Despite the controversy and arguments surrounding crates, we are pro-crate dog owners, and your Schnauzer should have a crate.
Crates have a lot of benefits. Among those is giving your dog their own space. Our dogs spend time in every area of the house, but we know they enjoy having a place to retreat when our home gets busy.
However, crates are a tool that is easy to abuse. That’s why we discuss how you should and shouldn’t use a crate with all of our adopters.
What you can use a crate for
- Potty training
Crates are a great way to reinforce potty training because they make it easier to schedule potty breaks, and help prevent accidents when your puppy is alone. Having a small space where they can’t pee in one corner and walk away, will encourage them to wait until their next potty break
- Leaving the house
If your puppy isn’t ready to be left alone, you can leave them in the crate while you’re gone. This is only for short periods of time. We limit crate time to four hours for adults, and two for puppies. If you have to be gone longer than that, arrange for someone to stop by and let them stretch their legs.
- Car travel
The crate gives your Schnauzer a safe place to sit and nap during long car rides.
- Their own space
It’s important for the crate to be your puppy’s safe place. They need to be allowed to sit in there without being bothered if they need to get away from the commotion of the house, or just take a nap.
What you can’t use a crate for
This is the thing we emphasize the most. Do not use going to the crate as punishment for bad behavior. The crate is supposed to be your puppy’s safe place. If they associate it with punishment, they won’t want to use it and will be reluctant to go in when you need them to.
- Long periods of time
A puppy can’t hold their pee for longer than a few hours. They shouldn’t have to spend eight hours in their crate while you’re at work, and another eight hours there while you sleep. That’s most of the day, and not fair to your Schnauzer.
If you absolutely cannot find a way to stay home longer, and your dog can’t be left outside of the crate, consider finding another option. A dog sitter or a good doggy daycare can go a long way to improving your dog’s quality of life.
The important thing to remember is that a crate is a training tool, not a means of punishment or a way of life. If you don’t use a crate well, your dog will feel trapped and frustrated. However, if you are careful, and treat it as the training tool it is, it can become a valuable asset for you and your dog.