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Between potty training, teething, and the general unpredictability of life with a toddler on four paws, puppyhood isn’t for the fainthearted. But the fact is it would be exponentially more difficult without an important training tool: a crate. The crate is an integral part of early potty training, but many pet parents find that over time, it shifts from a necessary tool to their dog’s preferred hangout space. The problem is that most crates are built for function, not fashion, which means pet parents might wind up sacrificing their home decor to give their dog a cozy spot. The truth is, traditional training crates aren’t cute!
But your dog’s crate doesn’t have to be a space-hogging eyesore. Furniture-style options like the sleek Moderno Dog Crate combine the comfy solitude of a den-like crate with functional, high-end design.
General Benefits of Dog Crates
Traditional wire or plastic airplane-style crates are invaluable during the early phases of puppy training. They’re built for safety, so they’re strong enough to withstand curious puppy teeth and are easy to clean if accidents happen. Since most puppies don’t soil where they sleep, a correctly sized crate encourages pups to “hold it” for short periods until they’re taken outside for a potty break, which helps to speed the housetraining process. A training crate also gives pups a safe space to hang out when they can’t be supervised, which prevents chewing on potentially dangerous items like cords or garbage.
Many dogs seem to enjoy the feeling of security they get in their crate and are happy to hang out in them long after the training phase is over. But it can be challenging incorporating a training crate into the household long-term, especially for people with larger dogs (which translates to even larger crates!) or those who live in homes without room to spare.
Enter the luxury dog crate, an option that combines the benefits of a crate with a fashion-forward sensibility.
Modern Dog Crate Benefits
One of the most common complaints about traditional training crates is that they’re challenging to fit into a tastefully styled home. It’s especially true for pet parents in smaller homes who can’t afford to sacrifice the square footage for a crate long-term. But furniture-style crates are a game changer because they bridge fashion and function. These decorative pieces give your dog a cozy place to rest and also pull double duty as a side table or coffee table, which means that pups can relax close to where their family hangs out.
What Size Dog Crate for My Dog?
Sizing furniture-style dog crates is a little different from picking a crate for potty training purposes. Training crates need to be large enough so that the pup can stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, but not much bigger than that. A crate that’s too large might allow for the pup to eliminate in one corner and sleep in the other.
However, there’s more sizing flexibility when selecting a furniture-style crate. Once your dog graduates out of the training phase, you can opt for a slightly bigger crate that gives your dog more room to stretch out and gives you more tabletop space! But don’t forget about your dog’s height relative to the crate. Some furniture-style crates have a lower profile, so you’ll want to make sure that your dog isn’t forced to duck his head when standing.
My Moderno Dog Crate is a medium, which is the smallest size available and measures 30 inches long by 19 inches wide and 24 inches high. It’s the perfect fit for my Smooth Brussels Griffon, Millie, who weighs 18 pounds and is 16 inches high by 22 inches long. She has more than enough space inside to relax. Unfortunately, my other dog, Olive, is about 23 inches high by 27 inches long and a little too tall for the medium. We could make it work in a pinch, but my preference is to give her a little more room to relax when crating.
Putting the Moderno Dog Crate to the Test
When I was searching for a stylish dog crate, obviously my top concern was aesthetics. I also wanted to trust that my dogs would be safe inside, but since they’re well beyond the “testing limits” phase of dog-hood I knew I didn’t have to worry about them trying to dig or chew their way out if it. Durability was important from a construction standpoint—I wanted the crate to be made of quality materials—but I didn’t need it to be Fort Knox to keep them contained inside.
The Moderno Dog Crate arrived well packaged, and to my delight, it had thorough and easy-to-understand instructions. That said, putting it together required some effort! It took close to an hour and some parts of the process required two people, mainly because it’s a solid, well-constructed piece that’s a little heavy. Overall, the build process was straightforward.
Once put together, it’s a sleek, modern piece that doesn’t look out of place in our 150-year-old house. And the combination of dark gray wood and brushed stainless steel just happens to perfectly match our color scheme! The Moderno Dog Crate is a great addition from a home functionality standpoint as well, as it’s a great height for a side table next to a chair.
One of my favorite features about the Moderno Dog Crate is the dual doors; there’s one on the end and one on a long side. This opens up placement options in tight spots, plus it’s a great feature during the dog’s acclimation phase. When I introduced the Moderno to Millie, I opened both doors to let her explore the crate at her own pace. Even though the crate didn’t look like the type she was familiar with (we’ve always used wire crates), she was willing to check it out without hesitation. I also put a few treats inside to help her understand that good things happen inside. Then once I put her bed inside, Millie figured out that the crate was the perfect hangout!
The Moderno Dog Crate is not only a cozy spot for Millie, it’s also a nice side table on our sun porch. There’s plenty of room for decorative accents like a lamp on the wide, smooth top.
Things We Like
- The design and color. This crate is stylish and looks fantastic in my house.
- The brushed metal bars are horizontal instead of vertical, giving it a unique look. (Nothing about it says “dog jail”!)
- The three size options cover dogs from petite to big boned. One reviewer uses the Moderno Dog Crate for their 95-pound dog!
- It was well packaged for shipping, arrived undamaged, and the instructions included were clear.
- The double doors allow it to be placed almost anywhere.
- It’s open for good airflow.
- It has handle holes to make it easy to move. (But it’s heavy!)
- My dog took to it right away.
- You can purchase a bed that fits perfectly inside of it.
Things to Consider
- Construction takes a while and might require two people toward the end of the process.
- The locks are more of a suggestion than a secure fastener. Pet parents with Houdini dogs might want to reinforce them.
- There’s only one color choice.
- The larger sizes can be challenging to move once put together.
- It’s an investment piece.
Moderno Dog Crate: Our Verdict
With over 20 years in the “dog biz” as both a trainer and pet shop owner, I can say without question that the Moderno Dog Crate is one of the most unique, well-designed and stylish dog crates available. It’s a great fit for households that want to give their pet a den-like hangout spot without sacrificing personal style. And my dog Millie thinks it’s pretty cool too!