No matter how large the dog, most dogs actually enjoy finding enclosed spaces to sleep and relax. This probably stems from ancient times where dogs (their ancestors) used to live in dens out in the wild in the confinement of a small room . They would find a small cave or place where they could hide from the elements and predators, thus feeling safe and keeping warm.
A lot of dog owners at first feel guilty about putting their dogs into crates, but this actually caters to the dogs instincts making them feel safe and happy. Dog crates are useful for training puppies, a safe place for all dogs to relax, and very helpful in keeping your dog calm in any stressing situations that might occur.
Experts and vets will recommend starting crate training from a very young age. It can be very helpful for housebreaking new puppies as dogs don't like to soil their den or sleeping area. This will help them learn holding their bladder for longer stretches at a time, and learning the routine of going outside to do their business.
In addition, the curious little puppies can't be monitored by you at all times, so containing them in crates when you need to be elsewhere will definitely make your life easier when getting the puppies trained.
Crate training will come in very handy in your everyday life. For your dog the crate will be their safe place when they need a rest from the hustle and bustle of the family. Teach your kids that when your dog is resting in its crate, they want to be left alone, and needs a little timeout.
When building the crate as a really safe spot for your dog, they will seek it out themselves in any stressing situations as well. Fireworks or a thunderstorm can be stressful situations for many dogs - if they feel safe in their crate, they will probably feel less anxious and stressed when lying inside the crate.
"I can go and hide in my den, the one place that is really mine and where I feel the safest, and no one will bother me there!" - Said all the crate trained dogs
When you're having company over, a crate can be very helpful for containing the dogs' enthusiasm when greeting the newly arrived guests, making it more pleasant for the guests.
Getting crate trained early in their lives will help reduce stress on older dogs too. Older dogs might have to deal with arthritis or incontinence or any number of other illnesses, and should be spared from having to learn new rules in addition to coping with their illness.
When the crate already functions as their safe spot, they will seek it out and get their frequent naps or just resting their joints in a quiet space. Older dogs need more time to relax, and especially if the household have children or younger dogs around, they will need this safe and relaxing spot to retreat to.
A crate will be helpful also for insecure dogs. Any dog will feel responsible for their territory, and a crate will make their territory a lot smaller. So in their every day life, the whole house will be their territory, but when confined to the crate, the territory shrinks. That's why it feels safe in a crate - because they have full control of this space.
Travelling With Crates
Crate training makes transporting the dog by car safer and easier. When put in the crate, the car ride will be easier on both the dog and on you as the crate itself will help reduce the stress on your dog.
To get your large dog onto an airplane, you need this training in advance, since large dogs need to be contained in a crate when travelling by air. If your dog isn't crate trained, the crate might add to the stress of travel, and sedating might be the only way to get your dog to relax. You want to avoid sedating since the American Veterinary Medical Association highly recommends against this as this may increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems.
How to Succeed With Crate Training
Like any training, crate training takes a bit of time and effort. Make sure to make the training a very positive experience for your dog. Try feeding them a meal or snacks in the crate, and don't overdo the training when you're starting out. Spend some time with the dog close to the crate. Bring a book and sit outside the crate reading. Just being there makes the crate time better for the dog.
Limit how long the dogs need to stay in the crate every day. After a few days of spending time there, feeding them some treats, they will start seeking out the cage them selves when they need a nap or just want to lay down for a while. You should really reward them when they do this.
The first step in starting out is really understanding the positives of crate training. Do some research on how to succedd with crate training your large dog, and afterwards you need to make a plan befitting of your surroundings and your dog. Stick to the plan, and I'm sure you'll succed! Good luck on crate training your large dog!