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A dog crate is a metal, plastic or fabric enclosure with a door. They come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased at most pet stores. A crate provides a private, secure spot for the puppy to rest and relax in.

Crate training takes advantage of your dog's natural denning instincts to seek out a comfortable and safe place to relax. This can be when the environment is too loud or overwhelming. A crate can keep puppies and dogs safe when they are unsupervised; electrical cords, plants, and medications are all common hazards. Preventing your dog from chewing on things in your home, offering a safe way to transport your dog in a vehicle, and preparing them for future veterinary or grooming visits are all benefits of crate training.

All dogs should be trained to be calmly confined to a crate. Make sure the crate is right for your dog. It should be:

  • Large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in.

  • Well ventilated and contained on all sides including the top.

  • Comfortable. Newspapers and blankets can be used for bedding but a dog bed also works too.

When you first introduce the puppy to the crate, allow them to explore it and place some food inside if they are having trouble figuring out how to get in. Add some toys so the puppy can have some chewing time.

It is important to clean and scrub the crate regularly. If the puppy is not yet potty trained, accidents are bound to occur.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Never use the crate as punishment. Your dog will come to fear the crate and refuse to enter it.

  • Do not leave your dog in the crate for too long. A dog that's crated all day can become anxious or depressed if it doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction.

  • Puppies will need to be taken out often to use the bathroom. The same goes for adult dogs that are being housetrained.

Learn more about crate training here:

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