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If you’ve recently welcomed a dog into your home, you’re probably considering crate training the newest furry member of your family. Crate training can have many benefits, including housebreaking your dog, providing them a safe and secure space, and teaching your pup how to be on her own. With a range of sizes and materials to choose from, we’re here to help you zero in on the best dog crates for training.
Crates come in as many sizes as there are dogs, so which size is best?
Kate LaSala, a New York City-area dog trainer and behavior consultant, and owner of Rescued By Training, advises that “the crate be just large enough for the dog to be able to stand up and turn around.”
Crates that are too small will restrict your dog’s movement, preventing your dog from being able to relax. Your dog should be able to move comfortably in their crate while also offering a cozy, den-like experience.
“You want the dog to know he can use that space as a safe escape from kids, noises, and guests,” LaSala says. For smaller dogs, place their crate where it won’t be tripped over or bumped into. For larger breed dogs, find a space that can accommodate the crate’s size without being in the way.
Some crates include dividers for growing puppies that can be used to create a smaller space for very young pups, which can be removed to make more space as your doggy grows.
You’ll find dog crates made primarily from four main materials: wood, metal, plastic, or fabric.
Durability is key when it comes to finding the best crate for training. While wood can be the most attractive, it’s not the best choice for puppies, who are champion chewers and scratchers. Wood is more susceptible to damage and that can not only harm your crate, it can harm your dog. Wood can also be more challenging to clean because it’s porous and may absorb messes and odors. Soft fabric crates come with similar challenges; fabric is more difficult to clean and can be chewed or scratched to bits.
Many plastic crates are quite durable, but are more commonly used for travel and transportation—you can’t fold them up and they don’t come with dividers to accommodate a growing dog.
Ultimately, the best dog crates for training are metal. These are capable of taking more wear and tear and are easier to clean. Many versions of metal crates are collapsible for easy storage and relocation, and several are also built with dividers to accommodate your dog throughout different life stages.
The goal with any crate is to help your dog feel safe and secure.
“With proper crate training, the dog will see the crate as a happy, safe place and voluntarily go into the crate,” LaSala says.
Successful crate training equals a happy dog—which makes for a happy you. Now that you have a better idea of the differences between crate styles, read on. We’ve chosen some favorites to help you pick out the dog crate for training that’s right for your household.
Available in several sizes with a single or double door option, this collapsible crate can be easily stored and transported. The crate can accommodate growing pups with a divider and comes with a removable plastic pan for easy cleaning.Shop on Chewy
Looking for a budget friendly option? Choose between one door or two (one on the front, one on the side) and from six different size options. It is both collapsible and has a divider for growing puppies, plus removable plastic pan.Find on Amazon
Clever pups itching to make a break for it may require a slightly more heavy-duty crate. This one is made from coated, reinforced 22-gauge steel. Two locks secure the front door and wheels allow for easy moving (with foot brakes to fix it in place). No crate, however, is totally “dog-proof,” so be sure to supervise. It comes in two sizes and has a hammer-tone finish.Shop on Chewy
This crate from trusted brand Petmate comes in six sizes and is popular with pet professionals due to its versatility and durablility. The heavy-duty plastic crate has a security latch, is easy to clean, and requires no tools to put together or take apart. It can double as a dog training crate for home and as a safe travel crate.Shop on Chewy
This one’s for the big dogs! Outfitted with a side and front door, each with double locks, this steel crate can collapse for easy storage and can be used indoors or outside. Included is an easy-to-clean, removable pan in case of accidents.Shop on Chewy
Made in a variety of sizes to accommodate different dogs, this two-door crate has double latches on each door and includes a divider so the crate can grow with your dog. It folds up in a snap and includes a removable pan for easy clean up.Shop on Chewy
MidWest’s crate kit has it all! A good starter option when beginning crate training, the two-door metal crate with double latches comes with a machine washable cover, a cozy fleece bed, and two stainless steel bowls to help make your dog feel right at home.Shop on Chewy