Yesterday I was shopping at Lukes, one of our favorite Dog Stores in Coral Springs. We were talking about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fences and how they help many of the local residences because of HOA rules about putting up fences. Since the underground dog fence actually provides more freedom for many dogs because they don’t need to be leashed while outside or physically blocked from inside rooms, they asked me what I thought about dog crates. With the invisible containment areas established by the Dog Guard products, is there a need for dog crates? Are dog crates superfluous and unnecessary?
Dog crates are an important part of any dog’s environment. The problem that most humans have with dog crates is that they perceive a contained area with bars as a prison and area used for punitive measures and punishment. This is the human perspective and not the canine perspective. Your dog needs a natural “safe place” where he can retreat and feel completely safe, no matter what might be going on around him. This place must be only for him. The dog crate serves as such a location. Even though we have used the Dog Guard perimeter containment system to safely keep them in a particular area, the dog must have their personal “safe place” within that area.
We suggest that you start socializing your dog with the dog crate as soon as you can. Feed him in the crate, put his toys in the crate, be next to him and pet him in the crate. Nothing harmful or frightening should ever happen to him while they are in the crate. What you are doing is to consistently show him that the crate is safe. If he ever needs to “just get away”, he can go there and things will be fine.
If you have more than one dog, we suggest getting a crate for each dog. When picking the appropriate size, make sure that the dog can easily walk into the crate without hitting his head, can comfortably turn around, and lie down. When in doubt, get the next size larger. You don’t always have to get him a brand new crate. Many great dog crates can be found on the internet at such places as Craigs List.
Place the crate in an area your dog and family naturally congregate. The big problem that many people do is to place the crate in a remote location such as the garage or a back bedroom. Dogs are naturally social creatures and need human interaction. Having the crate away from the rest of the family can send the wrong signal to the dog. Have the crate in the corner of the family room or kitchen.
Take the crate with you when you travel. Your dog is always on edge when going to new, strange places. If you take the crate with you, you are “bringing a familiar thing” that naturally gives your dog a feeling of safety and continuity.
If you have any questions about training your dog, the use of the dog crate, or the Dog Guard underground pet containment system, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Coral Springs and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.