One of the greatest joys we can experience in our lives is opening our homes -- and hearts -- to a pet. I have owned dogs my entire life, and can't imagine ever being without at least one canine companion. My family simply wouldn't be complete. I know a lot of other folks feel the same way, and plenty more are heading down that road for the first time as they welcome a new puppy into their world.
There are lots of different things a first-time owner needs to know about pups, but whenever anyone asks me for advice, I always give the same answer. It's important for owners to learn about the benefits of crate training a dog, and begin the process as soon as possible. I realize it can be a bit difficult for people to confine their puppy to a cage, especially when the little guy starts whimpering to be let out. But experts agree that crate training a dog is one of the most responsible steps you can take to provide a safe, secure environment for your furry friend.
Once you get over the initial "Aw, poor thing!" reaction to the idea of crate training a dog, you'll see that this technique actually has a number of benefits. Dogs have a natural instinct to create dens to retreat to. That's why they often like to sleep under chairs, tables, and blankets, and why they often try to dig up carpets or flooring before settling in for a nap. By crate training a dog, you'll be giving him the den he craves. In fact, new owners often express surprise that their pets soon start going into their cages voluntarily -- but that's just the den instinct kicking in.
Another benefit to crate training a dog -- and the one that most owners appreciate right off the bat -- is that dogs won't eliminate in the area where they sleep. This can help immensely when you're trying to potty train your little guy, and will minimize accidents and messes on carpeting or furniture. Of course, puppies have small bladders and can't always control what happens (especially if you're gone for eight straight hours or something), so a cage isn't meant to be a magical solution, but it does help significantly speed up the housebreaking process. I know plenty of owners who won't even attempt housebreaking without using a kennel.
It's completely understandable that a new pet owner would balk at the thought of crate training a dog. But the truth of the matter is that dogs often do much better when confined to a smaller area than when they have the run of the entire house. They feel safer and more secure when in their own den, and are less likely to make messes, chew things up, or suffer from separation anxiety. The benefits of crate training a dog are obvious. Please consider doing this for your pup!