Dispelling the Myth that Dog Crates are Cruel

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Dispelling the Myth that Dog Crates are Cruel

by Jon Leger

It's a common misunderstanding that putting a dog into a crate while you're away at work or shopping is cruel. This myth is considered valid because it is considered punishment to put a human in a small crate (i.e. a prison cell), but this is not the case with dogs.

Dogs are not people, and should not be thought of as people. They do not respond to things the way people would. This is true of confined spaces as well. While most people find confined spaces disturbing, and may even be claustrophobic, dogs find security in enclosed spaces.

Have you ever noticed that your dog prefers to sleep in his dog house? Or if he's an indoor dog, that he prefers to sleep underneath furniture or in a corner?

This is because your dog feels safer in these places. With a wall behind his back, your dog doesn't have to worry about being attacked from behind. Even if your dog has never been attacked by anything in its life (and let's hope he hasn't!), it's instinctive to sleep in a protected space.

So when a dog is in a small enclosed space, such as a dog crate, he feels secure. It's his space, and he can rest comfortably knowing that he's safe.

However, you don't want the crate to be uncomfortable for your dog. You want a crate that's just big enough for him to turn around in. Avoid getting a crate that is too large for your dog, as he may use one half of the crate as a sleeping area and the other half as a bathroom!

If you must have a large crate for a small dog, put a blanket in the crate that covers the entire floor of the crate. This way your dog will see the entire space as his sleeping area.

Also, make sure no other pets (dogs or cats) use your dog's individual crate. Doing so will prevent him from seeing it as his own and he will lose his sense of security there.

As you can see, it's a bad idea to make human assumptions about our canine friends. Dog's like closed in spaces, so don't be afraid to let them stay in a crate while you're away at work.

You can learn how to crate train your dog with Jonathan's free dog training lessons.

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