Why Kennels Make Your Dog Feel Safe

Why Kennels Make Your Dog Feel Safe

Posted Jul 15, 2019 in Fun Dog Stuff

When you’re usually high spirited and energetic furball strangely becomes docile and prefers to stay in their cage, especially when you have guests over – it can cause you to worry a bit. Anytime your canine companion doesn’t seem like themselves; it can strike you with concern. But especially when your four-legged friend is retreating into their kennel. 

Here’s some more information behind this behavior to hopefully help calm some of those anxieties. 

Reasons Behind This Behavior 

Crates, when used appropriately, become a dog’s “den”. It’s a space they can feel safe in and retreat to when needed. This idea is often used to help house train many canines. Because they usually won’t relieve themselves in a space they rest in. If your furry friend doesn’t have a crate, they will likely find a small area in the house they can retreat to and adopt as their own.

Having a kennel is preferred though and should be tall enough that your dog can stand up without hitting their head. As well, it should be wide enough so they can make a circle before they lay down. But if a kennel is large enough for your dog to sleep on one side and go potty on the other, it’s far too big. You want your pooch to have a positive association with their crate. This is so they can have a safe space and an area to used to train and calm them when needed. 

How to React to This Behavior 

When you have company over this may cause your dog some anxiety. So retreating to their crate is entirely normal and acceptable. Your dog having this go to space is healthy. It also makes traveling, new people, and new places easier to handle since they can be stored in their crate and feel safe. 

But there is such a thing as your four-legged friend spending too much time in their crate. If you start to notice that Fido is spending more time in their crate than anywhere else this can be a bad sign. On top of that, going outside less, maybe refusing to eat or play – then you may have a problem. Any unusual and concerning behavior should always be brought to your vet’s attention as soon as possible. When your pup is feeling sick, their “den” is where they’ll want to retreat to.

Final Things to Consider 

If your dog enjoys their crate, let them have that safe space. You can also use it as a doggy timeout area. But ensure that you don’t make this a regular action or else it will lose its effect. On top of that, it can be harmful to your pup’s physical and mental health if you leave them in their kennel for too long. Some dogs may fear crates due to past experiences. If this the case, you need to be gentle about crate training. And possibly speak to your vet and a trainer about next steps.

Dog’s who enjoy their crates have most likely been trained since a young age to do so. If your pup has a healthy relationship with their crate, you should be glad they have a safe space to call their own. 

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