Puppies are a great addition to a household. Dogs can teach youngsters lessons about compassion and responsibility, while moms and dads get to enjoy the companionship and unconditional love their dogs provide.

It doesn’t take a long time for first-time dog owners learn quickly that pets require a lot of work. That’s especially true of puppies, which must be housebroken to successfully live within the structure of a family. Crate training, which is supported by the American Kennel Club, is a great way to teach puppies proper behaviors and get them to adjust to their new lives. However, many who have never before had a dog hesitate to crate train their puppies, thinking the practice is inhumane or cruel. However, the AKC points out that since dogs are den animals, they naturally seek out canine caves for security.

While humans may see crates as cruel, dogs typically view their crates as secure places where they can go if they get scared or feel skittish. In fact, according to the AKC, dogs’ perception of crates is why dog owners find it relatively easy to get their dogs to adjust to crates and ultimately enjoy them.

The AKC urges dog owners to find appropriately sized crates before they begin training. They should be just large enough for dogs to lie down, stand up, and turn around, but not too small. Crates that are too big will give dogs the impression that they can use one corner to defecate and use the rest for sleep or play. That’s the wrong message, as dogs should never be encouraged to relieve themselves in their crates. 

Crate training is a wonderful way to welcoming puppies into a home. Learn more at www.akc.org.