Kennel Rotating Your Dogs

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Kennel Rotating Your Dogs

For those that follow me, you may already know of my two females that love to fight.  I shouldn’t say love per se, but they do fight.  I did recently board them though, I will say.  I’m not sure if it worked for the fighting, but it sure worked in other ways.  So, now I lean on kennel rotating dogs, it helps.

Many people reading this might think it’s cruel to leave your dogs in a kennel all day.  But that’s really not the case.  Dogs are naturally den animals and actually love having a place they feel safe.  In the beginning, Atlas hated the kennel.  I did try crate training with her early on, but she was stubborn.  So for those stubborn dogs, how do you kennel train?

Kennel Training, How to Start.

Kennel training really isn’t that difficult.  A couple of things to note before you start.  First, make sure the kennel size fits the dog, not the house.  Meaning, the kennel needs to grow with the puppy.  If you have a puppy and you get a large kennel, then the puppy will go to the bathroom in the kennel.

So, you start with a kennel that’s just big enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around.  Oftentimes, I borrow a cat kennel for puppies to start.

Next, start with limited time.  Don’t expect a puppy to be able to hold their bladder in the beginning.  It takes time for them to develop the ability to hold their bathroom.  Usually, I don’t go longer than 2 hours for 8 week olds, and as they develop, you can extend the time from there.  3 hours at 12 weeks, 4 hours at 16 weeks and so on.

Don’t Give in to the Cries.

Another important part of kennel training is not giving in to their cries of help. Puppies, like all babies, want to be held and comforted.  It’s really hard to hear them crying, I get it, I really do. But, it’s important.  If you take them out every time they cry, then they soon learn that’s how they get out. “Oh, if I do this, then I get this!”  Don’t fall for it.

Now, if they cry a lot in there, they most likely have to go to the bathroom.  So, yes, frequent trips out are required I’m afraid.  You need to take care of your dog, they’re part of the family.  Don’t neglect them in there!  I would never throw my dog in a kennel all day and just leave them there.  Well, I do now, but my dogs are very well kennel trained.  So, yes, they are in there while we’re at work.

In fact, I actually always have one dog in the kennel, no matter what.  Why?  So they don’t fight!

Why Kennel Rotation Works.

When you have multiple dogs in the house, and they’re prone to fighting, then sometimes you have to do what’s necessary for the dogs safety.  At first, I was against kennel rotation.  Instead, I paid a decent amount of money to send them both away to boarding training.  I was hopeful that once they were home, there’d be no more fighting.

And, in all honesty, they may not fight. But, I haven’t tested it yet and I don’t really want to.  For several reasons, in case you’re wondering why.

First off, when my dogs fight, they really fight.  Not to the death, mind you, and I don’t think they do it to really hurt each other.  The problem though, is that I have two dominate females.  They’re the same size, and when they fought last, they did not want to release.  It took a long time to break them up last time.  Plus, they always come out of it injured.  I hate it.  It’s very stressful for me as well.  Unfortunately, the stress if it for me, fuels their fire.  They sense it, and they react to it.

Now, only one is out at a time.

How Kennel Rotation Works.

In the morning, when I first wake up, I let one dog out to go to the bathroom.  Once that dog is done, I simply put them back in their place, and cover the kennel with a blanket.  I do this so that if the other one gets close and tissy, there’s no fighting through the grates of the doors.  I don’t want a dog missing a toe!

Once the other dog is done going to the bathroom, I leave her out for a good 30 mins.  After the 30 mins, I put her back in the kennel, cover it with a blanket, and let the other one back out.  Both are out in the morning for 30 mins each.

When my oldest teenager gets home from school, she lets one out to go to the bathroom, then kennels her and then switches.  Each day, she bounces between who she lets out first.  Don’t want any lingering jealousy here.  However, I will note, that if one is making an excessive amount of noise, I tell her to focus on that dog first, no matter the rotation.  It usually means they really have to go out.

Kennel Rotating Your Dogs is all About Timing.

At night, we continue with the rotations.  One will be out for an hour, then we switch.  I make sure to time them now, and play equally to both.  They both need play time, they both need love when we get home.  So, getting home is a little different.  I always make sure to give them one that’s out love in my bedroom first, for about 3-5 mins.  Then, kennel her and switch to the other.

This allows them to see that we love them both and give them both the attention they need and seek when first getting home. So, the rotation can be a little hectic at first, but honestly, I don’t miss the days of them fighting.  With only one out at a time, there’s no jealousy, no stress, and no injuries.

Both dogs seem happy with the current situation and when they get out, they play with us and make the most of their time.

So, if kennel rotating your dogs has been something you’re contemplating, I’m here to tell you, it works!

2 thoughts on “Kennel Rotating Your Dogs

  1. Hi Katrina,
    Thank you for your very informative article. I only had one dog at a time, but I did need to kennel them from time to time. Mostly because with only one dog, they tend to get spoiled a bit and learn bad habits. like pestering you to hold them, or jumping up on you when they get excited. The problem I had with kennel training is the crying at first, they really bark and yap till they either get tired, or get on my nerves so bad I let them out. It really took some time before they finally settled in and behaved.
    I have to admit, it was easier to just give in, than to put up with the yelping. I guess I just made it worse at first, but it worked out in the end.

    1. Chas,

      Kennel training is always hard in the beginning, but it does get easier with time, like you mentioned. I’ve always kennel trained my dogs, simply because it’s the easiest way to potty train them. Dogs don’t like going to the bathroom where they sleep – naturally. Once they get used to their kennels though, it’s their safe place. Mine all run to their kennels when they’re stressed or tired, so it’s good they have a safe place to be in these kinds of situations.

      Thanks for reading! Sorry I’ve been away for so long!


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