How do you use a dog crate? Don’t know how to pick the best one for your dog? You will need answers to these questions before you can buy a large pet crate.
A large dog can be very destructive especially when they are young and don’t understand or know the boundaries in your home, one way to protect your home from a large dog is using the crate training technique. With a large dog crate you will be able to create your dog’s own space, a bit like his own sanctuary, somewhere he can go to sleep when tired and also where he will be when you sleep or you are going out.
One question I get asked a lot is ‘is it cruel to lock a dog in a dog crate?’ if you take into consideration that dogs are ‘den’ animals then the answer is clearly no, Look at where they want to spend most of their sleep and relaxation time – under the table, tucked in the corner of a room. In the wild, wolves are known to burrow holes to sleep in.
To get your dog used to the crate start by leaving the crate door open, and place all your dog’s toys just inside the door. When they want a toy they will have to climb into the crate a bit and get it. You can also use special treats as a further encouragement to enter the crate. Day by day, move the toys or treats further back. It will only take a day or two before your dog starts to go into the crate to lie down. After a few days of napping and sleeping in the open crate, quietly close the door (ideally while your dog is asleep) and leave it closed for a few minutes or until they wake up. Once awake, open the door, praise them and release them from the crate. It is up to you but you probably will only need the crate for 12 months or so, by then your dog will like his crate so you can continue to use if you choose, if not you will need to slowly wean him away from the dog crate.
As you have large dog you will need a large dog crate, you will see plastic ones around but they are mostly used for transporting your dog. You need one that is very sturdy, most are made of very strong metallic plastic coated wiring, my personal favorite is the Midwest 1154U 54-By-35-By-45-Inch Single-Door Starter Series Pet Crate, a little bit more expensive than some other crates but comes with lots of room for your dog and constructed of a durable black Electro-Coat finish and is large enough for a St. Bernard. If your dog is particularly destructive wire crates may not be suitable. Instead, consider aluminum dog crates like Zinger Winger or Impact Case.
If you are looking for a little bit cheaper then have a look at the Midwest Life Stages Single-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate, it comes in a whole variety of sizes so will suit all types of dogs large and small.