Certain canine behavior practitioners believe that learning how to use the pet cage can teach the animal to feel good in its cage. It’s a practical tool if it’s used sparingly, in the right contexts, and under the right conditions (calm and in a gradual way).
How To Use The Pet Cage For Training Your Pet
If ever there was one controversial subject, the use of the crate in the education of a puppy or kitten requires the acquisition of some knowledge so that this enclosed space becomes a comforting refuge for the animal.
For many people, putting an animal in a cage is synonymous with punishment. Used wisely, the cage can however become an ally in very specific situations.
The cage should not be synonymous with punishment.
Its use is also a way to see to the safety of the animal which, in our absence, could chew the electric wires or swallow the foam of a chewed cushion. Therefore, the cage is used to teach about space to our little furry one, of course, but on the condition that he can hold back the time to be there! In addition, it can be used after a game session, for a return to calm.
We also use it if we want to take advantage of a moment of calm to welcome guests or to prepare meals. Finally, it is one of the safest ways to transport your pets. In our presence, it will always remain open so that the pet can enter and leave of its own free will.
The introduction of this tool in the life of the animal does not happen just anyhow. During the first days after buying the cage, we throw in treats.
You can even feed it there and then the cage becomes a positive place; our companion understands that pleasant things happen there.
The first time we close the door, it can get tense. So it’s best to make your pet realize that he/she has to stay within the pet cage even if the gate is open. Practice from thirty seconds to a minute, no more – and let him stay there in your presence, we give him his favorite treats and we repeat the experience several times till you want him/her to come out.
The crate should always be part of the pet’s life, even after training is over. For example, we can keep it for sleeping at night and for car transport so that the positive association remains.
On the other hand, if they cry out, we must be careful of our actions.
It’s very difficult to know if it’s a whim or not as sometimes your pet might want to pee. In this case, it must be taken out. But if we know it’s safe and we’re sure everything’s okay that he/she already revealed himself/herself, then asking them to remain in the cage is wonderful training.
Our expert suggests having two: one rigid (metal or plastic) for the house and one flexible, which we will leave in the car.
Rigid models are more durable, but soft cages are easy to transport.
Regarding the dimensions of the crate, the dog must be able to stand and sit in it, or even stretch out to sleep. Better to take it bigger than too small.
One thing is certain: the cage is not an alternative solution to compensate for the lack of education or a surplus of energy.
Similarly, prolonged use is to be avoided. If we have to leave for a long period, experts recommend installing a small enclosure in the house so that the dog can move more easily.
According to many cat trainers, we must use the cage only to transport the cat from one place to another.
For the cat, a cage is not an educational tool or a means of calming the animal.
While the feline gets used to accessing it, we leave it in its environment. The cat must be able to make the place its refuge, its home.
We do not use the pet cage only on the day we bring the cat to the veterinarian or the groomer, because that will only increase the stress of the animal.
To encourage the feline to enter it, we place food or treats inside.
Also, cat owners must install a blanket or a cushion to make the place safe and comfortable.
As for the choice of model, opt for those that are rigid, easier to maintain, and resistant to scratches. We tend to believe that the bigger the cage the better, but that’s not true. The cat likes to be in tight spaces.
The only condition: he must be able to stand there and turn around.
Next, do not remove the cat from the cage if he cries during transport. It is wrong to believe that we reassure him by getting him out. To reduce his anxiety, present him with a toy or treats.
Finally, we clean the cage with soapy water after each use to eliminate the stress hormones that the cat may have secreted.