So you’ve decided to crate train your dog or puppy.  That’s great, there are many advantages to crate training and it can be useful in a variety of situations.  A crate will provide a safe haven for your dog for the rest of their lives – and make your life a little easier too.  There’s many different types of crate available.  Read on for some advice on what type of crate to buy and what size you should look for.

What type of dog crate should you buy?

Airline Approved Crate

Crates can be plastic (like the ones suitable for airline travel), wire (collapsible, metal pens) or soft fabric crates (collapsible).

If you think you will travel with your dog on a plane at some stage then consider purchasing an airline approved dog crate from the beginning. If you have a larger breed then this can be a considerable investment – so make sure it’s something that you will use.  If you don’t need an airline approved crate then you can choose from a simple plastic crate or perhaps go for a wire crate.  If you have a small breed then either will be fine.  

Wire Dog CrateWire dog crates
are probably the most popular choice overall - and certainly for the medium to large breeds. Make sure you pick a quality wire crate,  Don’t be fooled by the cheaper ones as they are typically flimsy, poorly made and won’t keep a boisterous puppy contained for long.  Wire crates can be used in the car for travelling - or taken with you when you stay overnight away from home.  You can get crate covers too that cover the crate and make it like a tent for 

Soft dog crates can be more appealing as they look quite cool.  They're completely enclosed, with windows and window flaps - plus they're light and easy to collapse down for carrying.  Soft crates are fine for dogs already crate trained - or older dogs who aren't into chewing up anything they can get their mouths into.   Puppies like to chew - so a fabric crate may not be the best choice for younger pups - but they have their advantages.

What size crate do you need?

A crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down. The biggest mistake you can make is to get one that’s way too big. If you get a crate that is too big then chances are your puppy will use one half as a bedroom and the other half as a bathroom.

At the same time you need to get a crate that will suit your dog when they’re fully grown. To avoid any toileting problems in a crate that is too large for your puppy but will suit them later – just use a divider or a cardboard box to make its area smaller. You can then remove the divider or box as they grow.

To pick the right size crate you need to have a pretty good idea how big your dog will be once they’re fully grown – and size the crate for this.  

Crates training is great for:

  • housetraining a puppy
  • travelling in the car
  • visiting the vet or any other time you may need to confine your dog (eg. after surgery)
  • keeping your puppy safe.
Still not sure what type of crate you need?  Give us a call or send an email and we'll do our best to help talk you through the options most suitable for you and your dog.