How to Set Up a Crate for a Puppy

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Select a crate that can grow with your puppy and put it in a central area of your home so your pup can bond and socialize with his new family. For best results, start utilizing the crate right away for housebreaking and obedience training purposes.

Crate Selection

Your puppy’s crate should be large enough that he can comfortably stand up, turn around and lie down. Of course, puppies grow rapidly, so keep his eventual adult size in mind when you purchase a crate. Many crates are adjustable with panels you can rearrange as your dog grows.

Warning

  • Don't get a crate that's too big or it could inhibit effective potty training.

Crate Type

A metal crate allows for adequate circulation and easy cleaning, particularly if you have a removable tray on the floor. Plastic crates are also a viable option and are a good choice if you regularly transport your pup or his kennel. Soft-sided crates are good for small dogs, but can become easily soiled and are tricky to clean. Many pet supply stores also carry heavy-duty crates for large dogs, destructive chewers or escape artists. These are usually pricey because of their durable materials.

Crate Set Up and Breakdown

Some crates break down or are otherwise easy to assemble and disassemble for transportation and storage purposes. For example, metal crates that assemble in panels are usually collapsible, with the panels fitting inside the floor tray. Plastic crates typically consist of a top and bottom shell screwed together over a wire door. If you need to break these down for transportation, one shell usually fits inside the other.

Crate Location

Your puppy wants to be part of your family, so a central crate location is ideal. The crate should seem like a safe haven for your pup, rather than a punishment zone, so make it easily accessible and very comfortable.

Crate Amenities

Place your puppy’s bed or soft blankets inside the crate and attach a water dish to the inside. A crate cover, or alternatively, a blanket or towel draped over top, can help create a cave-like environment and can serve as a good shelter if your dog is fearful of storms or other outside stimuli.

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