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A Crate Is Not For Life...
Some dogs love them and continue to use them into adulthood.
Some dogs stress without one and they continue to need them into adulthood.
Most dogs don't need them once they grow up.
DOG AND PUPPY
CRATES, CAGES & KENNELS
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HOW TO CHOOSE
THE RIGHT CRATE FOR YOUR DOG
A lot of people might think, how different can one type of dog crate be from the other? After all, it's just a crate. Wrong! - Dog crates come in all sizes, shapes and types and if you do not select the right one for your dog, then it's a stressful experience for the dog and a waste of your hard earned money.
The size of the crate is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to consider while selecting one. It should allow the dog to comfortably stand, sit and lie down with some extra head room. But do not select a crate that is too big for your dog, else, the dog may start to soil one part of the crate and sleep in the other.
The Type of Crate
There are many different types of crates that you can choose from. Wire dog crates are the simplest and also the flimsiest of them all and heavy duty dog crates are the toughest. If you have a dog who is a bit of an escape artist or has a mischievous side to his personality, it is recommended that you opt for a heavy duty crate. They are tough, durable and will prevent your dog from playing Houdini, when you are away.
Last but not the least, you might want to consider the price. While you do not want to cut corners, you also want to ensure that it doesn't blow a hole in your pocket.
DOG CRATE vs DOG KENNEL
Dog crate is not just for resting but also for sleeping. Unless you have a house the size of a palace, a dog crate should be available only in one room of the house. Crate and kennel are not the same thing. Kennel usually used to control, master the dog. Crate should be a den for your dog. Unlike a crate, a kennel is a closed area for the dog, with a roof and a door, typically even with a lock. This is where the word 'kennel' as a dog shelter derives from, they all are closed areas for dogs. Kennel and crate serve the opposite objective.
In a kennel, dogs are locked away because the handler or owner fears trouble if the dog or dogs can freely move in and out. Either trouble for the owner or handler or other people, or trouble for dogs. The best dog crate is the one which best suits your needs. This includes the size of your dog, the space you need it to fit in, where you want the doors to be, and where you want to use it. Purchasing a crate, or two, can seem like a decent investment of money, but it's not just a monetary investment.
Crate training your dog is also an investment of time. However it's in my opinion, an invaluable investment into your dog that will have many pay offs during the rest of your life together. A dog who is comfortable spending time alone will be better behaved in a kennel or daycare, will be less stressed in a vets office and will make a great travel companion or hotel buddy. Don't give up on the crate training process, the end outcome and your dogs mental health are worth it!
No matter what material or design you decide, the most important decision of all is size. Size matters, not just to your dog, but to you as well! Selecting a crate that is appropriately sized for your dog can be tricky if you have a puppy, specifically one who will grow up to be much larger than they are now. You may have to invest in a couple crates or a specific style of crate that can be divided and then expanded as the dog grows. Or you may opt to borrow one from family or friends until they grow up a little more, or you may choose to just buy a couple and re-use or resale at some point down the line.
With a full grown dog choosing size can be a little easier. Your dog should have room to walk in, turn around and lay down comfortably within the crate with a little extra leg room if they decide to sprawl out. They should not have enough space to do all the above, and yet still have an equal sized space left over. These luxuriously over sized kennels do not encourage a natural "den" feeling, because the dog is not securely surrounded. Dogs like the cozy feeling a crate provides oversized, does not cozy. All that extra space you are providing might make You feel better about confining your pooch but for a lot of dogs, but it can actually create more anxiety.
Since super sized kennels can create more anxiety for a lot of dogs - a mind set already prime for more poor decision making, having excessive space in the crate can lead to other behavior problems like defecating or urinating in the crate, because they have enough space to go lay away from their mess. Where as in a tighter environment they would likely make a better choice, to hold it, to avoid having to lay in or beside their own excrement. It can lead to destructive behaviors like crate mutilation - destroying pieces of the crate, bending doors, scratching or even worse the anxiety could lead further into separation anxiety which can lead to self mutilation - gnawing their teeth down chewing doors, injuring themselves by attempting to escape confinement.
Size matters, so before investing in a crate for your dog be sure to read the rest of this article, do some research into brands available to your area and even take your dog along to try out floor models to ensure the best fit for your family!
WHATS IT MADE FOR?
These days there is no shortage of different design options when choosing a dog crate. There's collapsible fabric crates, plastic airline carriers, wire kennels, car crates and even Alcatraz style, escape artist-proof crates! When selecting your crate it's important to consider what it's main function will be to you, for example: will you use it for "safekeeping" - confinement to ensure your dog isn't getting into funny business while you are out will they be using it unsupervised? Will it be mainly used for travel in the vehicle, keeping your dog off your lap and everyone on the road safe? Or will you be using it for short term use in a variety of locations, thus making portability and weight a factor? These are all important things to ask yourself when investing in a crate for your dog. You may even notice from my examples that having multiple crates, may even be necessary for your lifestyle.
If you are mainly going to need a crate to confine your dog for house training or to provide a safe place in your absence, your best bet is a plastic airline crate. These kennels get their "airline" associated name due to the fact that they are the only crates approved for travel in cargo holds of planes. They are durable, well designed and for the average dog provide more than enough security against escape artists. In my experience, most dogs prefer this style of kennel due to their usually rounded walls, encouraging a nice relaxed sleeping ball. The limited visibility beyond looking through the door, also helps keep visual distractions low and mimics a more "den" like space. These crates are also extremely easy to clean, making them a favorite of many dog care takers!
Wire kennels have become increasingly popular in the recent years, although to be honest- I have no idea why! Aside from their precisely square angles-which makes fitting them in places easier. There is no real upside to them over a plastic crate. They are heavy & I have caught my fingers in the wire while folding them to many times to count. They give a 360 view of all angles and so visual distractions are always available to create anxiety. Covering them with a blanket to reduce the visibility can also become a problem, due to the fact there is such large gaps between bars it takes almost no skill on the dogs part to pull things through the wire. Leading to potentially deadly ingestion of undesired items.
These large spacing Wooden Crates with in-between bars also makes fitting mouths around them very easy - these crates are often the first crates dog's learn to escape from, due to their poor quality and design. Once they think they have found an escape method, they will try it with any others. In my opinion, wire crates serve almost no purpose, unless they are to be placed in a location where a plastic kennel may not suit, by heat vent. Sure, they may seem more visually appealing in your beautiful home, but for most dogs they are the birthplace of anxiety. Unlike plastic crates, these wire counter parts are also extremely difficult to clean and the wide open holes leave plenty of room for messes to spill or be sprayed outwards.
Fabric crates are not for the first time crate user. These crates are for crate savvy dogs, who are well aware of the boundary's the crate reinforces. Why? These are extremely easy to rip or tear, specifically at the zippers, and especially if you buy one on the cheaper end with poor quality seams to begin with. These should not be used without supervision unless your dog is one of the crate savvy pups mentioned above, and not before they have have plenty of supervised interaction in it, to allow you to interrupt any naughty behaviors, like pawing the door. Once your dog is comfortable and content with what being in crate means, these can be an awesome addition to camping trips, dog classes and dog events.
These simple, lightweight pop-up crates are easy to travel with and provide an easy to grab "safe place" to stow your dog if your attention is distracted. For example, we went fishing on a camping trip and instead of leaving the dogs at the campsite, we were able to bring the pop up crate along to the lake, set it up in seconds in a shady spot, stow the dogs and focus on our original task. While still being able to include the dogs in activities. Ideally they'd of had a bomb proof place command, but that's another article! Fabric crates can be a great tool to have around, once you have installed that great crate foundation with your dog. Remember though, these are not for first time crate users, or to be used without supervision as a means of confinement until your dog is reliably calm in it, in your presence.
Car crates are the newest thing around these days, these funky looking kennels are specially designed to protect your pet and keep them safe and contained in the vehicle in case of an accident. They are on the pricier end of the scale, but unless you are like me and have multiple large breed dogs, the cost and functionality may be better justified. There's been many reports out lately showing the damage different styles of crates, like those mentioned above, can inflict not only your pet during a minor collision, but yourself as well. Not unlike a loose pet can become a flying projectile in an accident, so can their crate. I have even seen pictures of wire kennels smushed into bits and mangled by a low speed collision. Not only could your dog become impaled during that process, but should they come out unscathed but their crate is in pieces, the potential for them to flee the scene via a broken window, etc is increased. There's a variety of styles and brands to choose from when selecting one of these heavy-duty crates - Invest wisely!
Last but not least, there's escape-proof kennels! These crates are built from high quality, durable material and designed with every potential escape artist in mind. So if perhaps you made a mistake mentioned earlier and created an escape addict. These kennels will be your only solid investment. Plastic can be chewed, wire can be bent, fabric can be ripped. High end aluminum.. box and door and sophisticated locks.
Well they will be hard pressed to find a way to worm their way out of there. One of the most notably preferred escape proof kennels to serious dog professionals - those who see extreme separation anxiety on a regular basis is ZingerWinger. So if you have a crate killer at home, search no more, this crate can give you your freedom back and give you peace of mind knowing they are safe and contained, no matter what.
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HOW TO USE
DOG & PUPPY CRATE
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The main aims of a crate are safety, security, protection of belongings, to help house training and management of behavior problems. To get the most effective start possible you first want to prepare the crate. This means buying a good crate of the correct size, a few required accessories, have a location and a crate training plan all ready before you even bring your Labrador home. This way you can start crate training as soon as possible - the younger they are, the easier it is!
The crate must be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around freely and stretch out laying down comfortably. But not so big that they are able to go to toilet at one end and still be comfortable at the other as this defeats a lot of the purpose. You should always leave a chew toy or two in with your dog to keep them occupied, and remove any collar or harness so there's no risk of snagging and choking. Purchasing the correct style and size of crate, as well as placement, preparation and required and optional accessories is discussed in more depth in the next two articles in this series.
