Musings from our Founder – The crate is a jail or is it?!

This week has been an interesting one as with two simple social posts, nothing out of the ordinary or unusual for us, both our Instagram and TikTok have blown up! And when I say blown up I mean millions of people from across the world are finding our work and commenting on what we do. Now realistically I appreciate we are still small fry in the realms of social media, yet whatever your presence on any platform, I have learnt and had to grow a pretty thick skin to the negativity that, all too often, follows a post!

So what is this negativity you might ask? Well it’s about the crate! Queue keyboard warriors: 

  • “The crate is a jail” 
  • “That Poor Dog”
  • “People who raise dogs in crates are lowlifes”
  • “Release the Dog” followed by copious amounts of sad or angry emojis; 
  • And much to my amusement – “What happens when your dog has exploding diarrhoea?!” 

and so the trolling goes on – but you get the idea! 

Now whilst I appreciate that the crate in some countries is illegal and I am very likely preaching to the converted who are reading, I feel it’s important to share my views of the crate and why I believe crate training is a truly valuable resource and tool to have for the benefit of your dog’s wellbeing. 

We would love to hear more stories of why you use the crate for your dogs, or why you started and we will be sure to post about them in the coming weeks! 

Case 1: The Crate Training Perfect Model 

My sister Gem and her dog Finn were quick to see the benefit of the crate training and he became well versed with his space from when he first arrived at home. Throughout puppyhood the crate allowed Finn to quickly learn boundaries, toilet training and find space to get adequate rest inbetween play. Finn truly still loves a “crated” cosy, cave-like space and will often take himself off to it when he needs a bit of space.

 

Case 2: Learning the benefit of Crate Training later in life

Now when it comes to Theo and my experience with the crate it has been a little different. Theo, age 5, Springer x Poodle, high energy, exceptionally intelligent, was not a fan of the crate. And in all honesty my wife and I were a little lacking in our resilience to train him effectively at a young age. So for a time we gave up, despite Gem’s nagging! 

Two years into our dog child’s life and we welcomed our first human child. It became quickly apparent that Theo needed a space that was his own that he could retreat to in the chaos of having a child. Without a crate, Theo would try to find a space to hide, tucked under the bed, sofa or chair. He also developed separation anxiety when we were not with him. 

So upon seeking professional advice from a dog behaviourist and with a little help from YouTube we worked with Theo to help teach him that the crate could be his safe space. In turn this has also helped us train our children! Theo now comes and goes as he pleases from his open style crate and our children have learnt not to bother him when he is resting even when the door is most often open. 

Case 3: Crate Training for Rescue Dogs 

Just over a year ago our parents took the decision to foster, very quickly choosing to adopt, rescue dog Loki from Spain. Arriving at 10 months old, already in his short life, he had been kicked onto the streets, attacked by other dogs and although not confirmed we believe had certainly received cruel treatment at the hands of humans. For the first week he was in constant fight or flight and would only sleep for a short period of time standing up! However the crate to him has been his saving grace, he treats it much like a child would their own cot or bedroom. He chooses to use his crate to rest, hide toys, treats and sometimes a toilet roll or two! And at bedtime he simply tucks himself in only to occasionally stir to his resident teasing cat passing in the night!

Case 4: Crate Training for Hope the Disabled Dog

Our animal mad friend, Kerry has dedicated much of her life to animals often fostering and rescuing those in need. Her most recent addition is Hope. Hope’s start in life is particularly sad and having been so badly mistreated as a young puppy she lost all use of her back legs, has ongoing medical issues and cannot fully empty her bladder which requires support manually. Whilst Kerry has always appreciated the benefits of the crate she had rarely used one for her other dogs. However for Hope the crate has been vital to the home and has allowed her to stay safe overnight and for the short periods in the day when our dogs can’t be immediately supervised. We are so pleased to have been able to provide Hope with her own pet furniture and would also like to extend a big congratulations on her recent fundraising challenge of climbing Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon). You can follow Hope’s journey on Facebook or Instagram

Case 5: Crate Training for Vet Stays and Recovery

Friend and pet industry photographer Hattie Day, has three beautiful dogs all of whom enjoy the crate space. Hattie has been most grateful for the benefit of crate training in her most recent time of need with youngest Cally who following an accident required emergency surgery to amputate part of her tail. After surgery it was advised that Cally limit her tail wagging, and for any dog that’s tricky but for a spaniel cross that’s a big ask! Cally has therefore needed extended periods of crate rest combined with plenty of enrichment to ensure a good recovery. We are wishing Cally a continued speedy recovery and hope you are bouncing around with your family soon. 

My summary! Crate Training is a Valuable Skill

So in summary there are plenty of reasons to use the crate for the wellbeing of your dog. In fact I know we’ve written an extended article or two in the past! But I hope my musings act as a reminder of why specifically crate training will always be a truly valuable skill for our dogs to be comfortable with whether or not they consistently use a crate space in the home. 

And finally to the trollers who questioned “what happens when your dog has exploding diarrhoea”? My answer: 

“Grab yourself a pet safe non toxic upholstery / furniture cleaner, cloth and water. Clean it up and be thankful it’s not on your bed, carpet or sofa!”

Until my next musings, enjoy adventures with your pets! 

 

 

 

Inspiring dog professionals with great content:

Calm Canine Academy are a group of dog trainers and behaviourists offering a variety of online and private coaching for training and mental well being of dogs. They also offer lots of free training content. In this specific video they share 3 top tips for crate training https://www.instagram.com/p/CkdlEbmI2TU/

Natalie Brookes founder of Binky’s Dog Training offers private 1-2-1 training, bespoke intensive training, pack walks for dogs in training and shadowing for aspiring walking professionals. In this video Natiali  Rehoming and rescuing plus great training advice https://www.instagram.com/reel/CSej1zdjU3-/

Further Reading:

Five Top tips on how to introduce your dog to their new crate

Reasons Dogs are Crate Trained

Why a crate is important for a happy balanced dog

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