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ELLIE-BO DOG CRATE ------------------------- When my beautiful Shih Tzu Molly passed away at Christmas my life was turned upside down. She hadn't been ill at all, and it was observed at a routine vet appointment that she had a mass in her abdomen. This was subsequently found on ultrasound to be a very rare tumour. She was given weeks to live but she actually only lived for two. We always said we would wait if anything should happen to her to grieve, but the pain was unbearable, and I felt that the pain I was feeling was not only for her, but also because we had lost that joy of having a companion who was always there. Dogs are something special- my daughter who is a vet has a picture in her lounge that says "Whoever said that diamonds are a girl's best friend never owned a dog." I feel that too, and so within a week we had Pebbles - an adorable Shih Tzu puppy. It has been 13 years since we had a puppy, and I had forgotten how much work they are! It is also incredible how quickly they progress. When we brought her home she was tiny, and couldn't climb up the little set of three steps that we had bought for Molly to get onto the settee in her last few years. Within a week she was scampering up them at a hundred miles an hour, then bypassing them and vaulting onto the back of the sofa. We had to completely reorganise the lounge to make it safe for her as I could see she had energy! It is also quite difficult in the first few weeks of a puppy's life as you are not allowed to take them out for walks until they have completed all their injections. Additionally we have an extra wait, as in our area there has been an outbreak of Parvo virus, which has proved fatal in several puppies that were vaccinated, so we have to have another vaccine in addition to the usual at 16 weeks. Until then we are not allowed to take her anywhere where dogs are likely to be un-vaccinated, so she spends more time indoors that she would have done otherwise. Enter The Crate! ------------------- We decided that a crate would be a sensible option for sleeping in at night, and also for short periods in the day when it is necessary to keep her safe, or when I need to go out. Amazon is a good place to source these as they are much less expensive than Pets at Home for example. We purchased the crate which is listed as the Ellie-Bo Dog Puppy Cage Folding 2 Door Crate with Non-chew Metal Tray in Small 24-inch Black. Reading the reviews on Amazon we determined this would be a perfect size for Pebbles, as it is important for the puppy to be able to lie down in comfort and to move around freely. However if you are also buying it to help with puppy training you don't want it to be too large, as puppies try not to soil their bedding. This was a very reasonable £22.70 and we also purchased a Ellie-Bo Memory Foam Orthopaedic Dog Bed With Faux Suede And Sheepskin Topping which is designed to fit the crate perfectly, and this was an additional £21.95. In the early days of having Pebbles we decided to purchase two of these as she was having accidents so laundering was important. We also used cheap fleece blankets on top of the mattress for added protection. Pebbles is a Shih Tzu - these dogs are companion animals rather than more working dogs, and I know my daughter who has a Retriever didn't bother with a mattress for her crate as her dog used to chew them up. So far Pebbles hasn't done this and the mattress has been easy to launder as the cover is removable and is able to be tumble dried. The crate itself is of a very high quality and was very easy to assemble. Its details as listed on Amazon are- 24" folding dog cage. Folds flat for easy storage and transportation. Two sliding latch mechanisms on each door to secure the cage. Height 20" x length 24" x width 18" Steel non-chew removable metal tray for easy cleaning. FEATURES - 2 Doors for easy access/exit. - Movable carry handle. - Folds flat for ease of storage and transportation. - Steel non-chew removable tray for easy cleaning. - Two heavy duty latches on each doorway. - Ready assembled in folded position with instruction booklet and training guide. It is also easy to dismantle and to take in the car, so is an ideal choice for overnight stays as it is quick to erect on arrival. There are very secure bolts in two places and on two sides so you can choose which side to open and close, and the double bolt is very secure. Sometimes you have to put a small amount of pressure on the cage as you close the bolts, but this ensures a snug fit. The crate comes with a comprehensive training booklet which is excellent and highly recommended. The important aspect of crate training and use is that the concept is based on the fact that dogs love to have their own den, so we covered hers in a lovely wool blanket for extra security for her. Puppies can only hold on to their urine for the same number of hours as their age- so in Pebbles case now that is 3 hours as she is 3 months. This means that you will have to get up in the night to let them toilet if you don't want to see them soil the crate. Actually on a good night Pebbles can go 4 hours now but it isn't consistent yet. We set the alarm and go to her during the night, but we don't respond to barking at random times, as sadly this is the way to train them as they have to learn discipline. In the early days we soon found out that if you go to them every time they bark you will never sleep, and furthermore they think it is fine to play toys at 3am! It is also vital that you encourage them to