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06/06/14

The crate debate: Is keeping a dog in a crate considered inhumane?

What if man's best friend was treated more like animal than companion?
That question centers on the debate that is hotly contested by animal lovers and owners alike who bounce points of contention back and forth like an intense tennis match as they debate whether putting a dog in crate is inhumane or part of a long standing training regimen that should remain untouched.
The answer to this question might not be quite as black and white as you'd think. Those who argue adamantly in favor of against will tell you that the other side is wrong, no questions asked.
But those who are a little more open minded will tell you that the crate versus no crate debate has positives and negatives associated with both.
Using a crate to help train a puppy often is viewed as customary for a number of reasons: teaching the dog how to travel or keeping your furniture and household items safe during the puppy years when they might have a tendency to rip, scratch and claw at everything.

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Your dog also might need to learn how to feel comfortable in a crate if you use the device to bring them back and forth from the vet or plan to travel with the dog above and beyond around the neighborhood. The crate also might be used to discipline the dog if they've done something wrong; kind of like a "time out" inside their crate.
The crate earns negative publicity from advocates against it because dogs aren't meant to be confined in small spaces. Crates might be used as tools for training but are they nothing more than devices that instill fear into your dog and don't really do much above and beyond that? The crate could easily be a sore spot for the dog, too, depending on how the pup was raised. If they're afraid of the crate from the start, chances are they've had a bad experience with one in the past.
Truthfully, crating might carry with it a negative connotation due to those who incorporate this type of "training" as more cruelty and negligence. Putting a dog in a crate as a teaching tool shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as those who keep dogs confined in them 24 hours per day and seven days a week. That mentality isn't what crates or crating was intended. Unfortunately, when the phrase "crating" comes to mind, the visual immediately turns to a malnourished dog struggling to stay alive inside living conditions that hardly are adequate, which is why the topic of conversation turns to crating, the discussion gets heated and personal.
Whether you use a crate or not hardly is the talking point but rather how it is being implemented into your dog's daily routine. The crate never was meant to be a permanent spot or home for your dog, but those who use it that way have given the product a bad name.

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