The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) issued a position statement today that recommends crates for the training and transport of dogs.
“We want to assure shelters, rescues, vets and dog owners that using crates is safe, humane and effective and in many cases can be what helps a dog stay in its home,” said Mychelle Blake, the group’s president and CEO.
The statement, a spokeswoman said, was released in response to a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign. The Norfolk, Va.-based organization has long opposed dog crates and this month ramped up its fight upon the news of a Tulsa, Okla., father who was accused of putting his toddler daughter in a metal crate.
APDT noted that crates should be used for positive training of dogs, not for punishment, and that dogs should be introduced to a crate gradually.
“It is important to choose a crate of appropriate size and adjust confinement times as the dog matures in order to build long-term success,” the position statement noted. “Avoid crating a dog who is experiencing anxiety, whether that anxiety stems from the confinement itself, separation from a loved one, or from environmental factors like a thunderstorm or other dogs.”
The association also stated that crates:
• May be used to promote house training and to manage behavioral issues such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing.
• Provide safe restraint in a car and ease travel by providing short-term confinement options in a hotel or other destination.
• Help minimize stress during emergencies, while boarding in a kennel and while staying overnight at a veterinary clinic.
“When introduced properly, a crate becomes a safe place that many dogs seek out when they need a break from a hectic home environment,” APDT stated.
The Greenville, S.C.-based association, founded in 1993, has 6,000 members and calls itself the world’s largest organization of professional dog trainers and behavioral consultants.