a person training a puppy in a robust pet cage

Dog Care and Training: Crating 101

When you become a dog owner, it becomes apparent that you don’t just get a loyal and loving companion, but also one who teaches you how to be more caring and responsible. While it’s essential to provide shelter, food, and water to ensure the pet is happy and healthy self, you also have to show who’s in charge if you want to avoid any unwanted behaviour.

It doesn’t matter whether you adopt a pup or an older dog, a robust pet crate is a helpful pet supply you should consider implementing. Aside from being a useful trainers’ tool, it can equally be used for home training. When we first got our golden retriever Uno, we weren’t thinking of crating him, but after some issues with potty training, it seemed like the smart decision to try before resorting to specialised collars.

Why Use a Pet Crate?

a dog in a outdoors aluminium pet cage
source: zooplus.com

Regardless of the type of design you choose, be it one made from metal or one from plastic, it’s meant to serve as a safe confinement that can be useful beyond training. It’s the haven for a dog that’s overly stimulated or traumatised whenever there are too many people at your home, much as it can be a safe place to keep Fido when you’re away for a while and he or she isn’t to be trusted without supervision when it comes to soiling on or destroying furnishings.

Whenever there’s the need to restrict the dog’s access to the rest of the home, it can prevent him or her from feeling lonely as they can still stay around you thanks to the flexible design of the crate. This can prevent unwanted habits like excessive barking, chewing, digging, or jumping. It’s also ideal for teaching them how to behave, and how to control their temper when faced with stressors, as much as it can teach them how to control the bowels and that it can only be done outdoors.

As the pet cages are transparent, yet provide a closure, they’re equally great for training the pet for those times when you’re going to take them to the vet or go with them on a trip, keeping them inside a carrier.

How to Choose the Right Crate?

With so many options of crates for pets available at pet stores, it’s important to be more mindful of the selection, focusing on aspects like size and material. To be certain you make the right choice for your dog in particular, it’s necessary to measure up so he or she has the space needed to stand upright as well as lie down comfortably.

With this in mind, it’s advisable to measure up your pet standing up, as much as lying down, making sure it’s head to toe, and tip of the nose to the tail. Once you get the size, it’s also advisable to add about 10 cm to the height and length for more space and comfort. That’s how you’d get the ideal crate size. In terms of material, you’d have to consider how much you’re willing to pay for this supply.

The most common materials are metal, plastic, and wood. Out of these, metal is the most durable choice that’s easy to carry, easy to clean, and easy to adjust. As it’s a lightweight construction, it’s good for air circulation too. However, it also comes at a higher price than plastic which is another sturdy choice and airplane approved. Still, not being as durable as the metal counterpart, it’s not that good if you’re dealing with a chewer.

Wood is the option to go for if you’re after a more aesthetic solution that can seamlessly blend in with your home’s interior décor. Despite its durability and visual appeal, it’s a choice that requires more work with the assembly and cleaning. It’s also something dogs can chew through.

Crating Dos and Don’t

A dog laying next to a bed in a cage that is covered with a blanket
source: thepetcarpenter.co.uk

To make the crating experience more successful and beneficial, remember:

  • Do add a blanket or cushion adequate for your dog’s size and needs to make the crate more comfortable and attractive to stay in.
  • Don’t force the dog to go inside or use the crating as a sort of punishment once they do some unwanted barking, chewing, peeing, or jumping.
  • Do train crating with favourite treats and toys to make the pet associate it with something pleasant. This way, they would be encouraged to get in on their own and would get in the habit of going inside without needing to be forced.
  • Don’t leave your pup inside for hours on end with the door closed. They need time to relax, stretch, and potty outside after a couple of hours (four at most).
  • Do crate your pooch until they can behave properly when in the house on their own.