Contrary to human perception, cages are a protective and secure environment for a dog as long as they are introduced in the correct way.
The cage must be of the appropriate size for the breed when it is fully grown, allowing room to manoeuvre and stretch. To the dog the cage represents a ‘den’, a safe warm environment where they can relax and sleep overnight. If the cage door is left open a dog will often choose to go in of their own free will. The cage should contain bedding, a toy (usually toys!) and water.
We always advise that bedding should cover the whole of the crate floor. Initially a puppy will get out of their crate overnight and toilet on a puppy pad. After a couple of weeks you are then able to shut the crate door and pup will hold themselves until you let them out first thing. This aids house training and you can utilise the crate if you have go out for an hour or so, knowing pup will hold themselves until you return. If you buy a large crate and provide a puppy pad in the crate you are encouraging your puppy to toilet in there, which will distress them and not help with the ultimate goal of house training.
Cages can also help to prevent chewing, especially while your puppy is teething and can be used as a valuable aid- but not a replacement to training! Caged puppies often settle better at night, as they feel more secure and provide a quiet haven for a dog, especially in a busy household.
Cages can be taken with you when you travel as they are collapsible and transportable. Taking your dog’s ‘home’ with you can put your dog at ease. This is especially important if your dog has to stay a night at a veterinary practice or kennels.