USA and Canada:
|iCrate Dog Crate Starter Kit 42-Inch Dog Crate Kit Ideal for Large Dog Breeds (weighing 71 - 90...||Buy on Amazon|
Golden Retrievers are a popular medium-large sized gun dog breed originally from Scotland. Owners of the breed will know they are often full of energy, always keep to play but are quite easy to play.
The other thing to note about this friendly breed is that they are a long-coated breed – frequently shedding – much to the delight of the household vacuum cleaner.
This makes sleeping arrangements slightly more of consideration than some of their shorter-haired compatriots.
In general, dogs sleeping habits come down to the preference of the owner. Normally a dog will either sleep with the owner, sleep in a designated dog bed (or sofa), sleep outside in a kennel (more common in the USA than the UK) or sleep in a crate.
Sleeping in a bed can be problematic. In addition to the hair shedding, as one of the larger dog breeds, they can take up quite a bit of space which, as Great Dane owners ourselves, can lead to a lot of nights of broken sleep.
This article will look at our choice of the best dog crates for Golden Retriever, why a crate may be a good option for your adult or puppy, what makes a good crate, what sizes you should consider and what hints and tips go into training your dog for a happy crate life.
Best Dog Crates for Golden Retriever – Our Top Seven
1. 🏆 MidWest iCrate Starter Kit [USA and Canada]
|iCrate Dog Crate Starter Kit 42-Inch Dog Crate Kit Ideal for Large Dog Breeds (weighing 71 - 90...||Buy on Amazon|
This is an amazing product for our USA and Canadian readers – the MidWest Kit is a complete kit for your dog including a two-door wire crate, a dog bed for padding the inside, a snug crate cover and two dog bowls which can be attached to the crate.
The bed is made from fleece and the crate cover from polyester – this not only makes them comfortable – but machine washable should they get soiled.
2. Ellie-Bo 42″ Crate [UK]
|Ellie-Bo Dog Crate Dog Cage from Small to Large, Foldable Puppy Dog Crates, Cage Furniture with...||Buy on Amazon|
3. AmazonBasics Dog Crate – 42″
As a folding crate, it means you can collapse it down flat if you need to store it or move it between rooms.
The doors are secured with two sliding locks which will stop your dog squeezing through with enough push.
Mini dividers on the crates bottom perimeter stop your dog from slipping their paws out between the bars.
This crate does include divider panels – which means you can adjust the size of the crate. This could be useful if you want to start the crate at a smaller size when your dog is still a puppy and gradually expand as they grow.
4. MidWest Life Stages 42″ Folding Metal Dog Crate [USA and Canada]
|MidWest Homes for Pets Newly Enhanced Single and Double Door iCrate Dog Crate, Includes Leak-Proof...||Buy on Amazon|
5. New World Folding Metal Dog Crate [USA]
|MidWest Homes for Pets Newly Enhanced Single and Double Door New World Dog Crate, Includes...||Buy on Amazon|
6. AmazonBasics Folding Soft Dog Crate for Crate-Trained Dogs
|Amazon Basics Folding Soft Dog Crate with Front and Top Opening, Large, Collapsible, Durable,...||Buy on Amazon|
7. Easipet Blue Metal Dog Cage [UK]
|Easipet Blue Metal Dog Cages In 5 Sizes (42" XX-Large)||Buy on Amazon|
Choosing the Right Crate for your Golden Retriever
A crate, sometimes called a kennel, is a good way to create a safe, friendly and secure sleeping space for your Golden Retriever. They’re not only good as a “bedroom” for your dog to sleep in, but also gives them their own space which can benefit both them and yourself.
A crate should not be seen as a punishment. It’s not a device to lock your dog in all day when you go to work. Instead, it should be a place they are free to go during the day and for them to sleep at nighttime.
The type of crate you choose is important. Once trained, you should be able to close them into a crate at night without them being distressed or escaping.
They must also be a good size, both for the space you have available in your home as well as for the size of the dog. At a minimum, a crate should be big enough for your Golden Retriever to stand in, lie down and move around comfortably without feeling too constrained.
You’ll probably want to consider using a wire crate, at least to begin with. Training can take some time and patience – and puppies (as well as adults) love to chew through things.
The crate should also be easy to clean. Anywhere a dog sleeps has a tendency to get a little smelly over time – so it’s good hygiene that they are cleaned regularly. You should also consider that if you have a puppy – crate training may come at the same time as food and toilet training – so a fabric crate may not be the best option.