see their crate as a den, and to do this you leave the door open during the day and gradually entice them in using treats. These treats you place at the entrance to begin with, but then you progress to putting them towards the back. It isn't long before puppies love this and will seek solace in their den during the day on their own. You can also use Adaptil which is the dog version of cat Feliway, it is a spray or plug in diffuser that emits pheromones which mimic those given off by the mother, and can aid the puppy to accept the crate. You can spray the bedding about fifteen minutes before you put the puppy to bed, or plug the diffuser in close to where the puppy is to be sleeping. We also took a blanket with us to the breeder's house so she could rub the mum in it and that seemed to calm Pebbles in the first few nights. I find the crate to be of immense value during the day as a place to keep her safe for short periods, or if I have to go out. I don't leave her for more than 2 hours at the most as puppies have to learn social skills, and confining them to a crate for long periods can make them very difficult and unhappy. I tend to make sure that she has been out for a walk, and has been played with and brushed so that she is tired before I leave her. This is then a good time to put her in the crate, and actually it often calms her down when she is beginning to get over-active as puppies do as they tire. I have found to my cost though that in the early stages it is as well to watch for recent bowel motions, as you don't want to crate an overexcited puppy with a full bowel, as this has the effect of making them go. At first Pebbles did cry, but now she accepts it and it is part of their learning experience that you can't always be with them. I know not everyone with a puppy has a crate. Many use the kitchen as a place for them to sleep, but my kitchen has three rather naughty Persians in there and she wouldn't be safe. Also I like to have the comfort in knowing she is safe and contained, as there are so many dangers for puppies in the home, and just like toddlers they need containing for their own safety. I know some people use this crate for car journeys, but personally I prefer to use an RAC car harness specifically for dogs that is used in conjunction with the seat belt. The crate isn't designed to be sold for car travel and I prefer to be as safe as I can be when travelling with pets. Reviewers on Amazon are unanimous in their opinions that this crate is superb and is well made and good value. I am delighted with mine so can add my own positive thoughts to theirs. As Pebbles grows I may need to purchase the next size up for her so I will be monitoring this closely. One final word of warning about crates in general, and that is that the collar should be removed before putting the puppy in the crate, as there is a very small chance it could get tied up in the bars. I think it is a remote possibility but I always remove hers to be ultra cautious. As time goes by we should be able to let her sleep in the crate with the door open at night. Rosie my daughter's Retriever still loves hers and sees it as a place of solace even though she is now four. In the meantime Pebbles snuggles up in hers with the door closed and I know she is safe. This review is also to be published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278
I bought a dog crate a few years ago when we bought a puppy. I wasn't too sure about them at first but our breeder had recommended them and said that dogs loved them so far from being cruel they were actually really good for the dog because they created a safe place for the puppy to retreat if the family got a bit too much for her or if she was a bit tired or scared. I had read good reviews about this crate so purchased one the week before she arrived. I bought the XL size because I didn't want to have to keep buying different sizes as she got bigger and it seemed sensible to give her as much space as possible. The crate cost around £60 then but not sure if that has gone up since. The XL crate is recommended for large dogs so I knew they would definitely do for her. The size of the crate we bought was 31inch wide by 48inch long by 34inch high we decided to locate ours in the utility room so it was out of the way for her but she could still see what was going on around as I always leave the utility room door open. The crate is made from metal and has a metal tray at the bottom, this is great because it can be removed to clean if there are any little accidents. We lined ours with puppy liners so if she did have an accident it didn't matter The great thing about the crate is it can be folded flat if you arnt using it or if you want to travel with it which is good. From the beginning our dog loved the crate she settled to it really happily and would choose to go there herself just to get away from it all. It really helped with the early training as we let her out of the crate in a morning and straight outside to do her business which I think saved many accidents on the floor. We left the door to the crate open all the time in the day so she could come and go as she wanted the only time we closed it was at night. She never cried in the crate or looked upset I think she saw it as her den. We put a big blanket over ours but this was just because our breeder recommended it you don't have to do this. The crate is still in excellent condition even now so its stood up to wear and tear well. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is getting a puppy they are great.
