When shopping for a crate for your puppy, the Humane Society of the United States recommends that it be large enough for an adult dog to stand up and turn around in. This eliminates the cost of buying new, larger crates as your little one grows, but it also means that initially the crate will be too big for your pup. You may have the materials around your house to create a divider to reduce the size of the crate temporarily and make it just right.
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Why Size Matters
A crate shouldn't be so small that it restricts your puppy from standing up, stretching his legs and turning around if he wants to. Putting him in a crate sized for an adult dog will give him enough room to use one end as a bathroom and the other end for sleeping and hanging out. While that might sound good, it defeats the purpose of crate training, since part of crate training is to teach your pup to potty in a designated area, such as outdoors or on a piddle pad.
Simple, Household Materials
The items needed to make a crate divider are so basic, you might have all of them on hand at home. They include cardboard, a tape measure, pencil, pen or marker, scissors or a box cutter and four pieces of wire, each 5 to 6 inches long.
Making the Divider
Measure the interior of the crate with the tape measure, then cut a piece of cardboard to the same size. Punch holes in each corner of the cardboard piece using the pencil or the scissors, then thread a piece of wire through each hole. Put the divider inside the crate, placing it to make the crate smaller, but still allowing enough room for your puppy to turn around. Secure the divider in place by twisting the pieces of wire around the bars of the crate. Be cautious when working with the wire; the ends can be sharp and can scratch or gouge if you're not careful. Make sure there are no sharp ends sticking ou to injure your puppy.
For the Chewers
If your pup is a chewer, he might shred a cardboard divider. Pooches who gnaw are better off with a divider made of plywood. Make it just as you would a cardboard divider, but use a handsaw to cut it to the proper size. You can punch holes in the corners by pounding nails through the plywood, or by using a drill.