“Stay safe, Penni….see you soon.” These are my thoughts, hopes, and prayers when I leave my girl home alone. Nowadays, Penni is safe to be left in the house to roam as she will, with the option to go into her crate if she wishes to….and often times she does. As a pup and a young adult dog, she would rest, securely on a break in her crate. This was the same for previous dogs. When dogs get to the elderly age point in their lives, crating when left alone once again becomes a more secure place for them to be. Reduction in vision, hearing, and the emergence of a bit of incontinence makes this a safer option for our older loves.
So why crate when left alone?? Have you ever seen the movie, Marley and Me….that’s why!!! Dogs are, well, dogs. They get lonely, they get upset, they get jealous, but they have few ways to express these emotions (Yes!! I said emotions!!) Maybe it would be different if they could write you a letter, send you a text, or take a selfie of their sad face so you would know how they feel….or, how they are experiencing life right at that moment. Some of the avenues they do have is to tear things up, leave you a potty present, or attack that thing that smells REALLY good sometimes (to a dog’s nose) and empty it…eating all of the contents….then throwing it up on your couch!! Sound familiar??
Unfortunately, thousands of dogs are re-homed, or end up in shelters every year due to these types of activities mentioned above. Is it the dog’s fault?? Not at all…they are talking to you in the only language they have. If we are not listening, they will talk louder!! I am a huge believer that if more doggy homes would incorporate crate training into their puppy/dog’s lives we would have a lot less dogs in shelters and rescues. Sometimes, stuff is going to happen…it just is…but if it is only once in awhile, more homes would be willing to work with it.
Please allow your dog to feel secure when you leave her alone….please incorporate a crate into your dog’s life. Let me show you Penni ‘s crate….it is a colossal crate. Does that sound huge…well, it kind of is….
….this is her den. Notice the water holder attached to grid wall? I don’t like leaving my dogs without water. If I get delayed for some unexpected reason, I don’t want them with water. If they have to potty because of an emergency or something that delays me…okay, we will deal with that, but leaving them without water is not an option to me.
Also, when Penni was a younger dog, I could not give her a padded bed inside her crate. She would tear it up. I used a couple of levels of fluffies for cushion and warmth from the metal floor. This lasted for a couple of years, then somewhere in her 3rd year, I was able to incorporate a padded bed into her crate. She is very comfy in there!!
So once again, the crate should be big enough for them to stand up, turn around, change position, and lay normally. You will have a happy dog!!
Basically, that’s it for crate training. Make it a happy place, and your dog will feel secure. You can offer diversions, such as Kong’s filled with treats if you have a very exuberant complainer….give it time, and be creative. Any thoughts or suggestions??
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