Dog Crates are very useful if used properly
Although they are very much like cages they should not be treated like one. This is the first step to getting your labrador to use his crate.
You will find that having a dog crate will be very helpful during the housebreaking process and you may not suffer the same amount of sock and shoe loss as other labrador owners.
Right, so we agree that crates are like cages, but they aren’t to be used in the same way. So, how are we going to use it without making it a cage?
This is very simple. You are going to make the crate your dogs happy place.
Look for a crate that is big enough for your labrador can lie down and move around a bit. It will become a cage if your lab can’t move. However, it should not be so big that he can ‘eliminate’ at one end and sleep at the other. This should most certainly not be allowed.
Place your labradors bed and toys inside the dog crate always praising him when he goes inside. He should enjoy the fact that he has his own space to sleep and play in relative peace.
Never use the crate as a punishment tool
I cannot stress the importance of not using the crate as a ‘prison’. This can have a serious effect on your labrador. The crate is meant to be a place where he can enjoy himself and not have to worry about anything. It should not become the place he gets sent to if he has misbehaved.
I can honestly say that a Dog Crate would be a very handy purchase. It would most probably reduce the amount of sock and shoe casualties and even chewed homework (they never believed me at school!).
You must remember not to use the crate as a prison and to praise your lab whenever he uses it. Also, get one that is a good size so that he does not feel cramped.