AKC Rhodesian Ridgebacks Ethically Bred and Raised in our Home. Therapy and Show Dogs raised with Children.

                            Crate training , the Pros and Cons

If I had a Nickel for every misguided person who vowed to " Never put their dog in a Cage!" I would be able to buy a top notch dinner for 2 complete with fine Champagne!!   When told this during an interview or conversation 2 things happen. The first Is I know I will be doing my best to educate this firm believer , and the second , They are very unlikely to get a puppy from us!

Crate training has so many incredible purposes That I would like to take a few minutes and elaborate on why Crate Training is part of our beliefs and in our Contract for the placement of a Puppy / Dog.

#1 Dogs genuinely love having a place of their own. Going back to the most basic of concepts Dogs like to Den. A dog trained a crate,  correctly introduced and consistently followed through  will be a far happier and safer dog.

#2 The chances of your being able to spend 100% of your time with your dog is pretty rare. A pup or dog left to roam the home can become destructive out of boredom or anxiety.

#3 A dog trained to spend unattended time in a crate will potty train more quickly and completely. Dogs are naturally clean animals they dislike messing where they eat and sleep. If you allow a young puppy to develop this nasty habit you will struggle for all of it's life to have a dog that you may travel with who has dependable potty habits.

#4 Dogs fed in their crates make smaller messes, eat with out fear of theft making resource guarding less likely. You can monitor exactly how much they eat and how long it takes.

#5 There are times in a dog's life when Crating is inevitable. for example it you spay or neuter the dog will spend at least part of the day in the Vet's crate. Trained to accept a crate calmly your pup will be less stressed improving healing time and immune system.

#6  Dogs who must be boarded for any reason will need to be confident about staying in a smaller space than your home or yard.  if they can accept this is a behavior they understand they are less likely to stress, bolt or challenge the people working with them.

#7 We live in the Hurricane Belt and understand the importance of Evacuations. We watch the news and know what is happening , what to expect however your dog will only know their ears are going bonkers from pressure, the winds and rains have changed and become terrifying. All of which can prompt an unexpected battle or flight. our dogs were taught early to be part of our evacuation strategy. Other dogs in the neighborhood and from our vet will call right up until the last minute looking for a safe place to board, they are rarely crate trained increasing their panic and stress 10 fold. Most evacuation shelters still refuse an animal and the ones who allow them insist on Crates being used. Google Hurricane Katrina and see not only the people who refused to leave because they could not take their pet but the ones who dumped them as they went out the door to fend for themselves.  We have yet to evacuate to a RV park or Wal Mart shopping center without crate trained dogs. 

#8 Many RV parks, Camp grounds , Motels and Hotels will only allow your dog in the rooms or on the property IF they are crate trained and have a crate with them.

#9 You dog may enjoy it's peanut butter filled Kong or other toy with little risk of damaging carpeting, furniture or fighting with another over it.

 #10 Should you have a pet in season crating is the best form of Birth Control from your own dogs or the Heinz 57 who wanders up.  Keeping your girl Safe and preventing Dog Fights should be a no brainer.

#11 Having your pet drip dry after a bath is far easier when crated, a show of cyber hands would further illustrate how annoying it is to get dog clean and have dog roll in the first mess they can find.

#12 When attending a show you can enter more than one dog, in more than one event if they are easy going about crating. A dog who is scared of it will work themselves into a frazzle trying to escape making a very poor showing in the ring.

 And for an even  Baker's Dozen reasons:

Having to pay to repair the damages at a motel . hotel or someone's home because you thought you could trust the pup?dog is never less costly than taking the time to train to crate.


               A Basic Breakdown of the Different Styles of Crates


 AIR LINE CRATE: For many people the first image that comes to mind when thinking about a crate are the large heavy duty plastic crates that are Airline Approved.  They have minimal grating and a cantilever lock.  Airline crates limit the amount of visual stimulus the animal can absorb. They are Sturdy and Rigid. Two Half Shells that assemble into one crate by using the screws and locking wing nuts.

Wire Frame Crates: Wire Crates come in two basic styles the Drop Pin where the crate literally is assembled from 6 pieces with 4 long Pins that thread through the loops built into the corners.  They come with a slide in plastic or metal pan. They may have 1-2 doors as a rule. The Suitcase Wire Crate collapses into an approx 4~5 Inch deep one piece crate which reopens very quickly. They can have up to 4~5 gates / doors from the door on the end with a smaller door for sliding a pan of food inside, a Top door, a side door that allow for easy access when dealing with limited vehicle or grooming set up space. They have slide locking bolts to prevent even the most clever of Houdinis to escape . The assembly on a Suitcase crate makes it very user friendly if somewhat heavy.

Soft Sided Crates: Are fabric crates made normally with heavy nylon , they pop open with the flick of your wrist as they have wire frames constructed in the outline. Normally they will have one opening and several vented mesh windows.

The newest fad in Crates are the Decorator Wood and Wire combination crates. Made to resemble fine furniture they may be set up in a living room, bed room or family room to serve as an end table or side table.  Very Pretty they are not for transporting dogs as much as they are they to make your home that much nicer with this surprising elegance.

I do not want to forget the Sherpa Bag Crate, again a Soft Side crate but designed to allow puppy to travel IN cabin while flying by fitting under the seat in front of you. Most pups will not fit in this crate after they turn 7~8 weeks old.  While we will not ship our puppies and no longer allow them to go to their new homes that young , there are other kennels who do. We have used Sherpa Bags in the past with great results. You can open the top one of two ways, completely opening it to remove or replace puppy or pulling the zippered slded to allow puppy's head to pop out or your hand to slip in for a cuddle.

        Some folks like to use crates as a housebreaking tool.

I admit I do not use crates to create a potty area in the house however if you do there is a product you can find at that has excellent results and are priced at a reasonable rate.  So you might want to check them out should your breeder or trainer suggest you expand the use of your crating equipment in this fashion.


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