posted at 12/22/2010 3:23 PM EST
Answer by Terri Bright, M.S. Ed., BCBA, Behavior Analyst and Training Coordinator at the MSPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center:
While some dogs may require crating for medical issues to restrict their movements, many dogs are crate-trained because of, or to avoid behavioral issues. Crate-training is an ideal way to help a dog avoid unwanted behaviors, such as house-soiling or destructive actions. Most dogs learn to love their crates. My three Bull Terriers are all home sleeping in their crates right now.
How long dogs should be crated depends upon their age and lifestyle. Most adult dogs should not be crated for more than six hours without a break to go out, play, socialize with others, etc. Crates are not to be used to make a pet “disappear” for a pet owner’s convenience, though if your dog is not well-trained or socialized enough to withstand a houseful of company, they might prefer to rest in their crate with a yummy Kong.
If a dog is injured trying to escape from a crate, he or she may have a condition called “separation anxiety.” Some dogs with separation anxiety may require medication and behavioral modification. It is best to speak with your pet’s veterinarian before beginning any new medications.
posted at 1/5/2011 7:56 PM EST
Thanks robin for asking the question. I really think that my dog's peeing in the crate is anxiety. My husband just found that there are bite marks and blood all along the top of her crate, where she must have been trying to get out. Not sure what to do with this dog, she's anxious in the crate and out!