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Crate is not just for when you are gone

December 15, 2018

Crate is a great training tool that is very underrated. It also has a very negative association because people humanize their dogs (e.g. the dog looks sad inside a jail cell) and many use it for the wrong purpose (e.g. time out).

Crate is a great training tool when it is being used properly to nurture a much more balanced mindset.

Many dogs do not respect/trust/ or listen to their human owners because of a lack or misuse of crate training.

Crate training is not just about getting a dog inside a crate when you are gone, it is about what choices the dog will make when you are home (e.g. will he keep whining to be let out?), it is about what choices he will make when the door is opened and he sees something he likes (e.g. will he respect you enough to stay inside quietly and calmly even when he sees something yummy right outside of the door?), it is about what choices he will make when something very stimulating is right outside of his opened crate (e.g. will a dog with high prey drive bolt through the door and chase the cat?)

In other words, it is about how relevant you are (i.e. will he just listen to his impulse or listen to you?), it is about whether the dog can think rationally when he is aroused (I.e. what is the right thing to do in this situation vs what do l feel like doing?) - it is about whether a dog can control his impulse and listen regardless of what is going on around him.

This is the mindset that will really help a dog to succeed when we want an aggressive dog to stop going after another dog, a reactive dog to stop fixating on his triggers, an anxious dog to stop having a panic attack, a fearful dog to stop running away from everything, and a hyper dog to stop being out of control all the time.

This is why we crate our dogs.

Please look beyond the bars and the box of the crate; please do not let humanization and emotion cloud your judgement.

When you embrace the idea of crate training and use the crate wisely, you can help your dog to develop a balanced, engaged and confident mindset, so you and your dog can live a great life together. 

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