Puppy Training: Selecting the Right Crate

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Crates are essential to good puppy management.
You may be thinking that it's unkind to keep a puppy or full grown dog in a cage, but that just isn't the case-within reason.
A puppy should only be kept in a crate for the number of hours equal to his age in months plus 1 (i.
a 2 month old puppy can be crated up to 3 hours at a time).
Dogs left to their own will seek out a semi-closed space to sleep in.
They like the feel of a den.
In our homes, our puppies and dogs want the same sense of security.
This is what the crate provides.
It becomes their bedroom.
It's where they'll go when they want to hide from something that scares them or when they don't feel good.
It is also where you will want to keep your puppy or dog when you travel with him-the time to introduce your pet to staying in a crate is not when you're loading him into the car for a trip across country or onto an airplane.
Purchasing the right crate is essential to your success.
If it's too small your puppy won't want to go in or he'll soon grow out of it.
On the other hand, if you buy one that will be large enough for your pup when he's full grown the space may be so large for him that he's able to make a mess on one side and live comfortably enough on the other-effectively defeating your efforts at house training.
By the time he grows enough to fill the space he will have learned that it's okay to eliminate in the crate.
So how do you pick the right size crate? After all, they aren't cheap and buying a new one every few months as your puppy grows would get expensive.
My suggestion is that you combine the best of both by purchasing a wire crate that includes a partition that will allow you to adjust the size of the living space as your puppy grows, and buy the size that will best fit your puppy when he's full grown.
A crate should provide adequate room for a dog to stand up and turn around comfortably, and it should be wide enough that when he's lying down he isn't cramped.
Wire isn't the only type of crate available, nor is it the only type that can be effectively used for house training a puppy.
The hard plastic airline kennels also work well for this purpose, though the plastic is more likely to be chewed than the metal wire.
Damage to the crate may require that it be replaced.
They also aren't available with the partition to make a crate that's large enough for a full grown dog small enough for a growing puppy.
Soft-sided crates are definitely not recommended for puppies who are going to be left unsupervised with the crate.
Save those for dogs who are no longer teething and have learned to sleep through boredom.
If you frequently take your puppy with you on short trips in the car, a soft-sided crate can be a suitable, lightweight option rather than letting your puppy run loose in the car.
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