No matter what a pet shop owner or dog
trainer might say, a dog crate is just a box
with holes in it, and putting dogs in crates is just a way to ignore and
warehouse them until you get around to taking care of them properly.
Crating is a popular "convenience practice" that is often
used on adult dogs. It deprives dogs of the opportunity to fulfill some of
their most basic needs, such as the freedom to walk around, the opportunity to
relieve themselves, and the ability to stretch out and relax. It also prevents
them from interacting with their environment and learning how to behave in a
Crating began as a misguided way for people
to housetrain puppies. The theory was that a dog in a small cage will
"hold it" rather than eliminating, and dog owners would thus not have
to pay close attention to their puppies while they were confined to the crate. It
wasn't long before dog trainers began recommending crating for adult dogs who
had any type of behavior problem as a way of stopping the behavior. But this
method does not teach dogs good behavior, and it certainly doesn't take into
account their social, physical, and psychological requirements. Dogs are highly
social pack animals who abhor isolation and who crave and deserve
companionship, praise, and exercise. Forcing dogs to spend extended periods of
time confined and isolated simply to accommodate their guardians' schedules is
unacceptable, and it exacerbates behavior problems, leading to even more
Crate training does not
speed up the housetraining process. Regardless of the training method, puppies
do not develop full bladder control until they are about 6 months old. It is
counterproductive to crate young puppies in the hope that they will "hold
it." They are physically incapable of doing so and are eventually forced
to urinate in their crates after experiencing great discomfort while trying not
to soil their beds. Puppies who repeatedly soil their crates often lose the
urge to keep them clean, which prolongs and complicates the housetraining process.
Pet store and puppy mill puppies, who
are born and raised in crate-like structures, tend to be difficult to
housetrain, and they may experience severe anxiety and develop fearful and/or
destructive behavior if they are confined to crates. They may even injure
themselves while trying to bite or scratch their way out.
Studies have shown that long-term
confinement is detrimental to the physical and psychological well-being of
animals. Animals caged for extended periods can develop many different
disorders, including the following:
there is a better, more humane way to train dogs, why would we subject our
canine companions to a training method that is obviously not in their best interests?
PETA does not oppose keeping a dog confined
to a small area as necessary if it is in the dog's best interests (e.g., when complete
rest is ordered by a veterinarian or when confinement will keep the dog safe
during travel). In such cases, guardians should always take steps to ensure
that dogs are provided with bedding and the opportunity to relieve themselves
and that they are given access to water, fresh air, food, companionship, and
other basic necessities.
There are numerous humane alternatives to
crating for people whose work schedules require that they leave their canine
companions at home during the day. PETA supports humane, interactive dog training,
which promotes and teaches guardians effective ways to communicate with their
animal companions. Committed caretakers who successfully complete training and continue
to provide their dogs with rewards for good behavior can be confident that
their dogs will not engage in destructive behavior while they are away.
For those who cannot make it home during
the day to provide their dogs with a potty break and some attention, PETA
recommends hiring a reputable pet service or soliciting a reliable person,
perhaps a neighbor or relative, to take one's dog out for a midday walk. A "doggie
door" that provides access to a secure yard with a privacy fence is
another option for giving dogs the opportunity to relieve themselves as well as
for alleviating boredom and preventing neurotic behavior. Paper training can be
another way to handle dogs' need to relieve themselves when they can't go
outside. And having an animal friend to keep them company is another great option
for keeping dogs stimulated and content while the human family members are away.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.