Advice: A Freebie From Me

Why A Crate Should Be Used While You Are Out (from the dogs perspective.)

Photo has nothing to do with topic but it's awesome

Think of your dogs crate as his home and your house as his city.

First case scenario...He is left alone with his "home" to go to.

Your dog is used to having his human family entertaining him throughout the day.Even if you are not interacting with your dog he is observing everything you do and this keeps his mind occupied.

However today Dad goes to work, the kids go to school and mom runs errands , goes to the club to work out and gets her hair cut. Nobody is home with the dog. He gets bored and walks around his "city" for awhile. It is quiet and strange but there is a place he feels comfortable. "home" However before he goes "home" he looks around for something to do. He finds his toy and takes it "home." However he may also find a shoe, remote control or important paper to take "home."  You will return home to find your dog asleep in his "home" With his prize or having just left his "home" to meet you at the door. It is almost guaranteed he will have chewed on something the first few times he is left alone like this. Under normal circumstances it will only be the one item. Do not yell at or spank the dog. This is your fault but you should still correct it if it is an item that is not his. Take the shoe (for example) out of his crate In the other hand  (out of sight) have something he is allowed to chew. Show him the shoe and say "not okay!" "No!" Make sure he looks at the shoe and then back at your face. If he won't look at your face he is unsure about what you are going to do and is avoiding. Gently but firmly take his face in your hands and turn it so he must look at you. again repeat "Not okay!" Give him time to relax and then give his, "okay " item and say "okay!" Then put the shoe down and watch to see if he bothers it. If he drops the "okay item and goes to investigate the shoe, immediately pick up the shoe and go through the whole process again until he no longer shows interest in the shoe and then (only then) put the shoe away.

Second case scenario... He is left in his "City" with no "home" to go to. OH BOY!

In this situation the dog is much like the "typical"  teenager.

In human terms... The typical teenager in a city that suddenly has no people will find mischief quickly.  Being in front of an electronics store and no one to stop the teenager from helping himself to whatever gadgets he or she has been wanting. The temptation is so great that it becomes an obsession very quickly. The teen begins to rationalize that it is not bad if nobody is there to care, after all they left the door open, That is an invitation right? They begin gathering until they have everything they want. Unless they have been taught very good values and have a set of rules and boundaries in this regard. The same is true of your dog.

Our dogs don't even have to go through the rationalization stage as they don't have morals until we teach them to respect rules. They go straight to it's okay they left this all for me. I am bored and everything is mine. Yippee! Yahoo! It is party time! They rummage through the "city" (your house) searching out all the things they want to investigate that you have taken away when you are home. While investigating They get carried away and shred paper, chew the couch cushions, unroll the tissue paper and pulverize it, turn the garbage pail over eat (possibly dangerous) trash and string the rest of it out arranging it to his satisfaction all over the "city" 

Remember they have no "home to even go to so, like a "Mall Rat" they may take a break and then go right back to vandalizing your home/their city. Better hope Mom's hair appointment is a short one!

Third case scenario... Since you have taken the time to Crate Train your puppy, he thinks of his crate as a Home/Den. You need to leave for the day... You put a toy in his "home" Tell him to go "Night, Night" He goes in willingly, You secure the door and cover his "home" with a sheet. You leave. he is aware that you left but...Oh wow, he has a toy! He begins playing with, sometimes chewing his toy and falls asleep. He may awaken a few times look around see nothing to stimulate his mind (because of the sheet) except his toy. He will either again play with the toy or simply go back to sleep, safe and comfortable in his "home." His "City" outside his "Home" is out of sight and out of mind. Your home is safe and so is your little buddy.

Please give this some thought... It is up to you whether your puppy thinks of his crate as a "home" or a "punishment" NEVER EVER EVER put your puppy in it's crate as a punishment. The only time you should ever put your puppy in his crate in a hurry is for it's safety. In this situation you may be mad but it will still be necessary to control the situation. Do not say anything in this case. Just put him in his crate, cover it and walk away. It will not be considered as punishment as it is a "keeping of order" as long as you don't speak to or spank your puppy it will be just as it is when the other dogs correct bad behavior. Only do this in the case of a safety issue.


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