Friday, July 2, 2010

Kennel It Up!

Dear Reader,
I have a question....
....and here it goes....

WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THIS "DON'T CRATE YOUR DOG" MENATLITY?

Ahem.

I ask, because my dog's mentality on crates is as follows:

  1. Kittie couldn't ask for a more fun place to lounge around on a hot summer day.
  2. The other dogs don't bother her while she's in her crate, so if she wants it to be naptime...It's NAPTIME! No muss, no fuss. Heck yes; that's what she says.
  3. All the good food toys, rawhides, stuffed squeaky things, and our shoes if she so pleases can go with her into the crate.
  4. Actually, the crate is the go-to spot for dinner, Kongs, and (vet approved) Rawhides.
  5. You've never seen a dog run to her crate so fast when it's dinner time. We stopped asking her to actually go into her crate for dinner some six or so months ago. She still thinks it's the hot spot.
  6. When we leave, she goes in her crate. She sleeps, mostly; and yes, we do know this for a fact. Sometimes she stretches, chews on her stuff, and has fun...but mostly she sleeps.
  7. When in her crate, without our supervision, she cannot do the following:
  • hang herself via the curtains
  • chew through the walls
  • chew waterbottles - don't ask how she gets them, we haven't quite figured it out - full of water on someone's bed.
  • get so strung out that she does this:
  • bark like mad until we "come back"
  • when we don't respond, decide to follow us herself
  • escape anything that needs to be escaped to do the above
  • finally, as panic settles in and she realizes that we are nowhere to be found and have, in her mind, abandonded her - a dog's worst fear - become so out-of-her-mind that she loses control of her bowels and bladder, pukes, and rips apart anything that smells like us in a heartbreaking, desperate attempt to find us.
Outside of the crate, she's a mess.
Inside, she feels secure enough to lounge, play, and nap.

I don't care if you think it's unnatural; it keeps my dog alive and sane.

It's a great training tool - and it's all in how YOU make it for the dog. If you know how to make it a positive thing, it will be a positive thing for your dog.

[This being said, yes; we do know there are escape artists that you couldn't keep in long enough to teach that it's a good thing. Or, on the other end, will escape anyhow. There are other, just as safe, options for these dogs! We keep the big black lab in the back bedroom. He sleeps on the bed, usually after having gone down into the laundry and fetched a pair of my brother's pants. He doesn't chew them; he sleeps with them. Either that, or shoes. I don't know what it is about the shoes.

[.....The point is that being left in the back bedroom is still basically the same as crating. It's being left in a safe spot while you aren't there to supervise.]

5 comments:

  1. I think it depends on the dog. I do believe that for some a crate is a safe haven and they love their safe quiet place.

    I think that some just hate it. Jasmine hated the idea - not of the crate, but being enclosed ergo separated from the 'rest of the pack'. Didn't mind the crate as long as the door was open.

    I did read enough testimonials when crating helped dogs with separation and other anxieties.

    I don't think that any one method works the same for every dog. I think that every decision needs to be based on individual needs of each dog.

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  2. All the tools we use with our dogs are unnatural. Leashes, collars, etc.

    Making an issue out of one of them makes no sense. The argument heard a lot against crating: it is abused a lot. Are not all tools we use abused a lot? In that case the leash is probably even worse then a crate.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Dog Mama That is absolutely true. And we all know there is a black sheep - or 800 - out there, for whom crating will not be possible. But there are always alternative means, methods, etc. (For ex, I plan to crate train, but I plan to have a dog sitter, so she won't be in there very much anyway.)

    Not every method works for the same dog. Thank you for saying that. That needs to be said in just about every dog related anything everywhere.

    I was just saying to the world... don't jump down my throat for using a tool that works for my dog. Not me. My dog. Point being, the crate IS NOT ABOUT ME OR WHAT I WANT, but about what she needs. =]
    And you know how we are about our doggy's needs!

    @Kenzo It is abused a lot. (I also never EVER let my dogs offlead unless in an enclosed area...haha. Safety first, even though I know I can trust them. Once saw a trustworthy dog bolt into traffic and get smooshed. I will not take that chance.)

    And that... is an issue. A dog should not spend all day or all of her life in a crate. That's just not fair. But she also should not spend her whole life attached my a choke chain and a metal leash to what couldn't even be classified as a proper dog box. I see that much more than any crate abuse.

    *Sigh* darn dog owners!

    TY for the comments!

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  4. All 3 of mine LOVE their crates. One crate doesnt have a door on it so they go in and out as they please, the other crate does have a door but its seldom "locked".

    Its funny to see Dojo (my big ass german shepard) opening the crate door with his nose, pushing it open to go inside. He loves it there.

    This could be the issue of the emotional loop. Humans projecting their negative feelings onto their dogs and dogs create negative associations with the object (in this case a crate).

    Great post JJ...you present the info very well...very interesting :-)

    ReplyDelete
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