Having a new Labrador puppy is an exciting time in life but also a difficult one. From training to behavioural education, new dog owners have many responsibilities, sometimes more than they can handle.
You’ve heard that caging your Labrador puppy is a popular and effective way to train him, but you prefer to avoid locking your new best friend in a cage.
As difficult as it may be to crate-train your puppy, it’s often the right thing to do. Crate training has enormous benefits for you and your dog.
Even if you are convinced of the advantages of crate training your dog, how do you choose the right crate? There are more dog crates for sale than you can count, and they come in all shapes and sizes. To help you shop confidently, here are the most important details to know before spending your money.
Benefits of Crate Training for Labradors
Crate training is a great way to potty train your dog and a convenient way to keep him safe when you’re not around. Here are some of the top benefits of crate training your Labrador:
Benefit #1. Dog cages are comfortable and relaxing.
Labradors love their crate because it provides them with a safe place to rest, relax and sleep. The box is the perfect place for your pet to retreat if they feel overwhelmed by too many stimuli or just not feeling well.
Reduce the stress of crate training.
Some Labradors become so attached to their crate that they may eat their food or go in and out halfway. As your Labrador becomes more familiar with his cage, the enclosed space will seem comfortable when he is anxious. This can also reduce the stress of dealing with anxious dogs.
Benefit 2. The dog crate makes it easier to potty train.
Training a puppy is challenging in big houses. So here’s one of the best training tips: put your Labrador puppies in a crate to get them used to the house.
A crate can help a puppy stay in a smaller space. If they are confined in a small space, you will know where your puppies are, you will be able to keep an eye on them, and you will see if they are about to have an accident.
Benefit #3. A crate helps your Labrador puppies travel.
Early crate training provides your dog with a safe place to sleep and a tight space to go to when uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
If you’re going to be away from home, or especially if you’re going to be travelling for extended periods, it’s a good idea to have a crate for your dog to sleep in. It is also useful when your Labrador has to go to the vet.
Making Labradors comfortable in their crate gives you options for transportation, potty training, calming a stressed dog and much more.
Tips for Choosing the Right Size Crate for Your Labrador
Your dog’s crate must be the right size for him. The Humane Society recommends that your dog’s crate be large enough for him to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.
Buy an adult cage and divide it into sections.
The size of the cage is significant because adult Labradors need to be able to get in and out of the cell. If the pen is too large, your Labrador may relieve himself on one side and sleep on the other without really feeling like he has his den.
However, you don’t need to buy a new cage every year when your Labrador puppy becomes an adult dog.
When buying a dog crate, it is best to purchase a full-size cage that fits your adult Labrador, as well as a divider panel in the center of the cell so you can adjust the cage size as your pet grows.
Don’t choose a size too large.
If you want to train your Labrador, buy one large enough for him to stand up and turn around.
There should be enough room for this, but no more. A crate is supposed to be comfortable and cozy for dogs, so don’t overdo it. That’s why a separator can allow the labs to adapt to their size and growth.
What size dog crate?
In addition to these tips, all you have to do is determine the size of your Labrador. Here’s a quick way to measure your dog:
How to measure your Labrador for a carrier?
Measuring the length
To find out your dog’s length, have him stand on all fours and then measure from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Refrain from measuring to the end of the bottom, or his crate may be too large.
Add three to five inches to this measurement, and you will have the proper cage length.
Measure the height
Now you will measure the height. Your Labrador may be taller when sitting than when he is on all fours, so have him sit on his butt and face you. Measure from the ground to the top of your dog’s head.
Add three to five more inches to this measurement, and you will get the maximum height you can use for your dog’s crate.
The width of the crate will be proportional to the measurements you purchase. Therefore, if you have the correct height and length, you will have a box wide enough for your dog to use.
Four types of the best dog crates
In addition to the different sizes of dog cages, you can choose other models to suit your Labrador depending on his age and wild nature.
Type 1. Wire crate
Wire crates are the most popular, and their construction makes them very durable. Made of metal, these sturdy crates are also easy to store, as they can be folded or collapsed when not in use.
The mesh design allows air to circulate your pet, which can help reduce odours. They also feature convenient zipper closures that quickly open and close the crate without losing security.
Wire crates are ideal for very active puppies. The wire construction allows your dog to look outside the box and see what is happening around him. It is the best solution for dogs who want to see what is happening.
Type 2. Plastic crate
The main advantage of plastic dog crates is that they are lighter than wire crates. This makes them very portable and easy to move. You can move them from place to place in the house, depending on where you want the dog to sleep.
Plastic boxes are usually made of high-quality polyurethane, which makes them easy to clean and disinfect. In addition, if you use air transport, you will need a box that meets airline cargo specifications. This usually means buying plastic products with carrying handles.
Many plastic dog crates have a divider panel that can be removed to expand the box to create more room for a puppy or growing adult dog.
One of the advantages of plastic dog crates is that they can be used for several purposes. For example, the bottom of the cage can be used as an open bed for the dog if the cell is no longer in use. A plastic dog crate is a great way to contain your pet in a comfortable and safe space, whether you are at home or travelling.
Type 3. The soft nylon crate
Soft dog crates are a good option for people still determining if they want to keep their dog in a crate. Soft dog crates are also a good option for dogs, as they are much more comfortable than wire crates.
When traveling with your pet, it’s essential to have something robust, sturdy and durable. But it would help if you also had something compact and lightweight, so you don’t have to pack too heavy.
Soft crates are a great option if you want the look of a crate but don’t want to feel like you have your dog in a cage. They are ideal for anxious and skittish dogs in confined spaces or slightly older dogs with separation anxiety.
Type #4. Wooden dog crate
Wooden crates are a great way to get the functionality of a metal crate but with the luxurious appeal of a beautiful piece of wood furniture. Like metal crates, wood is a strong and heavy material but also warm and natural. Using wooden crates brings privacy and comfort to your dog’s crate. Of course, it is much more environmentally friendly than metal.
However, a wooden crate is not the best for training your dog, as accidents can leave stains. Wood is porous and absorbs urine, which means that if your dog has an accident in the cage, the urine will seep into the wood and leave a stain.
Between your puppy’s age, temperament, and crate experience, there are many things to consider when buying a dog crate. You should also consider your home space and ability to travel with the box.
Each type of crate has its advantages and disadvantages. However, as long as you carefully measure your dog as described above, he will be as comfortable as you can make him.