Necessity of crate training

There is a basenji in my future, and I am doing as much research as possible prior to 'the big day'. I'm 51, hubby is 54, and we are enjoying early retirement. We live in a large rancher and have no kids.

As we are home (or at least one person is) most of the time, how important is it for us to get a puppy perfectly crate trained? Am I expecting too much to think that with consistent, constant training that there won't be a big need to have the puppy comfortable in a crate? Our basenji will be a huge part of our lives and we plan on spending a great deal of time with him.

Thanks for your help

Crate training is important not just to protect valuables from the destructive puppy phase but also as a place for the dog to have a calm spot. This can be invaluable after surgery, in the car, or when you have visitors. The crate should be a safe, calm place that the dog has strong positive associations with.

This doesn't mean you have to use it every day or use it for long periods of time but you should get your puppy accustomed to a crate so it is tool available to you if you need it.

Thanks Ivoss. What you've said makes sense. Regardless of whether we are at home a lot, or not, puppy will need a place that he can call his own. I conked my knuckles onto my head when you mentioned 'after surgery'. Of course! Hopefully the conk on my head will rattle free a few more brain cells. 🙂

Its also good if you ever go travel or start doing dog events. I had a male who was not crate trained, and while he was just a pet who stayed at home or was with us, it wasn't a problem. Until I tried lure coursing. I had no safe place to keep him in the car while he wasn't coursing, and I didn't want to sit in the car babysitting him or keep him with me on a leash the whole time. If you ever travel and need to leave your dog in the hotel while you go get dinner or do some sight seeing, crate training will be a plus, too. You will know he won't destroy the hotel room, and you will also know that he will feel less stressed being in a familiar crate in an unfamiliar room.
It just makes it easier on you if the dog is crate trained. That way, you always have that as an option to keep your dog safely contained as well as feeling secure with the familiarity.

Crates are often used as sleeping dens when dogs are tried or just want a bit of peace.
They don't have to be bad things..its the matter of how they are used in the home. IMO.

We only used a crate for Tillo when he was a pup. I'm glad we got him used to it. We haven't got one in the house or car, because Tillo and Lycia are both loose when we leave them alone in house/car. When we go to a show, we do bring the crate. Tillo often lays in it with the door open and his front legs out.. just chilling.. but if I want him to sleep, I close the door and within 2 seconds he's snoring 😃

My husband and I also are home all day every day. We're not retired yet, but we both have home offices. We definitely find the crate a very valuable part of our strategy with our new puppy Zelda. She is 13 weeks. It's so great for housetraining. It's also great for things you take for granted now 🙂 Shower time, important phone call time, etc.

I use the crate as part of normal routine for the first 1 to 2 years. After that, with our lifestyle, it is much less "necessary", but it's still available to us for trips and so forth.

Our family loves crates – including the basenji.

First Basenji's

I too use the crate for our new puppy. At first I really didn't want to do it, but did so just because of what the people on this forum had to say. After about a week we started really using it more and more. I really like the calming effect of the crate and the fact that he can go with me anywhere I go and be/feel secure. I have noticed that Faro will get out of control some and the best way to calm him is to crate him. Now he actually likes it. At first he cried some but now he does great any time he is in the crate.

Crate training for any dog is mandatory, IMO (yes I know there are some that just can't be crated, but for the rest)… However, I never use the crate as punishment.. it is always a safe, good, quiet and most important "their" place.

And they should be crated in a car too or restrained with a doggy seat belt. It is not safe for them or the humans to have them riding loose.

First Basenji's

@tanza:

Crate training for any dog is mandatory, IMO (yes I know there are some that just can't be crated, but for the rest)… However, I never use the crate as punishment.. it is always a safe, good, quiet and most important "their" place.

And they should be crated in a car too or restrained with a doggy seat belt. It is not safe for them or the humans to have them riding loose.

I know this may seem like a stupid question but I do have to ask. I said earlier that sometime my puppy will get a little wild and I will put him in the crate. it seems to help him calm himself. I don't consider this a punishment but maybe it is. Is there something else I should be doing in that instance? Thanks in advance. I am a newbie with this and love all the advice.

I would be willing to bet that when this happens, where he's wild and you crate him, he's actually overtired anyway.

Our B has been like this since he was a small fry. He's like a toddler, he gets overtired, or overstimulated, then acts crazy. If we pick him up and hold him on our lap, he goes right to sleep.

If he conks out or settles down when you crate him, he was probably tired or overstimulated to begin with.

I don't think you're doing any harm at all.

I use Abby's crate when we leave…. lol, it is easier than picking up the WHOLE house. She is slow to get out of it when i do open it...slowly stretches as she is half way out than calmly walks out. I can tell she likes the down time also.
You'll love having one around!

@McCannClan:

I know this may seem like a stupid question but I do have to ask. I said earlier that sometime my puppy will get a little wild and I will put him in the crate. it seems to help him calm himself. I don't consider this a punishment but maybe it is. Is there something else I should be doing in that instance? Thanks in advance. I am a newbie with this and love all the advice.

No, my comment was not directed to you in the situation that you are using it…. if you are calmly putting a "wired" puppy in the crate as down time with toys and/or chewies, nothing wrong with that, especially if it works. My comment was in general. Some people use it to punish a dog when they have an accident or get into something they shouldn't... that doesn't make the crate a happy place.

Thank you so much to everyone who answered/is answering. I am so glad I found this forum with so many knowledgeable basenji owners. Everytime I read an answer, I literally say to myself "of course!". And this is from someone who used to work in a field that required a great deal of natural logic skills! Yesterday, I had asked my sis, who owns a chow, about the riding in the car business. She too really nixed the idea of having a dog ride in the front seat of a car. She did think she had heard of a doggie seat belt, but I suppose that is only good if the dog doesn't want to try to escape. And since basenjis are the Houdinis of the dog world, I could see that being a lot more pain than training my basenji to travel in the back of a vehicle in a crate that he already loves and trusts.

I have to say that I've never been much of a fan of newsgroups. Boy, are my feelings changing with this newsgroup! You folks are invaluable!

First Basenji's

Thanks EskiLover that is exactly my logic and reasoning with Faro as well. And Tanza thanks for your efforts to reassure me. I really didn't think you meant my situation but always want to learn and grow and can never do that without clarifications. I think I might actually use our crate a little more as I would love to keep that confident happy puppy that always comes out of it. Thanks again everyone.

There's lots of great advice on this forum. No matter how long you've owned dogs, there's always room for more advice or info.

Lukris - my sentiments exactly!!

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