Crate Training: A Lifelong Convenience

Crate training is well known as a tool for housetraining dogs of all ages, but I have found that its uses go far beyond that. Our five-year-old Rottweiler Lola (shown in the photo) loves her huge crate, and seeks it out frequently… except when our feisty cat Misty has taken up residence in the crate with a “make my day” attitude. Then Lola may whine as she settles down on the floor nearby to wait her turn.

Here are some of the ways that crate training is useful:

  • In a multi-dog household, there are times when you may want to give one of the dogs a timeout from being with the other, or you may want to feed a dog in the crate, to not have to supervise if one might go for another’s food.
  • If you ever have to leave the dog at a veterinarian’s, the dog will be far less stressed if used to being crated.
  • Travel goes well with the dog in a crate, if you happen to have a vehicle large enough for the crate. When we came back to US after living in Mexico, Lola traveled in her crate in our motorhome. (Our LarryDog, who detested crates when we got him as a rescue and still does, was tied near Lola where he couldn’t end up in the driver’s seat.)
  • If you have guests over, you can protect the dog from them, as we did recently when a family with three lively preschoolers came for dinner. Or you can protect your guests from the dog, as I did when a group of friends came for lunch and it turned out that one of them was afraid of Lola. I could have told her that Lola was a creampuff till I was blue in the face, but the crate solved the problem more effectively. (It was midwinter and blustery outside, so kicking the dogs out wasn’t a choice. LarryDog ended up in the bedroom.)

By the way, the dog crate can become part of a room pretty easily. In the picture here, we have the crate in a corner. The TV table is in front of it, not showing in the photo. In the winter, we often keep firewood for our woodstove on top of the crate, and our Christmas tree went there during the holidays. That’s a wooden-slat bookcase in the corner on top of the crate too.

 

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2 Responses to “Crate Training: A Lifelong Convenience”

  1. Rosana says:

    Rosalyn, you are on the right track. Five weeks is very young and chances are that her body isn’t mature enough to hold things very long.

    Sounds to me like she is showing a natural tendency of all dogs, NOT to soil their nests. When she must she will use that other side of the crate, but as soon as she is out of the crate, she is going to try to go somewhere else.

    SO I suggest that you also set up a second place with pads somewhere else in your house or apartment. Bathroom, laundry room, or some such. At first, put a pad there that she has used — even a little bit used is fine — so she will recognize the smell. If you can pick her up from the crate, carry her right there at first.

    Also be sure you are using Nature’s Miracle or any other brand of enzyme cleaner to get the smells out of the carpet.

    When you get frustrated, be sure not to show it to her. Lots of encouraging sweet talk is good. You and she will hopefully have many years together and now at the beginning, as you teach her what you want, you are forming a bond. Enjoy!

    Also, don’t keep her in the crate more than you really have to.

  2. Rnorth2006 says:

    I just bought a 5 week old puppy and i’m trying so hard to potty train her. i have a crate with one side as her sleeping place and the other as her pooping place. i have a divider with a hole in the center so the puppy is able to jump through to the other side to poop or urinate on the training pads. So far she has been pooping and urinating on the right side, but as soon as i take her out the crate she tries to urinate on the carpet, so i say no and place her on the training pads, but she jumps right off and tries to urinate again on the carpet. She does pretty well pooping on the pads. Im just so frustrated with her urinating all over the carpet. Rosalyn