The end goal here is to create a friendly, safe environment that your Golden Retriever will enjoy being in and won’t be a “bad place” to be sent.
Types of Golden Retriever Dog Crates
We’ve established what your pup will need from a crate – but what sorts of crates are available? If you go to your local pet store or browse online – you will see a number of different options and differences. The main crate types are:
Metal Wire Crates and Kennels
Wire dog crates are the most common types of crates and are often made from metal. They are rectangular and made of robust metal bars.
There are two-door options with these crates – single or double doors. This is often decided by the amount of space available in your home – though it’s always easier to get a two-door if you have space.
They are collapsible and can be folded away and stored if needed. This is also useful if trying to move the crate between rooms – trying to get a Golden Retrievers rather large dog crate through a door while still unfolded can be a challenge, believe me – I’ve tried.
The metal also makes this a very chew-proof type of crate. It’s also fairly escape-proof with doors often having bolt locks at both the top and bottom of each door. Some have finer guards around the bottom of the crate to stop your dog clawing outside of it.
A plastic tray is often provided for the bottom of the crate. This is for placing padding or bedding on the bottom for sleeping it. It also means the crate can be cleaned a lot easier should accidents occur.
Fabric (Soft) Crates
We’ve had a few of these over the years and they’re great for both smaller and medium-sized and as a dual at-home and travel crate.
Made from fabric these are very soft, lightweight and compact.
A mesh netting usually acts as a door with a zip for opening and closing.
These are good for a dog who is already crate and toilet trained – but not a good choice for those untrained or puppies. They’re easier to chew proof and to get dirty – though many do include a plastic tray at the bottom just in case.
Heavy Duty Dog Crates
This may be overkill for a breed like a Golden Retriever but you can get extremely hard-wearing metal crates for overly pushy, large or strong dogs if the situation calls for it.
These tend to be made of plastic and wire (though you can use a soft crate if you have one). They’re generally a lot smaller than a standard crate and used for transporting a dog from one place to another, particularly when mobility is an issue.
You often see plastic crates being taken to vet surgeries and for travelling. These are not recommended for living in as they are fairly compact and won’t give your dog a lot of room to sleep and stretch out.
Specialist crates designed to go into cars. Some people use standard crates for this while others are available which fit the shape of a car better.
What Size Crate for my Golden Retriever?
Although several online guides will suggest a 36″ crate is sufficient for a Golden Retriever, our experience has found that for most adult dogs, this is insufficient. We recommend you explore a 42 inches crate as the best size for most adult Golden Retrievers.
This gives sufficient room for both male and female adults. Though females may be okay in a 36″, it’s probably best to go with the larger of the two.
There is an argument for getting smaller crates for Golden Retriever puppies so it doesn’t overwhelm them. In our experience, this can work – but your dog will probably become attached to their home and won’t be happy giving it up when the eventual replacement comes along.
We’ve had great success with a large crate on puppies. Some crates also include dividers which means you can shrink down the size of the crate and expand as your dog grows.
If you want to measure your Golden Retriever to check against the manufacturer’s specification – you should:
- From the tip of the nose to the base of tail, measure your Golden Retriever with a measuring tape while they’re standing and take note of the result in inches. This will be the crate length.
- Measure them from the floor to the top of the head while they’re in a sitting up position. Again, not the results down in inches. This will be the crate height.
- Add a few extra inches to the length and height – this gives a little extra wiggle room.
If you check these measurements against the product specifications and find you’re borderline between a smaller or larger option – we always recommend going for the larger of the two.
Finally, you should also consider, possibly, one of the most overlooked parts of buying a dog crate. Consider the size of the home you’re putting it and make sure there is room.
If you live in a large house with ample space, this will be less of an issue – however, if your abode is small – you may want to consider where it will go that has space. Remember the dog will need to get in and out of the crate without too much fuss. This may also help you decide if you’re going for a single or double doored crate.
Golden Retriever Crate Training Tips
Any behavioural training for a dog will deliver huge benefits to both you and your pup. As with toilet, food and recall training – sound crate training can result in a number of benefits. These include:
- Creating a safe, friendly space which your dog can enjoy, laze and sleep in
- Gets your dog used to crates which may also be required for travelling or visiting the vet
- Are a good place to teach and train your puppy eating habits as well as toilet training
- It allows both you and your dog to get a sound sleep at night
The ideal outcome if crate training should be, like recall, your dog going to their crate on command. Commands such as “go to bed” or “go to your crate” can be delivered in a friendly way.
