It wasn’t until about 30 years ago that people started putting their dogs into crates to transport them to shows and, eventually, to keep them from doing damage at home. Other countries find crating barbaric, but it’s become standard practice in the United States, sanctioned by all types of trainers.

Is crating merely for human convenience? Is there a scientific basis to the notion that dogs like their faux dens — to the point that they want to be locked into them?

I’ll be exploring all these questions in this week’s Friday Five question: Is crating okay?

P.S. I’ve got lots of articles defending crating. Anyone care to offer the counter argument? I’m especially eager to hear from people in other countries besides the U.S.

7 thoughts on “The Friday Five: Dog Crating”

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  2. Can’t wait to read it!
    On a personal note… Some dogs do prefer their crates. My Daisy prefers her crate when we are home. She seems to feel safest there, probably due to her past history as a puppy mill dog, but I always leave the door open. She doesn’t like it shut. Neighbor’s dog is the same way.

  3. Greyhounds are crated or cages at dog tracks for 20 to 22 hours a day. It is not okay.

    When I fostered, I put the hound in the crate while I was gone. Two out of three dogs didn’t mind.

    Lily minded. She peed and pooped in the crate. An expert said, “Put your other dog (Painter) in the same room with her while she’s crated and she won’t mind.” She minded. After about three days of fostering her, I took down the crate and she was fine.

  4. I think that the big ‘against’ argument is that it’s easy to abuse a crate. When used properly, I’m a crating fan.

    But some owners do overuse crates (leaving the dog in one for excessive periods, using crates that are too small, etc.) or use crates for punishment, and that’s definitely abusive.

    Some dogs really prefer the plastic crates that obscure their view of the home while some strongly prefer a wire crate from which they can still see their human families. Some experimentation and/or knowledge of your dog definitely helps when selecting the type of crate you plan to use at home.

    Like most training tools, it’s best to understand how to use them properly before adding them to your routine. ANY training tool, from your voice to a leash to a collar to a crate can become abusive if used incorrectly.

  5. Crating of dogs in the home seems not to be a a wide-used practice in Denmark. Nobody I know of, from the dog club, the dog training classes or all the other people I meet in the area we live keep their dogs in crates. It is also not a topic. Nobody ever asked me “do you keep your dog in a crate”, or “what crate do you think is best”.

    When trying to google the subject in Danish I find basically two things. People trying to fight crating on dogshows in forums and debate sites. But nothing on that on newssites, animal welfare organisations, etc. On one such a forum I found just one person complaining about his neighbour having his dog in crate when he left the home. Thats all. There doesn’t seem to be a discussion going on about keeping your dogs in crates at home. And my guess is that’s because people don’t do it at least on a large scale.

    When trying to find recommendations in favor of the use of crates for your dog I basically only found articles recommending it for puppies to prevent them from running through the whole house until they were housebroken. But the same article also strongly recommends to stop using the crate as soon as the puppy is housebroken. Here is a link to such an article in Danish (hope google can translate it for you).

    I found one pro crate with a wink 🙂 It recommends having your dog in a crate if your dog would disturb you in having s… I cannot post the link here because then my comment would probably be rejected. You can get it if you want to have it, send me a message on Twitter.

    1. Thanks very much for this; I suspected as much. Wonder why Americans are so crate-crazy; convenience, maybe? I might have to have you translate the R-rated one but I suspect “sexliv” is sexlife…

  6. This will be fun, especially in contrast to Europe. I can tell you from a shelter pov that crating to go to bed is a good way to prevent ongoing confusion with “out” time in the morning until the dog gets accustomed to the rhythm of the household. They are also useful when introducing a dog to a multi-dog household. As with many tools, crates can be positive when used properly and when necessary.

    It is easily abused for convenience in my experience where some people think it’s okay to crate their dogs when they leave the house, even all day. I assume people think this takes the place and expense of training. Ridiculous, but…

    Tashi won’t have any of it, was dog equivalent of insulted when I presented one with fluffy pillow and all…he pulled the pillow out.

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