A crate must be a den, a reassuring place, for a dog – not a prison. It must never ever be a punishment place.
You can buy them online or at most good pet shops but it is very important to get a big enough size.There must be room for a dog to sit up and move around in it- space to scratch, shake itself, move to a different position and sit up on its haunches. If in doubt, make sure you can swap the crate for a larger one.
It is very important that the first introduction to the crate is good. Put your dog’s bed or some very comfortable bedding in the crate, leave the door open, and start putting treats into the den so that your dog pops in and out for them during the day.
For a couple of days feed your dog inside the crate. If there isn’t room you’ve been too mean and bought too small a crate! (Before buying ask the supplier if you can send it back if it isn’t large enough).
When your dog is used to going happily in and out, occasionally shut the door on your dog for short periods while he is eating. Always open the door before he wants to move out of it. Fixing a chew or a bone at the far end, so that he can only chew it inside the crate, can help.
If you see any sign of your dog scrabbling to get out, you have a dog for whom a crate may not work – possibly because your dog associates restraint with pain (rescue dogs sometimes do). If so you need help from a good trainer.
When you have your dog happy about the crate, start using it at night or put it in the car for use there. After that, you want occasionally to put in a titbit or a fast chewing chew into the crate with the dog, to ensure the crate is associated with good things.
NEVER leave a dog in a crate for more than three hours.
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All normal safety precautions should be taken when dealing with animals. The advice in this section should be taken only at the owner’s own risk. All sick animals should be seen by a vet.
General advice of the kind found in this website is no substitute for an individual consultation with a vet or qualified behaviourist working on a vet’s referral.