Always Leave The Crate Open For Your Dog to Use Voluntarily! First and foremost, the crate should be left open and accessible for your dog to use voluntarily when they wish. It provides your dog with his own little place to go for peace and quiet where they will not be disturbed, which is particularly important in a house with small children. Also, if you have to leave your puppy alone for short periods, being in the crate will make them feel safer and more secure than being free to roam around a big room or the whole house alone. Your dog should be able to seek out and find a way to cool down if it gets too hot and being confined to a crate doesn't allow this. Especially some with relatively solid walls that allow little air-flow and can get extremely hot, even dangerously so if the general weather is hot outside.
Crates have literally saved the lives of countless dogs, and they have helped countless others to deal with life in a human world with less stress and fear. But there are a worrying number of people who overuse crates with their dogs. To train your dog to be trusted and reliably free in your house, have them out of the crate and with you whenever you can to supervise and more importantly, train and teach them. With maturity and training, the majority of dogs will learn to behave well in the house when you are not watching as well as when you are, and then you can stop using the crate. But during the puppy and adolescent stages, considerate use of a crate will keep your dog safe, your possessions safe and stop bad habits forming.
Don't Just Crate When You are Leaving Them Alone!
It's extremely important that you crate your Labrador for short periods at regular intervals throughout the day when you are home, not only when you are about to leave the house. This prevents your Lab from learning that going to the crate always means they will be left alone which can result in them becoming reluctant to enter and use it.
The Crate is Your Dogs Den
Not Your Children's!
The crate is your Dogs special place of their own and it must remain just that their own. So if you have children, be very stern about the fact they must NEVER bother the dog and especially never tease them when they are in the crate. And never let them go inside, or play on or around it. It's your dogs own special place and they must learn that they can go there for peace and quiet and will not be disturbed.
5 Hours is The Limit!
With the exception of night times and one-off exceptional circumstances, you should avoid crating your dog for more than 5 hours at a time, and the frequency of this should be kept to an absolute minimum. When a dog's crated for long periods, they get no exercise, no interaction or socialization and this can lead to depression and anxiety. This is particularly true of Labradors, a sociable breed that truly needs companionship from their human family. Please try to avoid this.
Never use a dog crate for punishment! If you do, you are not using it in the dogs best interests or as a management tool, you are using it as a prison. And in all fairness, you are probably imprisoning them just for being a dog and having done something that dogs naturally do. Something that you have not taken the time to train and teach them otherwise not to do. Please don't punish your dog for your own failings! If you do confine them as a punishment, they will start to dislike their crate and will then lose the benefit of a place of safety and security all of their own. And you will no longer be able to use it for time-outs and management as they will start to fear the crate and feel anxious. Your dog should only ever have pleasant experiences while crated, to promote a happy association with it and to keep its power and benefits for both you and your dog.
Peace and Quiet
If your puppy's being a nuisance and begging for attention when you are tired and want to relax, this isn't an excuse to confine them to a crate. A puppy can be annoying, they can demand all your time, but you signed up for this and it's a part of being a Lab parent until they are fully grown. It's nothing short of negligence to lock up your puppy if you "can't be bothered". You have to play with them, interact with them and provide the training they need.
Toilet And Exercise
You should always make sure your Dog has recently been to toilet and had some exercise and interaction with their human family before you crate them for any length of time. If they haven't been to toilet, it could get very uncomfortable having to hold it and they may even eventually be forced to go in the crate. If they haven't been exercised and enjoyed some interaction, they may have pent-up energy and feel isolated, ignored and alone which can lead to anxiety.
Supervise and Master
Keep Your Puppy Safe When You Cannot Supervise Them! If you are busy around the house and cannot supervise your puppy properly, popping them in a crate for a short while will remove the potential for them to get into trouble such as chewing electrical wires or swallowing harmful, toxic or inedible objects in your home. By spending $50 to $100 USD on a crate, you will get your investment back ten-fold by protecting your shoes, furniture and other possessions when you can't keep an eye on your furry little chewing machine. Perhaps more importantly you can protect against possible damage of irreplaceable things that hold sentimental value. When You Can't Supervise Your Dog With Small Children - use the crates either. You should never leave a dog or puppy alone with small children. Children very often "play rough" with dogs, pulling their ears and tails and can easily hurt a small puppy. And this can lead to a puppy becoming very nippy and potentially hurting the child in return.
You can take advantage of a puppy's innate instinct to keep their den clean to help speed up the house training process. You would normally keep a vigilant eye on your puppy, looking for signs they are about to go potty and move quickly to take him outside to the correct place. But if you can't watch them carefully there's a high chance you will miss the signals and your puppy will have accidents inside the home. And each little accident you have missed is a missed opportunity to teach where you want them to go. When you can't watch them, pop them in the crate and they will hold it as long as they can. Then when you take them out, go straight outside, they will need to go and you have an opportunity for praising them for going in the right place. The more they get praise for going in the right spot, the quicker they learn what you want them to do and the quicker the house training process becomes. Being in a crate will also prevent them eliminating in the house during the night which can set things back.
When your puppy becomes way over-excited, begins to get a bit nippy and they won't calm down, this happens a lot with young Labrador puppies, you can pop them in the crate until they are relaxed and have regained control. Never do this to punish your dog, always stay calm and speak positively throughout. You don't want them to have any negative feelings about the crate. Just calmly take them to the crate with a toy to relax for a couple of minutes.
Problem Behaviour Solving
Problem behaviors, such as jumping up on visitors or begging for food at the table, needs a two-pronged approach to being solved: Training the desired behavior and preventing or managing the unwanted behavior. By not allowing an unwanted behavior to occur, you automatically lessen it's frequency and dramatically speed up the training of the desired alternative behavior. A crate is a very useful tool for this, temporarily confining your dog to prevent problem behaviors at the times they might occur. For instance, crating for 2 or 3 minutes after a new visitor arrives until they have calmed down, or for the half hour your family sits down to eat.
Introducing a New Dog
You can never be quite sure how an older dog will behave with a new puppy, and a puppy can be too boisterous to be put up with kindly by an older dog, especially an elderly one. When you can't supervise their time together and step in if things get too much, you should crate your puppy a short while until you can give them your full attention.
Whether by road or by air, traveling in a crate is the best and safest way for your dog to travel. It keeps them calm, offers protection for when an accident occurs and protects the driver from the distractions of a loose dog in the car. It's also very useful for when you stay in a hotel or take your dog places where they are not welcome to run about freely, allowing your dog to travel with you but keeping them out of mischief by confining them to a place they are accustomed to and feel comfortable in.
WHERE TO PUT DOG CRATE
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Dogs are social animals, and Labradors particularly so. They need to be near their family, be able to see what's going on around them and feel like a part of things to live a fulfilling life. Remember, being in a crate should be a positive experience and they should want to spend time there. It's not a punishment! And locking them away in a crate in a quiet corner of an out of the way room will feel to them like they are being punished, excluded and isolated.
So to keep your dog feeling part of things, place the crate in a busy area of the home where they can see and hear what's happening with their family. A corner of the family room, or in the kitchen are ideal places. Wherever you do decide to place the crate, make sure it isn't in a draughty area, isn't close to a heat source such as a radiator or fireplace, or in direct sunlight. It needs to be comfortable with little chance of getting too hot or too cold.
Set up the crate near where you hang out -in your home office, in front of the sofa where you watch TV, or by your bed. You can move it from place to place, or for that matter have multiple crates if your house is all that big. Once your dog loves his crate, it can be his remote hideout when he needs one, but his first lesson shouldn't be that crate = social isolation. You want to send a simple, clear message: good things happen to dogs inside their crates.
If you have a young puppy, it can be a good idea to move the crate into your bedroom at night, or more likely to have a second crate as moving one around each night is a nuisance. A puppy crated in a room on their own can feel stressed, abandoned and anything but secure which can lead to whining and crying. They will get great comfort and a feeling of safety and security being able to sleep near their family, especially during their first few days in a strange new home. It isn't essential you sleep them in your bedroom with you, but it is beneficial. After a few days, you can begin to move the crate slowly to where you want them to sleep if it isn't planned to use your bedroom as their final sleeping area. Just move the crate further away every couple of nights. To the bedroom door, but still inside the room. Then outside the bedroom door, to the top of stairs, etc. until they are eventually where you want them to sleep.
WHAT TO PUT IN DOG CRATE
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Before you can start crate training your puppy or older dog, you have to know what to put in a dog crate to make it a comfortable, enticing and welcoming place where your dog will love to spend time, while making sure not to leave them with things that could be detrimental to what we are trying to achieve or even dangerous if left with your dog.
An empty crate is hardly the pleasant and welcoming place you and your dog want it to be, so you will want to place a few things inside for comfort. There's bedding, toys, food and water to consider. But what things should you be aware of when deciding what to put in a dog crate?
Water in Dog Crate
Generally speaking you will not be leaving water inside the crate, especially when house breaking your young puppy. If you do, they will fill their bladders quickly and end up having "accidents" in the crate, severely inhibiting your house breaking process. It isn't cruel to not leave water in the crate. During the day you will rarely leave them in there for more than an hour or two and puppies are absolutely fine and will not dehydrate through the night without water. This will cause no harm or discomfort and will lessen the number of overnight toilet breaks needed. However, it's a good idea to have the necessary equipment to provide water for your dog when crated if the need arises. It's necessary for those, hopefully, rare occasions when you do need to leave them crated for an extended 3 or 4 hour period, or for people who must crate their dogs while working, or at times your vet recommends crating for medical reasons. If you do need to provide water, it's recommended to use a crate mounted water bottle or a bowl that can be fixed to the crate making them harder to spill. A standard bowl placed on the floor will more often than not be played with, spilt and little of the water actually surviving to be drunk.
Food in Dog Crate
When it comes to putting food in the crate, as explained earlier it's a very good idea to stuff some favorite food or treats into hollow chew toys to keep your puppy occupied in the crate. But with this exception, if you are crating your puppy unsupervised you should not leave food in there in a bowl on the floor, it will likely just be spilt and make a horrible mess. It is however a good idea to feed your puppy their main meals inside of the crate as a daily routine as this will help to reinforce the fact only good things happen in there and increase their acceptance and enjoyment of the crate.
