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A dog crate is a molded plastic or wire cage. The purpose of the "crate" is to provide your puppy with a safe personal space to retreat to when they need alone time or if you need to confine the puppy for any of the following reasons: security, safety, housebreaking, protection of household goods, travel or illness.
Teaching your puppy to accept confinment in his crate is not "mean or inhumane" and will not cause your pet to "resent you or to be psychologically damaged".
Dogs/Puppies view the world differently than people .
From your puppies point of view, the crate is a room of his very own - a "security blanket". The crate helps to satisfy the "den instinct" inherited from his den-dwelling ancestors and relatives. Your pet will feel secure, not frustrated once accustomed to his crate. Your pet wants to please you and you want to enjoy him. The crate can help you achieve a better relationship with your pet by preventing unwanted behavior when you aren't available to supervise him.
The advantages of using a crate
Things to consider when Purchasing a crate
Crates can be purchased at your local pet stores, department stores, Vets and from pet supply catalogs. Where possible look for a crate that includes a removable metal or plastic floor pan. Not that plastic crates do tend to get chewed. For your pet's comfort, look for one with a smooth floor. Purchase a crate large enough for your pet to stretch out on its side and to sit or stand erect. If you have a puppy, it is wise to purchase a crate that will accommodate him/her as an adult, then partition it to the right size. If the crate is too large it can undermine housebreaking because your pet may eliminate at one end of the crate and lie down at the other. For bedding, use an old blanket, towel, or buy a suitable washable item.
Placing the crate??
This is a very personal issue but one needs to remember that dogs/puppies are social animals. They want to be where you are so placing the crate where the family spends a lot of time would be a good idea eg. Kitchen, Faminly room ect. Some people even use the crate (the larger one as a extra shelf or table space - a good idea would be to move your puppies crate into your bedroom at night where you could hear if a loo call is needed.
Crating your puppy
Most young puppies should have no problem accepting the crate as his place/den.
Crying at first is not caused by the crate, but by adjusting to an unfamiliar household. Some things you will want to avoid or look aout for - 1. Do not reward barking or whining with attention! - 2. If you are sure he doesn't need to eliminate, ignore him until he is quiet, then praise him or take him out of the crate. -3. Do not leave meals in the crate or feed your puppy immediately prior to confining him. - 4. Most puppies will spill water left in the crate (get a water dish that attaches to the crate). - 5. Do leave a safe chew toy in the crate for your pet. - 6. Close your pet in the crate whenever he must be left alone or can't be closely supervised by a responsible person.
Never crate your pet longer than you know he can wait to eliminate, and definitely less than 4 hour intervals during the day. If you occasionally must be gone longer than this, place the crate with the door open in an enclosed area such as a bathroom or laundry room. Place newspapers on the floor of the room to facilitate clean-up. Your puppy should soon stop eliminating overnight and then may be crated in his regular place.
Never hit or rub pups face in his accidents, he won't understand why you are doing it. If you see your puppy messing on floor, give a slight shake (this is how mom disciplines, firm but loving) tell the puppy NO with a firm voice and take outside immediately. You can use words like "potty time" and your puppy will soon learn to eliminate on command. Praise lavishly, give a treat the minute he does what you want him to do. Above all you donít want to frighten the puppy or have him be in fear of you.
Best of Luck
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