Croft have been a respected name for dog crates, cages and puppy pens for almost 30 years, and our products are used by top breeders throughout Europe.
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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.
Many of your questions regarding dog crates / cages may be answered by looking at our FAQS (frequently asked questions) page. Click here to view.
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.
Click HERE to return to the dog crate page. Don't forget to check which size is right for you by visiting our breed information page.