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Don A. Hoglund says
Melissa A Smith says
Agreed! The only good crate(outside of housetraining) in my opinion is one with no door that the dog gets to choose when they get in and out of.
I agree too. A crate should only be used to contain your dog for a little while when someone comes by or for his safety. Preferably, it should not have a door.
Actually canines are naturally den-dwelling creatures, so the idea that they enjoy being in a crate isn't a symptom of neurosis or anything like that. The crate serves as a den; a place to relax, etc. Kind of like how people enjoy their bedrooms.
Two points, Brandi-First, it does not serve as a den if you put a door on it. It serves as a prison. Second, feral dogs do not use dens. I know this personally. They use it only to whelp.
"Wild" vs "feral" is a different debate; they aren't interchangeable. Using dens/small spaces is a relic prior to domestication. You shouldn't lock a dog up, but the point is that it's not "neurotic" or cruelty to have a dog that enjoys their crate.
If the dog has to be locked up when company comes over, he does not voluntarily use his crate, even when provided with a blanket, toys, etc. It is a form of incarceration. Yes, I am aware feral and wild are not the same.
I'm with Dr Mark on this one:) He wrote a nice hub about this not too long. As much as us humans love our bedrooms, your perspective would totally change if you were locked there and isolated from companionship. That's why I use only open crates.
It's the same idea of being in your room as a kid while your parents had company over. Spending 30 minutes in a crate every once in a while isn't cruelty and it isn't damaging a dog's psyche.
Did your parents put you in your room and lock the door so you couldnt get out? Oh, Brandi, I am so sorry.
If adult company was over, I was supposed to stay in my room. As your dog isn't afraid of their crate and you aren't forcing them to stay in it for long periods of time with no interaction, using a crate isn't cruel. Like putting a baby in a playpen.
If you want to see neurotic dogs, again, visit an animal shelter. There you may even witness stereotypical behavior, which there is a video of in my dog hub. I consider such behavior to be maladaptive and highly unlike that of dogs who use crates.
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