I had my own reservations about crating until visiting my trainer who said... "it is far more cruel to set your dog up for your disappointment and for being punished when you return home and find that he's gotten into something he shouldn't have than it is to keep him safely contained while you're away."
Those of us who have crates for our dogs find them sleeping contentedly away in their own, private spaces with the doors wide open when they could be sleeping on the couch instead. We find them taking a cherished beef marrow bone into their little lairs completely without prodding. And when a new puppy comes into the house, we find them going to their little dens just to "get away from it all."
Frankly, after introducing my dogs to their crates, I could never rob them of their little get-a-ways that started out in the beginning as a way to stop them from getting in trouble all the time when left alone. Even though at first, they seem to be saying "Hey! What are you doing? You aren't going to leave me in here are you?," for the next 15+ years, they act like their crate is something they could never live without.
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