Is a dog crate inhumane?

Short answer – no

Long answer – definitely not.

Let me explain. I have trained all of my foster dogs (except the first one), to love their crates. I have trained other people’s dogs to love their crates. None of the dogs that I had trained hated their crates. I train the dogs to consider their crates are the best place on Earth, the place to go and rest, the place to go and expect rewards, the place to “hide” when they feel uneasy/frightened.

The crate triggers a den instinct in the mind of a dog. Dogs are relatives of Wolves. Observe the wolves in the wild (Natl Geographic) and you will understand what a den means to these Canines. Everytime a dog wants to sleep, it seeks out a place that has something covering it’s head. The shorter the height, the better the dog feels. Observe where your dog sleeps in the night. Ofcourse not all dogs will sleep under furniture if they find some other place more comfortable. For example: A cooler, soft surface and closer to YOU might be more tempting than a shelter over the head. However, if the dog gets startled (ex: fireworks or lound noises) the first thing it would do is run as far away from the source as possible. Then find shelter under your bed/desk/chair. In my case, I train the dogs to consider their crate to be similar to “Noah’s Ark”. At the same time, a crate is not a holding cell. Your dog needs to get out of the crate at regular intervals for good lengths of time to actually love the crate. Else the dog will consider the crate a “no fun place”.

I never consider the dog’s crate as a place for punishment. It should be the place where the dog sleeps, settles down and enjoys watching everyone in the house go about doing their business. Some people send the dog into the crate as a punishment and this will make the dog resent the crate. Hardly the unexpected reaction from a dog.

If you train your dog to enjoy being in it’s crate you can leave the house without having to worry about your house being destroyed when you return. You need not worry about the dog crying. You need not worry about the dog excreting in the house. You need not worry about two dogs in your house fighting each other. You need not worry about taking the dog out (dog travels in the crate). You need not worry about the dog biting your guests or jumping on them. You need not worry about the dog running away from the house when he/she is afraid. They will run into the crate and cower. Your dog will calm down when it doesn’t have too much room to run. The default reaction for a dog when confined to small spaces is to fall asleep.

So take my word, crate train your dog. Will save you a lot of effort. One of the first thing that helps in training a “bad” dog is to restrict its movement. That’s where a crate becomes extremely useful. Is it inhumane to lower the dog’s excitement in the house? Would you rather be happy to see your favourite furniture chewed up? Would you be happy when your best friend gets knocked over by your loving German Shepherd? Would you be happy when he/she tells you that he/she cannot meet you at your place because he/she is afraid of your dog? Think about it.

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