Kennels and Crates are used to confine a dog. Although it may seem cruel sometimes, training a dog to go to its kennel/crate can be a positive experience offering your dog a place of shelter and comfort. If you go to work or have to away from home for any length of time, they give dogs, especially puppies, a sense of security.
There are different styles and sizes to choose from depending on what the kennel/crate is used for and the size of your dog.
The kennel/crate should be roomy enough to allow your dog some movement like standing up and turning around. You can add a blanket, a mattress or a dog bed that fits comfortably inside. Include a favorite toy, just be sure if you must leave your dog, that it is safe and cannot injure itself.
The kennel/crate can be made of plastic with wire doors and side slits to allow for air circulation. These are easy to clean, easily portable, some with handles or wheels and they are accepted by airlines. Or they can be all wire crates which are also easy to care for.
Crates are beneficial for your dog for a number of reasons. They offer security in the car. If you are traveling on vacation and have to leave your dog for a short time in a hotel room, they keep your dog safe. When your dog needs a time out or just a rest, they are the perfect answer. In case of illness or injury, a crate keeps your dog safe from further harm.
The 4-sided and roofed wire kennels that resemble cages have a solid floor that is removable for easy cleaning. A word of caution, it’s always wise to keep a check on your puppy in this type of kennel to be sure paws don’t get caught in the bars.
For small dogs, there are carriers available that look like tote bags or handbags with mesh sides to allow for air circulation. Many are beautifully designed to go to the poshest places (those that allow dogs).
Exercise pens can be used indoors or out. They can be made of wire or wood and can be collapsible for ease of storage or permanently in place. They don’t have roofs and if the walls are not high enough, your dog needs to be checked on often and supervised to insure that he/she hasn’t escaped or been injured trying.
Most dogs need and enjoy being indoors with their family. But if this is not possible, a dog house can be used as shelter. It can be made of plastic or wood. Some are available with heat and/or air-conditioning. A dog house should stand on a solid, short platform of some kind, like cement and be placed in a shady area. Ir should be protected from snow, rain and flooding. If you choose to build your own dog house, it should have insulation so that dampness of any kind can’t get inside. However, in extremes of any weather, please consider taking your dog indoors.
Training your dog to go into the kennel/crate should be a positive experience. You can begin by placing a favorite toy and/or a treat inside the kennel/crate. Leave the door open at first and make it a short training session, about 5 minutes. You can gradually increase the dog’s time spent inside the kennel/crate, eventually closing the door and going into another room to allow your dog time to become accustomed to being in there alone.
Housetraining your puppy can be easier if he/she is kennel/crate trained. Dogs don’t like to pee or poop where they sleep. Placing your pup in the kennel/crate at night near you gives both of you a chance to sleep. And if you hear your pup crying at night you know it’s time for an outdoor trip.
Always praise your dog lavishly when he/she obeys a command. Never punish, yell or strike your dog. The only time to shout at your dog is to prevent something dangerous to him/her from occurring.