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To Kennel or not to Kennel - THAT is the question!

Updated: Jul 12, 2019

I continue to see posts on social media about whether or not to kennel train your dogs and from my experience, I scream "YES"! As you can see in the attached pictures of Liar (7 years old) and Blaze (almost 11 years old), they LOVE their kennels and their bedroom! In our case, Liar and Blaze are only "locked" in their kennels for night time sleeping and if we leave the house for more than an hour at a time. And here's our top 10 reasons why.

PROS TO KENNELS : 1) If people come over who you don't trust with your dogs, you can kennel the dogs. 2) If your dogs take ill and require "quiet time" or restricted activity, you can kennel them without additional stress. 3) In our case, Blaze and Liar LOVE their kennels and will retire to them if THEY need their space. Liar in particular opts to go to "bed time" when I vacuum as this seems to be a stressor for him. 4) Protection from each other : I personally know of a very tragic story where a dear friend of mine had multiple dogs of different breeds that were left out together "free" while she left the house. These dogs were not strangers to each other or "new" to the home. But when she returned from running errands, she came home to a blood bath that resulted in the death of two dogs and a multitude of stitches in a remaining dog. One will never truly know what happened but it's obvious that a fight ensued and no one (human) was there to stop it. The result was tragic. 5) Incontinence : Sadly, our dogs get older and just like humans, their bodies start to fail. If dogs start becoming incontinent, it's easier to wash bedding while you cant "watch" and let them out. 6) Damage Control : Tim and I have come home to torn bedding or shredded toys but never furniture or house hold damage! I reflect here on a story my uncle Frank shared where his Collie was left "free" in their house and got bored. Cane, in his boredom, somehow with "Super Canine strength", managed to drag their brand new queen size bed mattress off their bed, down the narrow stairs and took it upon himself to complete destroy it in their living room while they were at work.

7) Difficult to go back : If you properly kennel train your pup, you can always choose to leave them with freedom in your home, but should a time require that you need to kennel your dog who has no positive kennel attitude, this can be very stressful to teach in an emergency!

8) Travelling : With both Liar and Blaze positively trained for their kennels, we can take them anywhere overnight and they still have the safe, familiar feeling of their kennels as we bring them with us. Similar to humans, there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed!

9) Protection from themselves : I recently watched a video on social medial where a gentleman had motion cameras set up in his house to monitor his large breed dog. To the owners dismay, his dog rather enjoyed lounging on the dining room table so as he had a "better view out the window". Sadly, the video showed the dog jumping twice to get on the table that day. The first jump, the dog didn't make it and landed hard on his back on the floor. The second time the dog did make it and curled up nicely to watch his world go by as he waited for his owner to return. But one has to think what would have happened if the dog had hurt himself.

10) Potty Training : I place this last on my list, not for any other reason then it's been a long time since we had to potty train a dog. It's said time and time again "even dogs don't poop in their beds" and for the most part, this is true. Simply, they don't want to sleep in it, smell it or be anywhere close to it and who can blame them? Once they learn their routine (ie - they get to go outside immediately after being in their kennel) they learn the fine DESIRED art of "holding it". Each of our dogs, with the proper use of kennels has been potty trained and virtually accident free within two weeks.

In conclusion, I leave you with a thought : Humans invented "play pens" for small children and why is this? So mom or dad can do dishes, chores, bath themselves or what have you without coming back to a child who hurt themselves while not being watched.

Share the story - it could save a life!

Karen Grzenda

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Can giving my boys thyroid pills an hour or two late cause behavior issues? From reading your book, yes.

Is it better to give pill too too soon after eating than dosing too late? This is my first dog who hypothyroidism and want to do the best i can by him.

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