My answer every time? A resounding YES.
Crate training is an important skill that your dog should be comfortable and confident with, which will come in very handy during stressful times. Just like muzzle training or getting your dog comfortable with being touched on different parts of its body, it is all about desensitizing your dog to the crate.
Most dogs typically like to keep the space they sleep in (also known as their den), clean. Therefore it is a very useful tool when you are toilet training a young dog, or teaching an older dog about the boundaries within it’s new home.
It helps many puppies calm down and allows them to nap – you want a puppy that is well rested, for maximum effectiveness during training times. Like an unrested child, puppies can get cranky and unfocused when they do not get sufficient rest.
Your dog should always see the crate as a sanctuary and safe haven. When introduced correctly, your dog would retreat naturally to it’s crate when it needs a break from the outside world. The crate should NEVER be used as a place of punishment.
Be fair to your dog. It should not be in the crate for long periods of time; ensure that you let it out for scheduled toilet breaks, training-bonding sessions and exercise.
Schedule in times to mentally and physically stimulate your dog whilst it is out of the crate. This would guarantee that when it goes back to the crate, it will naturally want to rest calmly.
Remember that the dog should be calm when you let it out, and only when you invite it out of the crate.
On the flip side, having a dog that is crate trained, also allows the human to create some space for themselves too. It gives the owners a break from having to constantly watch the dog when it is still learning the rules in a new environment.
It is also a good way to teach children to respect a dog’s space and to leave a resting dog alone.
Situations a crate trained dog would fair better in than one that isn’t
Your dog needs to stay at the vet for an injury
Your dog needs to be evacuated due to an emergency
Your dog needs to be unexpectedly boarded
Your dog needs to be physically isolated due to healing or injury
If you move homes and the dog is unsettled in it’s new environment
If these, or any of the other countless unfortunate realities inevitably pop up, you will be thankful that the already unpleasant, stress-filled, and worrisome moment was not their first time in a crate.