Crate training can be a controversial topic. Some people worry that their dog will feel claustrophobic or like he’s in “doggy jail.” They don’t want their dog to feel lonely or scared inside a crate. So, why do many trainers and loving dog owners swear by crate training?

Crate training is beneficial for many reasons. Dogs are den animals, so when they are tired, stressed or scared, they like to retreat to a safe, quiet and enclosed space. When you crate train your dog, you provide a designated safe space for them.

Introducing a rescue or older dog to crate training can be a lot more difficult than crate training a young puppy, but there are so many benefits that make all the hard work worth it.

Here are my top 5 reasons for crate training Archie:

1. Creating a Safe Haven
Even if your dog doesn’t normally suffer from anxiety, they may still feel overtired, stressed, or overstimulated at times when company visits or if something noisy or unfamiliar is happening. When your pup has a cozy crate to call his own, he’ll know where to go when he needs some peace and quiet – and you’ll know exactly where to find him. Not only that, but natural disasters are becoming more common in many areas and having a crate where your pup can hide, travel or wait can help keep them safe and calm until you reach safety or help arrives.

2. Easing Anxiety
If you have a pup who does suffer from anxiety, whether they struggle with separation anxiety on a regular basis or fear of rare occurrences like fireworks or thunderstorms only every once in a while, making a safe space for them in a crate has been shown to help reduce anxiety. Crate training can also help to ease your pet’s anxiety if they have to visit the vet since many vets ask you to drop off your pup early to be prepped and wait in a crate or kennel before procedures.

3. Safety When Traveling
Yes, the van in the picture is mine – a driver crossed the center lane and hit me head-on. I was so thankful at the time that Scout wasn’t in the car, but from that day on I have always secured him and now Archie. Crate training Archie now will make it a lot easier and safer for him on our travels. This is why I chose the Impact Collapsible Crate – it conveniently folds down to only 8 inches, which is so helpful for humans, like me, who love to travel with their pups! Use affiliate code ARCHIESPICKS15 for 15% off your purchase!

4. Recovery from Surgery or Injury
While Archie hasn’t had any health problems yet, most dogs will experience an injury, illness, or require surgery (at the very least for a spay or neuter) during their lifetime. Being crate trained can make recovery not only easier but also quicker because your pup will be able to stay comfortable and calm in a safe and secure environment so they won’t be tempted to overdo things or re-injure themselves.

5. Safety When Home Alone
You’ve probably seen the funny videos of pet parents discovering the mess their pet made when they were home alone. The truth is, dogs left with free roam of the house do often get into trouble, and sometimes the results are dangerous instead of funny. Crate training your pup for when you have to leave them home alone not only protects your home, it also protects your pup from eating things that could be poisonous to them or might cause a blockage that could be life-threatening or require an expensive surgery and lengthy recovery.

One last thing to note is that crate training doesn’t have to be black and white – you can crate train your pup for when it’s needed and still let them sleep in your bed at night! But it can be really helpful for those times when they need to be crated for their safety so that they can feel comfortable, calm and secure in their own familiar “den.”

I hope sharing my reasons for crate training Archie is helpful to you. Please share your experience in the comments: Have you crate trained your pup? What were the benefits? If you’re considering crate training your pup, do you have any questions?

In part two of this blog series, I’m going to address some of the common struggles people often face with crate training, and I would love to answer any questions you have!