Dog crates used to be available in only two styles: wired or plastic. Nowadays there are numerous designs, colors, and different material that make up a wide range of dog crates to choose from. Each dog carrier model has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending upon your needs.
Soft Sided Dog Carriers
One very popular type of dog crate is called the soft sided carrier. Soft sided dog carriers are easy to move around and extremely lightweight. Most models can fold up like a small suitcase whenever it is not in use. There is plenty of ventilation due to the mesh panels that are on the sides and front of the carrier. The floor is typically padded and the doors are shut securely by a zipper.
Soft sided dog carriers are great so long as your dog is inside while you are around. Otherwise, because of the material used, many dogs have been known to completely chew or claw their way out of the plastic mesh sides. If your dog gets a little rowdy with the tendency to chew and claw when left alone, then you may want to consider a different type of crate.
What Size Should You Get?
Soft sided crates are no different than any other type of dog crate when it comes to choosing the correct size. Just make sure that it is large enough so your dog can stand up on all fours without hitting its head. He must be able to turn around, stretch, and lie down.
Any size larger than that is not recommended, especially if you are still working on housetraining your dog. Having too much room inside the dog crate will cause your puppy to use the bathroom in the back without worrying about the mess. Remember that the point of crate training as used to housebreak a puppy is to give him no choice but to wait to be released from the crate in order to use the bathroom in the proper location.
You can certainly purchase a crate that is a little larger than what your puppy requires, but for maximum effectiveness you will need to adjust the space inside. Simply block off the back of the crate by inserting a block of wood or a box that is cut specifically for the area. Many crate manufacturers provide divider panels with their crates for those dog owners that may want to use the same crate for different sized dogs.
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