===Why Buy a Dog Crate?=== Far from being a cruel cage, if properly introduced, most dogs find crates to be a welcoming "safe" place that is theirs alone. It provides a safe, secure den to retreat to when tired or stressed. Crates make house training immeasurably easier, they provide a safe place to leave the dog when your away (this is particularly important during puppy hood as it helps prevent destructive habits from developing) and they are extremely useful when you need to confine the dog without isolating them outside or in another room (really useful when you have guests who aren't comfortable around dogs or workmen grocery delivery men coming in and out). ===Why do we have an Ellie Bo Dog Crate=== Before we brought home our Alaskan Malamute puppy we purchased a Vari 500 kennel (that's an extra large size, 40"x27"x30", plastic, airline style kennel). I think metal crates look nicer, but Vari crates are easier to clean and don't make as much noise if the dog shifts around or bumps the sides of the crate. I'd also heard many malamutes prefer the cave like nature of those crates. It worked really well when he was a puppy, but after 6 months my boy was staring to look a little cramped even though the XL was the size listed for Alaskan Malamutes (and he is on the small side for a male Malamute). I was reluctant to buy a new crate, but by 8 months of age he couldn't sit in his crate without doubling over, he had to duck his head quite a lot just to stand in it and he couldn't lay stretched anymore. At the time we were living in rented accommodation. To put our landlady's mind at ease, when we got the dog we agreed to keep him off the carpet upstairs (via a stair gate) and crate him when no one was home. Therefore, doing without a crate really wasn't an option for us, but the next size up (Giant) Vari kennel cost over £200. That was simply too expensive so I looked into other options and settled on an Ellie Bo 48" XXLarge Deluxe Crate in silver. ===Ellie Bo 48" XXLarge Deluxe Crate=== Technically this is the size of crate recommended for Great Danes, but there doesn't seem to be many options between it and the 40" my boy had outgrown. The dimensions of this crate are massive at Height 34" x Length 48" x Width 31". For those of you more comfortable in metric that is H 86cm x L 122cm x W 79cm. To put it in perspective, it is roughly the same size as our 2 seater sofa. The crate is made of heavy duty 4mm wire with a removable steel tray for easy cleaning. There are two doors, one at the end and the other on the right side. It "folds flat for easy storage and transportation." I just have to laugh at that statement because when you're talking about something this big (particularly when you consider the massive solid steel tray) there is nothing easy about it, just easier. This crate is fairly well made. The entire crate is made from heavy duty 4mm wire unlike many brands which use 4mm wire for the frame but thinner wire (often 2.8mm) for the mesh work. Using the thicker wire for the mesh work adds stability which I find quite important on something this big. In addition, I can't see a dog, even a large, powerful one, being able to bend these thicker wires. The spacing of the wires is 3.5cm by 15.5cm, which is quite good for the price range. The solder work seems good and I'm reasonably happy with the smoothing at the ends of the wires although there are a few I still find a touch rough. After nearly 2 years of use the crate still looks in good condition. There's a bit of tarnish on the wires, but no rust or bent peices. The metal tray is slightly discoloured but not bent or broken (some crates come with plastic trays which I think would work great with smaller crates but I would worry about them taking the weight of a dog this size). This crate does fold flat. It isn't that hard, but the sheer size makes it a bit cumbersome and tricky. I definitely recommend having two people to fold and unfold it, if at all possible. And there is no getting around how heavy it is to move about. I'm not sure of the exact weight, but Amazon lists the boxed weight as 26kg. I certainly left my husband and father in law to move it when we moved house. My one complaint with this crate is the latches. It would not be at all suitable for a dog that makes even the slightest attempt to escape. The latches simply slide into place. There is nothing that would keep a escape artist dog from using his/her tongue to slide them back open. It isn't a problem for me as my dog makes no attempt to get out of his crate, but it could be an issue for some people. ===Puppy vs Adult=== When Mojo was a puppy he slept in his crate every night (which made it much easier to house train him). I also put him in it when I left the house (for no more than a few hours at a time, of course). We use it considerable less now that he is older (and we own our own house so don't have to appease the landlady anymore) but Mojo still crawls into his crate throughout the day on his own accord. I frequently come home from work to find him taking a nap in his crate. It is also really useful when you have people (workmen, grocery delivery people, etc.) coming in and out of the house. My boy really hates being excluded and will howl if you throw him out in the garden when people come over, but he is quite happy to settle down and observe everything from his crate, if necessary. I'm a private maths tutor, with about half of my lessons taking place in my home. The crate means everyone is happy; my students aren't distracted by the dog but he gets to stay inside during lessons. ===Price, Availability and Recommendations=== I bought my Ellie Bo Silver 48" XXL Deluxe Folding Crate from Amazon where it is currently listed at £59.95 plus £5.94 shipping. It comes with a very nice, fluffy faux sheepskin bed which my boy took great glee in destroying (he's not a massive chewer, but the LOVES pulling the stuffing out of soft toys and this bed was like a massive fluffy toy with loads and loads of stuffing). It actually lasted a lot longer than I would have expected, but now it has a piece of vetbed cut to size. All in all, this is a very good crate for the price. It is a nice balance between something affordable and something sturdy enough to contain such a large dog. I definitely recommend it to all extra large and giant breed owners. I would also recommend the smaller versions for other breeds.
