I would like to share this position statement from APDT as my clients, fellow trainers, and I have reaped many benefits from having crate trained dogs. I highlighted one sentence below in purple that I would like to comment on in the event that it might be interpreted that dogs with anxiety should not be crate trained. Certainly, with the help of a certified trainer, one can address the anxiety AND start some very simple exercises involving the crate.
And now I present the following cut and paste from APDT.com:
The following statement reflects the opinion of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers recommends the use of crates for puppies and dogs as a short-term training tool and as safety equipment throughout the dog’s life.
Crates are a valuable tool for house training, as well as for managing the environment so dogs avoid developing problem behaviors such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing. Crates also provide safe restraint in the car, and make it easier to travel with your dog by providing short-term confinement options in a hotel or anywhere else you might visit. Crate training also helps minimize stress during times of emergency, while boarding in a kennel or while spending a night at the vet 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.
Introduce dogs to the crate gradually and make sure that it’s a pleasant experience. 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. Avoid using the crate as punishment, and 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 APDT does not recommend the use of crates as a confinement tool for extended periods – this is a tool best used in conjunction with a comprehensive training and socialization program guided by a professional dog trainer. To find a trainer in your area visit the APDT trainer search page.