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Crate training has a bad reputation in some circles.  The main problem is that some people see crates as a punishment, when in fact they should never be used to punish your dog.

Your first step in crate training is deciding what type of crate is best for you and your dog.  Your choices are wire or plastic.  I’m going to give you the positives and negatives of each, and let you choose.  Of course, if you have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help if I can.

I will tell you that for each of my three dogs, I have chosen a wire crate.  For my largest dog (Copper, my service dog) I made a crate cover for while I was working at a commercial pet store chain.

Advantages of Wire Crates

  • Allows your dog to see more of his surroundings, offering good visibility in all directions (may be a disadvantage depending on your dog and the situation)
  • Allows more air to circulate
  • Can easily be folded flat or disassembled for storage
  • Easy to clean
  • Some come with dividers allowing you to buy only one crate and adjust the barrier as your dog grows.

Disadvantages of Wire Crates

  • Typically heavier than plastic
  • Not as useful for travel, can not be used on a plane
  • Could risk injury if your dog tries to escape (such as cuts from wires that might be chewed loose)