A friend of mine who has no idea about taking care of canines visited my place and met my crated Labrador, well, he accused me of being an animal rights violator and asked me how could I put the dog into such a cage. It took me around 30 minutes of detailed explanation to convince him that crating a dog is important for housetraining, because the dogs don’t like to soil their dens, and no matter how much I loved my dog I might not appreciate him chewing my furniture, tear out my blankets and sheets. I, also being a lawyer have to travel to different jurisdictions to represent my clients so I have to take my dog with me even in public transport sometimes which is only possible if he is crated.
Crating the dog is indispensable in today’s time, but what usually dog owners detest is what comes with it, when your baby dog cries even a minute seems like a day, I have also come across many people who are sleep deprived because of this behaviour of their dog and have got their productivity depleted in terms of their jobs and socialising.
Don’t worry this article is a panacea for you all dog owners.
Ever Thought Why Your Dog Is Crying Anyway?
- Your puppy’s bladder is bursting – This is nothing unprecedented, even human babies cry when they want to or already have peed in their diapers and want the mother to change it.
- Your dog’s needs to win the world – Adult dogs need sufficient amount of exercise mental as well as physical, when you do not exhaust their daily discharge of energy they will neither feel sleepy and nor shall let you sleep and would beseech you during your homework and sleep time to take them for a run sometimes even at night by crying.
- Your Dog doesn’t understand human schedule – Surprise!! Your dog isn’t aware that you need to run for your 9 to 5 job to pay off your student loan, go meet your friends to have beer and come home and sleep at sharp 12 am to gather energy to hit the next day.
- Your dog is suffering from Separation Anxiety – This problem is rampant in dogs when they go through change of ownership, or you change your daily schedule to which your dog adapted to.
- Your dog feels imprisoned – the most important factor that makes your doggo cry when he is in the crate is because he believes himself to be in a solitary confinement to cut him off from the world and prevent him to play and run, but this problem can be solved by crate training. After successful sessions of crate training, your dog will no more see the crate as a confinement but rather a quiet place and safe haven to take rest and relax in, he will voluntary enter his crate and own it as his place of ownership.
But Before We Understand Crate Training Here Are Some Directions You Should Strictly Adhere Too
Direction to Follow Strictly:-
- Never use crates for Punishments – Professors in the field of Pet Behaviour have asserted not to make the crate a tool of correctional measures. Because if the dog is put to crate even for putting him in the bed, the dog might cry out and feel as if he is locked up again for his mistakes. Therefore, keep all the experiences in the crate pleasant and positive.
- Periodically Increase the Time for Crating – Do we keep the babies in the cradle for a long time, away from the touch of the mother even when he is crying? Obviously we do not, in the same way do not expect your little puppy to be strong enough in the inception itself. Experts state not to leave the puppies under 6 months in crate for more than 3 hours, they need to go to bathroom more number of times than a grown up, they feel alone and fail to understand as to why they are left alone in discomfort. But as the dog gets older he can be crated for longer periods as his bladder gets bigger with him.
- Don’t usually Crate your dog when leaving them alone – Once your dog understands that he is always put to crate whenever you are leaving for office or to meet a lover of yours, your dog will be reluctant to enter and use the crate as this might mean for him that you are going to leave him alone once again, and guess what will follow? Correct answer more and more crying and you don’t want that.
- Take your dog for an exercise and toilet before crating – Your dog is dying to play and interact with you, take him out to play and subject him to mental exercises. If you do not allow him to vent his energy and passion out his piled up energy will convert into anxiety and then best of luck getting him quiet.
The Crate must be of ideal size – The crate must have a room enough for your dog to stand, lay down, turn around freely and also stretch out. The question that pops up in reader’s mind is that why not buy a big crate then? If you buy a big crate you are leaving for the dog enough space to go take a dump at one end and take rest on the other one, which totally defeats the purpose of crating your dog in the first place.
Crate training is supposed to be associated with some pleasant experiences for your dog and needs to take place in series gradually
Steps to Follow
Introduce your dog to his new abode
The crate will serve as your dog’s den, put bedding and chew toys in his crate and give him time to come to terms with his area, observe your puppy while he is accustoming himself to his crate, this will help forge a sense of pack and establish you as the pack leader. Ensure that all the experiences in the crate are pleasant and jovial, for example make the crate fluffy and comfortable, decorate the crate with toys, put some treats and foods that are your dog’s favourite under the bedding in the crate.
Start feeding your dog in the crate itself
This is a gradual process, once your dog starts entering the crate to have his meal, gently close the door behind him while he is eating. In the beginning open the door after he has finished eating the food but then start closing the door even after he finishes the food for longer periods. If your dog starts to cry at this stage this means that you have increased the period of time way too fast according to the dog’s expectation, to deal with it, decrease the length of time of closing the door of the crate and then increase it slowly.
Start Leaving the dog for a longer period
Put your dog into the crate and make him feel comfortable by sitting with him for few minutes and rewarding him by serving a treat, this will let him know that his being in the crate is appreciated and rewarded. Once the dog is calm and hasn’t cried for around 10 minutes in your presence, you can go and carry out your daily chores and check on him in between making him feel assured that he hasn’t been left alone or has been put into the crate because of punishment.
Sometimes despite crate training your dog might cry out, but this does not always mean that your dog detests himself being in the crate, as a dog owner myself I have started to observe and understand different kinds of whines and cries of my Lab. As for our own baby we make sure that every demand is met, you need to make sure for your puppy too and understand what kind of whine signifies what.
Adult dogs would definitely need exercise but prevent them from regular daily napping as that will allow them to hoard their energy and will outburst it when you try to put them and yourself to bed. And last but not the least, I always advise my readers to control their emotions and not punish the dog as that is an outdated strategy, the results of punishing the dog while he is in the crate are usually counterproductive, and also do not over control your emotions and let your dog to cry it out. Just understand your baby and do the needful.