The best time to remove a crate divider is when your dog is unable to stand up comfortably, easily turnaround and lay down. At this point, the crate is too small and is not considered an appropriate den for your dog anymore.
Of course, this really depends on the original size of your crate, the size of your dog, and how many steps you followed beforehand.
How Crate Dividers Work
Crate dividers are very effective at gradually increasing the size of a dog crate. However, this can only be effective if you buy the right size crate to begin with.
The idea is that you start off with a large cage initially, and then to use the crate divider to resize the crate so that your puppy will have just enough room to stand up comfortably, turn around and lay down.
As your puppy grows older, she will most likely grow in size too. When this happens, you need to keep a close eye on her development and to resize the crate accordingly. This is done by removing the crate divider, and moving it a few notches down so that you are creating more space for your puppy.
As you gradually do this, there will be a point where the crate divider is not needed anymore as it will finally reach the other end of the crate.
Which means you are now ready to remove the divider.
Why Crate Dividers Are a Great Idea
They can save you money in the long run. Instead of buying a new crate every time your puppy increases in size, you would simply need to buy one crate that will be large enough for your puppy when she becomes a full-grown adult.
The crate divider will then be able to ensure that your puppy has the perfect sized den.
This is important because if the crate is too large for your pooch, there is a big chance that she won’t be able to be potty trained correctly.
Dogs are naturally hygienic animals, and so they will never pee or poop in the same area where they sleep and eat. Of course, there are times when accidents can happen, especially with puppies, as they can become overexcited.
In addition, if you don’t take your puppy out on the recommended times during crate training, then she will be forced to urinate in the area that she eats and sleeps.
It Starts with Choosing the Right Dog Crate
In order for your dog’s crate to work effectively, you need to choose the right size. The way in which you do this is to find out what your puppy’s average size will be when she is a full-grown adult.
With this information, you will then be able to choose the right size dog crate that will cater to your pooch’s needs once she becomes a full adult.
The next step is to buy a good quality dog crate. It has to be well constructed so as not to injure your pooch in any way.
For example, the hooks on the crate divider must be designed so that there is no way it can scrape against your puppy when she’s using the crate.
The crate divider must also be easy to remove and insert. This will ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of becoming lazy and not bothering to increase the size simply because it’s too much of a hassle to do so.
Another nice feature to have is a door on the front and side of the crate. However, keep in mind that the side door can only be used properly when the divider is completely removed, or at least pushed far to the other side of the crate.
The dog crate must also be secure yet easy to open and close, and nowadays, there are some amazing technologies that make it possible to operate your dog crate without any difficulty, and that includes setting it up.
Dog Crate Dividers Are Not Enough
If there’s anything you should walk away with after reading this article, it would be this:
While crate dividers are important, they mean nothing if you don’t properly train your pooch to use her crate.
It doesn’t matter how comfortable you make her new den, if she’s not used to it, it becomes a prison and not a den.
You need to be consistent with the training, and it’s always ideal to start when your pooch is still a puppy. In fact, even if you adopt an adult dog, it’s a great time to implement crate training, with maybe just a slightly different approach.
While there are lots of articles already out there on how to crate train your pooch correctly, here are a few small tips to get you started:
- Never force your puppy into the crate
- Make the crate the most fun place to be in
- Don’t close the crate door on the first attempt
- Slowly close the door bit by bit over the next few weeks
- Don’t leave your pooch alone in the crate on the first day. Instead, wait a few days and then gradually disappear into the other room for a few seconds at a time, and then increasing the length of time over the following weeks.
- Only once your pooch is used to you being in another room can you then begin to slowly stay out of the house, but again in small increments of time until you can reach a few hours
- Always give your pooch enough exercise during the day before attempting to train her to use the dog crate; otherwise, she will have too much energy and it will become very frustrating for the two of you
Crate dividers are a great way to save time and money as you train your pooch to get used to her new den. In order for crate dividers to work properly, you need to start with the cage that’s large enough for your dog when she becomes a full-grown adult.
Consistency is key in gradually increasing the size of the crate as well as the way you train your pooch to use it correctly.
With patience and time, you will find that your pooch will fall in love with her new den, as long as you apply the right type of training.