Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The dog to crate ratio

Everyone knows you can’t have just one crate per dog. It's some kind of law. You need to have multiple crates so you can have one in the house, one in the van, one to take into the show site, one for the motel and just maybe one or two more for good measure.

Spouses do not understand this. They do not see the need to have more than one crate per dog. I suspect they would suddenly see the light if you could get them to come with for a trial weekend and only take one crate - preferably big and metal - and have them carry it from house to van to motel to van to showsite to van to motel, etc., for three days.

When I showed my geriatric beagle in my very first AKC obedience trial in 1977, I was 12 years old, had one dog and no crate.

A year later, when I got my first tervuren, I also got my first crate. Now I had 2 dogs and 1 crate. That's a dog to crate ratio of 2:1.

Thirty-one years later, I have 2 dogs and 18 crates. Seriously. 2:18. And that’s after I recently donated two crates to the local animal rescue group. If that isn’t bad enough, when baby Phoenix arrived back in ‘07, I had to BORROW a couple of crates because the ones I had were not the right size. I think a version of Murphy’s Law also governs crates: no matter how many you have, you will always need one more.

I didn’t intend to count crates last night. Like keeping track of entry fees, I figured I didn’t really need (or want) to know how many there were.

It started when I was putting away some of Connor’s things and trying to tidy up the enormous closet that is allegedly the spare bedroom on the first floor of our house. Don’t kid yourself. No one has slept there in 10 years. The bed is in there, somewhere, under all the camping stuff and stacks of clean crate fuzzies but the room is essentially a very large walk-in closet.

So anyway, in the process of storing away Connor’s house crate, van crate and show crate, it hit me that I had a ridiculous number of crates. And then I had to count them. Because I’m like that.

I’m not even going to try justifying owning two dogs and 18 crates because that is crazy-making behavior. Heck, half of them are sheltie-sized crates and don’t even fit the Belgians. Not that that stopped Phoenix from going in them when he could. He made it a point to go in Connor’s crate every day. I have no idea why. Maybe just because he could.

How many crates do you have? Go count them. Dare you!


  1. I need to go shopping. I only have 9. EIGHTEEN!!!! Have you been shopping with Michele?

  2. Five crates for one dog... I guess I have a ways to go yet.

  3. Now THAT was a post that needed writing! Absolutely... You should turn that into a F&F column... I don't have NEARLY that many... There are two house crates... One baby crate. One medium crate. One large crate. And three tent crates in various stages of ripped zippers but still somewhat useable depending on the behavior of the dog... So... Eight? And three Bernese Mountain Dogs!

  4. 10 crates, 3 dogs. And I completely agree with the number of crates needed for a trial of any kind. Setting up & tearing down crates is a so inconvenient, and hazardous to those around me. So really, having many crates is for the public good.

  5. Oh holy cow....and we have six, no wait, as of last night, 7 dogs. I think we're up to around 16 crates so you win(?), including the one we bought in a panic last night because none of ours fit a 1.9 pound dog(pom). Heck, my other dogs POOP 1.9 pounds.

    If I had no crates in the house where would all the books, laundry, papers go?????

  6. This is from memory, I can only 'hope' I get them all. 2 - 26" wire, 8 - 24" wire, 4 - 20" wire. 2 - 400 vari-kennels. 3 - 200 (approx size) Varies, one of these is currently being used as a nesting box for my young hens, but it's still a dog kennel! G 2 - Canbana soft crates. 4 - home made soft crates. 3 medium sized dogs - 25 crates and 5 X pens. Good Golly Miss Molly - I'm opening up a PET STORE!!!! LOL

  7. Thank you so much for this! I am about to get dog #2 and was agonizing over having too many crates. I have 3. I am now certain that at least one more is a total necessity. I actually like to buy crates - who knows why?

  8. 5 crates and two dogs. Two of the crates are not the right size for any dog I own. Plus have two cat carriers one of which is big enough for small dog. Does that one count? Great post. And don't even get started on leashes!