Dog Crates and Crate Training


When it comes to house breaking your new puppy, crate training seems to be a viable option for most people. There is nothing worse than coming home from work and having to spend the next hour cleaning up a mess from your dog. For most of us, we everyone is out of the house for most of the day at school, work or running errands. With a new puppy in the house we need a way to make them realize they need to do their business outside and not on the carpet. We are going to look at a few different crates and ways to go about training your newest addition. Keep in mind, the best way to housebreak your puppy is to take them out every few hours if possible.

Crate training is really reliant on taking advantage of your dog’s natural instincts. Dogs are naturally a den animal and the crate is supposed to replicate the den. They instinctively do not want to go to the bathroom in their home. Now, some dogs will respond to this better than others, but the principal is always the same. There are several types of crates available on the market. Some do better than others when it comes to training and housebreaking. There are dog crates that are open, some more enclosed, and a few different materials. Let’s see what functionality each dog crate delivers and how it can be of benefit to you and your crate training goals.

Crate training your dog must be done correctly. It is not as simple as opening the door, letting them in, and away you go with no mess or accidents. Your puppy can feel confined and become frustrated if you don’t follow some simple rules. You never want to leave your dog in the crate too long. If you crate your pup all night then all day while you’re at work, they will become depressed. Also, they are not getting enough attention and exercise. This is a sure way for your crate training to backfire. Do not use the crate a punishment either. The puppy will become scared of the crate and refuse to use it, or fight with you when you want them to go in thinking they are being punished.

Another thing to think about, even though the dog crate is supposed to act as a den, would you want to spend your whole day in one room? Probably not, and neither does your puppy. Side note, puppies under six months have little control over their bladder. They should not be in the crate for more than a few hours at a time. The idea of the faux den is great, it gives your dog a place of his/her own to go, but, you should only crate train until you are comfortable the dog will not do anything they are not supposed to in the house. Ongoing crating will cause depression and may result in spiteful behavior as opposed to the desired behaviors. A few tips for you, when you decide to crate train your pup, first let them become familiar with the crate. Do not force them in to it. After they are comfortable (entering the crate unassisted) feed them their meals in there for a while so they have a positive association with their new dog crate. Begin by crating in small intervals, around 30 minutes or so, while you are home to be sure your dog is ok with being in there before you leave them alone.

Petmate-2-Door-Training-Retreat-Wire-KennelPetmate 2-Door Training Retreat Wire Kennel$$6 sizes2.5 out of 5
MidWest-Life-Stages-Folding-Metal-Dog-CrateMidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate$$6 sizes3.0 out of 5
SportPet-Design-Rolling-Plastic-Dog-CrateSportPet Design Rolling Plastic Dog Crate$$$5 sizes4.0 out of 5
Zinger-Winger-DX5000-Deluxe-5000-Aluminum-Dog-CrateZinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe 5000 Aluminum Dog Crate$$$$$5 sizes5.0 out of 5

Petmate 2-Door Training Retreat Wire Kennel

Cost : $$

Overall Value : 2.5/5

Weight Limit : 6 sizes available



· No Assembly Required

· 5 Point Locking System

· Dual Door Entry

· Folds Flat for Storage

· Removable Tray for Cleaning


· Thin Gage Steel Wires

· Gap in Bottom Where Tray Sits

· Open Cage Can Spread Mess if There is an Accident

· Size Description is a Bit Off

This would be a good option for a dog that is already comfortable with being in a dog crate. It has an open design which would help them feel less claustrophobic and maybe more comfortable. The price point is not bad as far as dog crates go either. It does fold down flat for easy storage as well. The dual doors make it nice for getting in and out of as one side is a bit larger than the other. The removable tray makes it easy to clean up if there is a mess as well. There is a dog crate cover available as a separate item that may help with this.

Speaking of accidents, the open design, while it could be comforting, does allow a mess to spread outside the cage and could be problematic. There are a variety of sizes available to accommodate a dog up to 125 pounds, however, we found the sizing to be a bit misleading. Sure, they will fit the dog when you choose the appropriate size, but we would think they would want a little room to move around. In our opinion, we think sizing up would be a good choice should this be the crate you decide on. The wire is a bit thin and could be broken easily by a dog that wanted to get out badly enough.

MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

Cost : $$

Overall Value : 3/5

Weight Limit : 6 sizes available



· Includes Divider Panel

· Rubber Feet on Bottom of Crate

· Folds Flat for Storage

· Dual Slide Bolt Latches

· Heavy Gage Steel


· Wide Spaced Mesh

The Midwest Life Stages Dog Crate is pretty well constructed. We like the heavier gage steel with this unit. The divider is a nice feature for separating two smaller dogs or to make the crate smaller for puppies. The divider can be moved as they grow into the cage. The rubber feet on the bottom of the dog crate help protect floor from scratches and keeps the cage in place. The two latch system seems like it secures the door to keep your pup in. The wide spacing between the mesh could be an issue for a small puppy or one a bit on the more wild side. We feel like they could get their head between the bars if they really tried. Again, the open space allows for messes to escape from the cage as well but you can always purchase a dog crate cover. We like the cage overall, but for puppy crate training, a closed cage may be a better option.

SportPet Design Rolling Plastic Dog Crate

Cost : $$$

Overall Value : 4/5

Weight Limit : 5 Sizes Available



· Airline Approved

· Detachable Wheels on Bottom of Crate

· Enclosed Design

· Easy to Assemble


· Does Not Fold For Storage

· Weight Limit on Large Crate 90 Lbs

· Carry Handle is Lightweight and Not Durable

· No Removable Tray

We really like this crate for the most part. The fact that it is airline approved is an added bonus. It comes with live animal stickers and tie down holes in the dog crate. It also comes with a water dish for travel, or you can use it when you’re out for the day and your pup is in the crate. This dog kennel also comes with detachable wheels. It is available in 5 sizes to match the size of your dog. The enclosed design prevents accidents from spilling out of the cage and onto the floor.

The door latches well and the construction quality is pretty good. It is a little higher cost than a wire dog kennel, but with the added safety of an enclosed design, we think it is worth it. The downside is the sizing only goes to 90 pounds, which for most people is ok. However, if you’re going to put a larger dog in the crate, you will need a different option. The carry handle seems a bit weak and may not stand up to a heavier weight. The smallest dog crate in this line does not come with wheels, but that is only for dogs up to 15 pounds.

This seems like a safe option for crate training as you would have less concern about your puppy getting caught between the wires as opposed to other designs. It also does not have a removable tray, but you could always put down a puppy pad to collect messes or accidents that may occur while you’re away. We would also suggest a kennel mat for a little more comfort.

Zinger Winger DX5000 Deluxe 5000 Aluminum Dog Crate

Cost : $$$$$

Overall Value : 5/5

Weight Limit : 5 Sizes Available



· Lightweight

· Durable Aluminum Construction

· Enclosed Design

· Lockable Slam Latch

· Fully Vented


· Cost

· No Removable Tray

If you are looking for the best of the best for dog kennels or dog crates, this is it. It comes with a hefty price tag but is worth every penny. We could find no design flaws or construction issues with this. Our biggest con was the cost. It is made of high strength, lightweight aluminum. The finish is sleek looking and tough. If you want a dog crate that will last a lifetime and stand up to even the strongest of dogs, this is the one you want. With the big price tag comes big quality. We would only recommend the puppy pad or kennel pad as there is no removable tray.


When it comes to dog kennels or dog crates, do your research, look at the measurements and read the reviews. We always try to be objective in our reviews and point out the good and the bad with everything. If you have a favorite kennel or crate and would like us to review it, let us know, just comment!

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