Dog Crate Bedding
The first instinct people have is to put some nice, soft, fluffy bedding in the crate to keep a puppy warm and comfortable. But this is a bad idea until your dog has truly proven they will not chew their bedding. Towels, blankets and soft stuffed bedding are easily chewed, torn apart and ingested by young, mouthy puppies, especially puppies! The danger here is they could choke or cause an internal blockage that can have serious health consequences and high vet bills!
DOG CRATE TOYS
When many people consider what to put in a dog crate, they rightfully think to place in some toys. There are many benefits to leaving two or three tough chew toys in the crate with your puppy:
It provides something to occupy their minds, enriching what's otherwise a basic, unexciting environment. Also provides an alternative to chewing on bedding. It teaches them that being in the crate is a time when they get some of their favorite things, increasing their enjoyment of the crate. It promotes good habits and a chew toy obsession, lessening the likelihood of a preference to chew on your belongings when out of the crate.
Be aware that you should never leave soft stuffed teddy bears or easily chewed squeaky toys alone with your puppy. These will likely get destroyed and your dog could ingest large pieces causing intestinal blockages. The best toys to leave in the crate are strong, durable hollow toys that you can stuff with treats, perhaps even freeze so the fun lasts longer. Kong toys are ideal and we highly recommend them! They are highly durable and stuffed with peanut butter, part of their usual meal or some form of edible treats, dogs absolutely love working at getting the food out, keeping their minds and jaws occupied.
DOG CRATE FIT SIZE GUIDE:
MANUAL & INSTRUCTIONS
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There is only the best answer for you and your particular size and breed of dog. Our goal here is to help you find clear information so you need to make an informed choice about the best dog crates for puppies and dogs. If you have a giant dog breed, there are a lot of different characteristics in the right cage versus a small dog breed, certainly.
There are a few things you need to consider before buying a crate and the most important point being the size you buy to ensure it's fit for purpose. It must be big enough to allow your dog ample room to move around without offering too much space. Your dog needs to sit up straight without banging their head on the ceiling, be able to turn around with ease and lay down on their side with their paws stretched out without being cramped. Your dog needs to sit up straight without banging their head on the ceiling, be able to turn around with ease and lay down on their side with their paws stretched out without being cramped. But to use a crate for house training, to take advantage of the natural instinct to not soil their sleeping area, it must not be big enough for your dog to use one end as a bathroom and the other as a bedroom.
Also, If the crate's too large it won't provide the feeling of safety and security that your older dog would enjoy in a properly sized crate. They will feel more like they are rattling around in a big empty room. Again, this kind of misses the point of a crate.
Save Money, Buy An Adult Dog Crate And Re-Size It For Your Puppy!
Your puppy will need a much smaller crate than a full-grown adult dog, though they will eventually become a full-grown adult dog. It's unreasonable to think you can keep upgrading your crates for larger ones as your puppy grows. This could get expensive very quickly. So when you buy one, it's best you do to fit the size of an adult dog and buy a divider to reduce the size of a larger crate to suit a puppy. Dividers are temporary and removable wire or wooden panels you insert into the crate to adjust the size available. Or a wooden board or sealed cardboard box will suffice to reduce the space.
This way, you only need to buy a single crate you can increase the available size of as your puppy grows and not buy many sizes to suit your growing dogs proportions.
To calculate the dimensions of your required crate simply add 4 inches onto the length and 2 inches onto the height.
Crate Length = Dog Length (inches) + 4 (inches)
Crate Height = Dog Length (inches) + 2 (inches)
Dog & Puppy Crate Sizes
Picking the right dog crate size is very important. An appropriately sized crate should have room for your dog to stand up and turn around comfortably. He should be able to stretch out and relax, and lay down on his side if this is his preferred sleeping position. However, it should not be much larger than the amount of space required to do these things.
The reason for this is if you choose a crate which is too big you increase the risk of your dog using a part of it as a toilet, as they will not see the entire dog cage as their nest. If you are unsure by eye which is the right sized crate, then you can always measure your dog. To get the right length simply measure your Labrador when he or she is standing up. Take a note of their length and height as shown in this diagram.
THESE DOG CRATE MEASURE CHARTS
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Remember, for a growing puppy you can create the correct crate size from a larger crate using a divider. Expanding it as they develop.
DO DOGS & PUPPIES
LOVE THEIR CAGE?
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One of the most common questions coming from dog owners has to do whether or not dogs really like their cage. It's not surprising that so many people ask this, either. One of the biggest fears amongst humans is being locked away in a cage, but for our furry friends this isn't the case.
"How could a dog like his cage?" Many naysayers will ask. Well, the answer is that it all has to do with perspective. Humans view the cage as a place of no return, and dogs view it as a safe place for their naps. They view it this way because of their natural denning instinct. Because dogs have a long lineage of wild animals, they are always reverting to their animal instincts. In the wild, a safe, secure nook is a safe place where no harm can get to them and where they can get the sleep that they need. And we all know dogs sleep a lot! Dogs will sleep anywhere from 12-18 hours a day by taking a series of naps throughout the day. The cage becomes the perfect place to get away for a minute.
It's true - inside of your home, there aren't the dangers that are found in the wild. But that doesn't mean there aren't things that can disrupt a peacefully sleeping dog. Oftentimes at home, dogs have trouble taking a peaceful nap, especially if there are children in the house! Young children love to wake a sleeping dog by poking and prodding him while he's sleeping. Now, this isn't the worst thing in the world, although with some temperamental dogs that might be a different story, but it does contribute to a dog's love for his cage. Inside of the cage, he feels protected and doesn't have to worry about small nuisances like the children.
If you think your dog deserves a cage, give your dog a crate, when he's still a Puppy! In order for a dog to feel comfortable with his cage, dog owners should introduce the cage to him when he's a puppy. After a little bit of training, he will instinctually take to the cage and make it his very own. Unlike you and your children, a dog doesn't have a room to call his own. By providing him with a cage, you will be giving him his very own nook and making him even more comfortable in your house.
Cage or crate training a pooch can be one of the biggest hardships when owning a dog. Whether you are trying to get them acclimated to their own den or if you're trying to keep your home safe from curious paws while you are at work, Crate training your dog can take some serious work. Unfortunately, there is another downside to putting your dog inside a cage. Aside from the yips and whines after you lock them in, you also have to deal with an aesthetic problem.
Since we live in a society that places so much value in style and class, it can be a downer to see your living room tainted by the presence of a boorish metal dog cage. For years, pet owners have relied on the durability, usefulness and affordability of standard dog cages, however their cold design has left amateur interior designers wanting more. Finally, a handful of high-end pet manufacturers have put the wheels in motion to innovate the dog cage. By using the same sort of craftsmanship reserved for extravagant furniture makers, pet companies have been able to produce a full lineup of cages that actually add to the splendor of a room.
for Different Ages
For years, cold steel and aluminum were the only options for pet owners who wanted to crate train their pooches. Not only does this cell-like environment seem like punishment for a pup, it can also bring down the vibe and spirit of a house that you work to feel welcoming. What sets the latest dog cages apart from the older models is the material used.
Whether you are looking for a cage that uses wicker, wood or a soft plush material, there are now stylish options for homeowners that want a cage with out the "cage feel."
As you can see, the days of unsightly dog cages are nearing an end. Now, dog owners can enjoy dog cages that actually enhance the beauty of their home.
TEACH YOUR DOG & PUPPY
TO LOVE THE CRATE
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Dog Crate makes housetraining easier. It provides your shy dog a refuge during your six-year-old's birthday party. It provides your traveling dog a measure of protection in a car accident. Some hotels require that doggy guests be crated when their humans leave the room. And all of that goes out the window if your dog hates his crate. This week, how to persuade your dog that his crate is his second-best friend.Crates look like cages. And, well, they are. But accepting confinement comfortably is a useful skill for any animal living in the human world. On the other hand, crates can easily be abused. The rambunctious, pushy, destructive dog who's spending 18 hours crated out of every 24 needs exercise, training, and company. And while a well-exercised dog will likely snooze most of the day while you are at work, she needs at least one break to relieve herself and stretch her legs.
How to Teach Your Dog to Love His Crate
You are at an advantage with a puppy or dog who's had no unpleasant experiences to undo. Making a good first impression is always easier than turning around a bad one. And set yourself and your dog up for success by planning ahead. If you brought your new puppy home on Friday afternoon, don't introduce him to his crate right before you leave for work on Monday morning. And don't let your grown dog's first experience of crating be the first time you leave him on his own in a hotel.
Pick the Right Crate
for Your Dog
Choose a crate big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in, and also to stretch out comfortably when he lies down. Make it inviting with a cushy bed. If your dog's inclined to chew his bed, get a chew-resistant bed, give it some competition from safe, chewable toys, or use rags and old sheets that your dog can destroy without giving you an aneurysm. Actual ingestion of cloth is a whole another problem.
Train Your Dog & Puppy
to Love their Crate!
Keep the crate open and available in a spot where your dog likes to rest anyway, or in your puppy's safe enclosure if you are starting with a young thing. Every so often, toss a treat inside. When your dog enters her crate to get the treat, say "Yes!" and deliver another treat to her while she's still inside. If you happen to catch your dog resting on that supercomfy bed you put in the crate, tell her what a good dog she is and drop a treat in with her. You can also feed your dog his meals in the crate.
All this sends a simple, clear message: good things happen to dogs inside their crates. A sneaky but effective tactic is to smear peanut butter on the crate wall, or put a food-stuffed toy inside the crate, then close the crate door without your dog inside. When he notices those good smells floating out of the crate, he will likely try to reach the source. Let him get just a tiny bit frustrated you don't want to drive him out of his mind, then open the crate door and let him in.
Closing the Crate
Once your dog is entering the crate happily and you have caught her resting inside a couple of times, start closing the door for a few seconds at a time. Some dogs settle right in, but for others the transition to a closed door can be a big deal. You can help make the process easy by choosing a time when your dog is relaxed after vigorous exercise and has a reason to stay in the crate for a few minutes anyway. For instance, she might be enjoying an edible chew or excavating a food-dispensing toy. While she's thus occupied, open and close the crate door a few times, leaving it closed for gradually longer periods.
How Long Does Crate Training Take?