We recently got our Dog Dasher from a rescue centre not far from us and I was told by someone who has dogs all his life that we should get a crate for him (he said not to call it a cage as that seems cruel) Initially we thought it not a good idea as we wanted the dog to feel at home and be loved in the family. We discussed this with the rescue centre and they also said it would be a good idea as it would make the Dog feel safe and give it sopmewhere to go to should it want to rest. So we got a "crate" and we have it in the utility room, with a blanket and it is left open for when Dasher wants it. To our suprise he used it almost straight away and when he has come in from a long walk he wanders off for a bit of me time to be by himself. He gets straight into the crate at night without any hesitation and makes no noise until the morning when he wants o go for a walk. The crate can fold down - although you need the get a handle on this from day one as it is not the easiest of things to do. On par with putting down a baby buggy - once youve done it, youve done it. The plastic tray in bottom came in useful after Dasher ate something that didnt agree with him and is easy to clean. The construction is very robust and well made and we have had ours for about 6 months now without any issues and we have moved it twice in that time. It has a side and a front opening panel which helps when positioning the crate. Can be expensive so shop around for a good price. A good solid and purposefull item
When we got our dog last October, I was lucky that as my mum had bred the litter we got him from, I was aware of how he had spent the first few months of his life and what he liked and disliked a bit. One thing my mum really recommended was a crate for him to sleep in. At first I did think of this as being a little bit cruel, but over time, I think this has been a wise purchase and I don't regret it one bit. My dog is a Chihuahua, so as such he is a really small breed. I could have potentially got the smallest crate available at 24 inches, but I decided to go for the next one up at 30 inches so he would have plenty of room in there for a soft bed and still leave some room for me to put a piece of newspaper in there for when he is in overnight. We found right from the start, he was very glad of a place to retreat away from the children when he wanted some time alone, and mostly through the day we leave the crate door open and he can go in and out at will when he wants some sleep. It has also been extremely handy as although I spend a lot of my time at home with him, he is downstairs alone overnight, and also has to be alone when I do the school runs or do a bit of voluntary work. He is still the type of dog who likes sneakily grabbing hold of the kids toys or pinching shoes and having a good chew. By having the use of the crate, I know I can come home and things are still where I left them and undamaged. The crate is quite big really for standing in the living room. I had to think quite hard where I was going to locate it before we took on the dog. It has dimensions of 30 inches in length, by 21 inches wide, and 23.5 inches in height. This is large enough for him stand on his hind legs and stretch out if he likes, and he has ample room to be able to turn around and do what he needs to do. The crate also proved really useful when we went on holiday recently as we took him with us, and we were able to simply fold the cage up so it was flat, and put it in the boot of the car. This is then only a couple of inches high, and it would be easy to store if you only wanted this for certain times. There is a steel tray in the bottom of the crate which has a lip of about a centimeter. If he does do any mess in his cage, it is contained in the cage rather than going everywhere, unless he has cocked his leg and urinated out the bars at the side. This is rare though. The only thing we found was if he does wee out of the cage, then I need to move the whole cage and clean underneath it thoroughly as some always finds its way underneath. There are two doors in this cage. One is on a short end, and one on the side. We tend to only use one door as it is easier to get in and out of the bigger side due to where we have located it. The door has two latches at the top and bottom which slide smoothly and are very secure. I have no worries that he can push on the door and get out, but then again, his strength is pretty limited. The whole of the cage is painted in black. He has occasionally chewed on the sides but the whole of it and the tray at the bottom have remained in excellent condition with no chips to the paintwork. I have cleaned it using a soft cloth to stop me scratching it, but in all honsesty, if his sharp teeth have not damaged the paintwork then my cloth won't be. I think the fact that it is still so pristine after almost a years use from a dog who chews and urinates regularly shows that it is well made. The cost of this according to amazon should be around £45 for the 30 inch version, and up to £150 for the 42 inch version, but in reality I paid about £22, and it is currently £24 for the 30 inch crate. There is then about a fiver on top for postage. This is really quite cheap compared to the crates available otherwise online or in retailers like argos or a proper pet supplies shop. The 30 inch crate is actually recommended for dogs who are a lot bigger than my little Chihuahua, for example Border Collies and scnauzers. However, I still do think you are better off going for a cage slightly bigger than you need so that your dog has room to stretch and turn, otherwise it is cruel. Having a safe and secure place for your pet it fantastic, and for this to be quite cheap, well made and hard wearing is also pretty good. I recommend the Ellie Bo brand.
Metal crate for dogs to sleep in.