Is Crate Training Cruel?

Earlier in the week, this Facebook post showed up on my
timeline from an eco-lifestyle website : “Crate training is cruel. How did you
break your dog(s)?”
I reread it. Yup, I did read it correctly. 
My blood started
to boil, because my initial thought was that this was posted by someone just
trying to create controversy, get people talking and likely didn’t even own a
dog. {Working in the media, I fully understand it, but still … }
Knowing that the best way to communicate your point of view
is to stay calm, understand the other point of view and present your argument
in a fact-based way.  So, I asked them
why they thought it was cruel. Several other people went off on rants for and
against it until finally the website responded with this:
“Clarification: Crate training as a way of leaving a dog
locked in there for multiple hours and as punishment is cruel. We’d like to
know about stories where people used alternate ways to crate train. Anyone?”

My thought then, was: Well, you obviously don’t know a thing about crate training if that’s what you think it is. But, I didn’t post it. 
Now, I’m no dog trainer, nor was I particularly good at
leaving Toby in his crate for long periods of time because he was such a cute
puppy and I really wanted to play with him. But, I knew the benefits of crate
training and am 100 percent happy I did it. I also recommend it to anyone who
is introducing a new puppy, or dog, into their house.
Crate training provides a safe, den-like spot, for your pet.
As a puppy, it keeps them safe from getting into things they shouldn’t be while
you are not immediately able to supervise them. It’s a good way to house break
them. It makes traveling with them easier, because they are more willing to go
in a bag, crate or other enclosure to keep them secure.
What do you think of crate training?

12 thoughts on “Is Crate Training Cruel?

  1. I've heard nothing but good things about crate training. Myself, I haven't tried it (and probably should have with CindyLu!) You're right, whoever posted that obviously didn't know what they were talking about.

  2. In my humble opinion, I would never crate any of my dogs. My home is dog-proofed. A 'cage' is a 'cage' no matter how you look at it. : )

  3. I don't have dogs, but am glad every day that my cats are 'crate trained' as trips to the vet are simple and non-stressful, as are car rides, and during an emergency evacuation it would be priceless. I have lost track of the number of clients at the cat hospital where I work who call and say they can't make their appt as the cat heard the carrier door clank and is now hiding under the bed… Here is an interesting link on crate training cats: http://www.mmilani.com/feline-crate-training.html

  4. I'm torn here; on the one hand, I think dogs should know what a crate is and be somewhat compfortable in one (incase vet stays are needed) but on the other my bird lives in a cage. My dog is not a bird, she is my baby

  5. I haven't tried crate training. I definitely like the thought of it as a way to safely manage your pup when you aren't home to supervise and do so yourself. I've heard that it's great for house training, and can help with separation anxiety, depending on the "method" you are employing. However, in my house, typically somebody is ALWAYS home, and a crate that's Doberman sized is very big, and we just didn't have the room. So. No crate here, for Elka, anyway. My fiance is apparently against them, not in way that means he thinks that they're cruel, but rather wonders what the point is.

  6. Yogi was only left in his crate a few times when I left the house and he was very young. I can only assume it was those times that made his crate his safe place. He loves it and goes there when he wants to get away or when he decides that its bed time but th humans are still awake and annoying him. I even TRY to get him to sleep in the bed and many nights he leaves to go to his crate. Clearly he does not think its cruel.

  7. Crate training is a good thing. It gives them their spot to feel safe and secure and each of my pups know which is theirs. Keeps them out of trouble and safe when I cant be home.

  8. I am all for crate training when done properly. I have crate trained all my dogs. The crates are no longer needed but are still up and the doors left open because that is where one of my dogs nap, that is his comfort zone.

  9. Crate traing is perfectly ok if done properly. Kirby was crate trained and to this day when I leave him to go to work I put him in my office which has a puppy gate on the door. He has open access to the room with all his toys, water, and three beds. Wher do I find him when I get home? Laying on his bed inside the crate!

    We had a foster one time who was so afraid at dinner time so he wouldn't eat. Once I started placing him in the crate for fifteen minutes at dinner time he ate all of his supper. A crate can be a safe place if used properly!

    We have also trained Kirby to be comfortable in a small soft crate when we do rally. He rests inside and is most content to watch all the commotion around him through the mesh windows.

  10. I didn't crate train my first Lab and wished I had. When I got my second Lab we crate trained her. She loves her crate-it's her safe place. We don't even close the door anymore to it- she goes in it even when we are home and snores to beat the band.

  11. Only in rare cases. YoYo of the White Dog Army stayed with us on his way home. He was abused by being put in a crate and having it used as a soccer ball so he was terrified and training him would have been evil. Our Mesa was locked in a crate for almost 9 months without getting out and is so terrified she will hurt herself in an attempt to get out

    Stop on by for a visit

  12. OK this is crazy! Both our dogs love their crates and even when the door is open when they want a break they go in on their own to be left alone. Crate training is not cruel at all!

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