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I'm thinking of getting a soft side crate that can easily be set up and taken down for travel. Any suggestions? I saw a lot at the agility event in PHX this weekend but forgot to ask anyone. Durable with two doors would be nice....and bang for the buck is always a big plus.

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I use soft sided crates when I am staying at hotels with my dogs. This is similar to the style that I have.

 

http://www.dog.com/item/travel-lite-soft-dog-crate/496657/

 

My suggestion would be to stay away from anything nylon or really "cheap". The ones that I have have stiff poles for the frame and are a canvas material with the mesh windows on all sides. My dogs have not attempted to unzipper their crates.(The BC that I grew up with knew how to unzipper the tent when we were camping.) The crates that I have also collapse flat and came with a bag to carry them in which is very handy.

 

I do not leave my dogs unattended in them for long periods of time. Only quick trips down to the car, continental breakfast, etc.

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I use soft sided crates when I am staying at hotels with my dogs. This is similar to the style that I have.

 

http://www.dog.com/item/travel-lite-soft-dog-crate/496657/

 

My suggestion would be to stay away from anything nylon or really "cheap". The ones that I have have stiff poles for the frame and are a canvas material with the mesh windows on all sides. My dogs have not attempted to unzipper their crates.(The BC that I grew up with knew how to unzipper the tent when we were camping.) The crates that I have also collapse flat and came with a bag to carry them in which is very handy.

 

I do not leave my dogs unattended in them for long periods of time. Only quick trips down to the car, continental breakfast, etc.

 

Yeah, I'm not looking for the ones with the springy frame and durable and well made are always at the top of my list. This one caught my eye: NOZTONOZ

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We bought this one from Fosters & Smith probably in 2005 or so and it still is in pretty good shape. We use it for all trips and it does fold flat and has the metal tubing for the frame. At this point we just leave the door open and she comes and goes as she pleases, but it does seem to have held up well.

 

Here she is crashed out in it last summer in St Louis after her run in with the cannons after the Cardinals game.

 

DSC04659.jpg

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I only use the crates at agility trials, and both my guys settle well in their crates. One has opened the zip, but that was solved by making sure the zip was closed at the top, not where paws could work on it. I get away with cheap crates, the main thing I was looking for was curtains that came down over the sides so that I did not have to bring covers, which just annoy me. It was hard to find a good quality crate with those.

I think your choice of crate will depend on wiggly your dogs are in their crate.

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I only use the crates at agility trials, and both my guys settle well in their crates. One has opened the zip, but that was solved by making sure the zip was closed at the top, not where paws could work on it. I get away with cheap crates, the main thing I was looking for was curtains that came down over the sides so that I did not have to bring covers, which just annoy me. It was hard to find a good quality crate with those.

I think your choice of crate will depend on wiggly your dogs are in their crate.

 

My favorite is the Cabana Crate. They are supposed to be coming out with a new improved version in the near future. They are super easy to set up and are well made. My next favorite is the Noz2Noz. I have both and use them regularly at shows and class. Both have held up well.

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I think I might have the same one as John. Is it a convertible? :)

 

xcknqa.jpg

 

Anywho, I think it depends on how your dog is in the crate, and what you need it for. My dogs aren't escape artists, and I've never had any problems with this one. It's not expensive, and I think I actually got it at either Walmart online or Big Lots. Had it for at least 5 years now. It has a front door and an open window on the other end, which I like for cross ventilation at trials.

 

I've heard good things about the Cabana Crates and Noz2Noz, but they are pricey. Oh, and I have another crate, made by Outward Hound. It's ok, but a real pain to put together, so I don't use it.

 

ETA: I just saw the link that Lewis Moon (sorry, don't know your real name) posted for the NozToNoz, and mine looks exactly like that, different brand. Not sure if the construction is the same, but I paid a LOT less that that for it.

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I have a Petnation Portacrate, which I got from WalMart. It was the tubular frame and is pretty sturdy. Only a front door and top opening, no side door. Definitely cheaper than the Noz2Noz brand, and looks essentially the same. Mine doesn't have the little bone-shaped windows though, just regular rectangles. I use it at sheepdog trials and haven't had any problems, but then my dogs tend to behave.

 

J.

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I have mixed feelings about soft crates. They are fairly light and easily transportable because they fold up. On the other hand, if your dog is not good in crates in general, no soft crate is going to hold up. I don't think you have to buy a high end crate to get a decent soft crate. I would look for one that sets up/breaks down easily, has ventilation screens and has no dangerous parts for the dog.

