To many pet owners, the idea of their dog sleeping or staying in their own crate seems cruel, like you are depriving them of your presence. But in reality, dogs are den animals that find comfort in their own space.
When dogs become anxious because of separation anxiety or even boredom, they can turn to more destructive behavior that can lead to destroyed furniture, damaged walls, and dismantled appliances. In a way, your pet is acting out because it doesn’t know its place in your place. And that’s where crating comes in as a remedy to dog anxiety and bad behavior.
Some people start the process of training their dogs when they are puppies, teaching them to sleep in a crate at night so they learn to control their bladder and bowels. This training works because dogs instinctively know that it’s a bad idea to relieve themselves in the same space they use to sleep. This is the best example of a dog’s den instinct.
The dog crate takes many forms, from the basic cage-like unit made with metal wires to the more elaborate custom designs made by the likes of B&B Custom Kennels for Dogs. Some owners have learned their dogs respond better to the crate experience if they have limited ability to see outside the crate. This keeps them more calm and docile, and less likely to get excited if they see someone pass by. Others just leave the crate door open and the dog goes in and out as it likes. It’s not uncommon for those dogs to be found resting quietly on their own in their open crate. Because your canine will associate their crate with safety, it also serves as a great way to travel with your dog, either on vacation or to the vet’s office.
You may think you’re doing your dog a favor by letting them sleep in your bed with you. But in reality, your dog is really claiming dominance over your space as its own. That may be because you haven’t provided your dog with its own space. It’s best for everyone involved to teach your dog the benefits of a crate. You can do that by feeding your dog in the crate, offering treats when it goes into the crate, creating a comfortable setting in the crate, and adding some favorite items of yours they have grown to love, like a slipper or sweater.