- Written by Country Warehouse
- Published: 28 July 2014
Indoor crates are ideal for dogs of any age, creating a space that they can retreat to and consider their own. They can also be used for training and transport, making them an absolute must for dog owners!
Choosing your crate
Your crate should give your dog enough space to move comfortably at adult size - so if you have a puppy, try to imagine how big they’ll be in a few years’ time! Make sure they have enough room to stand up, sit up, lie down and turn around. Think about convenience when deciding, too; most crates have removable bases to make them easier to clean.
Crates offer an effective method of house training, allowing you to easily control when and where your dog is able to relieve themselves. It's natural instinct for dogs to keep their resting and feeding places clean, making them unlikely to urinate inside their crate. This means that they will wait until you take them to a suitable relief area, giving you more opportunities to be present and give appropriate praise when your dog uses the right place.
Be aware of the difference between crate training and confining your dog for long periods of time to restrict messy areas. Short-term use of the crate is best, so that your dog understands that they are only supposed to use outside spaces or Puppy Pads to eliminate. If they do have an accident inside their crate it could significantly set their training back, so ensure they are taken to a relief area once an hour until you are certain of what their schedule is - they will soon become quite regular if you feed them at the same time each day.
A crate can be a good way to work through behavioural issues that pets have, in particular with chewing and other anxious behaviours. It should be a safe space for your pet to retreat to, alleviating the worry that is causing the bad behaviour in the first place. Get them used to their crate as described above, and monitor them as they get used to being left unsupervised, to ensure that they are content to be alone.
Keep in mind that the crate should be used to address the problem itself, and can help with feelings of anxiety or insecurity, but if the behaviour continues you should speak to a specialist, as there may be another underlying problem.