Dog crates are sometimes controversial, but at times, they are a necessary part of life for dog owners, and they can help to keep your four-legged friend safe, as well as providing them with a spot where they feel calm and secure.
Size is very important when it comes to crates, however. You don’t want a crate that’s too small, as this is obviously uncomfortable for your dog. At the same time, a crate that is too large takes up excess room, lacks the security aspect, and doesn’t offer any benefits. So, what size crate do you need for a miniature dachshund?
In general, a crate for a miniature dachshund should be around twenty-four inches in each direction. You may be able to get away with a crate that is a bit smaller or a bit larger than this, but that should be a good rule of thumb to use when shopping for crates. Don’t go for one that is too small, or you’ll end up having to buy another!
How Do I Know If A Crate Is Big Enough?
If you have a dachshund puppy, this can be a bit tricky, but in general, it’s a good idea to make sure you buy a crate for the size you expect the adult to reach, rather than to buy a specific puppy crate and then have to purchase another as your dog grows.
Although a large crate can have issues (which we’ll cover later), it’s expensive to purchase a specific puppy crate and then scale up.
You know a crate is large enough when your fully grown dachshund can stand, sit, and sprawl out comfortably in the space. They should be able to easily turn around, lie down in any position they choose and get to their feet without a problem.
If your dog can’t do those things without bumping the edges of the crate, it is too small for them. A little too big is certainly better than a little too small, so err on the large side, rather than going for a smaller option.
Don’t ever leave your dog in its crate with a collar on, as dogs have managed to get themselves tangled up in the past. Your dachshund could strangle itself, so remove the collar before your dog enters the crate.
What’s The Problem With A Big Crate?
You might be wondering why it matters if a crate is too big for your dog. The answer is that it doesn’t matter hugely in most cases, but it can have some disadvantages. Obviously, a big crate takes up more space in your home and is more cumbersome if you find that you need to travel with it at any point.
The biggest issue, however, usually lies with toilet training your dog. A puppy is going to have lots of room in a crate that was bought with their adult size in mind, and if your crate is a bit big for an adult dachshund too, it’s going to be even more over-sized.
Why does this matter? The issue is that it encourages your dog to use a part of the crate as a toilet. They can do so and then still comfortably lie down without encountering the mess, and this makes them less likely to alert you that they need to go outside.
However, you can still keep a puppy in an adult-sized crate while toilet training and get rid of this problem with a couple of simple tricks.
Firstly, placing a dog bed over the whole floor may discourage your dog from using the crate as a toilet. They won’t find the soft fabric of their bed appealing to use.
Secondly, you can block off a bit of the crate until the dog gets bigger. This can be done however you choose, as it doesn’t need to be particularly secure (as long as it’s not dangerous to the dog), and it will let you make a large crate into a small one until your dog has grown into it.
Why Is A Crate Useful?
You might be wondering if you need to bother with a crate at all. The answer is that many owners don’t, but when done correctly, crate training offers a host of benefits for both you and your dog.
Firstly, a crate-trained dog has a place that feels secure to them. A blanket across the crate can make it feel like a safe, snug den, and your dog can retreat there whenever they feel overwhelmed. Many dogs choose to sleep in the crate, even when the door is open and they have perfect freedom to nap elsewhere.
This is particularly useful for rescue dogs or dogs that have separation anxiety or other issues. If crate training is a positive experience, most dogs like having a crate they can go into when they want to feel safe.
It also means that when you have to go out, you can put your dog somewhere safe and secure.
This protects both the dog and your home. You won’t come back to rip up furniture, damaged clothing, or chewed shoes. Your dog won’t get into something it shouldn’t eat, drink from the toilet, or hurt itself on anything.
Dachshunds in particular are vulnerable to injury if they try to jump onto furniture or climb stairs, so it’s a good idea to create your dachshund when you aren’t around to keep an eye on it.
Next, a crate is really useful if you need to travel anywhere. Going on a trip? You can take your dachshund with you and still give it a safe, familiar place to sleep no matter where you end up. Simply erect the crate at the other end and your dog can settle down for the night.
A crate that is around twenty-four inches in each direction should have plenty of space for a miniature dachshund. If you want something a bit smaller, twenty-four by eighteen by twenty-one will usually be sufficient, but don’t go smaller than this or your dachshund will be cramped and unhappy.