When Should I Stop Using a Crate?
Never. Once a dog is crate trained, it becomes accustomed to the crate as its safe haven. The dog should always have a crate available to it and feel safe and comfortable in its crate.
As Daniel explains:
"Working line dogs - whether they be for whatever type of work - people usually have a crate in the back of their truck, or car, or van, and they take that crate with them everywhere. The dog is transported in the crate. The dog feels great in the crate. The dog shuts down in the crate. The dog comes out of the crate, they're ready to work, right?"
This is important because if dogs are not crate trained, they will often sense the anxiety that their owners feel and mirror that anxiety back to them. So, by designating that crate as a safe zone, the dog will feel more comfortable in unfamiliar environments.
Unfamiliar environments may include car rides or even just when new people are inside the house. Even the most well-trained dog can become overwhelmed at times. That is why it is important to make sure your dog feels safe by giving it a place where it can retreat to.