What’s Wrong With Crating Dogs?
Imagine if your parents locked you in the closet every time they left you home alone. You’d have no room to stretch or move around, and you’d be bored out of your mind for hours on end until they came home and let you out. Sounds pretty awful, right?
If you wouldn’t want that done to you, why would you do it to your dog?
No matter what a dog trainer, pet supply store owner, or misinformed dog enthusiast might tell you, a dog crate is pretty much just a box with holes in it. Locking a dog in a crate is simply a way to ignore them out of convenience until you’ve decided that you have time to take care of them properly. Studies have shown that animals who are caged for extended periods of time can develop issues including aggression, withdrawal, depression, and the inability to bond with humans.
Here are two common myths about dog crating—and the facts.
Myth: Dogs love being crated!
Fact: No animal “loves” to be confined to a cage.
Myth: Crate-training speeds up the housetraining process.
Fact: Regardless of the training method, puppies don’t develop full bladder control until they’re about 6 months old. It’s totally counterproductive to crate young puppies and hope they’ll just “hold it.”
- Find a humane trainer. Interactive dog training teaches people effective ways of communicating with their animal companions. Committed guardians who successfully complete training can be confident that when they’re away, their dogs won’t engage in destructive behavior.
- Take your dog for a walk—especially in the morning! Give them the chance to use all that playful energy so that they’ll be less anxious and more content while you’re out.
- For short periods of time (two to three hours max), gating your dog in an uncarpeted area covered with newspapers or pee pads and providing interesting toys—such as a Kong filled with peanut butter—should help.
- If you or your parents can’t make it home during the day to give your dog a potty break and some attention, try hiring a thoroughly screened dog walker or asking a reliable friend or neighbor to help out.
- An additional dog or another animal friend can help keep a lonely dog stimulated and content while human family members are away. You could adopt a second animal as a companion to the first, take your dog to doggie daycare, or even arrange “playdates” to let your canine companion spend the day with someone else’s dog or vice versa. Get creative!
So, let’s review: Dog crating is lazy, cruel, and totally unnecessary.
Know people who keep their dogs confined to a crate? Share this information to let them know why they should stop ASAP!