Crate Training Dogs to Fix Behavior Problems
Crate training dogs that are destructive or prone to chewing and eating everything in sight can ultimately save your valuables and even your dog's life.
Indeed, sooner rather than later, most dog owners will return home and find some form of destruction to their property inflicted by their dog's teeth.
Often, the best way to deal with such unwanted behaviors is through management.
Management may sound much like common sense, but it is the best way to set a dog up for success while limiting its chances for engaging in bad behaviors.
Crate training dogs for the main purpose of preventing them from getting into trouble can also be very helpful for the purpose of modifying several behaviors.
Crate Training Dogs to Prevent Unwanted Behaviors
If you own a dog with a "Hoover" reputation, you may be concerned that one day he may wolf down something that may land him on the surgeon's table. A great way to prevent this is to safely crate your dog while you are away.
Dogs that engage in destructive chewing and other unwanted behaviors such as digging, stealing items from the counters and raiding the trash bin are also better off being crated when they cannot be directly supervised.
However, dogs engaging in destructive behaviors mainly upon being left alone should be screened for separation anxiety. Soiling in the house, pacing, barking and destructive behaviors targeted towards windows, doors or items with the owner's scent are tell-tale signs of dog or puppy separation anxiety. In this case, confining the dog in a crate may only increase the dog's levels of anxiety.
Dogs that are afraid of loud noises and thunder storms should also not be confined in a crate when the feared stimuli are occurring.
Crate Training Your Dog to Modify Unwanted Behaviors
Generally, the less a dog is allowed to engage in unwanted behaviors, the more likely such behaviors will eventually extinguish.
If you keep a close eye on your dog during the day to prevent him from chewing, counter surfing or raiding the trash, and then crate him when you cannot actively supervise, your dog is ultimately left with very little room for mistakes. In addition, providing a safe chew toy in the crate will allow the dog to associate the act of chewing with the crate, significantly reducing destructive behaviors involving household items.
However, it is important not to use the crate as a form of punishment. It would be wrong, for instance, to place a dog in the crate as a form of punishment for engaging in an unwanted behavior. By doing so, the dog will associate the crate with punishment and will eventually begin to avoid going in it altogether. It is always of the utmost importance to ensure the crate remains a pleasant and comfortable place to be.
When Dog Crates Should not be Used
There are some other circumstances where crate training dogs may be counterproductive for the dog's well-being and safety.
For example, it would be unjust to crate a puppy that does not have bladder or bowel control for the purpose of preventing or fixing dog behavior problems. Dogs that exhibit anxiety, extreme fear and violent behaviors upon being confined should also not be crated. Finally, dogs whose exercise, mental stimulation and socialization needs are not met should not be crated to prevent or fix behavioral problems simply because these are essential needs that require to be properly addressed.
Dog crates should also not be used as storage units to hold the dog every time it misbehaves. While crate training dogs may help prevent and reduce numerous behavior problems, it is also important to give your dog a chance to learn how to behave appropriately in your home.
The Benefits of Using Crates to Solve Dog Behavior Problems
So, do you prefer coming home to a terrible mess or to a safely crated dog that is chewing on proper chew toys? The choice is ultimately yours…
But both you and your dog would certainly benefit from the latter simply because it is a win-win situation where everybody is happy. Your puppy or dog cannot shred your home into pieces while he is safely contained in a comfortable crate with a safe chew toy!
Crate training a puppy is the safest way to keep a puppy confined, and for those interested, puppy crate training whining and crying will eventually go away with time if you address it in the correct way.
By crate training dogs to prevent unwanted behaviors you will ultimately save yourself from a lot of grief. This would mean no more piles of stools around the house, no more clothes torn into shreds, no more overturned trash bins, and best of all, no more exposure to chemicals, toxins or dangerous electrical cords.
Crate training dogs may also help prevent the onset of separation anxiety because your dog will feel less compelled to pace, dig and chew at doors and windows which separate him from the outdoor world.
As seen, crate training dogs for the purpose of preventing and modifying behavior problems proves to be an invaluable management tool.
Crates also act as a temporary den for when you are unable to supervise your dog, become a comfy cabin for when you must travel with your dog and crate training your puppy will allow you to potty train him in the shortest time possible.
There are many advantages in using crates and the benefits are really worth the investment and effort put into crate training dogs.
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Want to learn more?
If you need more help with crate training your dog, I highly recommend this house training guide. It has a very good section on crate training.
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