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CRATE or No CRATE?
I am a crate user to train puppies ~ my daughter is not!! Who is right? I totally believe that it is a personal decision to crate or not to crate.
I like having a crate to keep the puppy safe from our home and also to keep my home safe from the puppy. I do not believe that the crate should be used as punishment or as a means to leave the dog for long periods of time. The crate to me ~ should be a SAFE ZONE for the puppy.
My daughter believes that keeping the puppy in the crate is not the way to train.King was trained using a crate - he is a very well adjusted dog that is loved very much. Dozer was trained with no crate and he too was a very well adjusted dog that was loved. There is no right answer.
You might wonder why did I decide to write a post on crate or no crate? As many of you know Dozer passed as a result of bone cancer. Dawn plans on getting a new puppy in the fall. I asked if she was going to get a crate and we starting discussing the topic. I wondered if possibly other families are also very different in their views of crate or no crate. So I wanted to write a post about the benefits of a crate and what to look for when buying a crate. For my post I found some very good info online about dog crates at Dog's Owner Guide
What kind should I get?
The most popular crates are made of plastic or heavy welded steel wire. Plastic crates are molded two-piece units with ventilation areas along the sides and a welded steel wiredoor in front. They're lightweight, portable and are easily taken apart for storage or travel. Some of them come in decorator colors! Most plastic crates meet federal regulations for airline travel. The quality of plastic crates varies between manufacturers and you'll need to get one sturdy enough to resist chewing.
Wire crates are very popular and depending on your dog's needs, may be a better purchase than plastic. You'll need to shop more carefully for a wire crate because quality and style vary greatly. Some of them are flimsy and not meant to be collapsed for storage. Others, advertised as "collapsible", do so only with great difficulty and don't fold down to a convenient size. Look for sturdy crates with heavy gauge wire that are easily folded down into a "suitcase-style" shape for transportation and storage. Although they aren't approved for airline use, I prefer wire crates for my heavy-coated Chows because they offer better ventilation.
How big should it be?
A crate need only be big enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. I like them to be just long enough for my dogs to stretch out on their sides to sleep. Growing puppies can be a problem when buying a crate. Not everyone can afford to buy a new one for each stage of growth but too large a crate can make a puppy harder to housebreak. Fortunately, dividers are available for some brands so you can shrink and expand the puppy's space as needed.
How much will it cost?
You can expect to pay between $50 - 125 for a quality crate for a medium to large dog. While it may sound like a lot, a good crate will outlive several dogs and quickly pays for itself in peace of mind and undamaged carpets, furniture and belongings.
How does a crate make housebreaking easier?
Along with their natural instinct to sleep in a den, puppies are born with the instinctive desire to keep their dens clean. Given the opportunity, most puppies will seek out an area to relieve themselves that's far away from where they eat, play and sleep. Using a cratetakes advantage of this natural tendency and helps the puppy to learn to control himself in between trips outside.
During the first few months, puppies require almost constant supervision, something that's hard to do with our busy lifestyles. Using a crate helps you to prevent accidents when you can't watch your puppy every single minute. Housebreaking is easier to accomplish when accidents are prevented in the first place, rather than correcting the puppy afterward. Using a crate, a place that the puppy is naturally reluctant to use as a bathroom, combined with a regular feeding and exercise schedule will make housebreaking go faster as well as saving your carpets and your sanity!
Go HERE for the complete article.
Dog Owner Guide is a good site for many questions you might have - check them out
Dog's Owner Guide