From training to providing a safe sleep space, a crate can be a cozy home base for puppies and grown dogs alike. Some people may only use crates occasionally, while others use them regularly for their pup to hang out and calm down. The crate you should get though depends on your dog’s size and how you plan to use itThe ideal size should allow your dog to lie down and stretch out, and stand at full height without ducking her head.

No Frills

A divider panel allows you to adjust the size as your pooch grows, and roller feet help to protect floors. AmazonBasics

Your pup may need some training to understand that the crate is a safe place to rest and relax. Pups may become overwhelmed in a full house or when guests come over, acting out by barking and jumping. A crate can provide a place for a pup to relax, compose themselves and safely meet visitors. Before you use a crate in high-stress situations, teach your pup that it’s safe by putting a bed or some favorite toys or treats inside.


This looks like an end table. The solid “roof” provides a table-like surface on which you can place things, and the solid, durable design holds pets up to 20 pounds. MidWest Homes

A crate can be a key element in house training. Using a crate can help teach your pup to hold it until they are let outside. When they are in their crate, watch for signs that they may be ready to use the bathroom. Then, let them out. Once they are crate trained, they may take to house training easily. A dividing panel can also be a key tool for crate training—make the crate small enough so pup has room to lie down, but doesn’t have a toilet area. When your pup stands up, it means it’s time to let them out so they can do their business. As they get bigger and need more space, you can move (and eventually ditch) the divider.

Top Pick

This model comes in five colors and five different sizes and collapses for easy storage. Amazon

A crate doesn’t need to be made of metal to be effective. A wooden crate can provide flexibility in where you place it, and can also serve as a tabletop. Most importantly, the crate should feel good to your pet—it should not be a place used for punishment. If your pet seems fearful, he may have negative associations from past experiences. Gentle training, with toys and treats, can help teach him that the crate is his “home.”