How long should you keep the door closed at first, and how quickly should you progress? The only hard and fast rule I can give you is to let your dog be your guide. Is he completely absorbed in his stuffed chew toy, so he doesn't even notice that you have closed the door? On the other hand, maybe your dog took her sweet time getting to the point where she'd enter the crate at all. And then it took her a few days to learn to linger there instead of grabbing your tossed treats and dashing out again. If that's your dog, go slow.
Don't even think about closing that crate door for the first time till she's lost all trace of anxiety about hanging out inside with the door wide open. And when you start, start small, with the door closed partway and then shut but not latched. Slow and steady will always win the skittish-dog crate-training race. For many dogs, though, crate training goes 1-2-3.
Enter Crate on Cue
You can easily teach your dog to enter his crate on cue. As always, you will say the cue just before your dog does the relevant behavior, and only at that time. Your dog learns that those particular sounds coming out of your mouth predict that he might just get a reward for performing that particular behavior.
Suppose your cue is "Crate time!" you will say it, then toss a treat in the crate so your dog goes in. After a few reps, say the cue and move your empty hand as if tossing a treat. Then deliver a treat from your other hand. Once your dog has associated the cue "Crate time!" with going into his crate, you can begin to give treats occasionally instead of every time.
Barking and Whining
What if your dog or puppy vocalizes while in his crate? As usual, the answer is "It depends." If your young pup wakes you at three a.m., odds are he needs a toilet break. Take him on leash to his pee and poop spot and then immediately put him back to bed. The idea is to meet his needs but not turn the wee hours into puppy funtime. As a general rule, you don't want to reinforce demand barking or demand whining: "I want out, and I want it now!" The same goes if what you are hearing is your dog's usual response to the mailman or some other everyday stimulus. Remember, even a reprimand constitutes attention and may strengthen the behavior you are trying to quell. Instead, ignore it. Let your dog out when he's calm and quiet. But all bets are off if your dog is in distress. Puppies are not the only ones who sometimes have urgent toilet needs. And a thunder-phobic dog may panic when he senses an approaching storm. Feeling trapped in the crate won't do him any good. Finally, separation anxiety doesn't mix with crates. Dogs with this disorder may bloody their paws and break their teeth trying to escape.
Always remember - the crate limit for any dog & puppy is 5 hours!
Those cautions aside, your dog's crate may surprise you with its popularity.
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A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.
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Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:
Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
If you can't be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
Don't use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before. He may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big, or he may be too young to hold it in.
Do you recommend crate training adolescent dogs to some of your adopters? If you are going to recommend crate training for your dogs when they are adopted, crate train them while they are at the shelter. This approach is easier on the dog: the dog is not completely bonded to one person at the shelter and so experiences less separation distress when crated. Crate training at the shelter also helps the adopter who may be reluctant to use a crate or be unfamiliar with crate training. When the shelter has already crate trained the dog, the adopters will be more likely to use the crate, and the chances for a permanent, successful adoption are greatly increased.
The benefits of Dog Crate Training
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THE BENEFITS OF DOG CRATE TRAINING
How to Crate Train Dog
REMEMBER: you cannot counsel or do this type of quick, easy crate training with dogs already in a home. This is NOT the advice to give to owners over the phone. Instead, this is advisable only for dogs in shelters. Note: NEVER crate train a dog with a choke-type collar on or with a leash attached to his collar.
GOAL: Train the dog to spend time comfortably and calmly in a crate.
1. Place soft blankets and toys or chewies in the crate.
2. Clip a small bucket of water in the crate.
3. Find natural, short opportunities to crate train: a one hour nap, a ten minute "chew on the bone stretch," a rest after a tiring exercise session, or an overnight all make good crate training opportunities.
4. Crate train only for the amount of time the dog can comfortably hold his bladder and bowels. The rule of thumb for puppies is to crate in hours for the age of the puppy in months plus one. For example, a four-month-old puppy can stay in a crate comfortably for at most five hours. No dog should ever be crated for more than nine hours at a stretch.
5. Always supervise dogs when they are first crate trained to ensure they are not panicking.
6. Never force a dog into a crate or lock a panicking dog in a crate.
7. Some dogs will not take readily to a crate and may panic or harm themselves trying to escape. For these dogs, detach the crate door, place comfortable bedding and a few treats in the back of the crate, and leave the doorless crate in the run with the dog.
8. Feed him in the crate for a few days to help him acclimate.
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HOW TO CRATE TRAIN
AN OLDER DOG
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A crate can also be an effective preventive tool. Dogs who have been properly introduced to their crate tend to feel safe and secure in this private den. In some cases, dogs prefer the sanctuary of a crate to being left alone in a big open house. Since every dog is different, it's important to pay attention to exactly which options are comforting to your dog - and which are not before leaving him home alone. When crating is not a viable option, the next step is to create a looser, enclosed space with a little more room for your dog to roam about. In this space, you should include toys to provide a viable distraction.
To Crate or Not to Crate?
Crate training can be helpful for some dogs if they learn that the crate is their safe place to go when left alone. However, for other dogs, the crate can cause added stress and anxiety. In order to determine whether or not you should try using a crate, monitor your dog's behavior during crate training and when he is left in the crate while you are home.
If he shows signs of distress - heavy panting, excessive salivation, frantic escape attempts, persistent howling or barking, crate confinement is not the best option for him. Instead of using a crate, you can try confining your dog to one room behind a baby gate. Unfortunately, sometimes separation anxiety just isn't preventable, especially with an older dog. Experience or genetics may have already triggered the onset. But, thanks to desensitization, crating techniques, and an understanding of the disorder, it's treatable. In fact, a diagnosis of separation anxiety in no way precludes a healthy and happy existence for your dog. With some extra effort, your relationship can be extremely satisfying for you both. Do not reserve the crate only for times when you are away. Using the crate when you are at home helps your dog become accustomed to using it, both when you are at home and away.
A crate, when used humanely, can be a wonderful way to prevent little puppy accidents when the pup is not yet 100% toilet-trained. But it is by no means a therapeutic tool for separation anxiety! Crating a dog that strongly separation-averse needs to be, at best, a very temporary management measure to prevent the dog from hurting itself. But I would argue that a dog that already shows destruction behaviour should no longer be left home alone until the end of the treatment.
How do you associate the crate with positivity?
1 - Feed your dog his meals in the crate. Food equals positivity in a dog's mind and in ours too, let's be honest, so associate the crate with meal time and this will help your dog enjoy his crate.
2 - Give your dog chewing items in the crate. Antlers, bully sticks, and frozen kongs make great chewing items that dogs love! Chewing items are a very positive way for dogs to exert their natural need to chew, so chewing items in the crate are an excellent way to keep your dog distracted, and his emotions at bay.
3 - Give your dog treats when he is in the crate. Treats are an obvious positive! So be sure to reward your dog when he is in the crate with treats, treats, treats.
4 - Give your dog these items of positivity EVERY time he is in the crate! On top of these quick tips, it is very important that you make your dog understand that the crate does not always equal being alone for long periods. To prevent this type of anxiety, allow your dog to have breaks inside the crate WHEN YOU ARE HOME in addition to the times that you are gone. Have your dog spend some time in the crate while you are home so that he isn't automatically associating the crate with being left alone. How in the world does putting my dog in the crate for short periods of time help his anxiety? It makes your dog realize that just because he is going into his crate and you are leaving, does not mean that you will be gone for 8 hours every time.
For instance, if you start by putting him in the crate for very short periods, such as when you are just going to get the mail, it will slowly condition him to grow comfortable with spending time in the crate. As he starts to get used to the crate and being left alone for short periods, you can slowly increase the amount of time he is in the crate, when you are running errands, shopping... Obviously you will still have to go to work and leave him for long periods as well. However, the idea is that he won't get himself worked up prior to you leaving and think that you will gone forever, every single time he has to go in the crate. As one final reminder, separation anxiety is a tricky subject that is not nearly as easy to change as say jumping on people or even destructive chewing. It's a long process that some owners need to work on over the entire span of their dog's life!
Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules - like what he can and can't chew on and where he can and can't eliminate. A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car, as well as a way of taking him places where he may not be welcome to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he will think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.
Make the crate a welcoming space by placing their favorite toys, treats or blanket inside. Gradually increase crating periods, working your way up from meal time to a few hours - ideally, not more than 6-8 hours. Encourage your dog with a calm voice and don't leave the room the first few times you crate them - your presence will make them feel more relaxed!
Important note: Sometimes people hear the words "crate training" and they think it is a bad or cruel thing. Often this is because they have been misinformed about how crate training is actually done. The crate is not a punishment. Your dog should always associate the crate with positive experiences: toys, treats, privacy, peace and quiet. If your dog does do something you do not like, never say "bad dog!" and put him directly into the crate. If you do that, the crate WILL seem like a punishment to the dog. Also, a dog or a puppy should only spend a maximum of a few hours in the crate at a time, during the times when you are not able to directly supervise him. At all other times he should be with you! While crate training your dog or puppy, you must be able to arrange your work, sleep, school, social schedule to allow the dog or puppy a "bathroom break" and some affectionate interaction every few hours during the day and sometimes during the middle of the night.
Selecting A Crate
Crates may be plastic, often called "flight kennels" or collapsible, metal pens. They come in different sizes and can be purchased at the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center. Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in.
The Crating Process..
Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training. The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps - don't go too fast.
Step 1: Introducing Your Dog to the Crate
Put the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Bring your dog over to the crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is securely fastened opened so it won't hit your dog and frighten him. To encourage your dog to enter the crate, drop some small food treats near it, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that's okay - don't force him to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.
Step 2: Feeding Your Dog His Meals in the Crate
After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, put the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If your dog is still reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he is eating. At first, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he is staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating. If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, it's imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he will learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he will keep doing it.
Step 3: Conditioning Your Dog to the Crate
for Longer Time Periods
After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you are home. Call him over to the crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter such as, kennel up. Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let him out of the crate. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you are out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you are gone for short time periods and or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.
Step 4: Crating Your Dog When Left Alone
After your dog is spending about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate. You will want to vary at what point in your "getting ready to leave" routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he should not be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged, but matter of fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you are home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.
