To Crate or Not To Crate?

Crate training is the process of teaching your dog to accept crate (or a cage) as a familiar and safe place to poo or pee. But many pet parents remain confused and unsure on whether the best way to potty train their dogs whenever they are not at home is through crate training. Though many think that this ensures the dog is safe while at home, many also think otherwise.

Here, we list the pros & cons of crate training and evaluate if this is something that fits you, together with some alternatives you might want to consider to improve the quality of life of your dog.

THE GOOD THINGS

Creates training process a lot easier

Potty training can be a stressful process for both you and your dog. If you have a crate that is big for your dog, this will prompt him to use one side as his toilet and will still give him enough space to lie down. He will learn to control his bladder and will go out of his crate when he needs to poo or pee.

Calms down separation anxiety

Most dogs are attached and too clingy to their owners. To feel secure, a crate can make him feel that way and he’ll feel at ease while at home.

Gives personal space

As den-dwelling animals, a crate will offer your dog a safe and quiet place for him to rest, to daydream (maybe), to chew on their favorite things, to hide from loud, scary noises and to pee / poo.

THE BAD THINGS

Makes your dog unhappy

Maybe at the beginning, when you start crate training your dog, that there will be a lot of barking, yelping  and whining. Your dog does this with the hopes that you will open the crate for him.

May be viewed as a punishment

For most dogs who’re still getting the hang of things, they can view pet training as a punishment. The longer you leave your dog inside the crate, the more he’ll think he has done something very bad to be put in that situation.

Can be dangerous!

Safety first. As pet parents, we are to make sure that the crate we use does not (in any way!) injure our pets. Remove any possible item that can choke / strangle your dog.

SHOULD I CRATE MY DOG?

The answer depends on you. You know your schedule, your lifestyle and you of all people should know what is best for your dog. Puppies demand a lot of attention and shouldn’t be staying long inside a crate. And even though many adult dogs can stay in their crates for long hours, it’s still best to always give them enough love, exercise and playtime!

Doggie Playpens

Doggie playpens are also called exercise pens or x-pens. Available in many sizes, you can create a little area for your puppy within a room, without allowing access to your cabinets and baseboards. They are larger than crates and provides your dog a more open area. You can create a little area for your dog within a room, without allowing access to your carpets and cabinets.

Fenced Yard

If you have a spacious lawn, you can secure a fence, and keep your dog outside. Just make sure he has a kennel /dog house to give him shade or protect him when it rains. But this might not be realistic enough if you don’t have the budget (which leads us to…)

Dog Diapers / Belly Bands

These are great options for you if you don't want to contain your dog. Diapers and belly bands provide your dog the freedom and keep your house still clean the whole time.

No matter how you potty train your dog, remember that he needs exercise and company to be a happy to be a well-adjusted pet.