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CRATE TRAINING

The type of crate usually used, would be of a rectangular construction, which is normally collapsible, manufactured from galvanised steel mesh, this can also be plastic coated, with a plastic removable tray, for ease of cleaning. The size of the crate will depend on the size of your dog, they will need to be able to lay fully outstretched, and have no problem in turning around. If you have a pup or young dog, that is still growing, it is advisable to start crate training with a crate that is just large enough for your puppy - giving the puppy too much room will defeat the purpose of House Training if this is the purpose for using a crate.  Should the cost of purchasing more than one crate be an issue, then it may be just as well to purchase a crate that will accommodate the dog when they are fully grown, rather than having to upgrade the size as the dog gets bigger.  Alternatively there are pet suppliers who offer crates on a rental or hire basis.

Although some people dislike the idea of placing their dog in a crate, if done properly, your dog can feel very secure and safe in it. It is not un-natural for a dog to instinctively select a small secure area in which they spend a reasonable amount of time. Denning in the wild by wolves, particularly when litters are being reared, is a natural behaviour. This behaviour can also be found in the domestic dog.

A crate is a very effective portable training aid e.g., assisting with House Training, prevention of chewing and damaging objects of value. Keeping your dog safe from chewing dangerous items such as sharp brittle or small objects and electrical cables etc., Your dog can be conditioned into chewing and mouthing the objects that you have selected, toys etc., as these are the things that they will only have access to.

Introducing your dog into the crate needs to be done in a gradual way, in which you ensure that you link positive associations to the crate for the dog  (feeding inside the crate, placing of toys and favourite items).  But firstly, having the crate, located in the home, for a period, without attempting to introduce the dog to it, will allow the dog to become familiar to its presence, without any pressure. Placing the crate in a location that your dog has already selected as one of his/her favourite places, may short circuit the process, as the dog may be so conditioned to laying in that location, that they will continue to do so, inside the crate.


The crate is ideal when travelling your dog, or when kennelling them as it is like taking a little piece of home, in which they feel secure and safe.  Placing your dog in the crate for short periods of time is initially the best idea, although some dogs may be happy to stay in their crate from the outset. It is very important that you only allow the dog to come out of the crate, when he/she is quiet, and not when the dog has demanded to come out. This should not be a problem if you have introduced the dog gently and gradually, with enough reward and pleasant association linked with the crate.