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How to Choose a Small Dog Crate for Your Dachshund

You’ve just brought home a new Dachshund. Perhaps a puppy, a senior dog, or an adult. On your must-buy list is a crate.

You’ve heard everyone talk about the importance of crate training, but where do you even start when it comes to choosing the right crate for your Dachshund?

Cute, Mini Dachshund sitting peacefully in her crate

Ask yourself these questions, and follow these tips, to help ensure you pick the right crate for your pup.

Should I Get a Plastic or Wire Dog Crate?

The first big decision you need to make when purchasing a crate for your Dachshund is whether you should choose a plastic or wire one. While some pet parents prefer plastic crates, there are several benefits to choosing one that is made of wire.

  • Wire crates allow for a more open experience for your dog. Instead of feeling closed in, your dog will have ultimate visibility. However, you can also cover a wired crate with a sheet or blanket if your dog needs some quiet time and privacy.
  • Wire crates typically have two doors; one on the front and one on the side. Having two options allows you to place the crate in the perfect spot in your home.
  • Wire crates are generally chew proof. If you have a small dog with anxiety, or one that is a heavy chewer, they could easily chew or break through a plastic crate.
  • Wire crates require much less maintenance than plastic crates. Since plastic is a porous material, it can easily harbor bacteria and host undesirable smells.
  • Plastic crates aren’t the best for ventilation. Air flow is extremely important for your dog, especially in warm and humid climates.
  • While plastic crates can be big and bulky, most wire crates are easily collapsible, making them easy to store and travel with.

Dachshund in a small sized wire dog crate

What Size Dog Crate Do I Need?

Your Dachshund’s crate needs to be big enough for them to sit, stand, lay down, and turn around comfortably. If your dog is still growing, be sure to purchase a size that will accommodate them as they get bigger.

But beware if you’re potty training your dog: because of the larger crate, they will have the ability to do their business toward the back of the crate and still have room to lay down without sitting in their mess.

To help avoid improper elimination, you can block of a part of the crate. This way your pup can’t retreat to one area of the crate to go #1 or #2.

Another thing that can discourage a dog peeing in their crate, even if it’s bigger than recommended, is to fill the entire crate with a dog bed.

Which Dog Crate Do I Recommend?

I didn’t exactly choose Gretel’s crate. She chose it for me.

We use the small double door wire dog crate from Carlson Pet Products.

Carlson Pet Small Double Door Dog Crate

Gretel had terrible crate anxiety when I adopted her, despite being told she was crate trained.

I asked the rescue what kind of crate they used and they said, “just one of those hard-sided plastic ones” so that’s what I got.

However, she totally freaked out inside, howling and scratching at the sides. She destroyed it (two, actually) and broke a nail once.

As a last-ditch effort, I bought Gretel the same type of crate I’d used for Chester with no issues – and open-wire crate twice the size of what is typically recommended for her – from Carlson Pet Products.

That, in conjunction with a filled Waggle treat toy and a little crate training, did the trick! She had no more issues being in the crate.

I actually have a second crate to use for dogs that we dog sit in our home (with permission from the owner of course).

A couple of reasons I like the small wire crate from Carlson Pet Products are:

  • It’s versatile so I can leave it uncovered if a dog likes to see out or I can cover it up if they want their own private den.
  • It has two doors – one on the side and one on the end – so I have a lot of options for placing it around the house.
  • It folds flat, and latches closed, so I can easily store it when I’m not using it (or need to take it traveling with us like we did when she had her IVDD-related back injury).

Wire dog crate folded for travel

  • It’s quick and easy to set up.
  • The bottom pan is removable and easy to clean in case there are any messes.
  • Carlson would have let me return the crate within 30-days, with proof of purchase of course, if I hadn’t liked it or it hadn’t worked for Gretel (important: this applies only if the crate is purchased directly from Carlson Pet Products).

Crating Caution

Please remember that your Dachshund’s crate should be treated as a safe, happy place. Positive reinforcement training for your pup will be the most effective way to go about getting your dog comfortable with their crate.

There are also a few factors that you’ll want to take into consideration:

  • Never use the crate as punishment. Offer the crate as a place where your dog can seek safety. If you use it as a negative tool, your dog will come to fear it and won’t want to go inside.
  • Puppies shouldn’t stay in the crate for more than a couple of hours. Puppies can’t control their bladders for much longer than that. The same goes for adult dogs who are being housetrained.
  • Don’t leave your dog crated for too long. Dogs who are crated all day are not receiving enough exercise or human interaction. Crating for an extended period of time can lead to depression and anxiety.

Ultimately you want to think of your dog’s crate as a den. Just as you would not spend your whole life in one room of your house, your pup shouldn’t spend all of their time in the crate.

These are the primary points to consider when choosing the best crate for your Dachshund. Every dog and situation is different, so don’t be afraid to weigh your options to decide what’s best for you. If you have a question, leave it in the comments below.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Carlson Pet Products in exchange for my time spent sharing information about their products. I don’t accept stuff “in exchange for a review” unless I am sure I already like it because I won’t try to make something seem better than it is out of obligation. Thanks for trusting me on that.

Choosing the right dog crate is key to making sure your dog is comfortable

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