Dog crates are an essential necessity for a number of reasons, especially for potty training. However, there is so much more behind the philosophy and psychology of crating a dog, than one would think.
Primal Crating Philosophy
Dogs have become domesticated in American society, but just as with all animals, dogs used to live in the wild. Wild dogs’ homes are called “dens,” which is usually that of a cave or other small, secretive spot that provides shelter and refuge. Crates are meant to take the place of the wild dog’s den, offering our pet a place to sleep, that is their own, and which is a safe place.
Typically, crates are used for the same few reasons.
• Potty Training – Dogs do not like to sleep in dirty places and will not go to the bathroom inside his/her crate, unless it is the absolute last resort. Therefore, keeping a puppy or dog in a crate and then bringing it outside, immediately after it is let out of the cage, is a way of conditioning or training a dog where to go to the bathroom.
• Blocking Access – Crates are also a great way to prevent dogs from roaming the house or blocking access to the home. This is usually used when a puppy or dog cannot be trusted alone, whether it is because of chewing habits, an owner doesn’t want the dog on furniture, etc.
• Transportation – Puppies and/or smaller dogs can be transported easily and safely by crate.
Crates are meant to be positive places for a dog, which means it is extremely important to ensure you never make it to be otherwise. Once a dog begins to associate the crate with negative, instead of positive, big problems may arise. For instance, keeping a dog locked up for too long or using the crate as punishment will result in resentment, bad behavior, aggression, and/or refusal to go back into the crate. It is important to ensure the crate is a pleasant and safe place and once a dog is properly trained, he should no longer be locked up, but allowed to roam as he/she pleases.