Crate: Plastic vs metal - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Crate: Plastic vs metal

Hey all,

In three weeks my girlfriend and I will be welcoming a new puppy Vizsla into our home. Her name is Tisza, and we're very excited.

We've been going back and forth on what kind of a crate we should get. From what I've read, there seems to be pros and cons to both. I've read in the book "My smart puppy", that metal crates pose a bit more of a risk, because they can get their jaws stuck in the side of the crate. It also says that you should always remove the dogs collar before putting them in, because the collar can get stuck in the crate and potentially strangle/hang the dog. For these safety reasons alone, I'm leaning towards the plastic crate.

They also seem to be easier to clean, more den-like (no need for a blanket overtop) and not as noisy when the dog is moving around in them. The downside to the plastic crate is that they don't fold down for easy transportation, they don't have a divider for when our little girl will be a puppy, and the airflow isn't as good, so they can get warmer (not much of a concern for a shorthaired Vizsla I would presume, as they are pretty good with tolerating heat).

What do you guys use? Do you feel strongly about one over the other and why?

I also have a silly follow up question. I know the Vizsla's height reaches 24 inches. But I'm not sure if that's at the withers, or to the top of its head? Two feet seems a little short to me, so I'm assuming that must be at the withers. If that's the case, should I get a crate that's a lot taller than 24". How tall should it be?

Thank you all in advance for the help, it's appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 04:57 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

Size - I just measured mine and it is 32" h and 42"long. I would think that a fully grown V would fit in it. The 24"height is to the withers that should be max for a bitch and 26" for a male. Those should be maximum heights!!

I'm not sure I understand why a dog can get it's jaw stuck in a metal crate and not a plastic one. The plastic one we were loaned was the same as the metal only made of plastic???? So not much help on that other than the fact that the plastic one also collapsed for travelling.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 06:23 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

Yes, the measurement is taken at the withers.
I think the "Vari Kennel - Large" would work nicely, but you should continue your research. You can find articles and pictures via Google about how to select the right size for your dog.

I don't have a kennel for my dog, but if I was going to use one, I tend to agree with you, jjlansing11, that the plastic ones such as Vari Kennel are more den-like. They might make the dog feel safer and less exposed. All dogs come from a long line of denning animals, after all. The kennel becomes the den.

"Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love
can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 07:10 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

We use metal ones for our V's. When they were puppies they would bite at the sides of the crate and chew on it so i do not know if a plastic one could hold up to a chewer? The medal ones also come with dividers so as the puppy grows so dose the size for the kennel. I would not throw a small puppy in a huge kennel, helps them pee/poo in it if there is lots of room. We are scared of the collar choking the dog as well if its possible so we never put there collars on while they are in the kennels. Best of luck!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 07:50 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

I've had my pup's collar catch on part of our metal kennel play area; so I don't leave her there alone while wearing. Otherwise, we bought a 2x too big plastic crate we fill with a foofy dog bed. She hasn't had one the crate.

Aoife - (Say "Eve-uh").
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 08:12 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

I took the dimensions from "Versatile Vizsla". My breeder calls it "The Bible". Some of her dogs are in it, maybe that's the reason? LOL. But seriously, it's a greatl Vizsla book, I haven't yet found a topic it doesn't address.

For me the most important part to figure out was where the crate will be once the puppy grows up. That determined the choice of single door versus double-door; and how to transition to that after the potty training period.

So I ended up buying two metal crates - one with a side door and another one with two doors. I think they are by Midwest. For now, I'm using one of the two crates in the area the puppy is confined to - our open plan kitchen/living area. The other crate is in the bedroom where the puppy sleeps. I was schlepping the crate around at first but after a week of this bodybuilding decided it wasn't the best workout for me so I gave up and got the second one.

Also, I bought the crate cover (I think by Precision Pets) and I absolutely love it. It has mesh windows on each side and on the top and the window covers be rolled up and fastened with velcro to reveal the mesh and let the puppy what's going on.

And finally, I got a fake "memory foam" pad on Amazon. It's quite thin but the puppy started to sleep stretched out as soon as the pad got in and the divider got out. She was always rolled in a ball and constantly shifted around before.

Regarding the collar, I think I'm lagging in setting up some kind of a routine. Sometimes I remember to take the collar off, sometimes I forget. Sometimes, I let her run in the house without the collar, sometimes I don't. I wonder what others do regarding the collar routine.

Uma (DOB 02/22/2012)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 09:33 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

I had a metal crate for Jake and it worked out great. I always took his collar off in case it got caught, NEVER leave anything in it because they can destroy it and harm themselves (I would leave a kong filled with peanut butter and a few treats) and make sure the cage is not touching anything from the outside (curtains, blanket etc) because they will pull it through the cage and munch lol! These are all tips that I learned by trial and error lol!! Thankfully, Jake hasn't needed to be in a crate since about 10 months. I have seen those big Vari Kennels though and they look really nice, just seem closed up a bit.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 09:45 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

My two cents from first hand experience.

We have an older dog who rarely used his metal crate. Last year when our Vizsla entered our lives we decided to save a few bucks & use the metal crate.

The second time she was in it (we were home) she got her lower jaw caught in it and she was 100% stuck & thrashing around. Had we not been home, she would have really hurt herself - probably broken her jaw.

My brother had a beagle puppy about 20 years ago hang himself to death in one (he didn't know to take the collar off).

We got a large plastic crate for our Vizsla (larger than the weight limit says because they are so tall & lean & need the extra height).

It's bulky but its the best purchase we ever made. She's never gotten hurt.

Plastic vs Metal? 100% Plastic.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

Thanks for all the great feedback. This will definitely help us in making a decision. Thanks.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 12:27 PM
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Re: Crate: Plastic vs metal

I've always had vari kennels and they are pretty tough. The one Nitro uses is on it's third dog.

When he was a pup and crated, I tood a card board box to fill unused space. Worked great until he realized he had the ability to shred it, at about 12 weeks At that point I put a pillow type bed in the crate and we've been fine ever since.

ďNo man can fully understand the meaning of love unless heís owned by a dog. Ē Gene Hill
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