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Review and Compare Wire Dog Crates and Soft Dog Crates.

Compare wire dog crates and soft dog crates - Review the designs.


Scroll down to see 3 different styles of wire dog crate, or dog cage, and the choice of soft crates.
See which crate best suits your needs.


Showman dog crates.

are the crates for which Croft originally became famous.
They are coated in an attractive black and silver hammered finish, and are manufactured from 3mm dia. wire with a 3ins x 1 ins spacing.
They are generally available with an inclusive steel tray, although sizes 54ES,60ES, and 72ES are supplied with a flat plastic sheet as a base.
All sizes fold flat when not in use.
Showman crates are available with either a single door in the short end or in the long side, or may also have TWO doors (extra cost).

Visit the Showman Dog Crate Page

Crufts approved crates.

all have TWO DOORS as standard and fold flat when not in use.
They are lighter in weight than the Showman crate, primarily because they have a plastic base tray, rather than the steel tray in the Showman - so it does depend in whether your dog is likely to chew the tray as to which is best for you.
The Crufts cages are Kennel Club approved, and all carry the impressive Crufts Dog show logo on each door.
The wire used is heavier than the Showman, but the spacing is larger.
All Crufts cages are finished in a tough hammered silver and black coating.

Visit the Crufts Official Dog Crate Page

Alpine Extra-Value dog crates.

is a very popular and lightweight two door dog cage, giving exceptional value for money.
The range is a proven best-seller, gaining its popularity by giving excellent quality at a low price. Great value.
Lightweight in structure, Alpine crates include a lighter plastic base tray and are manufactured from wires of a smaller diameter than the alternative crate designs.
All Alpine crates are finished in an attractive black epoxy coating and fold flat when not in use.
Again, if your dog is likely to get restless, then the Alpine may not be for you, but if you have a crate trained dog who readily accepts a crate as his home, then the very low price of the Alpine range MUST be as attractive as the crate itself.

Visit the Alpine Lightweight crates
Check Which Crate size for my breed.


Compare soft dog crates.

Soft crates have fabric outer walls supported by a steel framework. They are generally only recommended for crate trained dogs which do not chew or bite their surroundings. It s suggested that puppies - who do bite and chew - are first homed in a wire crate or pen, graduating to a soft crate as the chewing stage ends.

Scroll down to see the different styles of soft dog crate from Croft.

Crufts Official Soft Crates.

An exciting range of soft crate bearing the 'Crufts' logo.
The special features with this crate include a top zipped pouch containing foldaway food and water bowls and security straps to be used for attaching the crate to a car boot harness or show bench. They also have a front 'D' ring on which may be used to clip an identification label.
As you would expect, these unique crates fulfil The Kennel Club requirements regarding benching at championship shows.
Complete with a free carry bag, the crates incorporate a strong tubular framework which is really easy to erect.

See the range of sizes.

Croft Classic and Sunburst Soft Crates.

The main difference between the Croft Classic and Croft Sunburst crates is that the Classic range incorporate roll-down window blinds.
Apart from that, the crates are identical in all respects other than colour.
The Classic is available in either black and beige or red and beige, with the Sunburst being predominately blue with an array of side colour - likened to a sunburst.
Size range is identical, and each are supplied with a free carry bag.
The internal framework is manufactured from tubular steel, with an easy to erect design.

Link to Classic and Sunburst crates.

Croft Fabrikennel.

This is our original range of soft crates, and because of ithe design, it is also the lightest.
The Fabrikennel folds in a similar manner to a standard wire crate in that the two ends unzip and are then folded inside the box shape frame.
This easily folds flat, and fits neatly into the carry bag which is supplied.
The framework is wire, which makes it very much lighter than the tubular frame ranges above, although the strength is less. Because of this, the Fabrikennel is not recommended for the more boisterous dog.

Link to Fabrikennel crates.

