How to choose Dog Crates

Having crate trained my last two Labradors I find there is no better and more natural way to raise a pup. A crate aids in speeding up the house training as well as keeping the little rascals out of trouble when no ones around.

I have three weeks before a new pup will be in our house and I've been on the hunt for a good crate for her. Here's a short listing of the types of crates and how to choose the proper size for the breed you have.

Wire dog crates are the most common type. They are made out of different types and gauges of wire or steel bars put together in a cage type configurations. They have metal or plastic bottoms that slide out for easy cleaning. The wire constructions allows for plenty of air circulation. Most fold flat and have a handle on them for carrying. Most wire dog crates come with a door on one of the short ends and there are newer designs that have two doors with an additional one on a long end.

Plastic dog crates are made of molded plastic with wire doors and windows. These crates can be used for home but are more used for transportation and most are airline safe. I've seen local hunters using these for transporting their dogs to the field. They make insulated covers for these as well.

Aluminum dog crates are mainly for transportation either airlines or in trucks for hunters. They are the strongest made and are secure as well.

Soft dog crates have a frame wrapped with fabric and screening. Used for dogs already crate trained they provide a perfect travel tent for you dog. Smaller dog can use these as carriers also.

Wood dog crates are a combination of furniture and functionality. Usually made into an end table with a crate underneath. These crates are beautiful and normally more expensive as well.

Sizing the crate is about the most important point to get right. The dog should have room to comfortably turn around but if the crate is too large a puppy will be able to divide it up into bedroom and bathroom. I have had personal experience with this and it will happen. A new design accessory that is being offered now is a movable divider that can subdivide a crate for a pup and be move and eventually removed as your dog grows. This allows you to buy the size crate you will need for your dog as an adult and use the same crate for her as a pup. The crates are sized according to breed and weight so you'll have to estimate if you are buying for a pup and his future.


Crate training is very natural for den dwelling animals like the canine. It will speed up your house training, give some security and allow your dog to have a little space of their own when needed. I hope this information has been of help to you. When buying be sure to read lot's of owner reviews on the different types before you buy.

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