The use of crates for dogs

The Kennel Club believes that, used in the correct manner, crates can benefit both the dog and owner. Dog crates and cages can provide an excellent environment for dogs to sleep in, or to be safely secured in. In the home, crates can also be beneficial as a safe area away from a busy family environment and also at other times like toilet training for young dogs.

Whilst there are no time restrictions with regard to the use of crates, the Kennel Club does not approve the use of a cage for continual use or permanent housing for a dog, as we believe dogs should have the ability to freely move about their environment. This is essential both for exercise and so the dog doesn't get bored.

At dog shows a crate can help the dog feel secure and allow them to rest for periods during the show; the owner can also relax, safe in the knowledge that their pet is safe when they have to leave them for short periods.

The welfare of dogs at events like Crufts is of paramount importance and benching stewards are employed to ensure that dogs do not get distressed and are taken proper care of by their owners. All owners are required to identify their crates with their exhibit/bench number, or another means of easily identifying them such as their name and mobile phone number, in case of problems. If there are problems, then announcements are made over the public address system and owners are requested to return to their dogs as quickly as possible. Only when they do so, will the steward vacate the area.

The Kennel Club highlights the potential health and safety implications concerning the use ofsoft cratesat dog shows as in its view, not all designs offer sufficient protection to dogs. Contrary to Kennel Club Regulations, soft crates do not allow dogs to be securely fastened to their benches and are often too large for the benches provided. Soft crates should only be used on benches where sufficient room is available and if exhibitors have ensured that they are capable of being secured to the bench.   

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