I always tell new dog owners that a crate is the greatest gift that they can give their dog. The reason is because dogs are den animals and they love having their own personal den. However quite often the dog owner gives their dog a wire cage and not a crate. In this articles I will tell you why that is the wrong thing to do.
A wire cage is not den like. In fact i always ask if you were in a wire cage looking out where would you feel that you are. The answer is always “In Jail”. Exactly it does not have a den feeling at all.
If you want a den for your dog the perfect crate is the plastic type crates that are approved for airline travel. They have a wire door in from however on the sides there are some small slits to allow in air. This crate is darker and if you choose the correct size it will give that den feeling that your dog wants so badly.
So how do you pick the correct size for your dog, easy. You want a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down. It should not be large enough for your dog to invite it’s friends over for a party. This is a den not a cage.
Most people find that over a period of time this crate becomes your dogs favorite place to rest, nap and even sleep.
This type of crate is also the perfect crate to transport your dog and as I mentioned it is required for shipping via air. However it is also the perfect way to transport your dog via automobile as well. Being in a crate keeps your dog safe in case you slam on the brakes or if you are involved in an accident.
The wire type crate can be handy because it collapses but in an accident your dog is not protected as well and may even have a limp slip through the bars and injure or break a leg. I learned years ago to never use the wire cages.
Here is one last warning about a wire cage. I have people that say we will simply throw a sheet over the cage to make it more like a den. That certainly does solve the den feel however I have seen several dogs that actually grab the fabric through the bars and pull it in and then consume it. That can be very dangerous and of course there is always the possibility your dog may choke.
So invest in a plastic crate and give your dog that den that every dog wants. He will thank you for it!
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Until next time,
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About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of in Nashville, TN. Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network.