Hi! Welcome back to my channel. Today we're going to discuss crate training your dog. I'm going to share with you the reasons why I chose to crate train Iberia and then i'm going to share with you a few points that you might not have considered yet when it comes to crate training your dog.
When i got Iberia i was looking for a dog that was small because I knew that I would be possibly relocating abroad. I knew that i would have to take a plane to relocate and I really wanted to keep the dog in cabin with me. So I knew that I was limited not only in the size of the dog but also as far as habits: I knew that I would have to get my dog used to being crate trained.
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Without further ado, let's get into some of our discussion points.
If you are traveling no matter where you're going and how you're getting there you will eventually have to restrain your dog. for example when you're in the car you can use one of the car harnesses that are available on the market that are safe (depending on the size and weight of your dog) but nonetheless you're going to have to restrain them. So having a crate training routine allows you to get your dog used to being kind of restrained.
Now if you have a smaller dog the issue is basically a non-issue in the sense that, if your dog is under 15 pounds or seven kilo you're definitely going to have to put them in a crate when you are traveling.
Most of us think of traveling and going to exotic location but that could be as simple as, you know, going to the park or taking them to the vet. They definitely need to be used to it and you definitely don't want them to be stressed during the trip.
Another reason why it's important for your dogs to be comfortable in the crate and obviously with traveling is that there have been studies done, in particular, a study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri: they tested dogs before travel and after travel (so basically when they arrived at the university) and then with hospitalization and 24
hours later and they actually saw the immune system was compromised, so it was not working up to the level it should have, right when the dogs arrived, and it stayed compromised for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours the numbers started going back to what they were.
Obviously, compromising their immune system when they're going to a place like the veterinarian's office is obviously not ideal, so you really want them to be as comfortable as they can be with travel, and crating can really help with that.
And this brings me to my next point, which is vet visits. I started with travel because you have to travel to the vet, but it can be extremely stressful for dogs (you know this) and what I want you to think about is this: on a general regular visit, you're not gonna have to worry because you're gonna go to the vet, they're just going to do a wellness visit, maybe do a blood draw, and then you can go back home. But should something happen so that you have to leave your dog there- they're going to be sterilized or neutered, or maybe they need to undergo surgery, or maybe they need their teeth cleaned - having the crate be a place where they're comfortable is actually extremely important.
I have another study for you that I found. The study was done by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen: they actually saw that there was clear signs of stress in dogs when they were inside the clinic as compared to outside of the cleaning, and they also felt that there might be an interaction between their stress level and their pain signals.
Obviously we all know the dogs are stressed when they are at the vet, but I think that looking at literature is very important, because from a scientific point of view, and from a veterinary medicine point of view, you can really look at what the impacts of stress in your dog are. Seeing that their immune system might be compromised, that their stress level might go up and might interact with pain... these are clear signs that when you're going to the vet (and your dog might not be feeling well) the lab work that you're going to get is just not going to be clearly reflective of their health status.
Lab work is one of the tools that vets use to analyze the situation and diagnose your animal, so you really want to be able to have their labs to be as good as possible. So whenever you can and however you can decrease their stress level and make them a little bit more comfortable, you really should do that.
When you are traveling you know that your dog sometimes can be stressed, especially... you know, I know... we start packing and they start pacing! I'm sure that some of you have a dog just like mine where I haven't even pulled out the suitcase and they're already pacing and looking at me and wondering what's happening, you know? I don't even know how they know but they do! Having the crate is kind of like bringing a little piece of home with you and integrating into your routine (I have a new video coming out which you can check out right here, where I show you how you can train your dog in the stress-free habit-forming kind of way) it can really help them. I have seen this with Iberia we've traveled a lot she's come with me basically everywhere I've gone. Having the crate means that that's her little piece of home. It has happened that I've gone to Airbnbs or hotels and I just set up the crate and she'll just go in there and she'll just lay down. And - you know - the look on her face is clear: "This is home, this is where I belong. I'm fine. I'm good."
