If you get a crate with a door with vertical bars, be sure they are close enough together so that the dog cannot chew in between them or get his teeth around the bars. Be sure the fastener for the door is a good one - it has been found that window locks make good fasteners - and it is wise to have a hasp on the door as well. If the crate is a well made one, these things will be incorporated.
The wooden crate may be painted or, preferably, varnished with a good grade of spar varnish. Remember the crate should be washed out after every trip whether or not it has been soiled.
The first few times a dog rides to a show in a crate it is wise to line the floor of the crate with newspapers and then tear some newspapers in strips on top of the lining. If the dog gets carsick you can empty all the papers at one time. The torn strips will help keep the dog clean until you get to your destination. Because of their small size they tend to cover over any moisture or soil. Later on you will probably line the floor of the crate with an old towel. Newspaper has the one disadvantage of leaving smudges on a light-colored dog.
At some of the shows you will find plenty of assistance in getting your crate out of your car and into the crate space provided. At smaller shows you may have to take care of this yourself. Be sure to tip the people who help you load and unload your crate, as they are very rarely paid to do this by the club. If they are paid by the club and are told not to take any tips, they will so advise you.
At an outdoor show, when placing your crate in the space provided, be sure it is on level ground. The crate that tips is not easy to work on and the dog is uncomfortable in one that jiggles around. Upon your arrival, notice the direction in which the sun is traveling and don't place your crate where the afternoon sun will shine directly on it. At indoor shows watch for drafts from doors which must be opened, and watch out for radiators. Give yourself enough room so that you can work on your dog on the crate top without being crowded, and consider your neighbor; don't crowd him. On the other hand, don't be selfish and take more room than you actually need. This crate space is usually very crowded.
If you do not use a crate, you will have none of these problems to think about. At a benched show just make your bench your headquarters. At an unbenched show, however, be cautious about leaving your dog in the parked car. While you may park the car in the shade of a large tree upon your arrival, the sun moves, and very shortly the car may be sitting out in the broiling sun. It gets unbearably hot in a closed car, and occasionally a fine animal loses his life due to the carelessness and thoughtlessness of his owner. If the dog does not die of suffocation, he may have a heat stroke. If it is a hot day, take the dog with you and try to keep him in the shade.
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