One often forgotten but crucial phase of maintaining a K9 is the maintenance of the kennel area, or even just the crate. Remember that our K9s are vital tools to our professional jobs and the care we take in maintaining their ‘homes’ is crucial. In addition to the basic needs of the K9, the proper maintenance of the kennel will allow for you to ensure that they are always ready to perform. If you allow your kennel to fall into disrepair or neglect then you are inviting a wide range of negative issues to befall you and your K9 partner.
A clean and orderly kennel is paramount in providing for the safety and security of your K9. Making sure that the bedding down area is free from excess debris and trash will keep your K9 from eating or playing with superfluous items. Having a routine whereby you clean and disinfect the kennel is key. There is a lot of research out there involved in developing habits – it is accepted that repeating an action for 21 days in a row will become habitual. Just like our training, practicing perfect will allow for you to know exactly what irregularities occurred to prompt you to act. Along those same lines, when you are asked to justify your actions you are able to know exactly what you did and why you did it. Whether you are cleaning ten kennels or just one crate, know your area so that you can assess any needs that arise in maintaining a proper area.
In addition to a clean area, making sure that all equipment involved in your kennel area is working in an in good repair. There is nothing worse than not fixing a broken piece of equipment and then seeing the end result of your K9 injuring themselves on it – costing money and downtime and possibly retiring your K9.
Toys and rewards are awesome to give to your K9 – but they are not babysitters. There is no toy or training aid that is ever manufactured or intended for non-monitored use. Sometimes this means removing water and food bowls. So make sure that when you feed and water that you remove anything that could be a danger or is just not necessary.
In closing, kennel maintenance is where all of your deployments truly begin and end. Regardless of the type of work you are asking your partner to perform, it all starts with a healthy dog.
And remember, if you ever have a question we are always here for you so give us a call.
– Jason Rimeik
Custom Canine Unlimited