Crates, gates, and indoor tethers are some of the management options i will discuss with families in our first visit. it is common for families to have put away crates and gates once the dog has matured. When I bring up the topic of management people are surprised and often resistant at first to the idea of a crate being reintroduced to their older dog. It is common for people to associate crates and gates with puppies not older dogs. I have found that talking to families about setting their dogs up for long term success as their family gows really helps them to understand the many wonderful uses of crates, gates, indoor tethers and even a closed bedroom. Over the years I started to refer to these various types of management as “Success Stations.” I like this as we use these specific spots as places where the dog is guaranteed ti succeed. We introduce all success station in a positive and fun way. No all success stations are right for all dogs. This is why it is best to work with your dog early in your pregnancy. Ideally families keep success stations active throughout the life of their dog and not just during puppy-hoood.
***One of the most common challenges for families is when their baby begins to crawl and separation is needed and the family dog has not been been gradually introduced to a success station. This leads to frustration for everyone. This can be avoided with preparation ahead of time. Practicing short separation from your dog while you are in your home in another room can help your dog learn to be comfortable when separated. A great resource to help you with this is can be found here! Please don’t wait until you need to separate…practice before you need to. If you are going to have kids in your home even visiting…especially visiting…you will need to be able to separate your dog comfortably!