How to pick the right crate
(Clinton, IL, USA)
Portable crate I am considering.
I have purchased a new rottweiler puppy. She is only 3 weeks old and I won't be bringing her home until she is 8 weeks old. I know from past ownership of dogs that you want to find a crate that isn't overly large or overly small. I know the right fit makes the dog feel more comfortable, so you don't want to leave too much open space in the crate.
I have never owned a dog this size though and I know they grow fast. I have been thinking I will need a crate about 36??? x 25??? x 25??? when she is full grown. I don't want to have to purchase many crates as she grows though, as I know the first year the growth can be very fast. I have always thought I needed a metal crate but when I was shopping online I found one of those portable crates that will be good for in the car and at home. Which is perfect since I travel a lot and take a lot of road trips and I want my dog to go with me.
I am attaching a picture of the one I have been considering. It has a steel frame and material siding that can be removed and washed. It has a side and front zipper door. I am planning on buying the larger size and I can divide it or make it full with bedding and such until she grows to full size.
What I wanting to know is if this is a reasonable purchase for a rottweiler?
I can only give you my personal opinion and experience... there are so many types of crates available today and I haven't tried them all!
The type of crate you're looking at isn't really good for a puppy in my opinion because puppies love to chew, and if your pup wants out of her crate, or is bored, she will probably chew on her crate. Rottie pups can do an amazing amount of damage (even while they have tiny teeth) and personally I just don't think this will last long.
There's also the issue of how easy it is to clean. Although the fabric shell can be removed and washed, that then leaves you without a crate (maybe for some time as it dries). With a puppy, even under the best of conditions, there are going to be accidents in the crate and I think this one would be impractical on a daily basis. You need something you can clean and deoderize easily and thoroughly, and then get the pup back inside it quickly.
A folding metal crate, or a molded plastic one, would be better for now. Once your pup is older and has outgrown the chewing stage then one of these would probably work as long as she was content to be in it. Otherwise I don't think a 'breakout' would be out of the question! They would also be much easier to clean.
As for the sizing issue, you're absolutely right that you don't want a crate to be too big, and given the growth rate of a Rottweiler puppy they can go through several crate sizes as they grow. If you want to buy one crate and make it smaller by using a divider, I'd personally recommend buying one of the wire crates that come complete with dividing panel, such as Big Dog Double Door Wire Dog Crate with Divider.
Also, don't try dividing a crate by using bedding, or filling up the 'unused' part with other stuff. Your pup will simply chew it up, or in the case of bedding or soft 'stuff', most likely pee on it!
There are a whole lot of very attractive options in terms of crates these days, ranging from the soft-sided versions as shown above, to beautiful wicker or wood versions which look like high-end furniture. These are definitely nice to have and a good alternative to wire/plastic for ADULT dogs who are familiar with being crated. But for a pup I just think they're not very practical.
I'm sorry to have to be negative here, but I'd hate you to spend money on a crate that turns out to be short-lived. However, if you do go with one like the photo above, or something other than the wire/plastic models, I'd love to hear how it works out as it would help me to advise other visitors in the future.
If you haven't already read my Puppy Crate Training page you may want to check it out as it has other tips and advice to help you.
I wish you lots of luck with your new pup.