Some people think that dog crates are evil and only for bad dogs or mean owners. They think that to cage your pet is cruel and unusual punishment. But dog crates have actually proved to be very useful in training your dog. Using a crate gives your dog a feeling of his own little area that he can feel safe in. The crate is your dog’s own area that he can do anything he wants in. He can bring treats and toys in to stow them safely without you taking them and hiding them away. He can go in there when he wants some peace and quiet to rest. Since dogs are naturally pack animals, they like to have a nice cozy place to sleep and rest. To them, their crate is like their own little cave that they can crawl into. Since most crates are too small for humans to crawl into, they feel safe in their own little area that nobody else can bother them in. So don’t just think that crates are to cage your dog up when you leave or when he is bad. It is a fun place for your dog and he will learn to like being in there until you come home. It is not mean if you don’t treat it that way. Treat the crate like it was a small dog house inside your home, like your dog’s own room. Make it nice and comfortable with blankets and pillows or a bed. This also teaches your dog that he is not to go potty in his crate. If you keep the plastic bottom of the crate and make it easy to clean up, he might think it is ok to go potty in there. If you keep it nice and cozy he will not want to mess it up. This is also another reason to keep the crate area small. If it is too big he will potty on one side and just sleep on the other side. Dogs will not relieve themselves in their sleeping area unless they absolutely have to. If they think the crate is big enough they will think they have enough room to have a bed and a potty area.
There are a few different types of crate. The most popular type of dog crate is the old fashioned metal wire cage. These are strong and sturdy, and many are collapsible. Many also include dividers so you can make the crate smaller if you have a growing puppy. As the dog gets bigger you can make his living space larger and larger. Another type of crate is the plastic shell type. These are also pretty strong and sturdy but they usually are not collapsible or portable. They are more comfortable inside for your dog as it is a smooth surface all around. If you travel a lot with your dog you may want to use his crate as a travel container, or you might want to get a separate travel crate to bring him along on family vacations, trips to the vet, etc. This will make your dog more comfortable when travelling. You can keep food and water in your dog’s own little area that will keep him happy and comfortable while traveling.