 

I have found that the fold-up wire crates are just as easy to set up and break down and are much safer for your dog if you are worried that your dog might break through a soft one. There is very little difference in size between a fold-up wire crate or soft crate, but the weight difference can be an issue. Also, I tend to bring a piece of upholstery fabric to drape over the crate to make it more den-like. (I bought an ugly piece of durable upholstery fabric (~ 60" X 72") at a Goodwill store for $2.)

 

I also like the wire crates because I can clamp a water bowl on one of the wires, whereas I haven't figured out how to provide water to my dog in a soft crate other than to put a little bowl on the floor - which will probably be tipped over. (Can someone tell me how to provide water in a soft crate?)

 

If you have a really well-behaved dog, you can use an X-pen. I just mention this because I was at a recent agility trial and saw a BC 'penned' in a 2-foot high X-pen. Every time I walked by, I marvelled at how calm he was. He just lay on his blanket, watching all the commotion and not reacting. When I said hi to him, he would raise his head and wag his tail, but never tried to go over the 2-foot barrier. Amazing!! My dog would pop over the pen in a second.

 

Jovi

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I have a Petnation Portacrate, which I got from WalMart. It was the tubular frame and is pretty sturdy. Only a front door and top opening, no side door. Definitely cheaper than the Noz2Noz brand, and looks essentially the same. Mine doesn't have the little bone-shaped windows though, just regular rectangles. I use it at sheepdog trials and haven't had any problems, but then my dogs tend to behave.

 

J.

 

I think that's the one I have, too. I didn't recognize it with the bone shaped windows, but pretty sure it's the same brand and crate. I couldn't find the right size at Walmart, but got it online from them. Pretty sure the shipping was free, too.

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I have a Petnation Portacrate, which I got from WalMart. It was the tubular frame and is pretty sturdy. Only a front door and top opening, no side door. Definitely cheaper than the Noz2Noz brand, and looks essentially the same. Mine doesn't have the little bone-shaped windows though, just regular rectangles. I use it at sheepdog trials and haven't had any problems, but then my dogs tend to behave.

 

J.

 

I think I'd like to have a side door, too. It just makes the crate easier to place in tight hotel rooms, etc. Cerb is a complete gentleman in his crate, he just goes in and goes to sleep, so a cheaper one might be OK, I just don't want it to fall apart at the seams or have the zippers blow out.

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I think I might have the same one as John. Is it a convertible? :)

xcknqa.jpg

 

OMG! I love that picture! :wub:

 

I just want to add, that my dogs are well bahaved in their soft crates. I am not worried about them destroying the crates, I just don't like to leave them alone in a hotel for a long period of time. Before I had a car that I could anchor down metal crates in I left my dogs behind the car in soft crates at clinics, lessons, or trials. They behaved just fine. And as for providing water in soft crates, I just use their ceramic bowls in there.

 

I got a wicked deal on the soft crates that I have from dog.com. I think I got them for $20 each plus shipping. They show no signs of wear after 2 years of service and I haul them around pretty regularly.

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xcknqa.jpg

 

Oh, I love this pic (and crate!). wub.gif

 

I got a large soft crate off eBay for about $40. I also have a Cabana Crate that must be about 10 years old and a soft ex-pen too. Oh, and a really cheap pop-up nylon crate from Target.

 

As you can see in this video, for some, breaking out is a real possibility LOL.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZqJwavU3l8

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The one I got at WalMart seems pretty well made. I use it because when I reconfigured the van to include two large crates (for Pip and Ranger) I could no longer fit a fifth intermediate crate. So Lark got a medium crate to ride in on top of Pip's large crate. I don't mind her riding in the smaller crate, but wouldn't want her stuck in it for long periods at trials, hence the folding crate. Now generally I go to trials only to set sheep, which means I have one or more dogs out of their crates anyway (working) so just play musical crates with the other dogs.

 

My set out partner has a couple of those cheaper pop up crates and we had plenty of entertainment at Donald McCaig's trial watching her Dillon roll the hamster ball down the long, sloping drive beside where we were setting sheep. Fortunately the ground was rough enough that he didn't roll all the way to the river! :D

 

I could leave Lark in the soft-sided crate in a hotel room, but don't generally crate anything but puppies in hotel rooms anyway. The pup would also be fine in a soft crate, but I don't leave anyone behind in crates; if I have to leave the room for any length of time, they all get loaded in the van and go with....

