While there are different kinds of crates available, a metal dog crate is perfect for training your Bichon Frise to potty outdoors.
Inexpensive and readily available, metal crates have a number of other advantages, as well.
For now, we’ll look at metal dog crates suitable for housebreaking. When your Bichon has been housetrained, you’ll be in a better position to consider one of the lovely furniture grade dog crates.
Price-wise, of all the types of crates on the market, plastic dog crates are the least expensive.
You can buy metal dog crates in the mid-range and dog crate furniture is top of the line.
Decide how you will use a crate, and that will help you pick which kind you need.
Page down to find the topic that you’d like to see.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- How to use a metal dog crate
- What to look for, in a metal dog crate
- What size you need for a Bichon Frise puppy
- Crates I recommend for Bichon Frise dogs
- Accessories to make your dog’s crate more comfortable
How to Use a Metal Dog Crate
When you first bring home your new Bichon Frise puppy, you will be very interested in getting her potty trained.
Because Bichons are stubborn and noted for being one of the hardest dogs to housebreak, you will need to devote some time to potty training.
A metal dog crate will help make your job a lot easier!
Your new puppy needs a safe and comfortable place to hang out. And you need to have him confined to an area where he is safe from harm, cannot get into trouble and a place that he won’t use as a toilet.
A metal crate is a good choice for your new puppy’s special place. It has good ventilation and you and your puppy can see each other well.
A removable plastic pan in your puppy’s crate helps keep his space clean. You can easily wipe it down with a damp cloth to clean it if your puppy or dog has an accident in his pen.
While he is still in the potty training stage, your dog can spend time in his crate and still be close to his Pack, your family.
Your puppy will be able to see everything that is happening, yet he won’t have free run of your home.
When Your Dog is Housetrained
Later, when your puppy is house trained, you can use the crate in other ways…
- Traveling –Most of us like to take our dogs with us when we go on vacation. A metal crate that can be folded is easy to tuck away in the trunk of your car. If your Bichon tends to be excitable, her crate will help her settle in. Friends and family will appreciate your keeping your dog under control. And many hotels and motels require that you have a crate for your dog.
- Room to room – If the crate has a handle, you can move it from room to room, so your dog can stay close to the family.
- Home with you – When your dog is housetrained, you can remove the divider in the crate. As an adult, he will no longer need to be locked in his crate when you are home. An open door gives your dog free access to his little den. He can hide from overactive children or just retreat for an undisturbed nap after a meal.
- Alone time – When you do need to leave the house, you can secure your Bichon Frise dog in his crate so that he is safe and secure while you are gone. This is especially important for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety.
- Separation from guests – I know this is hard to believe, but some people just don’t like dogs. If your company is not a dog lover (or doesn’t love your excited little dog), it might be best to confine your Bichon to his pen for the duration of their visit. You can cure your dog of their obnoxious behavior, using Doggy Dan’s gentle training system.
What to Look for in a Metal Dog Crate
When you start to look for dog crates, you can easily become overwhelmed. There are so many choices and they all look the same!
Better dog crates have many of these features:
This is critical for puppy housebreaking, but any sick dog can vomit or have diarrhea. And an older dog can become incontinent. Dogs of any age can have an accident in the crate if they are left there too long.
The pan may be plastic or metal, and it usually serves as the floor under the dog. If it is removable, you can clean it easily and then replace it. If not removable, cleaning is a bit more difficult!
A divider is removable. Its main purpose is to make your puppy’s crate area smaller, so your dog doesn’t use one end of his crate as a bathroom. Dogs instinctively keep their living area clean.
But if your puppy is in a large crate, he may decide that there is enough room to have a poop and pee area, away from his clean living space.
Make his living area smaller, and your dog will naturally keep it clean. If your puppy needs to go outside, she will find a way to tell you. She will bark, whine, pace or scratch to let you know that she needs to go.
A dog crate with a divider is primarily used for a puppy in the training stages. The divider is temporary. When your dog is potty trained, you should remove the divider.
Some metal dog crates have two doors and some have one. Why would you care?
Well, the second door is simply for your convenience. If you move the crate from room to room, you may prefer to access it from either the side or the front.
On some metal dog crates, you can make the door open on the right or the left side. You can’t do this on every one, so if it’s important to you, check the listing carefully.
Gauge of the wire
Some crates are sturdier than others. If your Bichon is a chewer, you might want to consider a heavy gauge wire on the crate.
Even a little Bichon can do damage, if she is determined enough.
If your dog’s crate can be folded, it will be more portable. Great for traveling in the car, storage in a small space, or simply for moving it from place to place. A handle makes a folded crate very easy to carry and move.
If you will be keeping the crate in one place, you don’t need to worry about this feature.
Some crates have rubber feet that will protect your hardwood or vinyl floors. If not, you can simply use a towel or small blanket under the crate for protection.
