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Dens prove essential in training, security

A crate is an essential tool when training your dog. A crate creates a safe environment for your pet when he is unattended and is a must when housebreaking your dog.

After a proper introduction to a crate, it will become your pet’s den and he will be perfectly content when inside.

First, it is important to purchase the properly sized crate. Your dog should have room to stand up and turn around comfortably in the crate with the door shut.

To accomplish this, the size of the crate should be approximately one and a half times the dog’s length, not including the tail. Crates come in many different sizes, so finding a good fit will be fairly easy. They can be purchased at big box store or a pet specialty store.

There are many different types of crates. One type is a plastic construction crate. They may also be called an airline crate.

They have wire vents on the sides and a wire front door. These types of crates offer a closed-in, or den feeling.

Another popular type of crate is a wire crate. A wire crate has wire construction on three sides and the top, with a wire door on the front.

The bottom has a metal or plastic tray that can be removed for easy cleaning. Some dogs do not like the more open feeling that these crates create.

Both the plastic and wire crates come in a variety of colors. You can also find decorator crates that have a wicker look to them and crates that fold up for easy storage.

Crate training can aid in solving a number of behavior problems, including: separation anxiety, housetraining, chewing, and unruly behavior.

The confining nature of the crates help will you maintain control of your dog and prevents the dog from making mistakes that can cause a training setback.

To properly introduce a crate, make it inviting to your pet. Put a comfortable bed, your dog’s favorite toy and maybe some treats inside.

The treats will encourage him to enter the crate. Let him enter on his own and don’t force him.

He may not enter all-the-way at first, but keep encouraging him and he will eventually make it in. At first, shut the door for only small periods of time and while you are in the room with him.

Then start leaving the room for small period of time. After he gets accustomed to staying in the crate for several minutes, he will be ready to stay in there at night or when you are gone from the house.

Be sure to always remove his collar before crating your dog.

Try not to leave your dog in his crate for more than three to four hours at a time during the day.

Extended period of time in a crate will cause your dog to feel confined and frustrated. Also, be sure not to use a crate as punishment. His crate should be his safe place, not a time out.

With proper introduction, a crate will become your dog’s favorite place in the house. Dogs are den animals and the crate will simulate the close, dark effect of a den.

This is often soothing to a dog and allows them to instinctively feel safe while in his crate. Take time and choose the best crate for your dog and everyone will be happier. Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker, The BARKer Shop