Dog training - Crate training Pros and Cons
Debate continues about whether or not crate training dogs is healthy or harmful. A crate is a metal or plastic box, fit to the size of your dog. When crate training your dog, you leave him for short periods of time in the crate so he can't do any harm.
People in favor state that crate training gives the dogs a refuge where he can "hide" and feel comfortable. Its much like a little room just for him. Your dog feels safe in there, because of all the toys and other objects with a familiar smell. Its his retreat from the hectic world around him.
Those who favor crate training say that potty training is much easier when combined with use of a crate. Dogs, they state, will naturally avoid to evacuate, and wait until they're released to go outside.
On the other hand, opponents argue that locking your dog into a cage with just enough space to turn around undermines his nature to explore. The dog can't wander around and isn't stimulated by new experiences.
They will also point out that many puppies that are left too much time in the crate will eventually play in their own droppings. Those against the use of crates give the example of the many times we see puppies playing in their own waste at pet shops. They say that putting your dog in a crate is more convenient for the owner than for the dog.
As always there is something to say for both points of view. There are not many scientific studies done on this subject and opinions differ evenly. Provided you don't let your puppy to long in the crate and you walk him regularly, crate training probably is a good way to train your dog.
Even proponents recognize that excessive time in a crate is bad for the dog. Any dog locked up in a small space is not getting the exercise he needs and may be restrained from evacuating for longer than is healthy. So I recommend to keep the crate time to no more than two hours maximum.
Opponents worry that dogs in their crate can harm themselves when they make attempts to open the crate to escape, or because they're bored. Always use a safe crate, one that's designed especially for dogs. The crate should be sturdy enough, so it can resist your dogs? attempts to get out. And above all make sure the crate can't fall over.
People in favor of crate training say that a crate trained dog is much easier to travel with. They're used to the crate, that is also used for car, train and air travel. They are comfortable in their crate, above all if they have some of their own toys with them.
Critics suggest that (except in cases of permanent re-location) it's best to leave pets at home. Apart from short trips to the grocery store or vet, animals are better off in familiar territory.
Though this debate isn't likely to be settled anytime soon, using common sense is the best way to judge the beneficial effects for your pet. Try leaving the door open after a few weeks of training and see whether they stay in or out of the crate. Let your dog be the judge.