When we adopted our Schnauzers, Buzz and Woody, they had already undergone dog training in the basics, and their behavior reflected it. They knew how to sit and stay. They were fully potty trained and learned quickly which door in the house was their exit portal to the great outdoors. They were even crate trained and enjoyed their crates. This was the first experience I had with dog crates and leaving the dogs inside a crate when I left the house. It made me wonder, do most people leave their dogs in crates when they leave the house?
I have to say the crates were a big hit for our family. No longer did we need to worry whether the dogs would get into mischief while we were gone. If we were a little late getting home, we didn’t have to clean the floors where they had an accident. We didn’t have to worry about a door frame being scratched or the crown molding being chewed to shreds because an unexpected thunderstorm erupted during our absence. Our dogs felt very comfortable and secure in their crates. Like most dogs, they never would go potty in the place where they slept. They both had their own crate, positioned side by side, and they had plenty of room to stretch out.
When leaving the house we would simply tell them to go lay down. They would enter their crates and wait for their treat for doing a good job. We would then pet each dog and tell them where we were going, when we would be back, and what they should do while we were gone. This kept their minds at ease and they slept until we returned home. We never left them in their crates longer than four hours at a time during the day.
Because we have a multilevel home, we purchased a set of identical crates for the bedroom where they slept with us. Each night at bedtime, the same routine would occur. I would simply alter what I told them, as we were all staying home for the night. This worked well for everyone. The two snorers of the family, Buzz and I, had our own dedicated area to saw some wood, so to speak.
I do believe, with proper training, a crate for your dog is the way to go. It provides them with a dedicated sanctuary that they can go to when you aren’t at home, or at times when everyone is sleeping, or even to get away when the household gets too crazy or noisy. Some people I know believe that it’s cruel to lock your dogs in a crate while you’re gone. They want their dogs to have free reign of the house. After all, it is their house, too. Of course, others I know can’t be bothered with properly crate training their dogs or don’t like a crate to be left out full time. In my opinion, they’re missing something. A crate provides a safe environment for your dog whether you’re at home or traveling.
Do you crate your dog when you aren’t at home? What experiences have you had when using a crate for your dog? If you haven’t used a crate, why? Tell us in the comments.
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