Crate training began with Bruno from day one. Over the next couple of years, Bruno became known as the boy in the box. This term of endearment came about due to the fact that he spent a LOT of time in his Vari-Kennel. Ironically, I cannot find any pictures of Bruno in a crate.
The crate was never used as a form of punishment and quickly became the little guy’s safe haven. The crate assisted with potty training and kept the house and its contents safe from sharp teeth. Bruno slept crated throughout the night and was always crated when left alone or unsupervised.
Around the age of four month’s Bruno moved from a small puppy sized crate to his permanent X-Large Vari-Kennel. The smaller crate was becoming cramped and he was now old enough to not relieve himself in the larger crate and smart enough to bark when he needed to use the outdoor facilities.
Traveling in a vehicle was never an issue thanks again to crate training. Bruno was in the security and comfort of his crate so a road trip was no biggie and usually constituted a nap until our desired destination was reached.
Long before Bruno had graduated into his X-Large Vari-Kennel he understood the association of his crate being loaded into the back of the vehicle. Woohoo!!! He knew that he was getting to “go” and going was good. Going meant new places, new people, new experiences, more time spent with humans, and maybe just maybe, some fun bite work.
As Bruno grew older and began to mature he earned himself more and more time out of the box. The door to his crate was always left open and often he would voluntarily seclude himself to the kennel for a nap. More than once I was unable to immediately locate him in the house only to find him snoring comfortably in his crate.
Over the last several years Bruno’s Vari-Kennel has seen very little action. About once every couple of weeks Bruno will do a walk through but never settles in. Why he does this I have no idea. Is he checking to make sure it has not been redecorated? I always question him about this but I have yet to receive an answer. He just looks at me like I am stupid.
I do not blame the big guy for any longer using nor needing his crate. Things change. It is unarguable the couch is way more comfortable to stretch out and sleep on versus being scrunched inside a hard plastic crate. The Vari-Kennel may not see much action these days, but its place remains secure among the rest of the furniture in the house.
*Originally posted September 28, 2009*