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Dog Crates

Dog Crates – What you should know

Dog crates are an excellent training tool for puppies and adult dogs, plus they also represent a ‘den’ which their wolf ancestors used for comfort and shelter.

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A crate should be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If it is any larger, it might be possible for your dog to urinate or defecate in the crate and still have room to lie down away from the mess. If it is any smaller, your dog will be cramped and uncomfortable. Crates should be just long enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably on his side to sleep.

Using dog crates to train a pup teaches them that the human den (the house) is to be kept clean and is a place of comfort. Even after centuries of selective breeding, today’s domestic dogs still share the den instinct that has come down from their wild ancestors. Providing your dog with a crate is a way to satisfy that instinct while making use of it to suit your needs as well. The words dog crates and dog cages are used interchangeably, but over time it’s become preferable to call them dog crates.

Advantages for Using a Crate:

Protection from human visitors because dogs can get overly excited with the introduction of others, particularly children. Children often find it hard to leave a dog alone, even when told to do so. Therefore, dog crates are useful in managing the dog’s quite time and clearing a space for visitors and children, without having to isolate him in another room. His crate can also provide a welcome sanctuary when he becomes over stimulated. In addition, a crate can be used to protect your home from your dog’s possible destructive behaviors, such as chewing or jumping on furniture. If you rent your home, something else to keep in mind is that a crate can help to satisfy reluctant landlords, many of whom will not accept pets in general, but can be persuaded to accept a crated dog.

For housetraining the foundation for crate training is based on the principle that puppies will avoid soiling their immediate sleeping/living area. It is important that dog crates are the appropriate size for your dog. Dog crates that are too big may result in your puppy soiling in it. Unsupervised puppies should be restricted to their crate. However, don’t isolate a puppy for more that 2-3 hours at a time. Take the puppy outside after meal or nap time and instruct him to go to the toilet. Put him back in the dog crate if he fails to go to the toilet. Repeat the process in 15 minutes.

Use a dog crate to get some time-out from your puppy. Dog crates are a great way to provide a place away from your dog, while not feeling guilty about restricting his freedom.

By introducing your dog to a crate it makes it easier for him to adjust to kennels. This is particularly the case with kennels that allow the owners to bring their own dog crates.

Dog crates provide piece of mind allowing you to go out of the house and relax in the knowledge that he is not getting into trouble by eating the furniture, chewing on electrical cords, getting into cleaning products underneath the sink, or soiling the carpet. The confinement of a crate can act as a passive form of discipline by preventing your dog from engaging in unwanted behaviors while you cannot be there to actively supervise him. In addition, a crate helps puppies go through the discomfort of chewing/teething stages by restricting them to chewing only their chew toys.

Dog crates are extremely useful and can continue to remain useful after the puppy is housetrained. Leave the crate open during the day and you’ll find your dog choosing the crate as a place to nap. They enjoy the confined spaces that dog crates provide. When properly used, a dog will much prefer the security and comfort of a crate as compared to just lying on the floor somewhere, or even in bed with you, where you might prefer he not be!

More information

Types of Dog Crates

Sizing of dog crates is very important!

Crate Training Your Dog

Sources for Dog Crates:

Brands of Dog Crates:

Accessories for Dog Crates

The bottom line

Related Pages

Crate Training 101

Dog Crates and Crate Training

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