When you get your Westie you will likely find he loves spaces under tables, behind the couch, under the bed….small, confined areas. It is a rare Westie who doesn’t like that ‘confined’ feeling. This is because dogs have descended from wolves. They are naturally ‘den animals’. Most dogs love the security of a ‘den’. But we have taken them out of their natural lives and placed them into our homes. And many times, this means losing their ‘den’.
We can return that den to them by providing them with a crate. Starting as a puppy, give your little one a crate and make it a happy place.
Not convinced? Think about what happens to your puppy during his normal life experiences.
Your puppy goes many places where he is likely to be crated:
- to the groomer
- to the vet
When your puppy is in a car, if you don’t confine him, the risks are just as great as they are to a child. If you don’t use a seat belt harness, then a crate is the only other thing available to keep him safe. (Please keep him in the back seat, away from the air bags!) If your dog is not crate trained, these things are all going to cause him stress and stress out the humans around him.
If your dog has a serious illness at some time in his life, he may go to an animal hospital where they will crate him. The additional stress of the crate if he is not trained to one, could be enough to make the illness worse, even onto death.
If you want to stay at a hotel and go out to dinner without your dog, a crate is the only way. Maybe you want to go to a doggie function such as a seminar or a fun trial. Dogs must be crated during portions of these events. You need to take an airplane trip….you need to put your dog in a small bag under the seat. How can you do any of these things if the dog is not crate trained?
A dog that is not crate trained is going to lead a very confined life because it is just too difficult to take the dog with you. And if your dog ever needs to go into Rescue, crate training is a must! Can you imagine the difficulties of being a foster home when you get a dog who is not crate trained? If your dog gets lost or stolen and ends up in a shelter, the crating may cause enough stress for him to fail the temperament testing. He could be put down before you locate him.
Please, do your dog a huge favor and crate train him. This doesn’t mean he has to be crated every day or every night. It just means he has to be comfortable and well-behaved when he is crated. You will find help in doing this at http://thedogspeaks.com/artcrate.htm