Step 5: Crating Your Dog at Night
Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you will want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so that crating doesn't become associated with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer.
Issues & Problems
Too Much Time In The Crate - A crate is not a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated. For example, if your dog is crated all day while you are at work and then crated again all night, he is spending too much time in too small a space. Other arrangements should be made to accommodate his physical and emotional needs. Also remember that puppies under six months of age should not stay in a crate for more than two or three hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for longer periods.
If your puppy or dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he is whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you followed the training procedures outlined above, your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. Try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he will probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you have ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you are convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in, otherwise you will teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you have progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you will be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate.
HOW TO CRATE A PUPPY:
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When it comes to crate training as a way to solve separation anxiety, it's crucial to monitor your dog's reactions. Moderate whining, reluctance, and wariness are normal at first, but if the behavior persists, don't force them. Dogs have been known to urinate, defecate, howl or even injure themselves in an attempt to escape. Crates are not the right fit for every dog, as each furball has their own personality. Some animal behaviorists claim that crating is inhumane and, in cases where it's not done properly, it can be counterproductive and even abusive. This is why it's important to follow your dog's body language and their reactions to the crate. It's up to you to make the best choice for your pooch and make sure that you follow best crating practices.
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Chew toys are a fantastic thing to place in the crate for any and all dogs as they look forward to time with their chew toys, especially if stuffed with tasty treats. Having chew toys helps to form positive associations with the crate, keeps your dog or puppy's mind occupied preventing boredom and can stop them chewing on the crate or their bedding if they are going through teething.
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DOG CRATE DIVIDER
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Dividers are temporary and removable wire or wooden panels you insert into the crate to adjust the size available. Or a wooden board or sealed cardboard box will suffice to reduce the space. If you decide to buy a large or extra large crate from the beginning, you have the option of separating the space for your young puppy using a divider. Some crates can be brought with dividers, others are available to buy as single items. This way, you only need to buy a single crate you can increase the available size of as your puppy grows and not buy many sizes to suit your growing dogs proportions. Although you don't need to buy a divider by the same brand as your crate, it will help you to ensure that it is the correct size to fit. If you are buying a different brand of divider then make sure that you check measurements carefully before you order it.
DOG CRATE COVER
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A crate is a large object and highly visible in your home, so you will want to find a cover that suits both your taste and the decor of your home because they can be a bit of an eye sore! Some dogs prefer their crate to be covered, giving them a more cosy den-like feeling than a bare, open wire crate where they can still see all around themselves. Also, for dogs that make a lot of noise in their crate, covering it can have a calming effect due to taking away the stimulation of being able to see all around. For dogs that struggle to settle down and relax, a cover is certainly worth a try!
SHOULD YOU COVER
YOUR DOG's CRATE?
There isn't a simple "yes or no" answer to this as dogs personalities, their likes and dislikes are different. For some dogs covering a crate is a good idea, for others it certainly isn't. Dogs learn to love their crates as their own little den of safety and security. Plastic or fabric crates already have quite enclosed sides, but wire crates are very open and can leave puppies without that feeling of security they are after. Covering the crate can help with this. However, some dogs are the opposite and get stressed if they can't see out of their crate and want to know what's going on. For some dogs, they can feel stressed and start to cry in an exposed wire crate because they find it hard to calm down and relax when they can see so much going on around them. These puppies may feel more secure and comfortable if the crate is partly covered, reducing stimulation and helping them to relax and sleep.
It's certainly worth trying out the idea. But like all changes in a puppy's life you must introduce the idea slowly, covering only partially and while you are there. Asking them to go in, door left open, with some food inside. Get them used to it a bit at a time over the course of a few days before ever covering the crate for a whole sleep session or over night. You need to know they are happy and that the darkness isn't scaring them. If they panic, gnaw and claw at the crate to get out, or try to pull the cover off into the crate, they are telling you they don't like it. Start again trying to get them used to a cover just a few minutes at a time, enticing them in with treats and not closing the door.
But if despite your best efforts they really, truly do not like it covered, then do not cover it as it will only cause stress. Some dogs just will not accept it. Our recommendation is to at least try it out. For the dogs who do prefer it, you will never know unless you try!
WHAT TO USE
TO COVER THE DOG CRATE
To cover a crate, many people use old towels or bed sheets. These are perfectly fine, but you must be sure your puppy or dog won't pull them into the crate and chew them. Some people place the crate in a corner of the room so that 2 sides are automatically covered by the walls and they then place a wooden board on top of the crate to cover the roof. This has the benefit of your puppy not being able to pull the board into the crate, but also offers a usable surface on top of the crate, like a piece of furniture. Somewhere to put a magazine rack or a vase of flowers perhaps? There are also specially made crate covers available in many styles if you are looking for something a bit more stylish or to suit the look of your home decor. Just be sure that whatever you use to cover the crate, you never cover all sides and that there's plenty of ventilation.
BEST DOG CRATE COVERS
DOG CRATE BUYING GUIDE
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A crate is probably one of the first purchases you will make after adopting a new puppy. Not only does a crate expedite the house training process, it provides your dog someplace safe to call his own. Below you will find the pros and cons of a wire dog crate, one of the many types of crates available. When buying a wire dog crate, think about your needs and those of your dog to make sure you buy the one that's right for him. A dog crate can be a great way to give your dog his own space to call home. When considering what kind of crate to buy, think about your dog's needs and what would best suit him.
How to choose a puppy or dog crate
Your dog's crate is more than just a place to keep him while you are away. It is a sanctuary, his home within your home. And at a cost of $30 to $200, a crate can be the most expensive item you will buy for your puppy or dog. You want to choose a crate that's tough enough to last a lifetime with features to keep your dog comfortable and safe.
The following are important points to consider when looking for a crate:
Dog Crate Size
The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up to his full height, turn around, lie down, and stretch out comfortably. He should not have to curl up to fit, but you don't want the crate to be so big your dog can soil one side and sleep on the other. If you are buying a puppy crate, choose one that will fit your puppy's adult proportions. You can resize the crate with divider panels as he grows or put a cardboard box inside to reduce the amount of space.
What kind of crate:
wooden, wire or plastic?
The style of crate that's right for your dog will depend on his size and type of coat, the climate where you live, and whether you plan to fly with your dog.
Wired dog crate: If your dog has long hair or you live in a hot climate, a wire crate offers plenty of ventilation to keep your dog cool. The bars on wire crates should be spaced close enough to keep your dog's head and paws from squeezing through.
Plastic dog crate: If you have a smaller dog or live in a cool climate, a plastic crate allows your dog to retain more heat. Also, plastic crates are generally the only ones approved for airline travel.
Longevity and ease-of-use
Look for divider panels that allow the crate to grow with your dog and the ability to fold, collapse, or disassemble the crate for storage or travel. Make sure the door on the crate you choose latches securely. It should not bend or pop open when you put pressure on it from the inside. A dog can strangle if he squeezes his head between the door and its frame while the crate is latched. Also, some dogs are Houdini-like in their ability to escape confinement, so don't make it easy for them.
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If you are selecting a cage or crate for use in the car and/or for staying out of town, you want to be sure it will a) hold up in case of a vehicle crash or accident, and b) keep your dog contained and secure when you are in new places.
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You will also want to adjust the crate size for travel so there is less likelihood of injury to your dog from being thrown suddenly in the event a car accident occurs. If you are using a plastic crate, seeing if it meets the IATA's standards for airline shipping is a good idea to get a good baseline starting point.
CAR DOG CRATES
How to Choose a Sturdy Dog Crate for the Car
On the whole, I now suspect that a well-made, properly fastened harness is safer than a crate. But plenty of dogs are more at ease traveling in crates, and as for those cats I just know are out there, they pretty much have to travel in crates.
In the videos that showed a plastic crate flying apart, the crate was fastened to the seat by a single seatbelt strap. The crate was also set so its long axis was perpendicular to the back of the seat. Plastic, of course, is fairly brittle. With the force of the crash brought to bear on just one narrow section of the crate, it's no wonder the crate broke down. Buy the sturdiest crate you can. Place it in the car with the long side against the seat back, then secure it not only with the seatbelt but also with a couple of wide, heavy-duty luggage straps. You might have a mechanic install anchors for these.
BEST WIRED DOG CRATES
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Advantages of a wired dog crate
Air movement and ventilation
A wire crate is well-suited for dogs with longer coats or if you live in a southern climate. Because the crate is completely open there is plenty of air movement, which allows your puppy or dog to stay cool.
Divider panels and folding ability.
Wire dog crates come in a variety of sizes and most offer divider panels. If you are shopping for a puppy, you can buy a larger crate than he's needs so he can still use it when he reaches his adult size. Considering a crate can be one of the more expensive items you will buy for your dog, this can save you money in the long run. You can find wire crates in a number of different designs, but most of them quickly and easily break down for storage or travel. Keep in mind that wire crates with corner drop pins, while sturdier than folding crates, are less convenient to setup or store away.
Allows your dog to see his environment.
A wire crate allows your dog to see what's going on around him, which can reduce feelings of isolation or separation. This may be a disadvantage depending on your particular dog, as explained below.
Easy to clean.
You can find many wire crates with a slid-out tray underneath to catch accidents, and the wire also allows odors to escape.
Disadvantages of a wired dog crate
You should keep your dog's crate in an area near people traffic so he feels he's part of the pack. However, if your dog has a tendency to cry or whine while in the crate, a wire crate may be part of the problem. The advantage of allowing your dog to see what's going on around him may create stress and feelings of separation because he can't join in the fun. This can lead to whining and barking. A crate cover may help at the expense of reduced air circulation. Also, a chew toy or some treats are useful to keep your puppy or dog occupied while in his crate. A busy dog is a quiet dog.
Less insulation for smaller dogs and puppies
Again, the advantages of a wire dog crate can pose a problem depending on your particular dog. Puppies and smaller dogs will be better served by a crate that helps them retain body heat, particularly if you live in a colder climate.
Not airline approved
A wire crate generally isn't going to be airline-approved. If you plan to travel by plane with your dog, you will have to invest in a second plastic crate to make the trip.
