Dog Crate/ Cage Training Guide
Is it Cruel To Crate Train A Dog?
The big problem with people is convincing them that dog cage/ crate training is not cruel and that these should not be used for punishment. Dogs that are crate trained actually like their cages and as dogs are ‘den’ animals they always enjoy going into a safe haven like in the wild they will dig a burrow to retreat to.
Dog cages provide dogs with a safe place to retreat to when they want to get away from children or they just need a quiet place to rest or sleep. Dog crates can be very useful for any age of dog as at some point in your dogs life they may have to visit a veterinarian where they will be confined to a cage so if your dog is crate trained this will be a familiar environment so that they will feel safer and less stressed. Also dog crates are ideal for transporting dogs safely in cars so your dog will feel happier in a crate in a car.
Why Should You Use A Dog Crate/ Cage?
If you can crate train your dog then you will get the benefit of the dog being less anxious and stressed, if they know they have a safe haven to retreat to they will be more relaxed. Dog cages/ crates are good secure places for your dog to sleep in and they can be used for transporting your dog in the car for walks and to the vets.
A good cage/ crate keeps dogs safe from sudden braking in the car and has the added benefit that your dog is contained whilst you get your boots on when taking the dog for a walk.
Where Should I Use A Crate?
Dogs are sociable animals so its best to position the crate where the dog can see you, but it certainly shouldn’t be too hot and should be away from cold draughts. Ideally if you can find a spot in a corner or against a wall so that you or children do not trip over the crate.
What Type Of Dog Crate Should I Buy?
The most important issue when looking for a dog crate is to buy one that is safe with rounded egges to all the metalwork. Unfortunately the market has been flooded in recent years with cheap imported cages that are poorly designed and are unsafe.
This dog cage/crate will be your dogs home for many years so why not invest in one that is safe and secure, you want one with rounded corners and one that has been safely galvanised so it will not corrode or flake as this could poison your dog. One brand of crates that have been manufactured in the UK for 30 years is the MTM dog cages and these are totally safe as they are used by Dogs Trust and Blind Dogs etc. These come with a lifetime guarantee so we can highly recommend.
The majority of Dog Cages/Crates are made from wire although there are some very good fabric ones too, if your dog is young we would recommend using a metal wire one initially as these are less prone to being chewed. It is also very important to ensure that you get a dog cage/crate that is large enough to stand at full height and turn around easily, investigate the full sizes of your dog breed when fully grown and make sure that your dog crate/ cage is large enough else you might end up buying two cages.
Most of the cages now come with plastic trays which is good if your dog soils it as it will not corrode and if you transport your dog in this cage they do not rattle during transport like the metal cages. You can add your own dog bedding to a dog cage to make this more comfortable for your puppy but make sure that you choose a machine washable one in case your dog soils this, it is also a good idea to have spare bedding.
What Age Can I Dog Crate/ Cage Train From?
Ideally the sooner the better, but in truth any dog can be crate trained it just may take a little longer with an older dog , but all dogs will benefit from this type of training. Dog cage training can either be just used for the first 18 months of a dogs life although many just carry on with the cage as the dogs just love it.
How To Get Your Dog Used To A Dog Crate/ Cage?
This may take some time and patience, your dog needs to be gradually introduced to the dog cage/ crate and the whole concept of this. Initially just leave the door open and put a few treats or favourite toys in there, don’t force the dog to go in but just gradually introduce the dog to the cage.
When he has gone in a few times always praise your dog for this. It won’t be long before he starts to use the crate/ cage for napping then start to close the door for short periods, then gradually build up the amount of time that your dog spends in the dog cage/crate. Continue to build up this time where you then leave the room with the dog in the cage, if the dog whines or barks do not let him out at this stage or this will reward him for barking so always ensure he is quiet before opening the door. Use the dog crate/ cage wisely, don’t only use the crate when you want to leave the house or he may associate the dog crate/ cage with you leaving him.
If you are looking for a dog cage/ crate then see our full range of the very best brands of dog cages/ crates.