Here at Boxer Rescue Victoria, I crate train every dog that comes through my front door and I do this for multiple reasons.
I first started 3 yrs ago with Ziva ( now Edie) a boxer girl that came into rescue with her 7 x 2.5 week old pups , Ziva was one very damaged, stressed girl who had severe separation anxiety. And I mean severe, she would go through a window to find you and it didn't matter that she had a house full of dogs to keep her company, she wanted her human.
Ziva loved her crate and would grab her favourite toy of the day and would put herself in there as soon as I was ready for work.
After a few months I started going out, just to the supermarket, and leaving her out of her crate. She was now happy as she knew I was actually going to come home. Her biggest test was me going to do Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, she was fast asleep on the couch and I decided to leave her there. I knew I was going to be gone for a few hours, I had not left her for more than about 30 mins out of the crate before this.
I got home 3.5 hrs later and I actually don’t think she had moved 😂😂.
So, you can change a dog’s frame of mind and make them feel safe simply by giving them security and them knowing you will leave them but always come home to them
Harley is another great example of how crate training can help a dog. Harley is a little anxious as he has had a massive change in his life.
He has been an outside dog, only inside at night to sleep, he has been an only dog and he most certainly uses toys as an outlet to channel his stress.
You are probably going WTF, how is playing with toys are bad thing???
Well, Harley is a dog that doesn't know how to interact with people this is a stressful thing for him to do, he is absolutely fine with me and will come for a pat but does not know to really engage with people which is something were now working on. Harley is also used to being outside by himself and amusing himself with his toys instead of interacting with people.
Harley started crate training 2 days ago and was calm very quickly and felt safe in there.
Along with crate training, I have changed quite a few other things for Harley including hand feeding to create a stronger bond and help his trust in people and feeding him inside. He had previously been fed outside and obviously played ball straight after dinner and this seemed to be his routine.
Its little changes that can have massive effects on a dogs state of mind.
Today we woke after my night shift and Harley has gone for a play with Winston and then come inside and he was wired which is a state he is in a lot. All my dogs settle and go to sleep when inside but Harley needs to process the situation. He wants to be in a calm state too and the crate now allows him to do this. Harley puts himself in the crate and within minutes he is relaxed and asleep as this is a comfortable safe spot for him. That's after just 2 days and he knows where to go for him to feel safe and bring himself to a calm state, pretty damm good if you ask me 😊 He'll be a happy balanced dog in no time .
Ok!....How to crate train