A good quality dog crate can give your pooch a safe, happy place to sleep at night, as well as help calm an aggressive or overly excited dog.

Crate training can also give you peace from a high energy puppy who would otherwise keep you up at night, or who gets destructive when left to roam free when you’re away from home for the morning.

Crate Training Tips

a dog resting in his dog crate

With all of the great reasons to crate train your dog, a few tips might come in handy as you start the process. Here are a few tips we’ve culled from experts.

1. Make the Crate Cozy and Happy

Placing blankets, favorite stuffed animals, or other toys in the crate will help your dog feel welcome in his crate.

2. Make the Crate Familiar

When you first acquire a new crate, leave the door open and set it in a familiar place like the living room. Let your dog explore the crate, get a feel for it, and feel safe with it before you transfer her to the proper sleeping area where the crate will reside.

3. Make Treats a Training Tool

Use treats to encourage your dog into the new crate. If possible, use a treat-filled puzzle type toy to encourage your pup inside the crate. Playtime and treats in the crate will help breed familiarity.

4. Make Sure Your Dog is Okay in the Crate

Be sure to look out for signs of anxiety, separation anxiety, or illness. You should never crate a dog when these issues are taking place. Seek professional help to ensure the safety and welfare of your pup in the case of symptoms like vomiting, soiling the crate, or excessive drooling while in the crate.

How to Choose a Dog Crate

There are several things to keep in mind as you select the right crate for your pooch.

  1. The crate should be only large enough for your dog to go in and turn around in.
  2. The crate needs to be comfortable for your dog. If your dog is sensitive to certain textures, gets scared easily, or has any other distinct quirks, be sure that the crate you select for him will fit his personal needs.
  3. Determine if you need only a home crate, or if you need a crate that can travel with you.

The Best Dog Crates for Car & Air Travel

Crate #1: Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

Petsfit Portable Soft Large Dog Crate Travle Dog Crate for Medium to...
  • Outer case is not good for dogs like chewing. The case can be replaced. Any case problem happened in 1 year, new case...
  • This travel dog crate is odorless and safe crate to protect your pet's health. TWO doors and top entrance can be rolled...
  • PATENTED screw-in frame design in order to hold the mesh in place, setting up in seconds without tools

We think the Petsfit Travel Pet Home is the best dog crate for travel. This crate has comfortable mesh and fabric sides and top, with both top and side entry points for your dog. The Petsfit Travel Home sets up easily and quickly without any tools.

Crate #2: Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Navigator Pet Carrier with Antimicrobial Protection,
  • SECURE & ADAPTABLE FOR TRAVEL: First class treatment awaits! This travel sky kennel provides extra security for your...
  • PORTABLE DOG KENNEL: This heavy duty travel kennel set includes 2 "Live Animal" stickers, clip-on food & water bowls &...
  • KENNELS & HOUSES: Crate & kennel training is vital for dog safety & comfort. We provide traditional travel carriers,...

If you have to fly with your dog, you need to use a plastic crate for safety. The Petmate Sky Kennel is our top option for airline travel crates for dogs. It’s heavy-duty, durable, meets airline requirements for safe travel, and has optimum ventilation for Spot. A food and water dish clip into this crate to help make travel a little more comfortable for your best friend.

Crate #3: PetNation Port-a-Crate

Petnation Port-A-Crate Indoor and Outdoor Home for Pets, 24-Inch
  • Lightweight, portable and great for transportation and short outings
  • Tightly weaved mesh fabric panels surrounded by extra-strong steel frame
  • For crate trained dogs up to 25 pounds and supervised

The PetNation Port-a-Crate is a top contender for travel crates for smaller dogs. These soft-sided, easy-assemble crates are lightweight, and made with a very durable steel frame. This crate is perfect for gentler, calmer dogs that travel with you.

The Best Dog Crates for the Home Use

Crate #1: Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

Dog Crate | MidWest Life Stages XS Folding Metal Dog Crate | Divider...
  • Single door folding metal dog crate, Life Stages measures 22L x 13W x 16H inches & is suitable for XS dog breeds
  • Dog crate includes a FREE divider panel, durable dog tray, carrying handle, "roller" feet to protect floors & a...
  • Heavy duty slide-bolt latch securely locks dog crate door in place keeping your dog safely inside their pet home

The Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate is the best dog crate as far as a number of rating sites are concerned. This crate comes in a variety of sizes, has a divider panel, carrying handle, rubber feet, and a leak-proof plastic pan.

Crate #2: Adventek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel

Neocraft My Pet Companion Outdoor Dog Kennel with Included Roof...
  • WELDED FRAME- This dog crate comes in a welded frame so all you have to do is unfold it to have the basic structure of...
  • EASY, NO TOOLS ASSEMBLING- This dog kennel comes with an easy to follow no-tools instruction manual. This means all you...
  • INDOOR/OUTDOOR USE- This pet kennel is designed to be great for both indoor and outdoor use. The easy assembling makes...

We love this crate for outdoor dogs. The Adventek Gazebo comes with a water-resistant cover, a securely latching gate, and is easy to set-up. This crate/kennel is great for dogs that need a little more space as they enjoy the outdoors.

Crate #3: SmithBuilt Heavy-Duty with Two Doors

SmithBuilt 36" Medium Heavy-Duty Dog Crate Cage - Two-Door Indoor...
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CONSTRUCTION: Commercial-quality steel construction provides a heavy-duty, solid framed pet crate expertly...
  • CONVENIENT TWO-DOOR DESIGN: Great for puppies, growing pets, and energetic breeds; this kennel features both top and...
  • ROLLING with LOCKING WHEELS: Includes four rolling casters for easy transfer from room to room. Two wheels have locks to...

The SmithBuilt Heavy-Duty is another top rated crate on multiple sites. This particular crate is exceptionally heavy-duty, and designed for use with dogs that tend towards aggression or high excitability. If you’ve got a large or aggressive dog, this is very likely the right crate choice for you.

A Dog Crate that Best Suits Your Pooch

a soldier unloading a dog crate from an airplane

If you’re getting a new dog, or just need to make some changes with your current furry friend, crate training is highly recommended for safety, health, and a happier life for everybody.

Find the best dog crate, use proper training techniques to keep your pal safe, and consult experts if you have any concerns about your dog’s behaviors or health.