I also have found that when I go to airbnbs (in particular) or when I rent apartments and they ask me "Oh, how is your dog? Are you planning on leaving them alone? I usually say no, I'm not planning on leaving them alone. The only time I may need to leave them alone is when I'm going grocery shopping because they can't come with me. But my dog is crate trained and she prefers actually to lie in her crate when I'm not there. And this puts their mind at ease: they know that the dog is not going to go crazy and destroy their apartment and it really makes it easier for us to travel.
Okay so the fourth thing I want you to think about is meals. I find it great! I'm in a multi-pet household because I have Iberia here and I have two cats. Having the crate being part of our routine makes everything stress free and simple and easy... and let me tell you why. So the first thing is allergies. Now I am particularly unlucky: Iberia here is clearly a Jack Russell and as a terrier she tends to be a little bit more finicky when it comes to what foods that she is healthy with and which ones actually make her feel a little bit sick. She can get skin problems if I I'm not careful with her food, so she definitely has peculiarities. I surely that I don't want her to eat somebody else's food. Additionally, one of my two cats is actually allergic [to corn and chicken] and she will lose all of her fur and start scratching and she gets terrible dermatitis. This is a problem that we've solved but the easiest thing has been having them crate trained, so when I bring the food out I can just put it in there in their crate, they go in there, I zip it close (or close it in the case of the kitty carrier) and they are quietly eating their own food. I don't have to worry about them stealing from each other so I know that every animal is eating the right amount of food, the right [type of] food, and I don't really have to worry that somebody's going to get sick from eating somebody else's food.
I also have a cat who tends to be a little bit more shy, and if somebody goes to try and steal her food, she will actually just kind of back off. I've had to be careful that she gets enough food and I know that when I crate her she can get the nutrition that she needs.
The other thing that I want you to think about is food aggression. It's actually not called food aggression anymore, it's called resource guarding (so they are guarding their resources). For dogs usually this translates into not letting other people grab their toys and not letting other people grab their food and take their food away from them. They may growl; they may get upset; and they may actually develop it if other pets keep stealing their food, so having the crate is really kind of a good "My space" that nobody bothers me in.
Okay, finally, I want to talk to you about bed rest. Now for most of you this might not happen but the thing is... you don't know if it will or not. All of our animals are going to get old. Unfortunately is 13 and a half and she is getting older and having to have bed rest for an animal, for a dog particularly, means they have to stay in the crate. You know, when they have knee issues or if they have elbow issues and they have to have surgery, they have to be on human bed rest. If they're not used to being in a crate, management can be really hard and you're really going to set yourself up for failure if your dog is not already used to the crate. So really think about that. Really think about incorporating crate training into your routine.
Have you had any experience with any of these? Please let me know in the comments below. I'd love to have a discussion about it and I'd love to have your experience and your thoughts on this. We're a huge community of people who truly loved their animals as if they were family, and I really want to get a sense for... you know - some of your points of view. it might change my mind, it might help me see things differently, or this might have helped you see things differently! I'd love to hear from you.
I really appreciate you being here. Clearly, you are as passionate about your animals as I am about mine. If you are interested in crating, I have another video coming out, and I also have a kitty video ( if you have cats or you're in a multi-pet household).
I also will leave a link in the description to a guide that I wrote for you that you can download on crating that has all of the information that we discussed, and it also has a step by step on how you can integrate training into your daily routine.
Thank you for watching, it's been a pleasure, and I'll see you in the next one.
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DeClue, Amy E., et al. “Transportation and Routine Veterinary Interventions Alter Immune Function in the Dog.” Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, vol. 39, no. 2, 2020, 100408. Science Direct, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1938973620300064
Lind, Ann-Kristina, et al. “Assessing Stress in Dogs during a Visit to the Veterinary Clinic: Correlations between Dog Behavior in Standardized Tests and Assessments by Veterinary Staff and Owners.” Journal of Veterinary Behavior, vol. 17, no.1, 2017, pp. 24-31. Science Direct, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1558787816301587
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