Crate training IS RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP. Containment is part of managing and owning an animal. If your dog gets destructive, injured, gets trash everywhere, gets hit by a car, urinates/defecates all over your house, bites delivery drivers, or runs away from home because they're left to be in charge of themselves with no guidance and no supervision, that's not the dogs fault and there is no amount of training that can substitute bad and irresponsible management.
Obedience training alone will not fix situations like this. What really changes situations like this is what I like to call a gut check. Making a decision to be the catalyst for change and realizing the responsibility falls on US as the humans to be better. You actually need to spend time with your dog in order to build a relationship with them. Containing them in the absence of your presence prevents bad and dangerous behavior from ever occurring. Leaving dogs unattended for hours and hours and hours allows them to learn hours and hours and hours of bad behavior.
A dog will never achieve its full potential on its own. A stray will wallow in ditches, scavenging trash, just barely getting by its entire life. It will never on its own rise up to become a dog that can find explosives, detect cancer, guide the blind, or do any of the other amazing things dogs are capable of. In the same manner a dog in your home left to try and figure it out on its own will never become the best your dog can become. YOU can change your life. YOU can change your relationship with your dog. YOU can do this.
Incorporate Crate Training Into Your Routine
Crate training your dog sets your dog up for success. We train because we want to prepare for any event that might happen in the future. You don't want your dogs first experience with a crate to be when their at the vet injured or after a surgery. Life happens. Things like this happen when we least expect it. This turns an already stressful situation into an even worse experience for a dog and can directly impact their behavior afterwards. I've seen it many times.
By turning the crate into something the dog can interact with and making it part of their training routine you are establishing a good context for the crate with your dog. Using high value reward every time your dog goes into their crate and feeding your dog in the crate are two very good ways to do this. Grab your treat pouch and start putting in those reps with your dog. I personally really like the KHPR treat pouch as it allows me to carry everything I need all in one convenient setup. The treat pouch are is synthetic material so it's easy to wash, it has a toy pouch/phone pouch, and a waste bag dispenser so you don't have to have one of those clunky dispensers on your leash.
Crates, Cars, & The Dangers Of Seatbelts
Crates are also a MUCH safer option for traveling and transporting your dog in a vehicle than the seat belt style leads that I've seen circulating over the last 10 years. The last thing you want to have happen if you get into a car accident while you're trying to get yourself and other passengers free is for your dog to be being strangled to death by a 10 dollar leash seatbelt device. Seatbelts were engineered and designed for humans not dogs. An impact crate such as the one below with the roll cage attachment is one of the best products on the market when it comes to protecting your dog.
Impact crates are made of the same HDPE material that kayaks and blue barrels are made from. Their designed to minimize your dogs movement during a collision. The crate acts as a shield for your dog. The Sport Dog crate brand is the only one we're aware of with a roll cage. There may be others on the market but this one is the best priced one we've found. Chinsy plastic crates or the black wire crates are not going to cut it here. Invest in quality gear. You won't regret it.
If you think leaving your dog in a crate is some how not giving them the best life possible I'd encourage you to reconsider and watch a few videos of what dogs actually do when their owners are gone. A LOT of what dogs do in the absence of their human owners is sleep. They wait around anticipating our return every day. We live busy lives in this modern age. There's no denying that. Making the most of our your time with your dog while you're home is how you give them the best life possible. That starts with a good routine. Good routines eliminate stress both in your life and in your dogs life. What I'm trying to say here is your dog is better with you than without you. Have a great day, thank you for reading, and God bless y'all!