Can be heavy
This is particularly true for larger wire crates and is something to keep in mind if you plan to use the crate for traveling.
Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure
with a Wire Dog Crate!
Wire dog crates are used by pet owners for housetraining and to provide their dogs with a safe and secure environment when left alone. Dog crates can be especially beneficial for aggressive pets that chew or those that suffer from separation anxiety. Choosing the best wire dog crate for your pet can be quite a task. With so many different types of dog crates on the market, it is helpful to read reviews for feedback and guidance. This list of product reviews was created based on actual consumer rankings to help you find the best wire dog crate for your pet.
Best Wired Dog Crates
Midwest iCrate Pet Crates
The Midwest iCrate Pet Crates are ranked as a top best selling product. Several thousand happy customers give the crate solid 5-star ratings and reviews based on excellent quality and overall construction. Product models include single door and double door crates in a variety of sizes. These quality crates come fully equipped with two carrying handles for mobility when moving your pets. Door latches use side bolt design for security and safety. All of the Midwest iCrate Pet Crates include a free divider panel that pet owners can use while housebreaking their puppy. The Midwest iCrate includes a plastic composite liner pan. Product size options range from the 18-inch model up to the 48-inch crate. Crate features include an easy fold and carry configuration.
CONS: It takes love and patience to get your puppy or dog acclimated to using a wire pet crate. Pets need warm bedding and blankets due to open-air style and lack of insulation.
Midwest Life Stages
Folding Metal Dog Crate
This metal wire dog crate by Midwest is the ideal solution for training and housebreaking your pets. Sturdy construction of the crate includes round corners to help protect your pet. The Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate is easy to put together and no tools are needed. Transporting the crate is easy with the attached plastic carrying handles. Clean up is quick with no fuss as the plastic pan is easy to maintain while housebreaking your dog. The crate is available as a single door or double door model and comes in a variety of sizes. Crates are available for both small and large dogs, ranging from 22-inches up to 48-inches. The metal wire crate has a satin black e-coat finish that is durable and long lasting. A free divider is included to make housebreaking easier.
CONS: Gradually introduce your dog or puppy to the metal wire dog crate so it is more comfortable. Wire dog crates are ventilated but do not provide warmth - proper pet bedding adds comfort.
AmazonBasics Single Door
Folding Metal Dog Crate
Consumers love the AmazonBasics Single Door Folding Metal Dog Crate. As a top selling product, posted reviews consistently rank the crate with positive comments and 5-stars for quality and durability. Safety and security is enhanced with slide-bolt door latches. Clean-up is quick and easy with the removable plastic liner pan. The metal crate design is strong and easily folds flat so that you can store it away or carry it with you when traveling. There are no sharp edges with the rounded corners so your pet is safe and secure. AmazonBasics comes with a free divider panel to adjust living space during housetraining. Crate size options are available for small, medium, and large breed dogs. The metal dog crate keeps your pet safe, secure, and comfortable when unattended.
CONS: Dogs with separation anxiety will need time and patience to feel secure in a metal dog crate. Wire dog crates need the warmth of added blankets and bedding during colder months.
Carlson Secure and Compact
Single Door Metal Dog Crate
This best-selling wire dog crate by Carlson features quality, durable construction using all steel for a long-lasting product. The black plastic liner can easily be removed for quick cleaning. The Carlson Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Dog Crate quickly folds for on-the-go mobility when traveling. Your pets will enjoy the comfort and security provided by the metal wire dog crate. Housebreaking is a breeze when you combine training with a dog crate to help your pet learn the rules. Setup is quick and easy and you do not need a toolbox to put the metal wire dog crate together. Size options include small, medium, intermediate, large, and extra large wire crates. Plastic liner provides waterproof protection while housetraining puppies. Crate is safe and secure with a single bolt door locking design.
CONS: Housetraining your pet with a metal wire crate requires time and patience. A dog bed or towels and blankets are required to provide necessary warmth.
Folding Metal Dog Crate
Features of this quality wire dog crate by OxGord include quick and convenient easy setup. You do not need any special tools to put the crate together and storage is as simple as folding the crate when not needed. The OxGord Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate is ranked highly by many satisfied customers. Durability and strength can be credited to the all steel construction for long product life. The crate has a black coat finish and is resistant to rust and corrosion. A plastic tray liner can quickly be removed for washing when housetraining your dog. Double-door size options include 24", 30", 36", 42", and 48" crates. Free dividers are included with the OxGord metal wire dog crates. Transporting the crate is easy with the comfortable attached carry handle.
CONS: Measure your pet correctly to make sure you get the right size wire crate for added comfort. Properly insulate the bottom of the wire dog crate with bedding during the colder seasons.
BEST LARGE DOG CRATES
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Folding Metal Dog Crate
The AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate is the top seller on Amazon and for good reason. Though, as with any product, it's not without its disadvantages. The Crate comes in 42x28x30 inches size. The double-door design allows dogs to enter from the front or the side. This is an incredible secure dog crate, thanks to the two-slide-bolt latches on every door. It folds flat to stay out of the way when not in use. This also makes it easy to take with you. The bottom perimeter has mini dividers, with only 1.4 cm between them, so your pooch's paws can't slip through. It includes a divider panel to make it smaller or keep two dogs separate. Also includes a composite plastic pan.
CONS: The assembly process can be challenging, especially because the instructions are at the bottom of the crate, locked behind the pieces you have to first put together before ever getting to the instructions. Some owners have reported issues with one of the locks not quit matching up perfectly. This could lead to smaller dogs getting out of the crate. Some owners have reported that their dogs were able to separate the panels and get out. They solved this problem by adding zip ties for extra security. The doors can be challenging to open and latch.
2 Door Dog Wire Cage
with ABS Pan
The 2 Door Pet Wire Cage with ABS Pan is one of the most affordable and simplest dog crates for large dogs. This Crate sized 48x33x30. It's easy to fold down and take it anywhere you want. It comes fully assembled. All you have to do is open up the box and unfold it into an open position. The rounded edges make it safe for puppies. This is a durable crate. It was treated with durable electro-coat finish. The included pan is easy to clean. There are two doors: one on the side and one on the front.
CONS: The size of this crate makes it easily large enough for a very large dog. However, the wires are not strong enough for the largest of dogs. Some owners have reported that their dogs were able to break through within an hour of being in this crate. It requires quite a bit of jiggling to get the locks to line up correctly. This is fine for mellow dogs, but a dog trying to get out would be difficult to keep in this crate while it was being secured.
Midwest iCrate Pet Crates
You have a lot of options with Midwest iCrate Pet Crates which allows owners of all sorts of dogs to find just what they are looking for. Available Size: 36x23x25. You have a lot of choices with this product. You can pick a single door or double door, plus you can choose between standard black, pink, or blue. Claims to work for dogs between 41 and 70 pounds. A divider panel is included so you can make it smaller when your pooch is a pup and gradually increase the size as they grow. A composite pan is included for easy clean up. Just remove it, wash it, and put it back. It can be folded for easy transport.
CONS: While this is marketed as a carte for large dogs, the dimensions are much smaller than other entries in a list of the best dog crates for large dogs. As a result, it likely only works for smaller large dogs or bigger medium sized dogs. The edges aren't rounded and some are a little sharp. This can be a hazard for puppies or older dogs that chew. Installation can be difficult. Some users have reported that they can't get the frame to snap together exactly as it's supposed to, which makes it less sturdy than it should be. As with other crates for large dogs, though the size may be big enough for your dog, it is less than sturdy. Dogs who resist being in a crate could possibly break out of this one.
ProSelect Easy Dog Crate
The ProSelect line of dog crates is one of the most expensive options on this list of the best dog crates for large dogs. However, you do get what you pay for. We haven't listed the stats for this crate because it comes in numerous sizes, including extra-large. This allows owners to find the size that's truly perfect for their pooch. Even very large breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards can fit in the XL size. The dual-latching door securely closes this so owners don't have to worry about their dogs getting out. The removable try makes it easy to clean the bottom of the cage. It includes a divider panel that can make the cage smaller for puppies and then make it large as the puppy gets bigger.
CONS: The tray is made of plastic. While some owners may actually prefer this, it does mean that it's not likely to stand up to wear and tear the way a metal tray would. Though the cage is easy to assemble, no instructions are included. The carrying handle doesn't attach to the middle of the cage, which makes it virtually impossible to use.
BEST HEAVY DUTY DOG CRATES
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It goes without saying that bringing a canine companion into your life will only improve it for the better. After all, who else would love you unconditionally till their last breath without being a judgmental jerk? But dog parenting is not easy by a long shot. It presents its own set of challenges by posing situations that you'd least expect. This is especially true for first time dog owners, who often do not mold a puppy the right way.
The result is a dog that grows into adulthood with uncooperative behavior and has every chance of being relinquished to an animal shelter, a painful situation for both owner and pet. For this reason, it is essential to set some ground rules when you get a little fur ball home. Those glossy wet eyes will melt your heart, but you have to be firm when it matters the most.
Crate training, is one of the fundamental and valuable skills that a dog can have and its importance goes beyond the dog having its own bedtime retreat, other important things you need to think about include getting a proper dog muzzle and a quality no-pull dog harness. But, as important as it is to crate train, it is equally important to buy the right crate for your dog. While it is no rocket science, it isn't a walk in the park either.
Contrary to popular notion, a heavy duty dog crate is not meant for large or heavy dog breeds. It's called heavy duty because it's unbreakable. Your dog will not be able to claw or chew his way out of it, no matter how hard he tries. And of course, it can house even the most powerful dogs. They are a perfect choice for most dog owners, irrespective of the size or the breed of the dog. They are a onetime investment and way cheaper than frequently replacing less sturdy crates, if your dog chews your way through it. Most of them are also compatible with airline travel norms, acclimatizing the dog to airline travel. Today, we take a look at the best heavy duty dog crates in the market currently. These have been handpicked on the basis of their features, their price and their customer reviews, making it easy for you to make the right choice.