You might find a metal dog crate with wheels. That will help if you will be moving the crate from room to room.
What Size Crate?
Don’t make the mistake of buying a crate sized for your eight week old puppy. If you will be using the crate later for other things, make sure that an adult Bichon Frise can sit up, and stand comfortably in the crate.
Dog Crates I Recommend
Several metal dog crates stand out from the others. These crates are well constructed and most people who have purchased them are very happy with them. I’ll point out some of their better features.
Midwest Homes Ultima Pro Dog Crate
If your Bichon is very excitable, you might want to consider an extra strong crate. A rowdy or excited dog can easily destroy a crate with shoddy construction. And it only takes a few minutes!
To facilitate cleaning up any accidents or problems, this crate has a plastic removable pan or tray.
If you’ll be using this crate on wood floors, the rubber roller feet will protect your flooring.
The small size, 22″ x 30″, should work for a Bichon Frise.
iCrate Double Door Pet Pen
This crate folds quite compactly, making it a nice choice if you are traveling and need to stuff it into a corner of the trunk of your car.
You can also pack this crate away in a closet or garage when you are not using it.
Easy to carry, it has plastic handles that are quickly attached. I’d just leave them in place, so I wouldn’t lose them.
Two doors, front and side, make this crate flexible if you’re going to move it around from place to place. So, if you are cramped for space, you can position the crate where it is handy and out of the way.
The medium size crate measures 19″ x 30″, which would be a good size for a Bichon.
ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
This is the metal dog crate to buy if your dog has extreme separation anxiety, he has destroyed much of your home, or you have had to buy several metal crates because your dog can bend them, destroy them or escape from them.
This is not a cheap dog crate, but it has advantages that do make it well worth a larger investment. If it fits your needs, you will not be sorry that you bought this crate.
The ProSelect dog crate is made of 20 gauge steel, and it is virtually indestructible. Even the most voracious chewer won’t be able to bend or take a chunk out of the metal bars.
Flooring is also made of metal bars, and there is a removable pan underneath, just in case your dog has an accident.
This is not the dog cage that you would use for traveling. It is quite heavy, about 75 pounds, and it does not fold down for storage or packing in the car for vacation. The cage is screwed and bolted together.
If you purchase this dog crate, I’d plan on leaving it in place. It does have wheels and is fairly easy to move, but it is difficult to squeeze it through standard size door openings. If you prefer, you can leave the wheels off the assembly.
This metal dog crate measures about 41″ x 28″ and you can purchase it at Amazon.
If you add a few little luxuries, your dog’s crate will be much more comfortable, and she is more likely to enjoy being in it!
The first accessory that I’d suggest is a crate pad or liner.
Whether the bottom of your dog’s crate is metal or plastic, it can be hard and cold. Lining the bottom with something soft and warm makes the crate a lot more inviting!
Keep in mind that no crate pad is chew-proof, so if your puppy is chewing everything in sight, he may have to sleep right on the pen floor until he stops chewing.
Since your little puppy is not potty trained at first, make sure that you purchase a machine washable pad. If the pad isn’t washable, it will be useless pretty quickly!
The Drymate dog crate mat on the left, is machine washable, stain resistant, and has an anti-drip technology that prevents soaking. It should keep both your dog and your floors fairly dry.
The 24″ x 18″ size should fit most Bichon size dog crates.
A self warming dog crate pad can comfort a lonely Bichon Frise, recently separated from his mom and siblings. The one on the right radiates your dog’s heat back to him.
Super soft, it’s made of comfy microfleece. A non-skid bottom keeps it in place, even if your dog is a bit restless.
This pad is machine washable.
For more information or to purchase one, you can see it at Amazon.
Covers for Metal Dog Crates
Why get a cover for your dog’s metal dog crate? There are a couple of reasons that you might consider.
A cover will prevent draughts when it is cold, so your dog will be more comfortable.
But there is another reason that I recommend having a cover. If your Bichon gets excited or anxious easily or she has separation anxiety, a cover will help his crate feel safe and secure.
The cover cuts down on stimulation and noise. In addition, it’s an easy way to help your Bichon wind down and get to sleep at bedtime. It’s like being in his own little den, for your dog.
There are a variety of prints and styles, and sizes for your crate, that I will just include a link to an assortment of dog crate covers for you to see.
Water Without a Mess
Your dog or puppy should be able to get a drink whenever she feels like it. Water is so important to your dog’s health and well being.
But, little puppies are pretty clumsy, and even the most well balanced water bowl will get stepped in or knocked over.
What’s the solution? There are two possibilities. The first is a device that holds a standard sized water bottle. Just like you might use.
The other way you can handle this is to get a water dispenser that attaches to the crate. Your puppy can lick the end and take a drink easily. This solution might be a bit messier than the first, but your dog can’t step in the bowl and is unlikely to knock it down.
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