I’m very confused about dog crates! I have a big dog, a Golden Retriever. Right now he’s only 7 months old. And if I want to go on vacation by car, I have to take my dog since he’s a very shy dog and won’t accept being left with anyone else. Besides, we also love our Gordon’s company (that’s his name!).
So, basically I’ve read dozens of articles about the right crate for different sizes of dogs. But the thing that confuses me: the dog won’t be scared of a crate? I’m asking because Gordon is afraid of small spaces. At least that’s what I’ve noticed. I’ve adopted him from the shelter since he was just a pup, his puppyhood before me was very tragic and perhaps that’s why he’s so scared.
I also know that it’s not a good idea to sedate your dog while traveling with him by car. There are all sorts of pills that can calm down your dog and don’t have dangerous side effects. Have you ever tried giving your dog pills to calm him/her down? Did it work? Did your dog experienced some health problems after?
I’ve jumped a little from one subject to another. About he crates. Here are some info I’ve compiled from the internet:
What kind of crate should we get? That all depends on your usage and the dog.
If the crate is going to be stationary all the time, then I’d suggest one of the hard plastic ones with the metal gate door (such as VariKennel and SkyKennel). These look like large cat carriers without the handle on the top. The advantages are:
- They tend to cost the least.
- They’re solid and therefore, sturdy. You can even use them as a table if they’re secure and the dog isn’t too active inside them). If the dog is very active, these crates will not tear apart like the tent crates.
- They’re safe. If sometime falls on them, the dog won’t get hurt (unless it’s a huge item, obviously).
- They’re secure. They’re dark and feel most like a “den” to the dog.
- Many also have an option for a cedar lining in the bottom so dog hair, dirt, and other ‘contaminants’ will fall below it, and not add extra dirtiness to the dog, plus they can smell nice to us humans.
But, these are large, heavy, and bulky. You don’t want to move them around too much.
What if you’re going to move it around a lot? There is a wide variety of collapsible crates available, but these do cost more. There are primarily two types of collapsible crates, tents and metal cages. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The metal cages:
- Collapse for easy storage and moving
- Are strong for active dogs
- Are strong for protection (fallen objects etc..)
- Are generally less expensive than the tent crates
Another interesting point of view:
The crate is a multi-purpose piece of dog paraphernelia. It can be used for:
- Simply take the pup outside after each nap or meal. Do not play with him until he has done his business. If he hasn’t relieved himself in about 10 minutes, take him back inside and put him in the crate. Repeat the routine in 10-15 minutes. Remember, no play until the pup does hid business and lots of praise when he gets the idea.
- Protection from excited toddlers.
- Children need to learn that the pup needs some quiet time. A blanket over a wire crate will help a child understand that it’s time for Ranger to rest.
- Playpen for puppies when you’re not home.
- If you need to take the kids to school or go to the grocery store, the pup that’s crated will not chew the furniture or wet the carpet while you’re gone. If he has already wet the carpet or chewed the furnitue, you can put him in the crate and issue a stern warning that there’ll be no more of that going on.
- Sanctuary for the over-excited pup.
- Don’t let Rambo run amok through the house, terrorizing the cat, the kids, and the furniture, and don’t feel guilty about restricting his freedom. Sending the pup to his crate is somewhat akin to sending a child to his room: he feels comfortable there and he knows you are angry, and you have a chance to recover from his outburst.
What do you think? Should I get my dog a crate?