There are four basic types of dog crates:
Just as there are dogs in all shapes and sizes, there are crates to accommodate widely ranging size differences. Choose a comfortable crate that has just enough room for your dog to stand up, turn around, stretch out and lie down.
If you’re selecting a crate for a puppy, think ahead. Instead of choosing a crate that will suit his current size, opt for a crate that will be appropriate when he reaches his full adult size. However, limit the amount of crate space your puppy has access to until he is housetrained. Puppies won’t piddle or leave a pile where they sleep, but if there’s ample space, they will. Choose a crate with a movable divider, or reduce the space available by placing a cardboard box on one side until he grows.
Crates aren’t just for puppies; you can also show your adult the many benefits of having a crate. In addition to providing small, well-defined spaces to retreat to, crates are a helpful when you have company over or when you can’t supervise your dog. Crates help speed up the housetraining process and crates help keep pets safer in the car when traveling.
Having a crate in your home should be a pleasant experience for your dog. It should never be used as a place to punish him or he will come to fear it and refuse to go in. Never place your dog’s crate in a room that no one goes in, such as a spare room or basement. It’s best to put your dog’s crate in the family room or your bedroom, or both.
Puppies under six months of age that are being housetrained should never be kept in their crate longer than three or four hours, as they can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long. Adult dogs that are being housetrained may be able to hold it longer than a few hours, but they should also never be kept in their crate longer than a few hours.
Be sure to introduce your puppy or dog to a new crate slowly, and make it a pleasant, rewarding experience.