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Information Connection: Training Your Dog to Crate

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Where does your dog sleep?

By Sally the Trainer, of
For more tips on helping your dog be his or her best, see

  Your pooch is entitled to his or her own bedroom, the crate.  (I  prefer the fold-out metal pen you can get at the pet store.  It comes in 3 sizes and has no top or bottom. It's portable and sets up inside and outside. Great for traveling and taking your dog to unfamiliar places or visiting Aunt May.) I'm a crate enthusiast for the following reasons:

1.  It serves as a safe place, like playpen, for a puppy. Just like a human child, you sometimes need to put the "baby" someplace to play with its toys while you take a shower or entertain an important phone call. That way, you're confident the dog is not destroying anything or getting hurt.  ometimes you just need a break from all the puppy antics.  Make the playpen fun with a Kong or favorite toys, NEVER a punishment.  Leave the door open when the dog is not in it so he can wander in and out or get toys or just take a nap on his own.  Our pups sleep in there at night, next to our bed so they can sleep and play at their discretion.  We are secure in the knowledge the puppy is safe and close. (And gets a full night sleep as well.) When they are about a year old they can sleep in or out of the pen.  It's up to them.

2.  We use the pen/crate for an adult dog mainly for traveling because we take the dog everywhere.  Some hotels feel a little less reticent about a "dog in training" if the pooch sleeps in his pen.  On the flip side, the dog has something very familiar and safe, especially in a nervous situation like our training  trips to San Francisco.  The bustling city can be initially overwhelming, and the crate with his toys in the hotel room is very comforting.  (They usually walk themselves in and lie down as if to say, "Don't bug me. I'm done working for the day.")  We respect his crate time.

3.  Also if your pooch ever needs to be crated for any reason, he won't freak out. The airplane,  groomer and the vet come into mind.

I know there are some strong opinions about crating a pet. I use it as a tool like a child's playpen. It has definite benefits, if you use it wisely. 

Special note on Sally's Angels: is a fun site about and for service dogs.  Service dogs are our passion. Be sure to visit TLCSD, Tender Loving Canine Service dogs, to read about their unique way of training service dogs. And make sure to follow our monthly progress report of a TLCSD dog in training. Service Dogs really do make a difference in people's lives. They truly are angels.

Thanks for the free tips, Sally. Mindconnection is proud to host your article, and we recommend to anyone interested in dogs.
-- Mark Lamendola,

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Dog Quotes
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  • Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
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  • If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
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  • My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money.
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  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
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  • If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
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  • You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'
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  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
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  • If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.
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  • My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.
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