sanity and the well being of your home. So when it comes to puppy training, there seems to be a million opinions on how to do it right. Something that seems to come up often is the crate dilemma, to crate or not to crate? Let’s break down some of the pros and cons, so you’re better equipped to decide what is best for you and your pup.
Pros of Using the Crate for Puppy Training
1. The crate is a safe, personal space for your puppy
For dogs that experience a lot of anxiety, or are surrounded by constant action in the home, a crate can be a safe space for them to retreat should they feel overwhelmed. Although a puppy may not like it in the beginning, if you are able to add comfort items, such as blankets, toys and treats, then the puppy will learn and enjoy the fact that they have their very own space to retreat.
2. The crate can speed up the potty training process
Potty training is perhaps the most crucial element of training a puppy. When a puppy does not know when and where they can relieve themselves, then your home will easily become a giant toilet. Of course, in the beginning, it is to be expected that accidents will happen, but a puppy will avoid urinating in a space they consider to be for rest. You can find comfort that they won’t make a mess if you are able to keep them in their crate while you are not home.
3. The crate can keep your puppy away from harm when left alone
Puppies are naturally curious pets. Whatever they can get into, they will, and sometimes this means they can find themselves consuming substances that are potentially harmful or dangerous. A reliable way to know they won’t get into anything while you’re not present, is to make sure they are in the comfort of their crate.
Cons of Crate Puppy Training
1. The crate can cause emotional distress for your puppy
Small spaces can be stressful for anyone, including puppies. When they are restricted from being able to move around freely, puppies will often exhibit signs of anxiety. You will know it because they will be crying, howling or even barking – which can be extremely difficult as a pet parent to listen to your puppy in distress.
2. The crate can cause other unwanted behaviors
Too much crate time can cause a puppy to develop additional behaviors that resemble resentment. Whether it is towards the crate, or possibly the people that put him in it, keeping a puppy confined for an extended period of time could be potentially damaging to their well-being.
3. The crate can be dangerous
As with any manufactured structure, there are safety requirements that if not met, could be dangerous for your puppy. If the crate is not well ventilated, it may not allow for adequate airflow for your puppy’s breathing. It is also crucial that you do not put your puppy in a crate with an attached leash or anything that they could get caught in and injure themselves.
As with any pet parent, the decision to crate is up to the individual. If you know you will only be using the crate for training purposes, and are able to ensure that they are not in the crate for longer than three hours at a time, it can be very beneficial for the success of the training process.