If your dog is chewing up shoes and destroying your furniture, it might be time to get a crate. While create training is a must for puppies, it’s also a good choice when your puppy isn’t so little anymore. Dogs are den animals, which means they need their own space to rest or hide. A crate creates an indoor escape for your dog and becomes his home within your home. Below you will find answers to the most common concerns about using a crate to train your dog.
What Type of Crate to Choose?
In order to serve as an indoor escape for your furry friend the crate needs to be able to meet your dog’s needs. Five different styles of dog crates are available: wire, plastic, durable, soft and fashion. For a well-ventilated crate, a wire one is the best option. It is a great choice for dogs who like to see their surroundings and don’t want to escape. Wire cages have removable panels and are easy to clean, but they can be noisier than other dog cages. And while they are portable, certain models can be a bit heavy.
Plastic crates aren’t much attractive, but they offer more privacy and seclusion for dogs who need it. These crates are recommended for dogs who are escape masters as they are particularly secure. Plastic crates are also the best type for air travel and they are easy to store when not in use. Soft crates offer a number of advantages including being lightweight, great for travel and easy to store. This type of crate should only be used for smaller dogs since it can be hard to clean and easy for larger dogs to chew them way out of the container.
Heavy-duty or durable dog cages are designed to accommodate clever and destructive dogs. They are the most expensive style on this list but you won’t have to replace a heavy-duty cage as you would with a less sturdy option. Many heavy-duty and durable crates are airline travel approved, which is an extra bonus.
Fashion dog crates are created to blend in with home surroundings. These are typically made from wood or rattan and can double as an end table in your living room or as a side table in your bedroom. However, as these crates have a wood-base, they can be easily destroyed by a destructive dog.
How Long Can Your Dog Be In a Crate?
After familiarizing your dog with the crate, you should feed him inside the crate to make him more comfortable. Once these two steps are completed, you can gradually increase the amount of time your dog stays in the crate. The first time you put your dog inside the crate, he may whine. The best way to handle this is to wait until your dog quite down or five minutes depending on which happens first. Then when your dog comes out of the crate, be sure to praise him and allow him access to the outside to go potty. Repeat this process a couple of times each day to get your dog to feel at ease with the inside of the crate. Keep in mind that dog crates aren’t designed for a dog to be inside all day long. Their purpose is to give the puppy a safe place to sleep while you are sleeping. Here is a guide of how long your dog should be in crate based on the dog’s age.
What Features to Look For When Buying a Dog Crate?
The first step in assuring the crate fits your dog’s needs is choosing the right size of crate for your dog. If you have a puppy, keep in mind that he will grow. Your veterinarian can help you determine how big your buddy will get. Depending on your dog’s breed, you may need to get more than one crate as it will need to grow with your dog.
If you will be training your puppy to use a crate, it isn’t a great idea to use a plastic or cloth crate at first. Puppies tend to chew on things, which means they can quickly destroy a container that’s not durable. Generally, the best type of container for puppies is a metal one.
For flying with your furry friend you will need a crate that complies with airport and airline regulations. Know that different airlines have different restrictions, so before buying a crate, check with your airline for their specifications.
If you are looking to keep your dog’s create in the living room with the rest of the family you may want to think about the aesthetics of the container. As mentioned above, you can find crates that double as tables or other fixtures. It’s also sometimes possible to match the colour and style of the crate with your home decor.
For a camping or road trip, consider getting a collapsible crate as it makes easy to travel without taking up much space. A crate made of cloth is also a good idea for not chewer dogs.