Zen and the Art of Dog

The Three Most Important Reasons for Crate Training an Adult Dog

When we adopted Denver, the shelter asked us if we were considering crating him. As first time dog owners, the concept was abhorrent to us. Why in the world would we lock up our precious pup? Of course, Denver would be allowed to have access to all areas of our home.Foot meet mouth. How wrong we were! Don’t make our mistake. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should crate train your dog.


Denver had extreme separation anxiety when he first came home with us. We would have to leave like ninjas or he would try to run out the door after us. When he heard the door shut, he would run up to it and howl his dark night of the soul howl for hours. He chewed up shoes or anything plastic that was within his reach which could have caused serious harm to his digestive tract. 

When we would return home, he was clearly super stressed–heart rate elevated and panting. It also launched a cycle of bad behavior where he would cry when we left and be overly excited (i.e. jumping on us, nipping at our shoes and ankles, etc) when we got home.
Crating keeps your dog safely confined to one area. When crate trained properly, dogs learn that their crate is their haven. Before crate training, Denver would work himself into a frenzy until our return. Now, he will relax and sleep in his crate until our return.


My sister’s rescue dog Bailey was kept outside for the first year of her life. Consequentially, she is terrified of rain. Even the gentle pitter-patter of a gentle rain will send her into full body trembles.

When you teach a dog that their crate is their haven, it gives them a place to go when they need a place to feel secure. Bailey will voluntarily go into her crate during a storm and lay down on her bed. 


Whether you plan on traveling with or without your dog, crate training is essential. If you are driving with your dog, using a crate is much safer for both dog and driver. If you are flying with your dog, you don’t want to be *that person* whose dog is going nuts in their crate on a 3 hour flight. This could also be dangerous for your dog since the atmosphere is thinner and a distressed dog may not be getting enough oxygen.If you plan on ever boarding your dog, they will need to be crate trained. Most boarding facilities utilize crates to keep dogs separated at night. 

Those are the three top reasons why you should crate train your dog! Let me know what you think about crate training in the comments below.

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