Iowa City Animal Center

(319) 356-5295 3910 Napoleon Lane Iowa City, IA 52240
Mon - Fri 10:30-5:30 | Sat 10:30-3:00 | Closed Sunday & Holidays

Every Dog Needs a Den

Dogs are den animals. If you don't provide your dog with a "den" of his own, he may make do with whatever's around--a chair that just fits, the narrow place behind the couch, or the wedge of space between the bed and the wall. One method of housetraining, called crate training, relies on a dog's natural tendency to seek out these cozy and secure places.

A crate is kind of like an indoor doghouse. While it's primary function is to serve as a bed or den, used correctly for brief periods of time, it can also be an ideal tool to housetrain your pet or keep these canines who suffer from separation anxiety from destroying the house while you run a few errands.

However, the dog is not supposed to live in the crate. Endless hours in the crate can lead to severe social and isolation problems for your dog--and he will no longer see the crate as a special retreat. When you are home, your dog needs to be out with you. In fact, the crate should be kept in the room where the family spends most of its time. That way, your dog can seek refuge from the hubbub of household activity, yet still feel like a part of the family.

Once your dog realizes that the crate is a sanctuary for him, and that no one can bother him while he is in his "den," he will begin to seek out the crate on his own. For more information on crate training, call us.

Provided by the American Humane Association