Happy Paws Happy Hearts dog trainer, Justin Palazzo-Orr ,has been an advocate of crates for the past 14 years of working with dogs.
“There are many benefits to crate training a dog, may it be a puppy or recently adopted dog. It helps them establish a safe space they can go to, somewhere familiar or to get away from other people or animals while they are still getting used to them,” he explained.
“Crates are also beneficial when traveling with dogs. Just like people travel with a caravan to take a piece of home with them, a crate can be a little piece of your
dog’s home when they travel. Be it pet friendly camping, accommodation or visiting family for the holidays.”
Some people are unsure about using crates because of the stigma attached to ‘sticking your dog in a cage’, he said. “Also, I’ve seen some horrible footage online of people using crates in very inappropriate ways. Like with anything, it’s important to know how to use crates in a way that is safe and that the dog loves. Each dog is an individual and the key is to make the crate the best place in the world for them,” he said.
Justin advised starting training with a sturdy crate that is big enough for your dog to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in as well as a bit of space on either side of them. “We use Paws Room crates in our facilities because they are functional, really sturdy, have great ventilation, are very easy to clean and maintain, and unlike most crates, they look the part!” he said.
Justin's tips when using a crate
• Do not leave your dog in a crate for a long period of time as it can
become distressing for them.
• Never use the crate as a form of punishment – remember, it’s a
safe place for your dog.
• The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand, sit, lie down
and turn around in as well as a bit of space on either side of them.
• Beware, if some crates are not assembled properly, they can
collapse and cause the dog physical harm.
• A crate with bars that are extremely close together can
restrict the air allowed to circulate within and cause extreme discomfort.
• Don’t put your dog in with a collar or leash as it can get caught on
the bars and cause strangulation.
For a step-by-step video on training your dog to use a crate, visit here