Choosing the wrong crate size can cause extreme discomfort and anxiety to your dog; therefore, selecting the right crate size for your mini dachshund is essential. So, what is the right crate size for mini dachshunds?
Your mini dachshund will need a 24″ x 18″ x 21″ crate. The crate should have sufficient room for your puppy to sit, stand, lay down, and turn around comfortably. When buying a crate for a miniature doxie, make sure to buy a size that can accommodate them as they grow bigger.
Because of their small size, mini dachshunds will not need huge crates. Typically, dogs feel more comfortable and safer when the crate does not have too much space.
You should purchase a 24″ crate for your mini dachshund. However, you can opt for a 30″ option for a little extra room in case your pup grows larger than intended. These sizes are appropriate for both puppies and adults.
You must use a divider if your mini dachshund is still a puppy. When potty training your pup, it is essential that the crate is not too big because extra space would encourage accidents inside the crate. By making the crate smaller, your puppy will have no room to go potty and lie down.
When searching for the right crate for your mini dachshund, it is also essential to consider the different features it may include.
Crates have different characteristics that can make training easier for you and provide your dog with a more comfortable experience.
Look at how many doors the crate has, its weight, collapsibility, and whether or not it has wheels on the bottom. Rollers or wheels allow you to move the crate safely and efficiently with your mini dachshund inside. Two doors will also be beneficial, granting you quick access to your pet.
Dividers, covers, slide-out trays, and locks are also essential when purchasing a crate. Dividers are generally included, and will be helpful to block part of the crate when your puppy is still growing. A slide-out tray will make your life much easier regarding clean-up time.
These features make your dog’s crate more accommodating to different spaces of your home while making it easier to store and move around when traveling.
Plastic vs. Wire Crates
When looking for a crate, you must decide whether you want a plastic or wire crate. While some people prefer plastic crates, wire crates provide the most benefits.
Wire crates are more durable and require less maintenance compared to plastic crates.
Due to its porous material, plastic crates can harbor bacteria and contract undesirable smells. Wire crates are also chew-proof, whereas plastic crates can be chewed and broken through, especially if your dog suffers from anxiety.
Your dog will have more visibility in a wire crate instead of feeling closed in. However, you can always cover your dog’s crate when they need fewer distractions.
Generally, wire crates are collapsible for easy storage and travel. Plastic crates, however, can be bulky and take up more space.
Crates made out of wire usually have two doors. A door on its front and one on its side will allow more flexibility when choosing where to locate the crate in your home.
Airflow is also essential for your dog, especially in hot and humid weather. That being said, plastic crates do not have the best ventilation.
Whether you want a plastic or wire crate for your puppy will be your preference. But you should know wire crates will be the most durable and beneficial for your dachshund in the long run.
Where you decide to set up your mini dachshund’s crate will significantly affect how comfortable they feel on it. Never place the crate somewhere secluded where your dog might feel lonely.
During the day, put the crate in an area where your pet can see everyone and feel part of the family. Ensure the site is not too hot or too cold and avoid any hazards, like chemicals or power chords.
It is best to put the crate in your bedroom at night, so you can hear the puppy waking up for a potty break. You can also use a crate cover at night, so your pet can sleep calmly without any interactions.
Crate Training Your Dog
If you have a mini dachshund or are bringing one home, you should consider crate training. Crating is excellent when you are housebreaking your pup and when you are not home and cannot keep an eye on them.
After choosing the right crate for your dog, you are ready to start crate training.
Step 1: Introduction to the Crate
To begin training your pet, you must introduce them to their crate. Dogs are naturally curious, so use that to your advantage. Begin early in the morning, so your puppy has more than enough time to explore their new crate.
Take your mini dachshund on their leash and let them sniff around their crate. Ensure the doors remain open so they can easily go in and out of the crate.
It is crucial to secure the doors and avoid them accidentally closing so that your mini doxie does not feel imprisoned as they are introduced to their crate.
Step 2: Exploring the Crate
You want your mini dachshund to begin to explore the crate by getting inside. The best way to get your puppy inside is by reinforcing them with treats.
