How to Assemble a Drop Pin Dog Crate

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Wire drop-pin crates can come in handy when you're traveling or need to keep your dog in an enclosed area when you're away from home. Dog crates are also soothing to your dog, hearkening back to canine roots as den animals. The crates assemble easily and fold flat to store in a closet or under the bed when not in use.

Add a comfy dog bed to your dog's crate to make a snuggly hideaway she'll love.
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Introducing a crate

Making your dog's initial crate experience a happy one is essential to successful crate training. Most dogs enjoy a denning experience, especially if they get to cuddle up in a cozy environment. Toss in your dog's favorite blanket, an old t-shirt you've worn, and some favorite toys for your dog's enjoyment.

Ideally, your dog should discover and enter the crate on his own. Nestle some training treats among the folds of his blanket inside the crate, serve up a special treat, or place his food bowl just inside the door. Once your dog discovers his crate as his happy place, he'll use it as a safe haven whenever he wants to just chill out.

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Some drop-pin crates come pre-assembled and folded away in their box. Others, however, require you to do the initial assembly. Dog crate assembly of a drop-pin crate usually takes just a matter of minutes.

Step 1: Unpack the crate

Begin by unpacking all the panels in the box. Find the floor panel — its steel wire construction has large squares instead of small rectangles — and place it flat on the floor. The bent locking latch attached to one end will be for the front of the crate. It will need to swing down toward the floor when the crate is assembled, so make sure the hooks along the side of the crate are facing upwards.

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Step 2: Begin dog crate assembly

Enlist a buddy to help you with crate assembly if possible. Although you can accomplish dog crate assembly by propping panels against furniture and your legs, it's much easier to have assistance from another human.

Find the long side panel of the crate that doesn't have a door and lay it to the left side of the floor panel. Its loops should point upwards. Insert the floor panel's hooks between the second and third row of horizontal wires on the side panel.

Repeat the process with the second long side panel, which usually has a door.
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Step 3: Attach the back

Place the short panel for the back of the crate on the end opposite from the locking latch that denotes the front of the floor panel. With the loops pointing up, insert the floor panel hooks.

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Step 4: Form a corner

Raise both panels and align the corner loops with the uppermost loop from the back panel resting on top of the uppermost loop from the side panel. Insert the long metal rod — the "drop pin" that gives the crate its name — through all of the corner loops of the two panels.

Step 5: Connect the other long side

Repeat the process with the second long side panel, which usually has a door. Make sure the door is facing outward and is placed face down on the floor as you begin the process of attaching it to the floor panel. Raise the panel so its top corner loop rests on the top corner loop from the back panel and attach it with the second drop pin.

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Step 6: Secure the top

When the two side panels and rear panel are securely attached to the floor panel and each other, you're ready to assemble the top panel.

Make sure the hooks from the top panel are facing downward so they can connect to the top rung running along the sides of the crate. Hook the u-shaped hooks of the back panel over the rail at the back of the top panel.

Step 7: Shut the front door

Finally, attach the front door panel. Make sure the door will open outwards when it is raised into position as you connect it to the floor of the crate.

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The corner loops of the front panel should rest atop the uppermost corner loops of each side panel. Drop the pins into place through all of the corner loops, connecting the front panel to the sides.

Step 8: Finish the bottom

Finish the process by sliding the crate liner pan into place below the floor panel. Use the front latch to secure it.

Line the crate with a non-skid rug, crate pad, or other solid, secure footing to keep your pet from sliding around. Insecure footing and the clatter of toenails on the plastic can frighten your dog and cause her to avoid the crate. Chew-resistant crate liners are available.

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Making your dog's initial crate experience a happy one is essential to successful crate training.
Image Credit: Searsie/iStock/GettyImages

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