Doghealth — Cage Advice. We get asked a lot why do dogs need cages! Or put another

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Cage Advice. We get asked a lot why do dogs need cages! Or put another way, "Isn’t it cruel to cage them?"

Firstly think of the crate as a safe place for your dog and a training aid, not a prison. There will be times when for your convenience you might think of crating your dog but this should never be done in a way that is either punitive or exclusive. Otherwise you just get an unhappy dog who will identify what should be his safe space with some form of punishment.

Crate training
1.    Puppy Training, most specifically for potty training. PLUS, if a puppy is crate trained at the start of his life this will avoid potential problems later on. An untrained dog can get out of a crate (even a very strong one) and we see pictures of crates where the dog has forced himself through the metal and even bitten through it. A dog should never be left unattended in a cage unless the owner is sure that it is trained. Some owners crate powerful dogs with no training and then complain when the crate is damaged or worse the dog injured through such irresponsible ownership, so do not go that way!

2.    Crates give a dog a safe space. In the wild a dog will find a den for its own safety. Ideally, the dog will have free access to his den, which should have blankets and toys in. ( SELLING PLUG – this is why we have designed a range of cages with up and over doors, as when left open the door is not swinging loose!)

3.    Managing visitors. Where nervous guests and new dogs come to your house, caging allows you to manage the interaction more safely and helps to calm nervous animals and prevent aggressive reactions

4.    Travel. A cage increases the safety of your dog when traveling (and in some countries the law requires animals in transit to be so secured). It will calm a dog in transit (especially as he will have to lie down when in the crate) so also useful when visiting new locations, e.g. vet or groomer.

5.    Safety. I had a dog which once chewed thought he electric cable for my freezer. My rage at almost losing lots of frozen food was somewhat mitigated by relief that rover wasn’t a black and charred pile of dust on the floor. Some dogs are destructive (or rather over playful) and crating may well be necessary where such destruction takes place. But remember, chewing is a consequence of boredom, so managing this behaviour means a lot more than just relying on a crate!

The next question we get asked is what size, but I will leave that for another day...

Have a look at our cages here


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