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Home Product Reviews Top Dog Crates for Training Compared: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Pup

Top Dog Crates for Training Compared: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Pup

by Kimberley Lehman
Kimberley Lehman

Finding the perfect dog crate for training isn’t just about giving your furry friend a place to nap. It’s about providing a safe, cozy spot where they can learn and grow. With so many options, it can feel overwhelming to pick the right one.

Types of Dog Crates

Selecting the perfect dog crate might seem like exploring a maze. It’s pivotal to understand the types available and how they differ to make an informed choice.

Wire Crates

These are the quintessence of versatility and ventilation. Their open design allows for ample airflow, which is indispensable during warmer months. Most wire crates are foldable, which means easy transport and storage. Here’s why I’m all for wire crates:

  • Superior ventilation
  • Foldable for easy transport
  • Visibility for your dog

Yet, their openness might not suit dogs seeking a cozy retreat. And, oh, they can be a bit noisy with all that metal.

Plastic Crates

Geared more towards the snug seekers, plastic crates provide a cozier vibe. They’re the go-to for air travel, being airline-approved. They’re not just about looks, though. Here’s the scoop:

  • Cozy and secure feeling for your dog
  • Ideal for travel
  • Durable

The downside? They’re not as well-ventilated as their wire counterparts and cleaning is a tad more complex.

Soft-Sided Crates

Tailored for the easy travelers, soft-sided crates are lightweight champions. Perfect for car trips or to carry your small furry friend to the vet. They offer:

  • Ultimate portability
  • A comfy, less intimidating enclosure

Bear in mind they’re not the best fit for chewers or escape artists. Plus, durability can’t quite match wire or plastic crates.

Heavy-Duty crates

Crafted for the Houdini hounds who’ve mastered the art of escape, heavy-duty crates are the Fort Knox of dog crates. They come with:

  • Robust materials
  • Secure locks

They’re virtually escape-proof but come with a heftier price tag.

Furniture Crates

Merging functionality with style, furniture crates double as elegant pieces of home decor. They provide a cozy nook for your pup without sacrificing style. Best for:

  • Doubling as furniture
  • Blending with home decor

But, they’re pricier and might not suit heavy chewers or larger dogs.

Knowing your dog’s behavior, size, and your lifestyle needs can guide you to the crate that promises safety, comfort, and convenience. With these insights, traversing the crate aisle just got a tad simpler.

Factors to Consider

When it comes to picking out the perfect dog crate for training, there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! By considering a few key factors, you’ll be making an informed choice in no time, ensuring both you and your furry friend are happy with the decision.

Dog’s Size and Breed

First things first, let’s talk size and breed. If it’s too big, they might decide one corner is their bedroom and the other is their bathroom. Too small, and they’ll be cramped and unhappy.

Find a crate that allows your dog to:

  • Stand up without crouching
  • Turn around comfortably
  • Stretch out when lying down

Keep in mind that large breeds will need more space than smaller ones, and if you’ve got a puppy, think about a crate with adjustable dividers. These are a game-changer because they let you increase the crate’s size as your puppy grows.

Ventilation and Visibility

Next up, let’s breeze through ventilation and visibility. A well-ventilated crate is critical for your dog’s comfort, especially in warmer climates. Wire crates are champion ventilators, ensuring that fresh air circulates freely. Plus, they offer great visibility, so your dog won’t feel too isolated.

Material and Portability

Now onto the nuts and bolts — or should I say, the material and portability?

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Wire crates are sturdy and easy to clean but can be heavy.
  • Plastic crates are lighter and cozy but might not stand up to a strong chewer.
  • Soft-sided crates are the go-to for travel, thanks to their lightweight design.
  • Heavy-duty crates are almost escape-proof, perfect for Houdini hounds.
  • Furniture crates blend in with your décor but are not as portable.

Speaking of going places, if you and your pooch are always on the move, portability is key. Soft-sided crates are your best bet here, folding down flat for easy transport.

Top Features to Look For

 In this journey, I’ve unearthed a few key features that stand out as must-haves for any top-notch dog crate.

Safety and Comfort

First and foremost, safety and comfort take the lead. So, what’s essential here?

  • Proper ventilation ensures fresh air circulation, keeping your dog cool and comfortable.
  • Smooth interior: You don’t want your dog getting scratched by sharp edges or getting their collar snagged.

Size and Adjustability

Getting the size right might seem straightforward, but there’s a bit more to it. A crate should accommodate your dog’s growth, especially if you’re starting with a puppy.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Choose adjustable dividers: They allow the crate to grow with your pup, saving you the cost of buying new crates over time.

Ease of Cleaning

Whether it’s a little accident or just the usual cleanup, ease of cleaning is a lifesaver. Features like removable trays make maintenance a breeze.

Portability and Durability

For those constantly on the go, portability is key. But, don’t compromise durability for lightness. It’s a balancing act. Ideal choices include:

  • Handles and wheels for easy movement.
  • Sturdy materials: Look for crates made of durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of travel.


Yes, aesthetics matter. Furniture-style crates that double as end tables are a fantastic choice, blending functionality with style.

By honing in on these features, you’re well on your way to finding a crate that not only aids in training but also ensures your dog feels safe, comfortable, and happy. Remember, the goal is to create a positive space that your dog sees as their own – a crucial step in successful crate training.

Review of the Best Dog Crates

Diving into the world of dog crates, I’ve discovered that not all crates are created equal. In my quest to find the best options for our furry companions, I’ve narrowed it down to a few frontrunners that stand out in terms of safety, comfort, and convenience. Let’s immerse!

The Multi-Tasker: Wire Crates

  • Ventilation: Top-notch, ensuring your pup doesn’t get too hot.
  • Visibility: Allows pooches to see their surroundings, providing comfort.
  • Adjustability: Many come with dividers, making the crate “grow” with your puppy.
  • Cleaning Ease: With a removable bottom tray, accidents are easy to clean up.

Even though their perks, wire crates can be heavy and not the most attractive option. But, they’re a solid choice for those prioritizing functionality.

The Traveller’s Dream: Soft Crates

  • Portability: Light and foldable, perfect for road trips.
  • Comfort: Generally more padding, making it a cozy den for dogs.
  • Aesthetics: They tend to look nicer and blend in with home décor.

The downside? Soft crates might not withstand the vigor of enthusiastic chewers or escape artists.

The Sturdy Choice: Plastic Crates

  • Durability: Tough and escape-proof for the spirited canine.
  • Privacy: Offers a cave-like feel, which can calm anxious pups.
  • Maintenance: Easy to clean and maintain.

Their bulkiness might be a con if you’re short on space or move the crate often.

  • Style: Doubles as a piece of furniture, blending seamlessly with your home.
  • Sturdiness: Comparable to wire crates in terms of dog security.

Wooden crates, but, might not be the best for puppies or dogs who are still in the chewing phase as they could be damaged. Whether you prioritize portability, aesthetics, or durability, there’s an option out there that’s a perfect fit for your furry friend. Remember, the goal is to provide a safe, cozy space for your dog, helping them feel secure and loved in their special corner of your home.


Choosing the right dog crate is a journey as unique as our furry friends. Whether the airy wire crates catch your eye or the cozy allure of soft crates that seem just right for your pup, there’s a perfect match. For those of us leaning towards durability, plastic crates might be the ticket, while the stylish at heart might find wooden crates irresistible.

Remember, the goal is to find a space where our dogs feel safe and loved. So here’s to finding that perfect crate that meets our needs and, more importantly, makes our dogs wag their tails in delight. Happy crate hunting!


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