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Crates and crate training

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Crates and crate training Empty Crates and crate training

Post by Eleanor Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:49 pm

A dog crate is a secure enclosure with one or more doors, which can be made from a number of materials, including metal, fabric, plastic or wire. It can be used as transportation equipment, as a bed or containment for short periods of time.


Why use a dog crate?

When used as a bed, a crate can provide a secure, safe place for your dog to retreat to when he wants to be alone. It also prevents younger dogs from engaging in destructive behaviours while the owner is away for a while. For travelling, a crate is a sturdy piece of equipment which can keep your dog contained for his safety, as well as the safety of others.


Common types of crate:


  • Plastic crates – usually used for airplane travel, as they are lighter, sturdier and allow the dog more privacy than other crate types. Storage may be more difficult with plastic crates, as they often do not fold down.



  • Wire crates – often used for bedding and travelling, as they have very good ventilation, high visibility for the dog and are easy to clean. Caution should be used when housing a dog wearing a collar, as the collar may become trapped on the wire. Most people prefer to place bedding in the crate if it is being used as a bed for the dog.



  • Soft/fabric crates – usually for beds and car travelling, as they are easily transportable, light and easy to store. Some dogs may also find these more comfortable. However, they can be difficult to clean and are not very secure for escape artists.



What size to get for your dog:

Your chosen crate should be big enough for your dog to stand/sit comfortably, turn completely around, lie down comfortably and stretch out. When buying a crate for a puppy, try to consider your dog’s adult size – it’s better to buy a crate that is a size too big than a size too small.


House training with a crate:

Dogs are naturally clean animals, in relation to urinating and defecating – most prefer not to mess in their bed. When used properly (with the dog not being left for extended periods of time), the dog can be taken straight from the crate and into the garden, where he can then do his business.

Please note that, if the crate is too big for your dog, he may learn to urinate and defecate at one end of the crate and sleep at the other end. For puppies, this can be prevented by sectioning off an area of the crate for a bed and gradually increasing the bed space as they grow.


Using a crate for time-outs:

When your puppy is getting particularly boisterous or destructive, a crate can be a good way to calm him down. It is very important to make the distinction between a time-out and punishment. Using a crate for punishment is likely to lead to the formation of a negative association between your dog and the crate. The crate should be introduced as a safe, secure place. When placing the dog in the crate for a time-out, there should be no scolding involved; after the dog has calmed down, the crate door may be opened again. Sometimes, the dog will choose to remain in there, which is fine. Time-outs shouldn’t be longer than five minutes.


For how long can dogs be crated?

With puppies, the rule is that they can be crated for one hour per month of age. So a three-month-old puppy can be crated for roughly three hours. Generally, a puppy can hold its urine for an extra hour added to this rule, so this should be the maximum time a puppy is left alone in a crate.

It isn’t advised to regularly crate any dog for longer than five hours during the day, but the crate can be used over night to prevent destructive behaviour and potential harm to the dog. Overnight, dogs can hold their urine for longer, but it is very important to allow them to relieve themselves before and after overnight crating. Please remember that using a crate with the door closed, to contain your dog, should only be used as a temporary training device – once your dog is toilet trained and has proven to be trustworthy overnight, you can leave the door open.

Please note that very young puppies (eight – ten weeks) should not be crated during the day for more than an hour at a time, as they have very little control over their bladders and bowels.

If you leave your dog crated for more than two or three hours during the day, it is advisable to provide a bowl of fresh, clean water in the corner to ensure that the dog can keep hydrated – bowls can be attached to the side of the crate to avoid spillage. The same applies for crating your dog during hot weather.


How to introduce a puppy or dog to a crate:

It is important to introduce a positive association with the crate straight away. This can be done by placing treats inside the crate to lure the dog inside. Once the dog is inside, give plenty of praise. Repeat this throughout the day, gradually lengthening the time the dog remains inside the crate.

If the crate is comfortable enough and situated in a quiet place, the dog is likely to return to the crate on his own eventually. Please remember that the crate should be a safe place for your dog, so if he’s trying to sleep inside, leave him be!


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Eleanor
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Crates and crate training Empty Re: Crates and crate training

Post by Caryll Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:38 pm

thumbs up 

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Post by ella Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:40 pm

good stuff!

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Post by Eleanor Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:50 pm

Thanks!
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