 

If I did need a sturdy crate for in the hotel, Ranger's Kennel-Aire crate is at the back of the van with no other crate on top, so I'd just drag that into the room.

 

J.

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I think I might have the same one as John. Is it a convertible? :)

 

xcknqa.jpg

 

 

Paula, I think I have this same crate. I've had it for three years now I think. It has held up very well. I also have this one:

http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/16209/Guardian-Gear-Extra-Large-Red-and-Blue-Collapsible-Dog-Crate?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse

 

I don't think the quality is as nice as my other one. But I got it for a steal; $50 at a going out of business pet store. I used it at an agility trial recently for both Georgia and Tex. I was about to run Tex and looked back at the crate and saw Georgia bouncing it. Had to make a mad dash to get someone to hold her during Tex's run. In the future for Georgia I will be bringing a wire crate. But Tex can be trusted in a soft crate.

 

If you are at all concerned about him letting himself out, I would opt for the hard crates. They heavier, but trustworthy.

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I bought my first cheap ones 2 years ago, I think I paid $30 bucks a piece heavily on sale at pecto, the one I use most has a broken entry zipper which we will fix by hand eventually if my husband can fix sails at sea he can sew in a zip :D I was using this crate at least twice a week, inside a horse ring, on grass all sorts of places. I think if I had cleaned the zip it would have lasted longer, I think it was hair and dirt getting caught that caused it to break.

This might not be a consideration for you, some of the very sturdy ones are as heavy as a wire crate. I think for my dogs they are really just a suggestion that this were you settle and they do. They could both break out if so inclined.

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I bought a PortaPet soft-sided dog crate from Amazon. I waffled on the size and went with a "medium" (after comparing their measurements to the measurements of our existing crates). It even arrived with a picture of a Border collie on the box. But... it was way too small for my 43-pound guy, so I exchanged it for the large size. Seems like there are cheaper alternatives; I mainly wanted to make you aware of some of the sizing issues.

 

It gets almost no use (and I should probably sell it). (I would have said "no use whatsoever", but I did dig it out of the garage the other week when I needed to make sure he wasn't attempting stairs when I couldn't be home to watch him, and his wire crate was elsewhere). Instead, we tend to travel with the wire crate. I only crate Duncan when we're traveling AND we find ourselves in a situation where I can't directly supervise him. Although I'm FAIRLY sure he wouldn't try to break out of a soft-sided crate, and he shows no sign of being sensitive to noises, why chance it? I guess you just never know when a car in a parking lot could backfire if you were having dinner and were counting on a soft-sided crate to contain your dog in the hotel room. The wire crate, though heavier than a soft-sided one, does fold up nicely for hauling around. You do have the added benefit of being able to use it to secure a dog while in the car.

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Yeah, I agree that the folding wire crates are great, too, and other than being heavier, don't really take up much more room in the car. And they actually take up less room than the canvas ones, once they're assembled. We have to use wire crates for flyball tournaments, anyway, so I use both those and the soft crate equally.

 

And, I also agree about the crating in the hotel room even with well behaved dogs. We've had a housekeeper walk in a hotel room with our dogs loose in the room, and if we hadn't been there, Will would've gone on a walkabout, I'm sure. Alex is too good to leave without permission, but Willie didn't get the memo. :lol:

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I'm surprised that people leave their dogs in hotel rooms when they're not there. Every hotel I have ever stayed in has had a policy that pets must not be left in rooms unattended. I know once someone did just that though and their damn dog barked the entire time they were gone--real nice for the rest of us....

 

J.

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I just stayed at a Hampton in Raleigh. While I would not leave Tex alone in a hotel room, the Hampton's policy was that if a dog was to be left alone, they were to be securely crated. I did hear quite a few other dogs barking, though.

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Yep, most of the ones I've stayed at just say unattended dogs must be crated. I never leave mine for longer than, say the time it takes to go out for dinner. And if I had barkers, I'd just order in, but luckily they're not. However, I can't say the same for others! They most always put the dog people close by, and I'm amazed at the barking that goes on sometimes.

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Iceland is pretty dog unfriendly in such matters; hotels restaurants bars etc are with very little exception off limits for dogs (or other animals for that matter).

Crating in the car is usually the only option. Even campingsites that welcome dogs are pretty rare.

Though my Kuggur spend a luxurious night in a hotel at a small village when we could´t get home due to a blizzard. Very cold and the hotelowner was a reasonable man, and allowed him to stay in the hotelroom´s bathroom.

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