Putting a dog inside a crate or cage can seem cruel to some, but when used in the right way, a crate can be a really useful tool to keep your dog safe, help train him and also be used as a safe means of transportation.
The cage or crate should never be positioned as a punishment to the dog or else he will not accept the crate. Getting a dog to accept the crate whilst he is a puppy will also be easier, although not impossible, than teaching an adult dog who has never seen one. Entice the dog into the crate using a treat and encouraging words – repeating a phrase that you will later want to use to signify that you want the puppy to go into the crate. Let the dog folllow the treat into the crate and then close the door whilst praising the dog. Make sure that you put the dog in the crate when you are at home and being praised – otherwise the dog will only associate the crate with being left alone or being told off, and this may cause your pet some anxiety. Similarly the dog’s crate should not be in isolation in the house and should be placed somewhere where the dog can still feel part of the family environment when he’s inside.
When choosing a crate, ensure that your puppy has room to lie down and turn around but do not make the crate too roomy. Of course, you do not want to keep changing your crate as the dog grows so you might want to buy one big enough for him as an adult dog so that they can stand up or stretch out as they lie down. You can always use a divider to cordon an area off while your puppy is small.
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