Everything about crate training

My dog is perfect, he would never destroy anything!

Come on, my dog doesn’t need such thing! I can handle him without torturing him!

He is such a good boy, but he needs his space! He would freak out if I closed him in a small cage.

I would never cage my dog! That’s so rude!

So why should you crate train your dog anyway? Because it’s good for him! 🀍 And for you. And for everyone else. That’s why.

When we adopted Pesto we were also pretty emotional and quite stupid. To be more precise I was. Erno just let me do it my way. We were familiar with the benefits of crate training. Besides, we were not just informed but we also had quite some experience with crate training dogs. As we were already in the rescue business for a few years. At the beginning (before Pesto) we were mostly fostering cats and small pets. Rarely we fostered dogs, and even if so, only for short periods of time. But we always had multiple foster cats, limited space and time so we crate trained all of our foster dogs from day one for their own, and for the cat’s safety. We had to make sure that none of the dogs would ever attack the resident cats. The secret of a functional multipet household, where everyone is happy and safe (and can also stay sane) is definitely crate training. EVERYONE has to have its own safe place where they can’t be hurt, and won’t hurt anyone else. Where they can recharge and rest. Where they can be their own bosses, queens and kings of their own kingdoms. This would make it so much easier for them to share the rest of their home with others.

Mascara’s safe place is his playpen. We call it his little room (he even knows when we send him to his room. It just seemed hilarious to me to teach my bunny the “go to your room” command which I use each time he is messing something up, so I did teach him. And it is funny af indeed), where he also has a litterbox, unlimited amount of hay, a bowl of fresh water, a big pillow (or more, depends on how many he chewed to death lately and how fast we restock) his toys, cardboard boxes and sticks, and plenty of space to run and jump and do whatever he wants. He spends in there the time we can’t superwise him, making sure that he won’t chew on plants, electronic wires, or anything else what could be dangerous for him to chew on. Our home is 100% bunny proof, but only 95% Mascara-proof. As he is so f*cking smart and creative when it comes to mischief and he always finds a way to do what he wants even if he knows he is not allowed to do certain things. So he is free in our home all the time when we are at home and awake and we can make sure he won’t kill himself. (Erno has this theory that Mascara is desperately trying to end his life but he can’t because I am always stopping him. Well, maybe? Idk, but as his momma I guess that’s my job). πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Chili’s and Mango’s safe place is the vertical space of our home. Cats love and need vertical space, especially if there are two or more of them, or if they are sharing their home with other species. Places where they can jump or climb up when they want some privacy, or where they can feel safe and they can rest. We have a very high cat tower, but besides that, we don’t have lots of secial furniture and hiding places specially arranged for our cats to be honest. But they love to chill on the top of the piano, the back of the sofa, on the kitchen counter etc. And they also love to hide in certain drawers, under our bedside tables, in my old doll house and so on. Basically they’ve found their own places in time and we just respected their choices.

The birds safe place is their cage. They are free in our bedroom when I can watch them. But they also sleep in their cage and they always return there if they get scared of anything or tired or hungry. It’s really their safe place. Also it is suspended so no one can get to them while they’re in there. Not even the cats can reach them, so they don’t just feel safe, they really ARE safe in there.

And our dogs safe place is their cage. Each with his own. They love sleeping with us in our bed. But they love sleeping in their cages as well. They have the most comfortable pillows with memory foam and stuff. So I bet they do. I mean.. I would sleep in there too, no joke. πŸ™ˆ Too bad I’m too big and I couldn’t fit in. But one of our friend’s daughter (3 y old) loves to go in there and read bedtime stories for the boys. She’s adorable.

