Do you have a dog won’t listen and won’t pay attention? Is your dog too hyper? Does your dog know exactly what to do but is just plain stubborn?
I hear these complaints all too often from clients. After a little investigating and digging a little deeper into the dog’s daily routine, the issue becomes clear. Your dog’s lifestyle is more like a permanent trip to the doggie equivalent of Disney World. In other words, the dog has too many options on how to entertain themselves, so much so that they never are able to settle down and focus.
Oftentimes, these dogs are given full roam of the house at a very early age. This is like turning a child loose in a gigantic, over-stimulating theme park. So many places to run, so many places to hide… so many ways to get into trouble, too! This “all access” approach often turns on dog owners and results in couch cushions chewed, carpets soiled and shoes rendered unidentifiable. The dog is so overwhelmed with options for fun that they tear through the home like the Tasmanian Devil trying to do it all in one manic, uninterruptible state.
In order to prevent this sort of behavior, especially in puppyhood, it’s important to provide some sort of containment. Containment not only ensures that your puppy or dog isn’t getting into trouble when you are not available to supervise, but it also helps with appropriate potty training. It guarantees that your dog only has access to a certain area, and only the things inside the area, like chew toys.
Containing your dog will help narrow down the options and help him make smart behavior choices. Below are a few of the most common containment options.
This crate is commonly referred to as a travel crate. It is made of heavy duty plastic and has a top and bottom shell that can be latched together to form a comfortable little safe haven for your dog. The top shell also has a handle for carrying the crate. When not in use, the shells can then be disassembled and stacked together for easy storage.
This type of crate has many benefits, including easy cleaning. With the exception of air holes in the sides, the crate sides and back are solid plastic which helps to restricts the dogs view (and thus stimulus factor). The solid nature of the crate also provides a den-like atmosphere, which can be a natural calming aid for many dogs.
The wire crate is made of sturdy metal wire, is relatively open and allows the dog to see out equally on all sides. Many wire kennels come with a partition so that you can block off part of the crate and then expand the space as your dog grows. If you are in the process of potty-training your dog or puppy, the crate only needs to big enough for the dog to stand up straight, turn around and lay down. Any additional room may allow the dog to potty in their crate comfortably, which is counterproductive to potty training. Most wire kennels fold nearly flat for easy storage when not in use.
“Ex-pens” may be used to give your dog a little more freedom, without giving away the farm. With little puppies, only allow him in the ex-pen when you are confident that their bladders are empty. This is a great space for teething toys, Kongs, Nylabones and food puzzles. Ex-pens are also a great place to snooze when tuckered out from all that “appropriate play.” Ex-pens come in variety of different heights and are available typically in plastic or metal. Think of it as a play pen for your puppy or dog.
Gate options have come a long way since those rickety old, hard to operate wooden models. There are models that are retractable to span large doorways, models that are made of beautiful wood and metal, models that are expansive with walk-through gates to accommodate an open-floor layout, and more. No matter what the layout of your home, chances are there is a gate that’s made for your needs. Click here or here for lots of gate options.
With all of these options for containment, keeping your dog out of “Disney World” is easier than ever. That’s not to say that a well-deserved trip to that manic, frenzied state isn’t fun every so often… Hey, we all need to cut loose sometimes, don’t we? Our dogs do, too!