How to pick a Heavy Duty Crate
ProSelect Empire Dog Crate
With more than 90% positive customer reviews and the ability to house even the most aggressive canine, the ProSelect Empire Dog Crate is the number one choice in Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates. This all-metal crate is virtually indestructible and will easily thwart any attempts to break out. Fabricated from 20-gauge strong steel tubing and reinforced by 0.5 inch diameter steel tubes, the crate is designed specifically to house powerful animals. It is completely claw and chew-proof and you can be rest assured that your dog will not be able to find their way out of it, unless you decide to let them out. The stout dual door latches and heavy-duty welding at stress points, provides added security. The crate has a long-lasting, high-grade hammertone finish that is rust-resistant. To ensure easy cleaning, the crate comes with a removable steel tray. If you ever wish to move the crate, you have the option to use the four removable moving casters, which can be locked when not in use. You can use a soft dog bed or a cardboard at the base of the floor grate. Almost any large sized dog can fit easily into the crate. The crate itself is available in two different sizes - Medium and Large. The inside dimensions are as follows. Irrespective of whether you are a first time dog owner looking for a cage for your puppy or a frustrated dog owner desperately looking for a solution for your dog, who's suffering from separation anxiety or has a habit of breaking out of crates, this will get the job done for you. It is durable, strong and almost indestructible. Go for it!
48" Black Commercial Quality
Heavy Duty Pet Dog Crate w/Wheels
Hot on the heels of the ProSelect Empire, we have another heavy duty dog crate with almost identical features. The 48" Black Commercial Quality Heavy Duty Pet Dog Crate boasts of a rugged steel tubing construction, heavy duty door latches and a removable top. As is the case with heavy duty crates, this 48" Commerical quality crate from BestPet is fabricated from a 3/4" Frame and 1/2" Diameter steel tube. So, it is not a flimsy wire cage that your pitty can chew through. To further secure your dog, it features a heavy duty door latch that cannot be clawed open. Many a times, dog owners find it problematic to feed their dogs in crates. This heavy duty crate comes with a removable top that allows easy cleaning as well as feeding. It is designed for easy assembly and most of the parts already come preassembled which further simplifies the task. The crate has 4 removable caster wheels which can be used to move the cage during cleaning or while transporting the dog during travel. It can fit everything small to large sized dogs. The dimensions of the cage are 48"(L) x 36"(H) x 30"(W). The only reason why this rates behind the ProSelect Empire crate, is due to some customers who have mentioned that the latch is a tad flimsy and had to be replaced with a new one. Otherwise, it is every bit as durable and tough as the #1 rated crate.
SmithBuilt Heavy Duty
Dog Cage Crate Kennel
SmithBuilt is one of the most popular manufacturers of dog crates and this heavy duty dog crate is one of their flagship offerings. Available in different colors that are a welcome change from the norm, the crate is a sturdy and secure kennel for your dogs. What greets you out of the box are the surprisingly large bars on this heavy duty crate from SmithBuilt. The welds are strong and the bars won't bend even if the heaviest dog puts his mind to it. The entire crate is rust and corrosion-resistant and features two different doors for effortless feeding and cleaning. The top door in particular, allows you to feed the dog without letting them out of the crate. Like most other heavy duty crates, there are removable caster wheels for transport, of which, two can be locked in place. There is a removable steel tray with lip that collects the shed hair and any spilled food, making it easy to maintain the hygiene. The crate is available in three different sizes. With over 90% positive reviews and priced at just under $130, this is the value for money addition to this list of best heavy duty crates for dogs. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this.
Walcut Heavy Duty
Strong Metal Dog Cage
Crate Cannel Playpen w/Wheels
Dogs are smarter than you'd like to think and they hate being locked up, especially if they are not crate trained. So, a plastic or wire cage will mostly be destroyed. With an all-steel construction that is designed to withstand the jaws and claws of even the heaviest of dog breeds, the Walcut Heavy Duty Strong Metal Crate is one of the best heavy duty dog crates in the market. The Walcut Dog Crate features a heavy duty steel frame with rigidly welded joints that offer unparalleled strength and support. The double-door design is a favorite with dog owners who often find feeding time troublesome, for the risk of the pet escaping from the crate. Use the top door while feeding and the front door to let them out. If you have a puppy for housebreaking, you can use the top door to take him out of the crate. Both the doors have latches to keep them locked securely. It has a grate floor along with a steel tray which can be removed for easy cleaning. If you have guests in the house and wish to move the cage, you can use the four rolling casters to easily push it to the other rooms. The Walcut heavy duty dog cage is available in three different sizes. Irrespective of whether you have a large sized dog that manages to break out of cages or just likes to chew at the welding, this will keep them locked and secure.
BEST WOODEN DOG CRATES
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Increased awareness and a wider exposure to the internet has helped new dog owners realize the importance of crate training. What was often misunderstood as an inhumane way to deal with a pet is now being looked upon as a very effective and stress-free way to introduce your dog to their own sanctuary that they can retire to every day. And there are more reasons for you to get your dogs crated trained than not.
For starters, a crate trained dog is less likely to get injured during travel and they are less likely to distract you as they scamper around looking for clues under your seat as you are driving on the highway. It also helps prevent separation anxiety, aggression, destructive and dominant behavior.
The challenge though, is to find the perfect crate. Dog crates come in a plethora of sizes, materials, shapes and styles. Although, the most commonly seen ones are the cheap plastic or wire crates that have become synonymous with dog crates, no other material offers the durability and the stability that wood does. Wooden crates are preferred by dog parents who like to give their pets a good quality enclosure that is comfortable, roomy and in most cases, is a onetime investment that lasts for years. Not to mention that it fits easily into any decor theme and some, are even multipurpose furniture pieces.
If you are looking for an upgrade for your old worn out crate or are looking for a new wooden crate for your crate trained puppy, then you may find that the selection process is harder than what you had originally imagined. Despite being tagged under the single category of wooden crates, these also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, material choices. To help you understand how to make the selection, here is a small guide that covers the essentials of wooden crate shopping.
How to pick a wooden crate
In most cases, people suggest that getting a crate that the dog can easily stand and turn in, is the pre-requisite and everything else is secondary. However, there is more to it than just getting the sizing right. While that covers the essentials, there can be a lot more to consider when it comes to buying a wooden crate for your dog. The finish, portability - casters and rollers, the load capacity for larger dogs, and chew-proof cages for escape artists are some of the additional features that pet owners desire.
Undoubtedly, the first and the most important factor is the type of wood used to make the crate. The most commonly used ones are maple wood, mahogany, cherry wood, and walnut. All of these are extremely durable and can sustain the wear and tear of everyday use. They are also lightweight, making them perfect for wooden crates. Some newer crates are also made of engineered wood that can replicate the look of almost any type of wood and is a lot more durable. However, nothing can match the aesthetics that an authentic wooden cage gives.
Almost every wooden crate in the market is multifunctional. While some can be folded and dismantled completely when not in use, to save space, others can double up as a folding gate for a specific area of your home or lawn. The most popular variety is the wooden crate that doubles up as a coffee table for your living room. A sliding, removable bottom panel allows you to clean the crate easily. Access to the inner parts of the crate to allow easy cleaning and a waterproof surface inside that prevents the wood from warping, are a must have.
If you intend to keep the crate inside your house, you'd want to ensure that you buy one that fits into the room without looking oversized. Folding cages are definitely a better choice for compact sized rooms and RVs. The other option is the coffee table crate that serves its purpose in any house or office setting.
The Best Wooden Dog Crates
Crown Pet Crate Table
Constructed from durable hardwood and available in three different finishes, the Crown Pet Crate is one of the most popular wooden crates for dogs. As the name suggests, it doubles up as a coffee table and the premium finish fits right into your decor theme. Most people wouldn't even notice that it's a dog crate unless they look closely. At 21 inches wide x 29.7 inches deep x 24 inches high for the medium size, the Pet Crate Table from Crown has a very small footprint. It will not look oversized even in a small apartment. At the same time, it offers enough room for the pet to stand, lie and turn around. The multiple vents on the crate allow for a well ventilated resting den and also gives the pet a 360 degree view of the surroundings. Access to the crate is via a swing-through door that rotates to the inside of the crate and does not eat up valuable space in your home. A removable MDF floor with a melamine coating allows easy cleaning and maintenance. Stylish appearance, solid construction Mortise and Tenon, waterproof floor, multiple finishes for decor compatibility and a plastic clear-floor for dogs that like to chew on their cages. There's not much that you can ask from a wooden crate. This is hands down, the best wooden crate that you can buy.
Richell End Table Dog Crate
Fancy adding an end table to your living room? How about one that also functions as a dog crate? This amazing little dog crate from Richell is a versatile furniture piece that is flawlessly designed. Its appeal stems from the stunning finish and the incredibly useful top surface that can easily hold up to 50 lbs. of weight without affecting the crate or the pet inside. Vase, lamp or other sundry details, this will hold it perfectly. This dog crate from Richell is just the right size for large as well as medium sized dogs. It is available in two sizes by the way and you can pick the one that best suits you. The construction is really solid. It is very easy to put together and you can feel that this is not a flimsy, cheap replica. Access to the cage is made easier by a door that swings all the way to the side and latches on to the vents with a side stopper attachment. Also, the bottom of the crate is a sliding tray that can easily be removed and cleaned. The all wood construction and the superb design make this a great choice for an indoor dog crate. It is compact sized and can easily accommodate dogs of all sizes. Really cannot go wrong with this.
ALEKO Large Weatherproof Dog Kennel
The ALEKO(R)is a large sized dog kennel that will make a great addition to your lawn. It is made from solid pine and is completely weatherproof with a beautiful house shaped finish. At 46 x 31 x 31 inches, it is an ideal dog house for large sized dogs. If you have a Labrador, a Golden retriever or a German shepherd, then you have just found the best wooden crate for your buddy. Aleko's range of wooden dog crates have become extremely popular in recent times owing to their superior quality that does not compromise on the aesthetics. Despite being dog crates, they look more like proper kennels and the construction will give you a maintenance free dog house that will last for years. The Dog Kennel features a raised floor that allows air to circulate under the dog crate and keeps the crate warm and dry in different seasons. At the same time, it is completely removable for easy cleaning. The adjustable feel allow you to keep the crate stable on an uneven surface. If you have a contoured lawn, then you can be rest assured that the crate won't wobble. If you need to dismantle the crate or just wash it down completely, the roof is removable and features two locking arms that are easy to access. It is very difficult to find a wooden crate for the outdoors that's waterproof and looks perfect too. The ALEKO Dog Kennel is a great choice for pet owners with large sized dogs. It is durable, looks amazing and comes at a very attractive price point.
