The Correct Way to Use
a Dog Crate for Crate Training

Why do I want to bother with crate training? What do you do if you want to bring, or ever leave, your dog inside your house - when he is not yet fully house trained?

Crate training your dog or puppy will take some time and effort, this I promise you, but if you take the time to properly train your dog to use the crate, your dog will be happy to spend time there whenever needed in the future.

What is the best solution? A secure, safe, clean and comfortable area for your dog that is virtually disaster proof - resistant to possible destructive behavior and improper elimination. Whenever using a crate it is very important to avoid making your dog or puppy feel isolated or banished from its "pack". It is a good idea to put the crate in an area of your home that does have traffic such as your kitchen, living room, etc. and in a place free from drafts but not too close to a direct heat source.

The best solution I could ever offer you to to solve this problem would be the use of airline type crates, carriers or cages, that you can easily find in pet stores or just about anywhere online. If you have a new dog or puppy, you could easily use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns things like what he can and can't chew on and where he can (or can't) eliminate.

Single Door Black Metal Wire Economy Dog Crate

Easy Carry Soft Sided Dog Crate Medium Blue

Even though many pet-care professionals, veterinarian offices, professional handlers, pet hobbyists, professional trainers, hunters and many others in the pet industry overwhelmingly approve of the use of crates or cages, many pet owners still believe that using a crate is somehow harmful to our pets.

Believe it or not but dogs and cats prefer to curl up for hours at a time in the darkest, smallest, most quiet spaces that they can find. Haven't you ever noticed that? Now, add a lot of positive reinforcement for getting in and staying quietly in the dog crate and you're well on your way to a positive learning experience for you both as well as a safe place for your pet to rest while crate training.

Crates have several positive uses. Here are just a few: 1) they can prevent your puppy from chewing on inappropriate items when you are unavailable to keep an eye on them, 2) they create an "accident-free zone" for your puppy, 3) they provide a safe space for the pet to relax and rest.

Now you can find dog crates or cages in a variety of styles and different sizes - not just that airline crate style that many of us are so familiar with. All designs have pros and cons. Those flight kennels made of aluminum can stand up to almost any type of abuse but are hot in warm weather.

Cages made out of that heavy covered wire are airy and allow breezes to easily pass through but can easily rust in wetter climates and are quite open. Also, these types of cages do not offer any kind of protection from the elements. It is possible to now find models that offer an attractive and protective fabric cover that fits over the wire cage making crate training easier and your puppy less insecure from being out in the open.

The one I have used for years (and own several of) is the hard, pre-formed plastic kennelwith a heavy wire door. You can find these almost everywhere as well. Why do I like these? For one thing they can be stacked on top of each other at a dog show, while traveling, or at home. They are also very easy to clean and sterilize after, or before, or during use while crate training. Also, they can be easily be taken apart for storage purposes if needed - the top and bottom halves of the crate easily fit inside each other and are easy to store.

Prices run the gamut for crates depending on the style and size you purchase for your pet - from just a few dollars for an inexpensive cat carrier to well over several hundred dollars for a crate big enough for a full grown Mastiff. You can easily find crates all over - in pet shops, through wholesale catalogs, at dog or cat shows and especially on the internet.

Return from Crate Training Tips to Dog Articles

DOG, n. A subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.... [H]is master works for the means wherewith to purchase the idle wag of the Solomonic tail, seasoned with a look of tolerant recognition." -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary