How Best To Crate Train Your Dog

Is it a good idea to "crate" a dog for a few hours per day? Can it have any negative impacts on the dogs mental state? I am acquiring a small breed dog and as I work, there will be a need to confine it for about 3-4 hours of the day when no one is at home. I live in an apartment complex and do not want it to do any damage to my unit, or to hurt itself while I am away. What do you think?

There are, as with many aspects of pet-keeping, mixed opinions on crate training. Some experts, such as our own Karen Peak have this opinion: "Crate training is not cruel nor should it be punishment for Puppy. A crate the proper size for Puppy is: a safe place to be while sleeping; safety when you are not around to watch him; a place to eat uninterrupted; a place to go to get away from it all. Dogs are den animals and many like a place they can curl up in and feel secure."

Others will be of the opinion that it is cruel to restrict a dog for any reason. I tend to be of the opinion that for a younger dog it can indeed be a place where he can feel secure, provided that he is supplied with a toy and warm blankets.