Configurable Pet Crate and Gate
The 2-in-1 configurable pet crate and gate from Merry products is a favorite with homeowners due to the versatile multipurpose design. As the name suggests, this folds into a compact wooden crate with great aesthetics and when needed, unfolds into a sturdy gate when not in use as a crate. Featuring a hardwood construction with a walnut finish, this is a perfect addition to any home or decor theme. This dog crate is shipped in a large sized box and is protected by Styrofoam to prevent the finish from getting scratched. Assembly is extremely easy and all that is needed is to line up the hinges which are preassembled and drop the hinge pin in it. The crate features metal bars that are strong and welded to prevent your dog from chewing through it or escaping by bending it. When used as a gate, it suffices to keep smaller and medium sized dogs confined to a specific part of the room or the house. Each of the panels can also be removed to block off specific areas. The fact that it can be dismantled, also makes it a low maintenance option that is easy to clean. On the bottom, there is a removable plastic tray that slides out and can be washed to clean it. This is a very versatile choice for a wooden crate that has one of the best designs that we have ever seen. The cover is solid wooden veneer and the finish is perfect to blend in with any decor theme. Priced at under $150, this is a great buy.
Dog Crate End Table
Last but not the least, we have this tastefully designed Pet crate that doubles up as an end table. Crafted from rubberwood or hevea wood, which is environment friendly, this compact sized crate has a beautiful mahogany finish that is much sought after in furniture pieces. The Casual Home features a hard-sided wooden frame structure with slats that allow excellent ventilation and sunlight for the pet. The rubberwood construction makes it rot free and the other components are pure rust-free stainless steel, giving you the assurance that it will retain the blemish free finish for a long time. If your dog has a habit of breaking out of the crate, then you can use the latch on the front door to secure it. Further, it is leak proof and will keep the surroundings clean and hygienic. Use it as a night stand or a coffee table, and it fits the bill perfectly without affecting the pet inside. This is a cozy resting place for your pet that also doubles up as a very useful and practical furniture piece. The construction is top notch and it also has a great finish that is perfect for use in the living room or the bedroom. With minimal assembly and a great price tag, this wooden crate from casual home is a perfect choice for pets of all sizes.
PLASTIC DOG CRATES
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If you are in the market for a dog crate, you will have to decide which type of crate is best for your dog, plastic or wire. What follows are the pros and cons of a plastic dog crate. Depending on your dog's size and type of coat and what conveniences you'd like in a crate, a plastic version may be just what your dog needs.
Provide better insulation than wire crates.
If you own a puppy, small dog, or a dog with a short coat, a plastic crate can help him retain more body heat, which can be valuable in cold or wet climates. This may not be a benefit if you own a large or long-haired dog or live in a warmer climate.
A plastic dog crate generally has fewer openings for your dog to see out. This can cut down on how much a puppy whines or cries in his crate since there is less to distract him.
Can be airline-approved.
Unlike wire dog crates, there are many airline-approved plastic crates available. Wherever you fly, your dog can accompany you with the right crate. You should always check with your airline first to make sure the plastic dog crate you choose meets their safety guidelines.
Convertable to Dog Bed.
Can be stored or used as a dog bed. You can find many plastic crates that come apart for storage. Some are even designed to allow the top to be removed so you can use the bottom as a dog bed. Not every plastic crate is so versatile, however, so make sure the features you want are included.
Even a bigger plastic dog crate can be exceptionally light, which is something to keep in mind if you travel a lot or need to move the crate often.
Disadvantages of Plastic Crates
Less ventilation and air movement.
The increased insulation a plastic crate affords comes at the expense of reduced air circulation. If you live in a hotter environment, your dog may not appreciate the excess heat trapped by his crate.
May increase feelings of isolation.
The greater privacy a plastic dog crate offers can also be a disadvantage if your dog is a busy-body. Often times, a puppy will whine or cry in his crate because he feels isolated, a condition that can be intensified by the confines of a plastic crate.
Can trap odors.
Unlike a wire crate, the materials in a plastic crate can collect doggy odors over time. This can make it more difficult to keep the crate clean.
Can't fold flat
If you plan to travel with your dog's crate, a plastic dog crate generally won't break down as completely as a wire or soft-sided type.
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DOG & PUPPY CRATES
COLLAPSABLE DOG CRATES
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Soft sided crates look a little less intimidating for first time users than imposing wire ones and I think they can be a good choice for crate-averse people who often find them easier to use as they look less "like a cage".
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ADVANTAGES OF SOFT-SIDED NYLON DOG CRATES
Extremely light and portable, most coming with a carry bag.
Extremely easy to store when not being used and folded.
Soft and flexible, they are more comfortable for the dog inside compared to most crates
Great to use when out camping due to being extremely easy to put up and take down.
DISADVANTAGES OF SOFT-SIDED NYLON DOG CRATES
Not the most durable and long-lasting.
Destructive dogs can literally claw and chew their way out, destroying the crate in the process.
Difficult to keep clean after using for any length of tim, especially if your dog has any accidents in it.
Some dogs can learn how to unzip and open the doors.
Personally I think they are the least attractive and cheap looking. But again, it's personal preference.
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DOG and PUPPY CRATES
DOG & PUPPY CRATES
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DOG & PUPPY CRATES
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Hide your dog's crate with something that makes great use of the space it takes up.
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WHEN NOT TO
CRATE A DOG
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There are times when you should not crate your dog. Sometimes for medical reasons, sometimes for psychological reasons and sometimes because it may set back your dogs development and your training efforts so far. Most importantly because sometimes it's just plain unnecessary, mean and not within your dogs best interests for quality of life.
Work All Day
We do not recommend the use of a crate for a dog that has to be left alone all day while their owners are at work, even if some dogs do actually learn to live with it. If this must be tried, then it's absolutely vital that your dog is well exercised and given lots of attention before and after being placed in the crate, and you have somebody come and take your dog out for exercise and go to toilet half way through the day. However, I do also realize people's personal circumstances change, relationships break up and somebody may find themselves suddenly in a situation where they live alone with their dog and have to work all day. If this is you, try your very best to leave your dog with a family member, hire a pet sitter or use a dog daycare service to cut the amount of time your dog must spend alone, particularly in a crate. A sociable dog such as a Labrador cannot be left alone and isolated 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year. This is a poor quality of life. This lack of interaction and companionship will likely end with your dog developing emotional problems, depression, anxiety and behavioral issues.
Fear of The Crate
Not all dogs like a crate and it is cruel and inhumane to force a dog showing fear and anxiety to use one. You will know if your dog fears the crate because they will look incredibly scared: Ears flat, tail down, trembling and in extreme cases may even vomit or defecate. Never force a dog into a crate, they must be willing to go inside and should feel happy and comfortable there. In some cases they may seem happy when you first put them in, but when you return after some time you see damage to the crate caused by attempts to escape, wet fur or a wet floor due to drooling, urine or feces in the crate or reports from neighbors of barking and crying. This could indicate delayed fear of the crate that takes a short while to take hold, or could be separation anxiety.
A dog that already suffers with separation anxiety should never be confined in a crate as this will only make things worse. If your dog shows any of the following signs of separation anxiety when left alone you need to discuss this with professional help and avoid crating them: Destructive chewing, soiling the house, excessive drooling, scratching at doors and windows trying to escape or non-stop barking and whining. Although nearly all dogs come to see their crate as their special place that makes them feel safe and secure, this is not the case with those that suffer separation anxiety and crating them could in fact make their feelings worse. In the most extreme cases of dogs in a severe state of anxiety they have been reported to rip claws and break teeth trying to escape a crate and those not in crates to destroy entire doors and interior walls. You can imagine the fear and panic they must be feeling to do this! Regardless of whether you use a crate or not, if your dog has separation anxiety problems, you MUST speak with a professional to solve the problem as it severely affects your dogs quality of life. Regarding fear of the crate and separation anxiety, I suggest if you can to set up a camcorder and record your dog in the crate when they are left alone. This way you will have a true sense of how they find the experience. If they are anxious and fearful you need to work on this and go back to crate training before using one. They are not ready yet.
The time will vary depending on the age of your dog, but you know how uncomfortable it is when you really need to go but can't? A dog will feel the same when trying their very hardest not to soil their crate, so don't put them in this position. If it does get to the stage where they end up soiling their crate, they will feel very disappointed with themselves and anxious, so avoid this all costs. It's basic care to allow your Lab the opportunity to go to toilet regularly.
Toilet in The Crate
As discussed above, this could be due to fear of the crate or separation anxiety. But it could also be for medical reasons or just that they have "unlearnt" to keep their crate clean. If they are soiling their crate due to medical reasons or sickness and diarrhea, they cannot be expected to hold it, truly cannot help it and it's totally unfair to have them crated when they will defecate in such a confined space. So do not confine them until they are well again, leave the door open so they may use the crate, but can leave when the inevitable happens. But if it's due to losing their instinct to keep their sleeping place clean it could undo all your house training efforts and not only this, it's very bad for the health of your dogs skin to lie in urine and excrement. A dog that soils their crate should not be confined in one but instead should be managed with a pen or by gating off a section of the house until you have fully trained them to be clean inside once again. A dog that soils their crate should not be confined in one but instead should be managed with a pen or by gating off a section of the house until you have fully trained them to be clean inside once again.
Medical Condition to Worse
Although a crate is very useful, recommended and will even be sought out by your dog when they are ill or convalescing, some conditions require that a dog be able to move about freely to prevent their health from worsening. An old dog with arthritis or a younger dog with inflamed joints may become stiff and sore if they are confined with little movement. There are other ailments with which being confined isn't recommended, your vet will be able to advise if this is the case.
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