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Dog Crate Guide

The majority of breeders, trainers and veterinarians recommend crate training from a young age due to being a useful tool to help train puppies, providing a safe place for senior dogs, whilst also being helpful in the event of emergencies! Although a dog owner may feel reluctant to use a crate or feel guilty, dogs instinctively seek small spaces and shelters to feel protected whilst they relax and rest. Crates provide dogs with a familiar place to rest and retreat to when they find themselves in situations that they find distressing or chaotic in bustling households. Everyone needs their own private space to relax and recharge including your pet! A dog crate provides a cosy place that belongs just to your dog.

“If you want your dog to crate happily, then it should never be used as a punishment,”

Image by Reza Shahmoradi

Benefits of Crate Training

  • Crates provide a safe, quiet place for puppies or rescue dogs in their new environment.

  • Gives your dog a place to go when tired, nervous or stressed.

  • Crates assist with toilet training, as dogs do not like to soil their sleeping quarters.

  • Crates help teach a bedtime routine.

  • Dogs are less likely to have complications following surgery or aggravate injuries if they are crate trained.

  • Crate training assists senior dogs providing them with a restful haven to rest their joints.

  • Crates can help insecure dogs feel more relaxed as they have less territory to protect.

  • Provides short-term confinement: For example, if you're not around to supervise them.   

Image by Reza Shahmoradi
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Choosing the Right Crate

Your dog's crate should be big enough for them to stand up, turn around lie down and stretch in. The dimensions will depend on the size of your dog. It is recommended getting a crate that is big enough for your puppy to grow into and therefore you may need to think about the size of the crate they will need fully grown. The materials must be safe for your dog and allow for sufficient air flow.

If your dog prefers to sleep in the dark, you may want to consider wooden end panels rather than bars on the side, to create a more enclosed feel. Having a more open den style crate may benefit some dogs who want to safe space to feel secure without feeling enclosed by doors.

After you’ve identified what size crate you need, measure the area of your home where the crate will be kept to make sure it fits. You will also need to consider access points to make sure your crate fits through your front door and into your room of choice!

Our online shop sells crates that come in several sizes. If you would like to create your own custom design or have one designed to specific measurements or shape, please use our custom design form to receive a quotation!

Image by Reza Shahmoradi

Creating a Safe Haven

The following will assist you in creating a safe haven for your dog:

  • Add comfortable soft bedding inside your crate to make it more appealing and comfortable

  • Place inside some safe interesting chew toys

  • Find a suitable location for their crate that is not in direct sunlight

  • You can make sure they have access to water by using a clip-on bowl to prevent them from tipping it over

Image by Mink Mingle
Image by Diana Parkhouse

RSPCA Tips for Successful Crate Training

When it comes to the crate training remember:

★ Think positive -the crate should be always be associated with something pleasant.

★ Be patient -­ training should take place in a series of small steps. Don’t go too fast.

 

  • Step one is about introducing your dog to the crate and getting them familiar and comfortable with their new safe haven. Place the crate in an area where the family spends time. Leave the crate door open. Start by placing treats of their favourite toy inside the crate and allow them to leisurely explore.

  • Step 2 involves starting to increase the length of time your dog is happy to stay in the crate. You can try feeding them their meals in the crate at the back. If your dog happily enters and starts eating, try closing the door and open as soon as they have finished.

  • Step 3, as your dog gains more confidence staying in their crate with the door shut, you can now start to gradually leave them on their own. Once your dog has entered  the crate, shut the door and sit quietly where they can still see you. After 5 minutes quietly leave the room. Once out of sight return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat the process several times a day each time gradually increasing the time you are out of their sight. To continue the positive association with the crate, place their favourite toy or treat inside.

  • Once your dog is able to be left alone for half an hour without being in any distress, step 4 involves leaving them for short periods of time. Your dog may feel more relaxed if they have been exercised before being left and given the opportunity to go to the toilet before being left alone.  When leaving your dog do not make a fuss. Praise them for getting into their crate and leave them. On your return to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return, keep your arrival low key!

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