Thursday, March 21, 2013

Crating Lily

Crate training is an increasingly popular type of dog training, helping to housebreak dogs and keep them out of mischief when their humans are away from home, as well as providing dogs with a "safe space" to retreat to if they so wish. Many rescue organizations recommend crate training to adopters, and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, the organization for whom we foster, requires that foster parents crate their foster dogs when they are not being supervised. Read more about crate training here.

beagle in crate - source

Eager to be a responsible doggie mama, when Peter and I decided to adopt a dog I automatically assumed that we would crate him/her. A rescue dog, I figured, would likely have been through a lot and would be particularly grateful to have a "safe space" to call his or her own. When we decided that Lily was the dog we wanted to adopt, though, we discovered that she had other ideas.

As I mentioned here, Lily HATES being crated. It makes her go a little crazy. If put in a crate, even with a treat and/or a familiar toy, she howls miserably and claws at the sides and will not stop until she is let out. And all this howling is from a dog who, despite being a beagle mix, is overall very quiet.

So, we do not crate Lily. We do not even own a crate for her. When we have a foster dog, she always looks very relieved when the foster dog gets put in the crate and she doesn't.

Of course, this situation is made significantly easier by the fact that from a training standpoint, Lily doesn't "need" a crate. She is reliably housebroken and totally non-destructive; in the entire time we've had her she has never once chewed anything except her toys. When we're not home she mostly just lays around and sleeps. If she was destructive when left alone or had housebreaking issues, we might have to re-evaluate the crate situation and try to come up with a way to make it work for her. However, we see no reason to force the issue when it makes no difference to us and she is clearly much happier without a crate.

"See Mom? I'm perfectly comfortable without a crate."

Do you crate your dog(s)?

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