Crate Training Your Dog

You want me to put my pet in a cage?!

This is one response I get when I talk to people about crate training. They are horrified at the thought of putting their little friend in a cage. "It's cruel." Well, to me it's cruel not to crate train your pet.

Here are a few things to think about.

Most of the time when I discuss crate training, I am talking to dog owners, but I recommend it for cats as well. There are several exceptional reasons to crate train your pet. Potty training and keeping them out of trouble when you can't watch them are only two.

Think about this -

v  Where does your dog go when he's frightened by thunder? Under the bed? Under a desk? Into the nearest open closet?

v  Does your dog hide under the chair at the vet's office?

v  How long does it take you to get your cat in the carrier to go to the vet?

v  How many scratches/bites do you have to doctor on yourself afterward?

v  Will no one baby sit your pet for you when you go on vacation?

v  Does your dog hurting himself trying to escape the kennel?

If you've answered yes to even one of these questions, for your current pet or a previous pet, then you should really take a better look at crate training.

Think about this -

v  Dogs are 'den' animals. In the wild, they find a small, enclosed area with one entrance to sleep in and have their young. Hmmm... sounds a bit like a crate.

v  Cats LOVE small spaces like boxes and bags. Why not a crate?

v  If your cat or dog is trained to go into its crate on command, there is no fussing and fighting when it comes time to go to the vet, groomer, or boarding kennel. This relieves not only the pet's stress, but yours as well.

If your pet is crate trained, they are comfortable in a crate/cage/carrier... call it what you will, and will be less anxious at a boarding facility or if they must stay at the vet's office for some reason. Traveling is easier and your relatives may even welcome your pet. The dog that tears up a door, furniture, etc. is not welcome. But with crate training, you don't have to leave your pet 'home alone' in a strange environment. He can stay in his crate while you go out to eat, and be let out when you get back.

When you have to leave the pet at home, either with a friend or at a kennel, you can rest easy knowing that the pet won't be anxious staying in a cage because they are used to it. You can even request that your pets own carrier is left in the kennel with him to offer the scents and feel of home.

Think about this -

v  How much did it cost to replace the sofa cushions the puppy chewed up? The siding on the house? The conduit on the air conditioner or pool filter?

v  How much did the drapes cost to replace when the kitten shredded them? The dry wall that had to be replaced because he also climbed the drapes and pulled the rod off the wall?

v  How about the trip to the emergency clinic when he tried to chew through the electrical cord? And the two follow up surgeries to get rid of the damaged tissue?

Crating a young puppy or kitten when you cannot supervise them is not an option... It's a necessity. You wouldn't leave a two year old toddler unsupervised in a room for one minute, why would you leave a two month old puppy or kitten unsupervised all night?

The crate is a tool that, if used correctly, will keep your pet from doing harm to itself and your environment. It can be used to potty train your dog and keep your kitten from keeping you awake at night.

Like any tool, it can be misused, but when used correctly it is one of the best friends your pet will ever have.

Please ask about crate training your new puppy or kitten. If you have an older pet, we can help with that as well. It will take more time, but may save you and your pet a lot of anxiety in the future.

I would love to help you with your pet's training needs. Please drop me a note if you enjoyed this site or if you have any questions about classes or any other pet related questions. E-mail

Thank you,

Judy Seils and Ruby

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Judy Seils

Judy Seils has over 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats in the most stressful of environments, the veterinary clinic. During that time, she taught dog training classes and helped clients with behavior issues. She trained and competed with two of her dogs, Dreamer and Shiloh, in flyball, and coached other teammates in training their dogs. Judy also had fun working with Dreamer and Shiloh in freestyle.

Though currently dogless, Judy is clicker training her calico cat, Ruby who is keeping her humble as they work on such behaviors as sit, beg, give me five, wearing a harness and others. Cats are definitely harder to train than dogs, but also fun to work with.

Judy loves using her knowledge to help other people train their dogs and cats.

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Last updated 5.7.2022