Your home is the family den to which your dog belongs, occupying a position on the ladder of hierarchy within your family. Your dog, if introduced correctly, will learn that the dog crate is his very own room within your household, much the same as your children's bedrooms are their space to call their own. An indoor crate can satisfy your dog's instinctive need for his very own den-like space where he finds sanctuary and a safe place to rest.

What is a Dog Crate, Kennel or Cage?

A dog crate, kennel or cage is manufactured of plastic, wire, aluminum, fabric, wood or wicker. It is usually a square or similar structure just large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down in comfortably. It is usually portable and can be folded or taken apart for ease of transport. The words, crate, kennel or cage are interchangeable in most cases.

1. Fabric, wood or wicker crates must be given careful consideration before purchasing if you have a chewer or escape artist. If you have neither of these types of dogs, these crates will lend a more decorative, seamless visual quality to your home decor. There are also wood coffee tables that fit over wire crates that look like part of the matched furnishings in your home.

2. Aluminum dog crates are strong, lightweight, and some now come with guard rails for airline travel. They are becoming more popular with Gun Dog owners transporting their dogs in a pick up truck and dog law enforcement officers for transport to veterinarians or containment.

3. Plastic dog crates have been the crates of choice for some time because of their versatility, indestructible material and ease of transport. The plastic crate has more models that are airline approved, which is one of the reasons they hold their popularity. They also have a rounded interior which prevents injury if tipped over in your car or jostled during flight.

4. Wire dog crates are as popular as plastic for other reasons. They are versatile, foldable and many come with a handle for portability. They give your dog 360 degree visibility, which is important to some dogs, and in turn lets you keep a better eye on your dog. They are not as den-like as plastic crates, but again, some dogs prefer the open environment with lots of light to that of the enclosed, darker plastic crate.

5. Large outdoor kennels can be dismantled and moved, but with more difficulty, as they are larger structures than a dog crate. A backyard kennel can save your yard from being excavated, as some breeds are prone to do, and free of urine and excrement that are not healthy for our bare feet.

No matter what it is made of, a dog crate is usually light enough that it can be carried by 1 person for small dogs, and 2 people for medium to large dogs. Large to extra-large crates can be transported, with the dog inside, on dollies with wheels and handles, much like a flatbed wagon.

What is a Dog Crate Used For?

Reasons for the necessity of confinement are many and unique to the you and your dog, A dog crate provides your puppy or dog with a den-like enclosure that serves many purposes.

1. Housebreaking Tool. It takes advantage of your puppy or dog's natural hesitancy to soil its living/sleeping place.

2. Prevents Destructive Behaviour. Chewing furniture and shoes can be a costly and frustrating experience.

3. Household Dangers/Safety. Rodent Poisons, Anti-Freeze, Electrical Wires, Small Dogs being stepped on during a Party.

4. Separation Anxiety. A dog can become so highly aggrieved when you leave that he will throw himself against the door or window of your home to follow you. The use of a dog crate with comforting toys and treats can possibly help with this destructive behaviour.

5. Travel. A dog's own crate can help him feel more secure while traveling by car, plane, or the back of a pick up truck. We owe it to them to keep our dogs safe while traveling to their destination, whether it is for fun or work.

6. Hotels. Many hotels accept dogs in their rooms, however, while you go for dinner, a dog crate can help your dog feel more at ease while being away from home during your absence.

7. Dog Shows. Dog Handlers and Owners rely on dog crates to keep the show dogs comfortable and out of mischief while grooming and showing more than one dog.

8. Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources. Dog crates are used by wildlife officers to transport wildlife such as fawns, birds, reptiles, foxes, and any wildlife that fits and need to be relocated or brought back to the wild after injury and rehabilitation, or captured and examined and possibly tagged.

9. Pest Control. Small wildlife such as raccoons, birds, opossums, and reptiles such as snakes, lizards and alligators are relocated in dog crates from populated areas to safer and more natural environments by Pest Control companies.

10. Punishment. Never, ever use a dog crate as a punishment device.

Where Should the Dog Crate be Located at Home?

If at all possible, place the dog crate near you when you are home, or if it is large, in an area that you spend the most time in such as the living room or kitchen. If you can't move the crate to your bedroom at night, try to move it as close to your sleeping quarters as possible. It is important to remember that your dog is a pack animal and he wishes to be near you 24/7 if possible.

Regardless of where your dog's crate is situated in your home, children must be taught that it is his special room and they should not pester your dog or puppy when he is in his crate. This will give your dog the confidence of knowing he can retreat and rest or "hang out" for as long as he wishes and no one will disturb him.

Careful consideration must be made to before purchasing a Dog Crate that will satisfy all your needs for your dog in the future.

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