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Pros And Cons For Using A Crate When Attending A Dog Show
Talking of equipment quite naturally leads to a discussion of crates. A tack crate, with one or two drawers, would have all of your tools stored in the drawers ready to go at a moment's notice when a part of a dog show. It is not at all necessary for you to take your dog to a show in a crate or to have a tack crate; the majority of dog-show goers do not use crates. If your dog rides well in the back seat of your car or even on the front seat next to you, and you enjoy having him there and wish to take him to the shows that way, you will find at least nine tenths of the exhibitors doing it the same way.
If, however, you feel you would like to carry your dog to the shows in a crate, or if you haven't yet made up your mind, I would like to point out these advantages. For example, if you have to jam on your brakes suddenly, the dog will not tumble from the seat to the floor and perhaps hurt himself enough to be limping when he goes into the ring. Instead, he will scarcely be aware of the sudden stop. If your dog is riding in a crate, he will not be looking out of the window and getting himself all excited at every dog or cat he sees; he will be asleep and resting. If you want to go out for dinner and it is necessary to leave your dog in the car or in a hotel room, you will find that he will soon become so accustomed to the crate and you won't have to worry that he may become bored or angry and start to chew on the upholstery.
Suppose you are staying overnight at a friend's home where there is another dog and you can't very well bring your dog into the house. It may be too cold or too hot to leave him locked in the automobile. He can be kept in his crate and the crate placed in the garage, the basement, or even in your bedroom, and you will rest assured that he will annoy no one and will get his proper rest.
The greatest advantage in using a crate is that it gives you an ideal surface on which to clean your dog at the show, and when the dog is on the bench the empty crate is an excellent place in which to store your belongings.
If you have decided to use a crate and have to purchase one, here are a few things to look for. First of all, be sure the crate is a good one. It is never wise to economize when buying a crate. If you decide to build one yourself, be sure first to examine a good crate and copy it faithfully.
A good crate is well ventilated with holes or openings close to the top in order to let out the heat. The wooden crates are superior to the aluminum ones for show purposes. The sides and top of a wooden crate can be of plywood for lightness, but the floor and the door should be of hardwood for lasting qualities. If it is a wooden crate, there should be a great many ventilation holes, but not so large that the dog can get his teeth in and start to chew. It is preferable to have the door lined with metal; one of the best types is a piece of stamped-out sheet metal, which is very strong and provides good ventilation.
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