Why Kennels Aren’t Just For Puppies
The use of a kennel is key when training a puppy, but don’t put it away when your dog gets older. Here’s why you should keep using them when your dog’s all grown up.
I love kennels. My dogs love kennels. Wire kennels, soft sided kennels, plastic kennels, fancy wooden kennels, airline kennels. My husband jokes that we have decorated our home with kennels. And in some ways, that’s true.
As I write this, my dogs are laying in their kennels in my office. My office is actually built out of kennels! Each end of my desk is actually a dog’s kennel. They have somewhere to nap, while I type away. So, guilty as charged, I decorate with kennels. But with good reason! They are just so handy.
From the moment a dog comes home with me, I have secured them in a kennel for the car ride. Then once home, we have begun the process of kennel training. The benefits of kennel training puppies and new dogs are well known. But what about continuing with the kennel? Sounds controversial I know. My dogs are 5, 11 and 13, all well best the teething stage, so why are they still in use in our home?
Related: How to Crate Train Your Dog
I live in a multi dog household. The dogs all get along and play great together, but with the smaller dogs being half the size of the largest, any misunderstanding could have disastrous consequences. When we are out of the house, any dogs that have stayed behind are contained in their kennels. It keeps their roughhousing form getting out of hand, keeps them from getting into trouble in the garbage and keeps them from yelling at the mailman when we are out. Kennels are a tool that allow me to keep my dogs safe when I am not around.
Dinner time is a breeze in a multi-dog multi-kennel household. Every dog knows their space, and as soon as the food bowls come out they are off and running. Feeding them in their kennels re enforces that the kennel is a place that good things happen. It also means that each dog can eat in peace, without worrying about another dog coming and sharing. It also gives me the added peace of mind knowing that each dog is getting exactly what I have fed them, and nothing else.
Injuries are just a fact of pet parenting, especially with active dogs. Having kennel trained all of my dogs, means that if they need a quiet spot to recover from aching muscles, a minor surgery or a more major surgery, they can also count on having a quiet spot to recuperate in. The fact that my dogs are already used to, and accept their kennels makes it easy. Recuperating in their kennels means I don’t have to worry about keeping them calm while they recover.
Whether we stay in a hotel or visit friends, the dogs are instantly at home in their kennels, or home away from home! Sometimes after a long day on the road, they want to climb into their kennels even before I finish setting them up!
I know that showing up with a pack of dogs can be a little intimidating, even to our dog loving friends. But showing up with a pack of dogs and an arm load of kennels means that we are welcome no matter where we travel!
If you are coming to visit with your dog, I expect the same courtesy. There’s lots of room to set up your dog’s kennel, so they can have a good night sleep.
Speaking of travel, when we drive the dogs for an outing, I can drive worry free with them secure in their kennels. I shudder when dogs pass us with heads handing out the window, or sitting on the driver lap, or both! Traveling in their kennels keeps my dogs calm and contained. Not only that, but it does keep my dedicated dog vehicle, just a little bit cleaner. Just a bit. Another plus, it is way easier to clean out pet hair from the kennels than it is from the upholstery
I will carry on with my kennels! My dogs live an active, busy life. Downtime is just as important as physical activity and mental stimulation. After a long day out on the trails, my dogs are happy to return to the safety and security of their kennels at night.