When training your dog, use low-calorie treats to avoid disturbing their daily calorie intake.
Begin by placing a couple of treats inside the crate. When your dog gets inside, reward them with another treat and verbal praise.
If you keep repeating this process, your mini dachshund will begin to relate the crate with receiving treats, creating a positive association.
However, it would be best to work on using more verbal praises over treats so that your miniature doxie is not only working for the treats but also trying to please you.
Step 3: Feeding Inside the Crate
Because feeding is a happy time for dogs, you can take advantage of this when crate training your pup.
Feeding your mini dachshund his meals inside their crate will create a positive association with the crate. You can even close the door while they eat to increase the time they spend inside.
Start sitting next to the crate during the first few meals to reassure your dog that being inside the crate is okay and that you are still there.
It would be best to gradually increment the time your mini dachshund spends in the crate after meals.
Step 4: Toys
Your dog will need to start to get used to spending more time in the crate. If your puppy gets bored, they will begin to reject the crate. Chew toys are a great tool to help you keep your mini dachshund entertained and busy while spending time in their crate.
Allow your pet access to their chew toy inside the crate. It is best to have two or more chew toys so that you can change them up in case one of them gets damaged, or your pup grows tired of them.
Using a chew toy will help you increase the time your mini dachshund spends in their crate after meal time is over.
Step 5: Getting Enough Exercise
Make sure your pet gets enough exercise. A crate will be a comfortable place for your mini dachshund to relax. Therefore, your dog will be more willing to stay in their crate when they are low on energy.
The quantity of exercise a dog needs will depend on their breed. Mini dachshunds require more than just a couple of walks around the house. You need to walk your mini dachshund two times every day and plan for some daily playtime at home.
Playing with your puppy before feeding them in the crate is the most effective to get them low on energy and willing to take a nap in the crate or lay down and play with their toy.
Step 6: Alone Time on the Crate
After patiently going through the entire crating process, your mini dachshund should be ready to spend time alone in their crate.
It would be best if you started slowly moving around and occasionally leaving the room for short periods. This way, your mini doxie will not feel abandoned and freak out on the crate.
Keep repeating this and increasing the time you spend away until your dog gets used to spending time alone in their crate.
Try to leave for 30 minutes; if your puppy remains calm without barking or objections, set a goal for one hour. Consistency and patience are essential in this process.
Puppies and housetrained dogs can only control their bladder for a few hours. For this reason, you should not leave your dog in the crate for more than a couple of hours.
If you keep your mini dachshund crated all day, they will not be able to receive enough exercise and socialize. Crating your dog for extended periods can result in depression and anxiety.
You should only be crating your miniature doxie when necessary. Mini dachshunds should not be crated for longer than two hours a day. Anything more than two hours can make your dog depressed or even aggressive.
Crating is meant for when you are away or cannot keep an eye on your dog. You must crate only for a few hours at a time and, if needed, overnight until your puppy can be trusted by themselves.
Crating as a Punishment
You should never crate your mini dachshund as a form of punishment.
A crate should offer a safe space for your dog. Using a crate to discipline your puppy may create a negative association with the area. This will cause your mini dachshund to fear the crate and refuse to go in.
Always make sure your doxie is comfortable and feels safe in their crate. Positive reinforcement as a form of training is the best way to get your mini dachshund to feel safe and satisfied with their crate.
Choosing the correct crate size for your mini dachshund is essential. The right crate will make training more accessible and allow for a more comfortable experience for your dog. A crate should have enough space for your pup to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably.
By now, you should know that a 24-inch crate is the best size to buy for your mini dachshund. However, a 30-inch crate is also an acceptable option, and both sizes can accommodate your dog as they grow older.
On the other hand, if the size of your dog’s crate is too big, it may become a potty corner or even make your dog feel insecure.
Remember: crates should be treated as a safe space for your doxie. Creating a positive association with treats, food, and toys is the best way to get your pet comfortable with their new crate.
Comment below with questions and share your experiences crate training your mini dachshund!