Designing a dog crate that makes a dog feel safe is one of Dakota 283’s missions
If we were to rewind the clock of time and go back to before dogs were domesticated we would find out some important traits that are fundamental to their instincts. In fact, wild dog species like fox, coyotes, and wolves still live the way our dog’s ancestors did–in dens.
This is perhaps the most important building block from a psychological perspective when giving our pet dogs the sense of security they have evolved to take comfort in. If you look at the design of the crates and think about what my dog wants, it should remind us of a cave atmosphere.
That is part of the reason we do not recommend such things as wire crates as they truly do not give a dog the sense of security they need. Although in a practical sense it is closed on all sides, it leaves a dog feeling vulnerable rather than the safety a den environment provides them. This is something that Dakota 283 is conscious of.
Designing a crate to put your dog at ease
When looking at crates one of the things that you should really be considering is how sturdy of an environment is it for the dog? It needs rigid sides, much like a den, where they can find a sense of safety from the outside environment. They should not feel vulnerable on their sides. And, furthermore, they should only be able to see out of their “cave door”–no different than if they lived in a den in the wild.
When we were first advised on crate design, we wanted to keep this foundation stone of a dog’s psyche in perspective. The front is open with a wire door, sides have adequate ventilation, and the rear is completely closed. With the bottom of the crate which has little holes for any accidents that may occur that fluid will drain out.
The reason that the back of the crate is completely closed is to give the dog the atmosphere of a cave environment–dogs will turn around and face towards the door so they can look out just like they would do in a natural setting–which gives them a sense of being protected from behind and ultimately balance in their minds which equates to safety.
The problem with wire crates
People will often find that wire crates fail and dogs break out of them, not only because they are not sturdy enough but also because a dog does not feel safe.
More dramatic issues can occur, such as teeth being pulled out of their jaws from trying to escape the wire. If you look at our kennel doors, the openings are small enough that dogs cannot grab any part of the wiring and also have a solid latch with a key to lock the door.
Safety at home and on the road
Safety for our dog’s mind is important but, for us, we also must take into consideration their physical safety when traveling.
A dog out of a crate on a car ride is a dog in danger. They will not only feel a sense of security in a Dakota 283 kennel but, should the worst happen, they will have the support of a design that was birthed out of a military impact crate design. And let’s be honest, just as we make sure our kids wear a seat belt, we care about our dogs like they are a part of our family.
There are multiple reasons to crate train a dog, but, at its core, it’s satisfying their instincts. Whether it’s on the road, going to bed in their “den” at night, or staying secure while you are away from the home, you need a kennel that mimics their natural safe habitat. A healthy, safe environment for all our dogs begins with creating this safe space.