Debunking some Pro Crate Arguments

Listening to a podcast, the other day, I heard some arguments on why the crate is an amazing tool. During the argumentation I started ranting against.
This gave me the idea to write down the pro arguments used in the podcast and my reflections on them.


House-training

Pro Crate Argument

When house-training a puppy, you just can’t beat using a crate. If you ever had a puppy, you have most certainly noticed that they are reluctant to soil in their own space. So making the space small enough for the puppy not wanting to use one area as a litter-tray, problem solved. Whenever we can’t keep an eye on them we put them in the crate, because the worst thing that can happen, during house-training, is an accident indoors.

Debunking

During this period we need to have time. Time to be able to watch and observe. Every time the puppy has woken up from a nap, eaten, had a drink or finished playing, we must take him out so that he can relieve himself. Locking him in a cage to take that job off me is downright cruel. It is cruel in the sense that we force him to hold on much longer and cause him great discomfort. Also in the end he will have no choice but to relieve himself within his own space and if this is reproduced, in the end he does not care. Something completely counterproductive and in essence it can be converted into learned helplessness, one of the saddest thing you can see in a dog. That is undoubtedly a lot worse than an accident indoors.

Puppies chew

Pro Crate Argument

Give your puppy some “legal” things to chew inside the crate whenever you can’t keep an eye on him. This way you know that he won’t chew on your dining room table.

Debunking

Give your puppy some “legal” things to chew and make sure that the “legal” thing is tastier than the dining room table. During this stage in the dog’s life you need to be with him. Take time off work or make sure someone else can be with him. He should never be left alone…

Calm Time

Pro Crate Argument

Crates are excellent for calm time. Whenever your dog is over excited, you tell him to go to his crate and you will most probably see him calm down pretty quick. He learns that the crate is the calm down area.

Debunking

Let your dog know he has a right to be calm. That he has a right to be relaxed. And whenever he is calm and relaxed, he will be left alone. Whatever place he might be in. I find it terrible that a dog will only be able to relax when he is in a crate.

Dogs wants to den

Pro argument

A crat is like a den and dogs like to den. It’s a safe haven, the place where they feel safe.

Debunking

Firstly – dogs don’t den.
Secondly – Does your dog really need a place to feel safe? In his own home? Excuse me, but seriously…

When we have visitors

Pro Crate Argument

It is so handy to be able to put your dog the crate (and even better if the crate is in another room) when you have visitors in your home. You also get rid of the hassle at the door.

Debunking

If you can’t have people coming to your home because they don’t accept your dog – don’t have them coming over.
If you can’t have people coming to your home because your dog doesn’t accept them – don’t have them coming over.
Again, this is just downright cruel. Your home is your dog’s home. It becomes extremely stressful for a dog when he is not able to control what is going on in his own home (as for you).

Vet visits

Pro Crate Argument

Your dog might be crated at the vet. If he is used to be in a crate, there will be no problem crating him at the vet’s .

Debunking

Be with your dog. Don’t just leave your dog at the vet’s and go away. The whole situation is stressful and he needs you to be with him. For example, waking up after being sedated is a moment of great confusion and stress and can easily be turned into a trauma.
Be with your dog in bad situations.
Be there for your dog.
Be your dog’s best friend.


Jonas Thulin


In this article I am referring to the single dog as masculine – I don’t like to refer to a dog as “it” and apart from that I am just lazy. There is nothing more to it…

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