Monday, June 13, 2011

Kennel Up!

The dogs here are spoiled.  They like to be with Mom even when she is trying to teach them patience.  Like kenneling - almost everyone but Shiloh and Allie Mae are fed in either a wire or plastic crate.

  • It is good for the prevention of food fights, 
  • it helps me see who is eating how much or not and 
  • it gives them practice being contained so when they go to their new homes, they will be ready to be left in a crate so their owners can go off without worry. 

That is the plan.  The execution is a bit different - when I say "kennel up!" everyone knows they are going to eat.  Some are very good about heading for their crates.

  • Seymour is stellar! 
  • Miss Stella is back to trying to get into every one's crate; 
  • on occasion, like this morning, I need to remove Shiloh and/or Farrah from a Beagle crate to make room for the appropriate Beagle.  
  • Hickory Dock is very good about getting into his crate but rather noisy once he is done eating.  
  • Herman is OK, needing help into his crate and then letting me know of his impatience for the pending meal; same with Sweet Taffy.   Etc., etc.  

I have been asked why I crate/kennel my dogs.  The main reasons?  Patience and to remind them of respect.

  • Crates are good for relaxation throughout the day - they all know the doors are open should they need a respite from the madding crowd.   
  • They are also very good for training - don't have that "no jump" down pat yet before your visitors arrive?  Use a crate, fill a Kong with sticky food and voila!  happy dog, happy visitors, happy you.   
  • I also use one when introducing a new dog.  The crate is more central in the house.  The new dog can be inside with the pack milling about outside which they do for a short time and then move on, coming back on occasion to say "hi."  I get to control the "hi" and reactions of multiple dogs to a newbie.  

I use the term "kennel" for crating up; most people may use "crating."   I do not "cage" my dogs; I don't like the term or the old implications - just me :).  I don't have outside kennels per se.  I have one for when needed especially for unexpected visitors or behavior issues when real separation is needed.    Silverwalk does have multiple outside dog houses with straw or shavings for day/night use, too.  I don't depend on these but they are wonderful hidey-holes for the dogs.  Margie has made her own hidey-hole from a previous tree stump site. 

Margie in her hidey-hole