If you’re having trouble teaching your dog to do his business outside, crate training may be the answer. This simple and effective method makes house training easy for both pets and owners. Taking the time to choose the best dog crate will set you up for long-term success.
Dog crates come in many sizes and offer a variety of features. The best dog crate for you will depend on a variety of factors including the dog’s age, breed, and activity level. Crates are useful for more than training, so you will want to consider all of your options before making a purchase.
Here’s everything you need to know about using a dog crate and how to choose the best dog crate for your needs. Let’s get started!
Crate Training Misconceptions
Some misinformed individuals may try to tell you that crate training is cruel. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Breeders, veterinarians, trainers, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) all recommend using a crate to train your dog.
As descendants of the wolf, dogs feel safe and secure sleeping in small den-like enclosures. They enjoy having their own space where they can relax. Leave the door to his crate open when not in use, and you may be surprised to find your dog voluntarily curling up inside for a nap.
Understanding the Basics of Crate Training
A well-trained dog is a happy dog. Your pet inherently wants to please you, so he’s most content when he understands what you expect of him. The best dog crate training allows you to teach your pet the rules of the house when it comes to potty training and other habits.
Potty training your dog using a crate is simple once you understand the basic principles.
Make the Crate a Happy Place
The most important thing to know about crate training is that it must always be a positive experience for your dog. Make the crate comfortable by lining it with soft blankets. Make it a happy place by putting a few of his favorite toys inside.
Start Your Dog Off Slowly
Start by putting your dog in the crate for short periods of time, about 10 minutes or so. Every time the dog enters his crate, give him a treat and plenty of praise. Once he starts to get used to the crate, you can start to extend the time he spends inside.
Take Him Outside Immediately
When you take your dog out of his crate, immediately take him outside. Do not pet him, play with him, or otherwise excite him. Stay calm, wait for him to do his business, and then give tons of praise and treats.
Learn to be Patient
There will be times when your dog gets distracted by all of the exciting things outside and doesn’t do his business. When this happens, simply return him to his crate, wait five or ten minutes, and repeat the process.
The best dog crate training is useless if you don’t do it consistently. Stay the course and your dog will soon learn that leaving the crate means it’s time to go potty. Taking him outside right away every time sends the signal that outside is the appropriate place to do his business.
A Word About Treats
Since you will be giving your dog lots of treats during the process, try choosing something healthy. Homemade dog treats are better for your pet and often less expensive than store-bought treats. When training in the summer months, a tasty frozen dog treat is the ultimate reward.
Crate Training Mistakes to Avoid
If you take nothing else away from this article, remember to never, ever use the crate as punishment. Don’t leave your dog in the crate for long periods of time. Dogs need play time, socialization, and plenty of potty breaks.
Above all, remember to be patient and understanding. It may take some time, but if you’re consistent about following the training process, your dog will learn in no time. Recognize the times when you’ve failed to follow the steps, and take responsibility rather than blaming your dog.
Crates Aren’t Just for Potty Training
Crates are useful for more than potty training. Here are three more reasons that you need to have a crate available for your dog.
Safety and Comfort
Until your dog or puppy has learned how to behave in your home, the crate can keep him safe and prevent him from damaging your property. Keeping your dog in his crate, especially when you’re not at home, can also help with separation anxiety. When your dog gets too crazy for his own good, the best dog crate can offer a safe place for him to take a “time out.”
If you have to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter in a natural disaster like a hurricane, flood, or wildfire, you’ll have to keep your pet in a crate. In this situation, your pet may feel anxious about all of the unfamiliar people and animals. Keeping him in his crate is safer for all involved.
Airlines have specific requirements for traveling with your pet. When traveling by car, the appropriate crate will help to keep your dog safe. If you stay in a hotel, a travel crate will prevent your dog from causing damage to the room.
Choosing the Best Dog Crate
Now that you have an idea of how you’ll use your crate, it’s time to choose the right one. Here’s what you should look for.
One of the most important consideration is the size of the crate. Your dog should be able to stand and turn around.
Crate training is effective because dogs will naturally avoid doing their business where they sleep. If the crate is too large, they may sleep in one area and potty on the other end. If you want to buy a crate that your dog can grow into, use a divider to create the appropriate amount of space.
There are five primary types of dog crates:
- Wire – lightweight and offers excellent ventilation
- Plastic – sturdy, easy to store, recommended for air travel
- Fabric – soft-sided, portable, good for travel, picnics, and camping
- Heavy-Duty – can be more expensive, but is best for strong and active dogs
- Decorative – rattan, wicker, or finished wood crates look great in the home and are appropriate for non-destructive dogs
Metal crates with a powder coating are durable, weather-resistant, and inexpensive. Wire crates with electro-coating are resistant to corrosion, making them a great option for outdoor use.
There are going to be times when your dog has an accident in his crate. A removable pan made of leakproof plastic makes clean-up easy. The best dog crate will have an odor-resistant pan to ensure sanitary conditions for your dog.
You want a crate that is strong enough to keep your dog safely inside, especially if it’s used for travel. Strength ranges from extra-light to heavy duty, and your dog’s size and personality will determine what you need. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so when in doubt, spend the extra money for a stronger crate.
Your dog’s size, temperament, and your planned use for the crate will determine the best dog crate for your needs. If you plan to travel a lot, a lightweight, foldable crate is your best option. These crates are easy to set up and break down, and they’re durable enough to keep your dog safe and secure.
Standard crates are best for use in a single location. These are most popular for home use and are the perfect option for large or very active dogs.
Soft-sided tent-crates are appropriate for mild-mannered dogs who aren’t likely to try to escape. They’re durable and may save you from having to buy multiple crates, but you must ensure that they are strong enough to contain your dog.
Midwest Dog Crates
One of the best dog crate manufacturers on the market today is Midwest dog crate. With a huge variety of features and options available, they’re a one-stop-shop for all of your dog crate needs. Learn more by visiting their site at the link below! https://www.petcratesdirect.com/blogs/news/midwest-dog-crates.
Don’t hesitate to Buy the Best Dog Crate
There are many benefits to bringing a dog into your home, especially if you have children. Taking the time to train your dog properly will allow him to provide you and your family with a lifetime of joy.
If you aren’t sure about the type of crate you need, don’t let that stop you from making the purchase. There are so many advantages to having a crate in your home, it’s worth the money to buy one right away.
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