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A dog's most basic need for safety is shelter, or a den. While your dog may feel that your whole house is his den, it can sometimes be too large of a space for him to feel secure. This may cause him to feel stressed and confused, rather than safe and sound.
With just a few basic tools, you can help your dog feel safe in his environment. Use of a crate or pet carrier, baby gates and barriers can help you to safely confine your dog to ensure his well-being.
Crate = Home Sweet Home
A properly introduced crate or pet carrier can be your dog's sanctuary. Because it provides the comfort and security of a den, a crate can be the ideal place for your dog to sleep and get away from household activity. A crate also helps with his housebreaking and obedience training, and brings you peace of mind knowing he and your house are safe from harm or mischief.
Baby Gates and Barriers
An alternative to a crate is confining your dog in a dog-proofed part of your home, such as a laundry or mudroom. Use a baby gate to confine your dog to the room. Likewise, use a gate to block your dog's access to any areas of the house you regularly deem off-limits.
If your dog has a tendency to toilet in the house, confine him to a room with a floor of vinyl or tile for easy cleanup of any accidents. Place his bed and some toys in the room for him. Treat-giving toys, such as KONGÂ® products and the BusterÂ® Cube, will provide him with hours of entertainment.
You can also use a barrier to:
Know When to Get Help
Remember, the need for safety and shelter is just one of your dog's needs. If all his needs are not appropriately addressed, crating may only create new problems. A qualified trainer such as a Bark Busters behavioral therapist can help you determine the cause of your dog's resistance to crates or barriers and provide ways to help you make sure your dog knows he is safe in your household.