Remember, crates should be a positive experience for your dog, not a form of punishment. Training them in a reinforcing way will give you the best out of your crate.
Crate training works best with a puppy, however, if you have an adult dog, such as a foster or rescue, it will work too – you just may need a little more patience.
Follow these steps for getting to the stage where your Golden Retriever is quite happy treating their crate as their own bedroom.
Step 1: Praise and Treat
Before you begin – you will need treats the dog will enjoy. In fact, you will need a lot of treats. The types of treats will depend on your dog – it can involve a little bit of trial and error before finding something they really respond well to.
Start by opening the door of the crate and throwing a treat inside. This is the real acid test. If they bound straight in – you’re off to an excellent start. If they just look on in trepidation – you may be in for the long haul.
It’s worth noting that if your dog has had a previously bad experience with crates – you may need to start from the outside of the crate first.
Once inside the crate, make sure to praise them. Make a big fuss. Don’t worry if they come out straight after – the hardest part is over.
Keep repeating this step until your dog is confident entering the crate. Never force the dog as they will only start rejecting the crate.
Step 2: Familiarity with the Environment
Now that you’ve managed the hardest part – it’s time to get your dog used to being in their new bedroom.
Leaving the door still open you want to leave them in the crate for a short time and encourage them to stay inside.
You want your dog to start lying down in the crate and expecting those tasty morsels without needing to come out of the crate. To achieve this, you will start dropping the treats into the crate through the bars on the side of the crate. As before, repeat this many times and try spreading the treats around the crate as it’s likely to encourage lying down.
If your pup comes out, just repeat the steps to get him back inside. This will also give you a good practice of tying it all together as one behaviour.
Step 3: Fidget, shuffle, move
If your dog is happy going into the crate and lying down without any fuss or a lot of luring, then you can start desensitising to your movements.
Your goal is to show your dog that it’s fine to stay in the crate even if you’re moving. Start with small movements, something like extending your arm, shuffling an inch from your current spot and back, or similar, making sure you dish out a treat through the bars each time you return to your original position.
The more you break down the training, the easier it will become.
Gradually increase your movements, until you can do something like walking out of the room and coming back to see your pup still in the crate (even though the door is still open).
Be sure to mix it up and not just go from moving an inch to leaving the room for 10 minutes.
Once you’ve done a lot of repetitions, and have successfully left the room for up to 5 minutes and returned, you can move onto the next step.
Step 4: Let’s close the door
We’re sending you back to step 1 here. The task is to recreate all the training so far, but this time you close the door without locking it.
If closing the door surprises your pup at first, be sure to quickly open the door before your pup gets the chance to push, nudge, or paw at the door.
You want to preempt any panic reactions to being confined. Work through all the previous steps, but occasionally mix it up with leaving the crate door open.
Keep an eye on your dog’s body language. You want your dog to be relaxed and content when inside the crate. If your dog looks worried, go back a couple of steps and repeat the steps without closing the crate door until you can see a relaxed dog.
General Hints and Tips for Dog Crates
- A crate by itself is really just an empty shell. Add padding or cushions to the base so your dog has something to sleep on. You’ll have the best success if you find something machine washable or waterproof
- Like a child, dogs love having a toy in their bedroom. Place a favourite toy or something to chew on like a Kong Cone to keep them entertained
- Don’t use the crate as a place for punishment. Yes, your Golden Retriever may have just eaten your favourite slippers – but sending them to their box will only make it an association with negative things
- A crate is not a permanent living place. Locking your dog in their crate all day while you go to work is not only a bad experience for your dog but will make them loathe the crate in the long run
- Beware of separation anxiety. Some dogs hate being left by themselves and despite all of your efforts in crate training – they may still whine and bark the second you leave the room. It’s a good idea to test this with a dog camera or by standing outside the room you’ve just left. If you find they’re unhappy – you should consider separation training
- When it comes to bladder and bowel control – dogs don’t have the waiting skills of humans. When they need to go, they need to go. Remember this before you close the door – otherwise, you make come back to an unpleasant surprise
- If your dog is craving privacy or is distracted by the things going on outside the crate – consider a blanket or a crate cover for putting over the top of it. It will generally help them to sleep more soundly.
When looking for the best og crate for a Golden Retriever you want to create a safe, comfortable environment for them to enjoy and sleep in.
Whether they are a puppy or an adult – you shouldn’t treat a crate as punishment but as a place they want to be. This comes with training and patience.
Make sure to pick a dog crate which is big enough for them and first in well with your home.
The results will be a happy dog and happier nights sleep.