When you get your Cocker Spaniel puppy it will be important for him to have his own place, where he can sleep, rest and take time out. This place should be somewhere that helps the puppy to feel safe and secure and it should be his private place.
Puppies grow at a tremendous rate and you’ll find that after playing furiously and then eating, your spaniel will want to get some rest, and a crate or cage is an ideal place for him to feel safe.
If you are looking for information on car travel then you’ll find it in this post here.
Is crate training necessary?
There is a real difference of opinion on what is known as crate training. Many people advocate the use of a crate as a way of house training or ‘potty’ training a puppy.
They base this thinking on the idea that a puppy or dog will not goto the toilet in his bed or the place that he is using for rest.
This is probably true as I would not want to goto the toilet where I slept either.
My view is that crate training is for lazy people who know little about dogs and care even less about them.
A crate should be used as a place of safety and comfort for a dog and not as some sort of control to stop him from going to the toilet.
Housetraining a puppy is easy and should not be a problem for a caring, observant dog owner who thinks about the puppy’s needs.
If you need to imprison a puppy in a cage to try to train him not to pee in the house then I suggest that you don’t get a dog and buy a goldfish instead.
I cover housetraining a Cocker Spaniel puppy in another post which you can read here.
Our Crate Selection For Spaniels
Dog Crates can be useful for spaniels
Having said my bit about the dinosaurs that use crates for ‘potty training’, I do believe that there are some good uses for a dog crate and that getting a Cocker Spaniel crate can be helpful.
I own two metal dog cages or crates. They make ideal indoor beds and little kennels for my dogs.
My two Cocker Spaniels, Boris and Nimrod, are very different in terms of their behavor. Boris has never really spent a great deal of time in a dog cage and, to be honest, doesn’t need to.
When we got Nimrod, I was working on a holiday park and, as a family, my company provided me with a caravan to live in. It was great for my family as they had a free holiday and I didn’t have to travel to and from work.
When we got Nimrod he needed a bed, somewhere secure where he could sleep, stay warm and be safe. We had an old dog cage that I’d bought locally several years ago and we decided to turn that into his bed.
It was ideal, we set it up, filled it with old blankets for him, put some of his toys in, and, when we went to bed, put a cover over so that he would stay warm and feel safe and secure.
Note I didn’t use this for ‘potty training’ nor did I attempt this, this crate/cage was Nimrod’s space and, when he was awake, if he felt tired he’d get in and goto bed – most of the time he dragged his toys out into the caravan.
Having this cage also meant that if I needed to nip out to the shop I could leave him, safe in the knowledge that he would be okay for a short time.
So I believe that a dog crate can be useful – for the right purposes.
What size crate does my dog need?
Your dog will grow, and he’ll grow quickly if he is still a puppy. If you intend to keep your dog cage and let your spaniel use it as ‘his place’ then you will need to allow for his development and growth.
A typical Cocker Spaniel and most of the other spaniel breeds, will need a crate that is defined as a medium sized crate.
Measurements tend to be at least 30 inches in length, 24 inches wide and 24 inches high.
Any crate or cage should be well made and ideally should have a removable base to make cleaning easier.
The door should open outwards and there should, ideally be two doors.
If the cage is metal then it helps if the metal is plastic coated as this will reduce the risk of corrosion and injuries.
Are all dog crates equal?
Probably not. The quality of steel dog crates can vary enormously and there can be different gaps and thickneses of construction materials.
It’s important to remember that you will need a crate that will not only be big enough for your dog, but will also be tough enough to prevent him from bending apart the bars and escaping.
Spaniels can be escape artists and, having had dogs escape from kennels in the past while I was out at work ( I had used the wrong type of fencing on the kennel run and they had simply forced their way out), I recommend that you choose the best quality cage that you can afford,
Remember the crate/cage is not somewhere for you to lock your dog into for hours on end, you should only use it as a very short term measure while you need to make sure he is safe, and I mean very short term, like less than an hour.
Is it cruel to use a crate for a spaniel?
It depends on you and your ideas of what you use a crate for.
I’ve already lodged my objections to using crates for housetraining. I feel that this is unnecessary and is a cruel and demeaning way to try and ‘train’ a puppy. You’ll teach him nothing.
Likewise if you use a crate for punishment – better that you get a hamster than a dog.
Used correctly, as a safe place, which belongs to your dog, a crate can be a useful addition to your home, your spaniel needs a place to call his own and a crate provides that option.
Your behavor determines whether your use of the crate is cruel or not.
Remember he is your pet/companion/friend.
Treat him like one.
Last update on 2020-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API