And the boys are quite happy about it too,because they love that little monkey so much! 🀍 So for everyone’s sake, the boys have their own safe places as well. Because that’s only fair. And come on, if its comfy enough for a child I guess it can’t be that bad for the dogs either, right? πŸ˜‚

Tired pupp returning in his cage to get some rest. Love his awkward sleeping positions. 🀭

Anyway, as I said, at the beginning I refused to do crate training with Pesto. I was like no way. I do it with the fosters because it’s necessary and only temporary, but I didn’t decide to adopt this one to keep him in a cage. And that was probably the biggest (and only) mistake I made while raising Pesto. πŸ˜… I could have saved so much energy and time and frustration for both of us. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ I will never forget when we eventually ended up calling a dog behaviorist (on a side note that was the best decision we made while raising Pesto), to ask for advice because Pesto was so f*cking anxious and insecure and we were desperate, and the situation was way out of control. So we made an appointment and he came to visit us. After a while he observed our dog cage on the balcony. He started to laugh and he asked “are you f*cking serious?! You called me to give you advice while the solution to your problems is right there, on your balcony? Who’s time are you wasting? Yours or mine?”. πŸ˜‚ And he was right. So right! After his visit I still refused to set up the goddamn cage for a while. I wasn’t ready to accept that I was wrong. But then I finally gave up and ever since the only thing I regret is that I didn’t set it up before. Poor Pesto. He spent so many days crying until we came back home. It breaks my heart. He was missing us and he was scared to death each time that we left him behind for real and that we would never came back… And the truth is that he didn’t even needed us. He just needed a safe place. And when he got it, he stopped searching for safety only in us. He found safety in himself. He became relaxed and confident. 🀍 And with mr Frizz, well… We couldn’t have even kept him if it wasn’t for the cages. Because we would have become homeless people after he would have destroyed our entire house in like 3 days. πŸ˜‚ He was a hell of a destroyer. But crate training did its magic again.

So this method really helped us. It helped our dogs. And it helped tens of others, because we couldn’t foster that easily (if at all) otherwise. And our dogs love their cozy, comfy cages so much! When we leave them home and we forget to close the cages, we find them in there anyway when we return, and that’s the best reward. The satisfaction that I made the right choice. They sometimes choose to spend time in there even if we are home. Thanks to it, we managed to raise the most independent and confident dogs, who are selfless and therefore able to share their territory with anyone, anytime. Do yourself a favor and get your dog a cage. And start training asap. It’s easy, it’s fun, and you’ll both enjoy its benefits long term.

If you are still not convinced:

1. Do your research. Just type crate training in your browser. There are lots of specialists out there who can explain all this to you way better than I do. From a less subjective point of view. You’ll find all the details and all the advice you could ever need.

2. I hope that your dogs will never get sick or attacked. But if they do, and they’ll be put on cage rest they won’t mind it that much. That’s a very big thing, really. If they are not used to cages their recovery could be way more stressful for them.

3. Cages are also lifesavers while traveling with dogs. The safest way to travel with your dog with a car and the only way to travel on a plane. And traveling should be fun for everyone, and no one should be scared to death. Unfortunately dogs who are not used to a cage would not be happy about spending so many hours in one plus, while attending to a less pet friendly event or simply considering the beach would be too hot for your dogs during the day, you can let them in your airbnb or hotel room without being worried that they might get hurt or destroy something.

4. If you have guests who are afraid of dogs, or who have annoying children who simply can’t respect them, you can easily make sure no one gets hurt if your dogs are crate trained. πŸ˜‰

5. I know I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s just the best part: YOU CAN FOSTER!!! Whoever you want, whenever you want. Your dogs won’t mind and no one’s gonna stop you. πŸ™ˆ No more excuses!

So keeping your pets in a cage (occasionally!!!! Not all their lives, ok?) does not mean you don’t care about them. You are not turturing them and they’re not suffering. It only means that you are a responsible owner who did his homework and who puts his pets safety before anything else. Exactly how you should.

Mango enjoying some metime, vertically.

P.s. Some of you might wonder if it is not too late already. No, it’s not. I crate trained 10+ years old dogs in a couple of days, so. It’s never too late to start it! 🀍 Freedom is essential, but safety first. Always!


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