Kennelling Your Dog
Kennelling Your Dog - Why or Why not?
When it Works
As I mentioned earlier, I did use a dog kennel when my dog was a puppy. She was a retriever border collie mix which meant she was way too smart for her own good. This was part of the reason why she was kept in the kennel at night when she as young, as a border collie puppy will explore way to much and they can hide their tracks way to well. This was evident after our first Christmas with her when chocolates disappeared completely, no marks on the floor, no wrappers nothing. We would have never found out if she had gotten rid of the chocolate on her teeth. That dog's poop was sparkling for a week. So as you can tell the kennel was partially for us but also partially for the dog. But once she got older, bigger and had better training, the kennel was put away for good.
When It Doesn't
Some people however do not put their kennels away no matter what. A couple years ago when visiting my brother for his wedding, I went to retrieve something from the basement only to hear an insane amount of barking. Locked in a cage was one of the bridesmaids dogs, a fairly large dog at that. For the entirety of the wedding and after party, this dog was locked a in cage in a basement away from all the people and the other dogs. I enquired with my sister in law about this dog and was told it was her sisters and he is too wild to be allowed with everyone. Now, this dog was 2-3 years old and seemed to be kennelled most of its life. I think we have just pinpointed why it seems so wild. A couple times the owner of the dog left the party to see it, but would always be back within 5 minutes. This is not the proper way to raise a dog let alone the proper way to kennel one.
How Big Is Too Big?
A big issue I have with people who habitually use kennels is that they put no consideration in for the size of the dog. I had a friend who had a black lab that was almost always in this small kennel. Never mind that this “friend” also lived in a one storey duplex with no room outside. Every time I would see him, this poor dog would get excited to actually have some company but that excitements would be received with scowls from his owner who would then kennel the dog. The dog would get locked back up making it even more excited every time something would happen. I would see this dog sitting in its kennel, unable to move more than 5 inches any direction. Many times I mentioned to the owner that maybe it is time for a new kennel, a bigger one or even an outdoor space. The answer was always the same-it's too expensive.
What Can You Do?
In my limited experience, I would say that at least 80% of urban dog owners and maybe 20% of rural dog owners own a kennel for their dogs. This is okay, as I said before I have no issue with the act of kennelling but how it is done. The Guardian did a piece on the dangers of kennelling that has many good points, mainly discussing when kennelling crosses over from good to bad. That is what more of us need to remember about kennelling our dogs, is that it can be good and bad. If you have a dog kennel, line it with some soft material, maybe throw some toys in their. Make sure it is the correct size or larger and don’t cut all the light out. Maybe even put an old sweater of your in there so the dog still feels at home because your dog should always feel at home with you.