Dog Crate or Dog Cage Training

Dog crate training can be a relatively easy affair, and any dog of any age can be trained. You will soon find that, once crate trained, your dog will love his new home and will use it as a safe and quiet place of his own. The dog crate is often called a dog cage, but please do not let any negative ideas of cages affect your approach to crate training. Dogs love their cage, or crate, as their own home. Top breeders recommend cages for a very good reason - they work, and the dog is content!
If possible, you should begin cage or crate training with a small puppy, and have your puppy sleep and rest in his home. He will soon love the security that the crate brings. A puppy pen can be used in conjunction with the dog cage, and can be an area where the dog can socialise whilst still being in a controlled space. The puppy pen is especially useful whilst your puppy is in the chewing stage.
To begin training, the dog should be actively encouraged to enter the crate, but never force him, and also, never "go over the top" with praise. Just treat it as a natural and obvious place to go.  
Place the dog’s bedding inside the crate, together with a favourite toy, and perhaps a little treat, and leave the crate door open.
Introduce your dog to the dog crate with the minimum of fuss.
Ideally, leave the dog in the room where you have placed the crate or step away and allow exploration. If the dog ignores the cage, place an enticing bone or novelty toy inside and give your dog time and privacy to discover its new ‘den’.
The best period to experiment with the cage is a night time when the dog would be naturally relaxing and ready to rest.
You may also add an item of your old clothing inside the crate (re-scent the item by leaving it in your washing basket for a day) to encourage your dog to explore the cage, and associate it with the loving that you give to it.
Random crating is best to avoid any ‘association’. If your dog is only placed into the crate when exciting events occur (when visitors arrive etc.) it will quickly make an negative association and may become frustrated or distressed.
If your dog shows little sign of entering the dog crate (after several daytime and overnight periods) then it is important that you are firm with the dog and order it to enter. Back your dog into the crate and close the door. Praise the dog, perhaps give it a treat, and then leave the dog alone for a brief period (starting with 3 or 4 mins, working up to 10 / 15 mins) and return. Open the door, praise calmness and allow the dog to exit of its own accord. Repeat this over the day and for the last period of the night.
As with any training - it should be fun for you both. Don't overdo it by long sessions. It is better to have lots of short lessons, and lots of praise and smiles.
The kennel crate should not be used for punishment as any potential negative association should be avoided. It should be used if you move house, travel, caravan, boat or when taking your dog to other homes or premises so that your dog has a continuity among the change.

Is your dog a bad traveller?

Travel dog crates can help make your pet feel more secure and prevent inappropriate behaviour. The kennel crates should be covered at the top (purpose made covers are best) and base lined with a favourite blanket or a purpose-sized bed.
The dog crate, or cage,  can also be used to confine your dog overnight or for limited ‘random’ periods whilst the family remains in the house.
Croft kennel crates are ideal as they are collapsible, and should be chosen to fit into your vehicle. Motoring organisations recommend their use as many dogs are killed each year following auto accidents. In road traffic accidents, where the back of the vehicle opens, the dog can run out onto motorways or busy roads and quickly becomes disorientated. Shaped dog cages are  available to fit many makes of car.
The dog crate can be covered to create the ‘den’ effect, and this also may help if car sickness is a problem. Whilst this can be done with a towel, it is usually better to use a purpose made dog crate cover.

Inappropriate or Aggressive Behaviour.

You will find that dog cages - crates - are recommended by animal behaviourists as an aid to dealing with inappropriate behaviour.

 Often, and in the majority of cases, problems can be solved by simple, loving, re-training. The dog should not be the dominant partner within your relationship, and good behaviour should be rewarded with lavish praise and (occasionally) tit-bits.

Problems such as jumping up at visitors may have their root in our own wish to be greeted boisterously on our return. Here, perhaps we should begin by initially ignoring the dog, and delaying the “welcome” to the time we decide is right. We will thus retain control of the situation.

There are, however, other problems, and other things which we can do to help. Problems such as aggression, urination, defecation etc can be caused by insecurity. If so, then this is relatively easy to remedy.
A folding dog kennel, or dog crate, or dog cage, offers security by representing a ‘den’, ‘bolt hole’, lair or burrow to your dog, and you will find that frequent use of a covered kennel crate will often eliminate distress related problems such as destructive behaviour and inappropriate urination or defecation.
If this introduction to dog cages can be done as a puppy, it is obviously better, and the use of a puppy play pen will be an added help in this. There is much agreement between animal behaviourists that a dog crate, also known as a dog cage, is an invaluable aid to correcting and preventing unwanted behaviour.

Warnings and Safety Tips
When using mesh / wire products for dogs & puppies.

• Do not leave collars on dogs - cage or no cage - in case the disc or buckle get caught.
• Remember that the crate is made of wire mesh and it is possible that your dog may attempt to bite the mesh or push its leg through the wire spacing. If your dog does this, it may get trapped or suffer injury. Please be aware of your responsibility in supervising your dog, especially in early use. Keep your dog relaxed, frequently praise calmness, and be prepared to give special training if necessary.
• Do not allow your dog to stand or play on the mesh top of the crate. The dog crate cage is not designed for this.

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