Crate training is one of the most commonly used house training techniques for both puppies and older dogs. Although the intention of providing a “den” for your dog is for both safety and comfort, some dog owners saw crate training as the cruel and appropriate punishment.
In my opinion, behavior modification – the idea of treating a dog in a way that makes him satisfying to the owner without decreasing her desire to perform in the encounter – is not a process that should be considered as a cruel means to train a dog, but rather as a way to strengthen the connection in a mutually satisfying way.
Basic instincts drive many dogs to want to be near their families; even more desirable is to have a dog close by when the owner is at home, even when in the hospital.
A man also domesticated dogs over the course of tens of thousands of years, but our love for dogs hasn’t degenerated to the point that we are now willing to abuse our dogs to maintain the connection with them.
The essence of human companionship is a powerful passion that awakens our devotion to other beings, and we are willing to do our best to make certain that the Bond is never frayed.
A common scenario occurs when owners acquire a puppy that is then left unattended in the home. This is not the ideal situation, for all. Separation anxiety, a common problem in puppies, is particularly acute in establishments that keep dogs in confined spaces unless owners are available to periodically allow the dogs a few moments of air and exercise.
In two studies of normally socialized dogs taken at separate times, one bounced that dogs that were rarely left alone developed feelings of anxiety if screeners ever entered the room. The studies by either the Animal Behavior Lunch Research Center or the Guiding Eyes Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club showed a correlation between signs of separation anxiety and owners’ allergies.
Considered the most reliable of all indicators to diagnose separation anxiety is a pattern of continual vocalization (or self-mutilation) in the absence of the owner. This pattern, although somewhat obvious in adult dogs, may not be so easily identifiable in young puppies.
Some owners may feel overly sympathetic when their dog begins vocalizing minutes before they are scheduled to leave, but this doesn’tconstitute an act of affection. Dogs expressing their discomfort have conveyed a message that the owner is responsible for their reacted behavior, and will lens they are responsible for the reaction if they are left alone. Which is precisely what the owner doesn’t want.
Puppies develop a very dramatic and melodious alarm system for the day they are left alone. It usually progresses from snarling and growling to full-bodied panic as the dog’s body flees from window to window.
The rescue of dogs whereby owners are temporarily incapacitated by illness or external troubles necessitates arranging for pet care, which can compelling consideration, especially in a family situation. If the dog has to be taken to a vet briefly, owners may be advised to use anti-anxiety medication.
The use of crates in this context is rather problematic since the general contention is that placing a dog in a crate is inhumane, and that caged animals suffer excessive confinement. The counter-arguments are that, when used properly, crates are neither cruel nor inhumane, and that they discipline the dog for bad behavior. In fact, the dog may enjoy having a room of its own, a parallel universe where it can expend energy and scenarios which cannot be allowed in the home. In the grand scheme of things, it may be said that creating a personal safe space for a dog may be more effective than caging it.
Responsible owners of young puppies dispense with the unpleasant feelings by training the animals to relax.
Effective relaxation programs for dogs begin with the owner’s preparing the dog to be alone. In the course of several private sessions with the dog, the dog is taught to spend quiet time alone. This is reinforced by a period of productive isolation ( consisting of periods of time in which the dog is alone or isolated with its person) and then joined by a period of increased contact and then extended to full isolation when the person is again alone. By this process, the dog develops a pattern in which it spends an hour alone at a time.
The next step in this process is to add to the dog’s isolation the presence of a morning or evening walk. The dog is given toys to occupy its time and so forth until finally it is given time to itself and to pass most of the time without interaction with anybody. This makes possible a relaxed and stress-free dog. It may also be necessary to add to the dog’s isolation an element of choice and adventure – daily outings to places where interesting things happen.