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Dog Crates

Introducing Your Dog To A Crate

(Go straight to the dog cages)

This page is intended to be a guide for those planning to introduce their dog to a crate (indoor kennel), suggesting some of the simpler ways to do so.

If you have any questions, or need more information you should consult your local Canine Advice Life Line operator, vet, dog club or trainer who can give individual advice tailored to your pet's specific needs.

Dogs have a natural liking for enclosed sleeping places - think of how often your dog chooses to sleep under the table, against a wall or behind the settee! Although their resemblance to cages puts many people off using crates, if properly introduced your dog will think of his crate as a safe, secure den.

Once your dog is happy in the crate he can be left there to prevent soiling and chewing when you are out for a short time, he can be restrained when the kids play noisy, energetic games which are not improved by his joining in, and he has a secure familiar bed which can be taken in the car and on holiday if needed.

How not to introduce your dog to Dog Crates

A dog which is thrust unprepared into a crate and left is going to associate the crate with a most unpleasant experience and be very unhappy. A dog which is carefully introduced to a crate usually finds it a pleasant and secure place to be, so it is worth spending some time over the introduction process.

The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn round and stretch out when lying down. If he is a puppy, allow for growth. Your supplier will advise you on this. To begin with you will need to leave the crate set up all the time. Later you may prefer not to, and some crates fold flat for easy storage when not in use.

When left in the crate your dog should have a toy or chew bone to keep him occupied when awake, soft bedding to sleep on, and a drink of water. A young dog can also be left with newspaper if you use it for toilet training. Feed the dog in the crate every day, with the door open. This is an easy way to get him to like it! Set the crate up in a quiet corner, and put the dog's bed into it.

At this stage, leave the door pinned open so that the dog is never fastened in by mistake and never gets stressed. Soon the dog should happily use the crate voluntarily. When you reach this stage, (NOT BEFORE) wait until he goes in for a sleep, then close the door. Stay in the room, and let him out as he starts to wake up. When your dog is used to this routine, leave him for a minute after he wakes up, with you still in the room.

Gradually (over about a week) increase the time you can do this. If your dog gets distressed, reassure him briefly but firmly and shorten the time on the next attempt. Don't make a big fuss - sweet nothings and lots of attention can make him think you're praising him for being distressed, and he'll do it all the more.

Aim for the "nursing sister" approach when she comes to give you a big injection, sympathetic but business like! When you can leave the dog like this, leave the room for a few minutes but stay in the house. Again, gradually increase the time you are out of sight till you can put the dog into his crate when you go shopping. A dog should never be left in a crate for more than a couple of hours at a time.

Dog Crates available

IPTS Double Door Folding Cage 48in, 121cm:

This steel cage is designed to fold quickly and efficiently for easy carrying and storage. This large size measures 121cm x 76cm x 89cm high (48" x 30" x 35" high) and includes a carry handle, secure hinged doors on the front and side and a removable base.

dog crate

Read my review of petplanet and view other dog crates here!