There comes a point, sooner or later, when every dog parent is faced with a decision: to crate or not to crate.
While most experts agree that dogs should be crate trained, since some situations require it (for example after vet procedures or plane travel), there is a definite split between those that use crating at home for training/ containment purposes or for car travel.
Crating as a training/containment tool:
Many dog owners use crates with puppies and adopted adult dogs to train them and also to make sure dogs stay out of harm’s way when they are left alone.
- It can keep dogs safe- and prevent them from getting into trouble by chewing power cables, or running around the house
- The carte can be a sanctuary for you dog- a safe place for them to go that is their own
- It’s a great training tool
- It is very easily abused- PETA is very firm in it’s guidance that crating as a training tool can have adverse effects
- It deprives dogs of freedom- dogs that spend most of the day in a crate are limited in their movements, and limits their interaction with the environment
- Can lead to behavioral problems when used excessively
Crating while travelling:
While in some situations, such as plane travel, this is not a decision left to us (then we need to decide if it’s worth the crating- but we’ll get into that later) we have come across an interesting debate in terms of crating during car travel.
- Less distracting for the driver- having your dog jumping or sliding around, or worse sitting on your lap (which is illegal in some states) can put both you’re and your pup in an emergency situation
- Protects the dog in an emergency stop- there are also crash tested crates, so think of this as your dog’s seatbelt
- Owner guilt associated with putting their dog in a crate- we recommend taking frequent stops (every 2-3 hours) and let your dog out for a quick sniff and jog
- Do not leave your dog in the crate (or loose in the car) when you leave- hopefully this will seem obvious but nevertheless always an important reminder
What do you think? Do you crate your dog? What are the benefits and downsides? Let us know in the comments!
And if you are looking to crate here’s some of the more popular crates out there:
And check out this guide to choosing the right size crate for your dog