Dog owners often squirm at the idea of confining their freedom-loving hound, but in reality dogs, like people, need their own personal space. Their dog crate is like their "den". It's often suggested by dog trainers that you even feed your dog in his crate, as this allows him to eat his food in peace, without having to worry about guarding it from intruders. Potty training is also made considerably easier by the use of dog crates.

By keeping you dog put away at night (which by the way, also ensures that he'll get a much better chance at uninterrupted sleep) you can control when he goes out to pee and where he goes to do so. Dogs are often loathe to soil their kennels and dog pillows and beds because they like to sleep in a place that is warm and dry. Most dogs will learn to "hold it" when they are in their crates, and wait till they are let out before "doing their business". This means that when you let them out you can either put them on some paper, or let them outside.

What kind of dog crate you use depends on how old your dog is, how big he is, and what his habits are. A wire dog crate is ideal for a young puppy, as it allows him to see you, and will deter him from chewing on his crate. A plastic or travel crate is great for people who travel often with with their dogs. These allow the dogs some privacy in new places, are easy to move, and often have attachable food and water dishes that won't spill.

Soft crates are similar to dog beds with a top.They are a popular option with dog owners who are often on the go and like to have a secure location to keep their dogs when on the road. These fabric or soft dog crates allow dogs the comfort of a bed and provide plenty of privacy. These crates are no recommended, however, for young dogs who still like to chew or destructive dogs.

Wooden dog crates can double as fashionable pieces of furniture. They are similar in function to the other crates. There are two main varieties. One that is made entirely of wood and styled on the outside to look like an end table. The other type is a "crate cover." These can be used on top of existing wire dog kennels and crates. They both serve the purpose of beautifying the functional dog crate so it doubles as a piece of furniture and matches your home decor and furnishing.

If you are the more adventurous, handy type who like to "build it yourself," check out this article by "This Old House" with a how to build your own wooden dog crate. -- Enjoy!