A crate is the best tool for potty training your puppy. Once you decide what kind of dog you will be getting and before you bring your new puppy home, you need to purchase a crate.
Get the right size crate for your puppy
My recommendation is to get a crate that will fit the puppy just enough so that he can stand up and turn around but it shouldn’t be so big that he can sleep in one corner of the crate and potty in the other. If you are getting a dog that will be big in adult size, you will either need to get a couple of crates to fit the puppy as it grows or you will need to find a way to section the crate and gradually make it larger as the puppy grows. To familiarize your puppy with the crate see the Crate Familiarization instructions.
Types of puppy crates
There are a couple different kinds to choose from depending on what you will use it for in the future.
There is an airline crate which is a hard sided crate with small slits on the side for ventilation and a wire door in front. If you plan on traveling with your puppy frequently, this crate is a good choice. The biggest problem with this crate may be the fact that your puppy can’t see out well. Some puppies like to be able to see their owners and in the airline crate, the high sides and small slits make it difficult. One other problem is that you may find it difficult to section the crate off.
Soft sided crate
The second type of crate is a soft sided crate. This is generally made of nylon and has mesh sides and a mesh door. These crates are lighter, easy to carry and fold down flat. This isn’t the best choice for a puppy due to the fact that they won’t withstand chewing and if your puppy has an accident inside, it won’t be easy to clean. This crate is, however, a great choice for a potty trained dog especially if you will be moving it around and traveling frequently.
The third option, and my personal choice, is the wire crate. It is a totally metal crate with wire crosshatching on all sides and a plastic tray on the bottom for the dog to sleep on. This crate also folds down pretty easily. It is heavier than the mesh crate but more portable than the airline crate. It allows the dog to see out on all sides and can withstand an active dog or a chewing dog. The tray makes for easy clean up and the best part is that you can purchase a crate that will fit your dog when he is full grown and it will come with a divider so that you can start small and gradually make it larger as your puppy grows.
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