Should I Crate Train My Puppy
Should I Crate Train My Puppy?
In one simple word, the answer is a resounding “Yes”. Genetically there is virtually no difference between a wolf and a dog. The dog is domesticated. This is true. But genetically it very much the same. Over time there has been micro-selection where a breed has developed as a particular strain of dog has been bred for specific characteristics. But on a genetic level the wolf and dog have much in common. Yes, this even carries over to a tampered with breed such as the English bulldog.
You will notice in the wild the normal habitat for a wolf to rear its young is in a den, a hole dug into the ground. Here the puppies will stay until they can walk, and even then venturing only a short distance from their home where they keep warm and secure.
A small, secure “den” of sorts is exactly what the crate should be. It should be located in a quiet corner of the room. Not right by the main door where every person who comes into the house walks past the crate disturbing your new English bulldog puppies. The crate according to nature is the secure “den” equivalent that the wolf has in the wild. It is inherently natural for your new puppy to want to have its own home that is out of the way, quiet and secure.
Be sure when crate training your puppy that you take into consideration the steps laid out in our article, “How To Potty Train Your Puppy”. Remember that a big part of the benefit (to you anyway) is related to potty training your puppy. The natural instincts of your puppy will be to not want to urinate where he sleeps. So be nice to your puppy. Make sure you do not feed or water your puppy before you put him in his crate. Be particularly careful of this, when they are young.
Here is an anecdotal story stemming back from when Heather and I were first married. One of our first dogs was named Mercedes. Mercedes was a very cute Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross. When she was about 3 years old we rescued an ill cared for black and white Cocker Spaniel from a pet store. Was he a mess? He smelled just terrible. He fur was nearly permanently stained with urine. He had been locked in his crate and not let out to urinate. Consequently, through no choice of his own, he unlearned what should have been natural habit of not making a mess where he lived. Anyway, on with our story. We brought Dolorian home from the pet store. Mercedes literally lived the next week in our closet in a cardboard box that we used to put socks in. She was squirreled away in the very back of the closest underneath the hanging clothes.
Mercedes lived that next week hidden away in the dark of the closest. She could hardly be drug out to eat or drink. The thought of sharing her house with a new dog for her was not pleasant. So what did she do? She found herself a makeshift den.
First and foremost you want to crate train your dog because he will be more happy if you do. As I am constantly emphasizing when I talk with new dog owners, work with nature. Your dog will be happy if he has a secure quite “den” where he can escape occasionally the hustle and bustle of the crown. You will be happy, as working with this natural instinct will greatly facilitate the process of potty training your new English bulldog puppy. By no means are we advocating your dog “live” in his crate. Your dog should no more “live” in the crate than a wolf in his den. The crate is a safe place for retreat and sleep. Work with nature and both you and your dog will have a happy life.