Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Treat a Crate Like a Car Seat

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Treat a Crate Like a Car SeatA crate for your puppy is like a car seat for your child; both ensure the safety of beings who cannot ensure their own.

Whether or not you or your child “likes” car seats is irrelevant. The job they do trumps such concern. And the calm acceptance of car seats by the children I see in passing cars tells me that their parents’ calm, non-negotiable approach to them transferred to the kids. Car seats are not, as my Mom used to say to me, up for discussion.

A crate for your puppy performs the same sort of safety role. They keep them safe when you cannot. People who put their pups into their crates with the same sort of kind but clear inevitability as they do buckling their children into the car seat generally have dogs who accept them as most kids accept being buckled in.

There are, of course, exceptions. There always are. But in my 25+ years helping people with dogs, those exceptions are rare.

The dogs who protest the most are frequently loved by people who are not as pragmatic. Their doubt and apology is clear to the pup who quickly becomes doubtful themselves. Dogs read us expertly.

The good news about that is that often a change in the person can transfer quickly to the dog. Accept the crate as a part of the modern deal, think of putting your pup in their crate like buckling your child into their car seat, and the pup’s behavior may start to change. Almost immediately.

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