Q: What is the best way to use a dog crate?

crate training

A: A crate is the perfect place for your puppy or dog to sleep and spend quiet time in. The crate can also be his personal property and a favorite refuge, as long as its not abused. If you crate your dog, be sure to carefully consider some of these do’s and don’ts.

  • Do crate train a dog while they are still a puppy.
  • Do remove your dog’s collar, leash or clothing.
  • Do put a proper pad in the bottom of the crate for comfort.
  • Do ensure the crate is large enough for the dog to comfortably stand, turn around in, and lay down flat.
  • Do make sure the door is securely shut and locked.
  • Do inspect the crate regularly for any holes, chew marks, or pieces broken off.
  • Don’t leave in objects such as bones or toys with parts that might be chewed off.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in his crate for long periods.
  • Don’t crate a dog with unresolved separation anxiety, he could panic when you leave and injure himself trying to get out.
  • Don’t shut a adult dog in a crate if he’s never had any experience with one before.
  • Don’t use blankets or sheets, until you know your puppy or dog will not spend his time eating them.

What is best choice of crate for your puppy.

Crates are usually made from plastic or metal. It is important to decide on the material and style that best suits your puppy’s personality and needs, so they will help with your pup feeling safe and comfortable.

Plastic Crates:

  • provides better insulation and privacy
  • can be airline approved if travelling is in your future
  • can be stored or used as a dog bed, as the top of the crate can be removed
  • lightweight to lift
  • better choice for dogs that need to feel safe and secure

Wire Crates:

  • provides better ventilation and air movement
  • can decrease the feeling of isolation
  • releases odours more easily
  • easily folded flat for transportation

Please remember that a puppy is like a small child, so even while your puppy is in his crate you need to consider his safety.

Crate training a puppy takes time and patience and training an adult dog may take longer but speaking from experience it can be accomplished. I have crate trained all of my rescue dogs(mostly beagles) who come to me as adults and most of them have a form of separation anxiety. When the crate training seems overwhelming reach out to your veterinarian who can recommend a qualified dog trainer, who is the best qualified person to help you through those difficult periods.

Crate training is not that difficult and can be accomplished with patience.