When used properly, dog crates can be a great tool for house training a puppy, a comfy den at home and while traveling. Since it requires investment, you should take the time to learn about the different crates that are available before choosing the right one for your dog.
Since it can be difficult, of course, to find the right dog crate with TONS to choose from, we've put this buying guide together that includes the best dog crate reviews.
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Which Dog Crate Size?
To find out what size crate they need, owners simply need to measure the dog’s length from the tip of its nose to its tail and add a couple of inches. For the height, measure from the top of the head or ears (if they are perky) to the ground. Finally, measure the dog’s width and add a couple of inches to be sure that they have enough room to move around.
Golden Rule of choosing the right size crate: your dog should be able to stand without crouching, lie down comfortably and sit without having any part of his body touching the crate.
If you are buying a crate for your puppy, take into consideration his or her fully-grown size and buy the crate your puppy will eventually grow and fit into.
Large size crates are perfect for dogs under 70 lbs.
Medium size dog crates are perfect for dogs between 26 and 50 lbs.
Small size dog crates are perfect for dogs under 25 lbs.
Large Dog Crates
- Basset Hound,
- Belgian Sheepdog,
- English Springer Spaniel,
- Australian Cattle Dog,
- Welsh Corgi,
- English Setter,
- Chinese Shar-Pei,
- Standard Schnauzer,
- Norwegian Elk Hound,
- Portuguese Water Dog,
- Labrador, and
Extra Large Dog Crates
Medium Dog Crates
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- King Charles Spaniel
- Miniature Pinscher
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Tibetan Terrier
- Welsh Springer Spaniel
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland Terrier
Small Dog Crates
- Australian Terrier
- Border Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Fox Terrier
- Jack Russel
- Miniature Dachshund
- Miniature Poodle
- Norfolk Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
- Skye Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- West Highland White Terrier
Extra Small Dog Crates
Which Type of Dog Crate?
Wood Dog Crates
There is a large selection of wooden crates available that look great with owners’ home décor, fitting in with furniture better than wire or plastic crates. These stylish crates can also double as a usable surface on top, adding extra functionality. While stylish, these crates can be expensive, harder to clean, and can be damaged easily by destructive dogs.
Wire Dog Crates
Wire crates also known as metal crates for dogs are a common choice for dog owners because they are easy to keep clean and most fold flat for easy storage and portability. Dogs like these crates because they offer good airflow and don’t restrict the dog’s view of its surroundings. Some dogs don’t like the open space though, and these crates don’t retain heat in the cold. For active dogs, these crates can be noisy and they are one of the easier types to escape from.
Plastic Dog Crates
Plastic crates are generally used for travel. The label will tell owners if a plastic crate is airline approved. These crates are lighter and easier to manoeuvre than a wire crate and they offer more shelter for dogs that are anxious when traveling. Plus, plastic crates are harder to escape from. Some disadvantages to plastic crates are that they are harder to clean and can lead to stress for dogs who aren’t used to being so closed in.
Soft-sided Dog Crates
Soft-sided crates are perfect for dog owners who don’t like the cage-like appearance of wire crates. These crates are soft and comfortable for dogs to lay in, like a dog bed but with sides that can be closed. Soft-sided crates are extremely lightweight, easy to set up, and can be folded away for storage. These crates are the least durable and can easily be torn apart by large or destructive dogs. They are more difficult to keep clean and dogs can learn to open the zippers and escape.
Each crate option has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Overall, wire crates are the most practical option. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to clean, and good for use at home or while travelling. For added warmth or to block out distractions, owners can easily buy a crate cover than can be removed and washed when needed.
4 Steps to Crate Training Your Dog Safely
The trick to training a dog to enjoy using a dog crate is by creating positive associations with it from the start.
- Leaving the door open, start by placing treats in the crate when the dog is not looking for a pleasant surprise they can discover later.
- Next, get the dog used to going in the crate by putting their bowl at the back of the crate during meal time.
- Eventually, when they get more comfortable, close the door behind them while they eat.
- Work on rewarding the dog for going in the crate and train them to wait for your command before coming out.
Just don’t leave your dog or puppy in their crate for extended periods of time or overuse it as punishment or they will come to fear and hate it.
Watch this quick refresher video with Cesar on crate training.
There are many different types of dog crates out there. Choosing the right one can be a challenge. Wire crates are best for owners who are training their dog to get used to a crate for the first time, because they are sturdy, affordable, and easy to clean. We hope our buying guide has been useful in helping you making an informed decision.
Be sure to also check out our guide to crate train a puppy fast using 6 simple steps.
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