The Benefits of Crate Training

A training tool and a safe haven for your dog.

We STRONGLY recommend the use of a crate, as both a training tool and a safe haven for your dog. We cannot stress this enough. All of our foster dogs are crate trained, which helps accelerate their housetraining, gives them a secure place to call their own, and makes traveling with them easier.

All dogs are den animals. In the wild, they seek out a cozy den with one easily defended entrance as a place where they can be safe from their predators. They can sleep soundly there because they feel secure. To them, a crate is simply a den, which is a place they want to be.

Some people think that crates are "doggie jails" and that locking a dog, especially one that loves its freedom as much as a Siberian, in a crate is cruel. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Crates are NOT cruel; in most cases, a dog that has been properly introduced to one will seek it out when tired or needing a break.

Think about the alternative, allowing them to roam freely around your house or yard without human supervision. It is well known that Siberians are highly intelligent and easily bored, and if left to their own devices, will often find ways to relieve their boredom of which you may not approve. The crate allows you to determine in advance what your dog can and cannot chew on, and prevents escapes from a yard toward imminent danger.

Using a crate not only protects your home from your Husky, but also protects your Husky from your home by preventing it from getting into something that could be dangerous—like household chemicals or electrical wires, for example—or even worse. We have first-hand experience with the negative aspects of NOT using crates, some of them tragic. Best case, not using a crate can result in damage to your house as your young or non-housetrained dog relieves itself in the house or "plays" with household goods because it does not yet know the difference between a toy and a human possession. Absolute worst case, not using a crate can result in serious injury or death for your dog; we know of dogs that have required surgery because of objects they've ingested while unattended, and we know of dogs that have died because they strangled themselves while tied up alone.

There are many resources to help you learn how to introduce your dog to a crate. When you adopt a dog from TOTTSHR, the adopter's packet you will receive provides some tips on crate training.

After your dog has been with you for a while, you may feel you can begin to trust your dog alone in the house. Whether this can happen depends on a number of factors—the age of the dog, the dog's temperament, and how slowly you grant the dog certain freedoms. Some dogs prove trustworthy fairly quickly; others never do. Even those who no longer need a crate in the house alone may choose to use one as their bed or hideaway; each dog is different. In the meantime, PLEASE use a crate to protect your dog when you're not around!