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Some people think that dog crates should not be used—that making a dog use a crate is mean, uncaring, or lazy.  That may be true of insensitive or clueless dog owners and cruel puppy farms, but it is not true of the great number of responsible and loving dog owners.  

This article will not go into the misuse of dog crates by cruel or dumb dog owners.  Afterall, lots of things (e.g., weapons, vehicles, etc.) are misused by cruel and thoughtless people. The singular point of this post is to offer tips on the proper uses of dog crates for caring, safety conscious dog parents like you.

Crates Provide Safety and Security

The crate is the dog’s private domain. It is his den. It is a place to rest and relax.  Crates are places of comfort and favorite things—a bone, a toy, a blanket, a dish.  

A dog crate used correctly—and for the right reasons—will give your dog a real sense of comfort and security. The crate has lots of purposes but only one primary function. That being to provide your dog a safe, quiet place to relax and rest away from distractions.  A crate will be comforting and loved by your dog when you use and maintain it properly.

Some Proper Uses of Crates

  • House training (puppies or newly adopted dogs of any age)
  • Helps you avoid indoor dog potty messes
  • Provides the safety and security of a den
  • Keeps your dog secure when riding in your vehicle
  • Secures your dog from wandering at motels, campgrounds, etc.
  • Protects the dog when other people visit
  • Protects your visitors from nervous dogs
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Let’s examine each of those uses:

House Training and Messes:  Let’s face it, nobody likes a dog going about his business chewing stuff up and pottying freely all over the house.  The crate lessens your dog cleanup chores and helps prevent damage to your home and nice things.  Basically, the crate is a tool that helps your new dog learn the general rules of indoor living with humans.

Safety and Security:  Dogs like to feel secure.  They enjoy being warm, fed, and generally well treated.  They long to be with good people who love and care for them. A quality dog crate gives your dog the den safety and security that it deserves and desires. 

But, we’ve all seen the videos and pix of depressed and abused dogs at puppy farms, animal hoarders, and bad breeders.  Crates are not meant to be used for punishment or long-term lockups for dogs by lazy or abusive dog owners.  Such activities are animal abuse pure and simple.  So, be a good and responsible dog owner.  Get and properly use a dog crate for the pooch you love and respect.

When traveling short distances or on long trips always keep your dog secure with a sturdy crate.  Doing so will help keep you and your vehicle passengers safe, including your crated pooch.  After all, you never know when you’ll have to brake suddenly or worse.  

Dog crates really come in handy when you’re road tripping and staying in unfamiliar places.  These days most pet-friendly motels and campsites prefer you keep your dog in a dog crate.  In fact, some spots may even require dog crates, so always check first before arriving.

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Protection for Your Dog and Your Guests:  There is nothing more unnerving for a nervous dog than strangers in their house. There is nothing more unsettling for a house visitor than a yapping, snarling, and biting dog.  Even a small nip can tear garments or worse—cause a lot of pain and bleeding.  

A scared dog will see an unfamiliar guest as a threat and bark or bite.  No one wants or needs that.  Obedience training and using a quality crate to control your dog helps avoid this unwanted trauma.  After all, who needs the liability of painful and expensive injury?   Buy and use a quality dog crate as an important part of your dog training and management.

We’ll have more helpful dog crate articles for you at Pet Hooligans.  So, check us often to get more free tips on dog crate uses and benefits.  To hear when these articles go live, please join us on our newsletter.