The usefulness of a crate to help your dog learn to be mannerly (and eventually enjoy as much freedom as is safe and reasonable) knows no bounds. Once you have chosen the appropriate crate, be sure to consider these crate safety tips before introducing your dog to his new crate.
1. Duration: The crate is meant only for short periods of confinement. Do not confine your dog to his crate for longer than he can reasonably hold his bladder and bowel. Your dog should be given plenty of potty and play breaks throughout the day, whether by you or a trusted caregiver.
2. Placement: Make sure the crate is kept in an area where your dog is protected from the elements and extremes in temperature. This is especially true for the short-coated breeds (Shih Tzus, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.) and the thick-coated breeds (Huskies, Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, etc.). An area of the home that is temperature controlled is ideal
3. Collars: There is a slight risk that your dog’s collar may get stuck on the metal furnishings of the crate. As a safety precaution, remove the collar when your dog is in the kennel. Alternatively, use a “break-away” collar.
4. Children and the Crate: Don’t allow children, or adult strangers for that matter, to bother your dog while kenneled. The kennel is meant to be a quiet spot for your dog to rest and it is unfair to expect him to be confined in this manner while children taunt and tease him (even if unintentionally, as it is how the dog perceives the interaction that is of utmost importance).
5. Never leave an unsupervised dog inside a car, whether in a crate or not. They are susceptible to heat stroke (even in relatively mild temperatures) and theft or harassment.