Is Crate Training Cruel?

I have always believed that crate training was the way to go especially if a pup or dog is destructive and going to be left...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Aug 18th 2008


I have always believed that crate training was the
way to go especially if a pup or dog is
destructive and going to be left alone for short
periods…a friend said she was a dog breeder and
thought it was cruel…what is your opinion,
please

Marilyn
Bossier City, LA

When it is done correctly, crate training is not cruel.

The purpose of a crate, when used for training, is to provide a safe haven for a dog or puppy. Confining a canine companion in a crate is one of the most effective ways to house train him. It also protects him from chemicals, electrical cords, chicken bones and countless other household hazards when no people are home to watch and protect him.

Crates should not be like prison cells. They should be comfortable, welcoming environments. A properly prepared crate will be viewed as a private den by its occupant. Many dogs willingly retreat to their crates when they want some alone time, or if a disruption (toddler birthday parties come to mind) occurs in the house.

To help ensure that your dog is happy in his crate, follow a few basic rules. Never use the crate as punishment. Leave the door to the crate open when it’s not in use, so that the dog can enter it if he pleases. Limit each confinement to a reasonable period of time. Choose a crate that is appropriately sized (dogs should be able to stretch, stand up and turn around in the crate). Keep comfortable bedding, water, and safe toys in the crate. Finally, consider feeding your dog in the crate–that’s a sure-fire way to create a positive association.