To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

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hellogoodfriiend
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To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by hellogoodfriiend » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:29 pm

So my mom and I have this discussion about crating dogs ALL the time. Spencer is a little over 1 1/2 years old and at night we still crate him. Now, my mom sometimes feels like its a 'punishment.' But honestly, I think he really likes it! Before the last person in my house goes to bed we bring Spencer downstairs in the basement to his crate and he willingly goes! He never gives us a problem or cries. I actually think he gets rest in there. And, it is a decent size crate (i know, they are only supposed to have a crate that they can comfortably lie in, but he was really great with the outside training and NEVER goes in the crate) So, whats your opinion? I think its more like their 'safe zone' (as Victoria pointed out in the recent episode with Rocky). We have 5 people that are constatnly moving in our house all day and I feel like the crate at night is where he really gets his rest.

So the question is--to crate or not to crate?? what to you guys thinkk?
<3 teresa (:


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emmabeth
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by emmabeth » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:42 pm

Mixed on this one - yes I think crates are extremely useful and yes I think dogs can an ddo (and should) view their crate as a safe zone and a quiet den to rest in.

However, in most familys and especially in ones where people are out during the day, but even in oens where someone is home most of the time, i don not like dogs crated in rooms far far away from their people, its wholly unnatural for a dog to be alone, far away from his group of people.

My dogs sleep on, in and under my bed and thats my personal choice and I recognise that it isnt for everyone and it doesnt have to be, but I do think dogs really do benefit from sleeping within close earshot of us if not in the same room - for dogs who spend a large part of the day alone i think it only fair that they sleep in the same room as you, by all means crated if thats what you prefer, or in their own bed if not on your bed itself.

So - ponder that one, I am not saying you need to change what you are doing at the moment, but why must your dog sleep all the way down in the basement..... could he not be crated in a hallway or someones room?
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leslie123
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by leslie123 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:08 pm

We used an actual crate for maybe 2-3 weeks. He outgrew the small one we had very quickly! We bought a doggie playpen to use in its place. Its a bigger area than a crate. Sulley spent the first few weeks hanging out in the kitchen anyway. That was his choice of place to be. We're pretty sure he didn't have a lot of human interaction when he was with his mom and littermates. They were all found living under a trailer when the pups were only about 6-7 weeks old. So he took a while to warm up to being with us, and we just let him do it in his own time. Anyway, we set his pen up in the kitchen. Its still there and he sleeps there at night. He also goes in there when nobody is home, but I don't work outside the home so its not everyday that he's in there and when he is, its rarely more than 3 hours. The pen has no top and its not secured down or to the wall. He could easily get out of it if he wanted to and he never has tried, so we take that as him not minding it. The other consideration we have is our two cats. Having Sulley in his pen at night gives the cats a chance to freely roam the house too,(without looking over their shoulder, lol) so it works out for everyone. Personally I can't imagine not having the pen (crate if you like) for him. For a puppy especially, it certainly helps avoid a lot of frustration over accidents and/or destruction. Not an expert, but just my experience.

Belleange89
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by Belleange89 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:35 pm

We kept our dog in a crate for about 2 years. Ever since we got her she has been comfortable with it and sees it as her spot. We stopped using it a year ago because 1. We have created a den like space for her in the absence of the crate 2. her crate broke in the move and 3. she doesn't give any sort of problem without the crate. We have been considering bringing it back though to give us more control over her movement (sometimes she gets in the bed and I'm allergic so it makes it pretty un-fun for me).

I must say though, I would never leave her in another room or on the other side of the house. She's always been right next to us.

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nightsrainfall
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by nightsrainfall » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:44 pm

My father loves dogs but is allergic. The schnauzer they have was always crated at night but in a separate room (allergies so doctor advised no dog in bedroom). The dog is not asked to go in the crate at any time other than night and no one being home. Funny thing is the dog when given the option to sleep out or in a bedroom somewhere, will go back to his crate even if not put in. Actually he, the dog, goes to "bed" at 9pm every night sometimes before everyone else - in his crate. That's also where he goes to take a nap every now and again during the day even if others are in a different room. But he's been sleeping in his crate and put in it when people are out of the house since he was a puppy. He's 11 now.

I think it's going to be dependent on your family and dog.
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Mattie
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by Mattie » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:28 am

At the moment 3 of my dogs can sleep on my bed or in any of the dog beds on the floor except Cyril, he is new, I have only had him 5 week, when he first came he didn't sleep through the night he wanted to play. He would also pee on the bed if given the chance as well as keep me and my other dogs awake. Cyril is crated at night but in my bedroom were I can talk to him when he wakes up. He is not learning that bed means sleeping through the night. Once he can be trusted out of the crate he will join my other 3 dogs sleeping were he wants.
Before the last person in my house goes to bed we bring Spencer downstairs in the basement to his crate and he willingly goes! He never gives us a problem or cries.
Just because he going in willingly and doesn't cry doesn't mean he likes sleeping in the basement on his own, Cyril races to his crate when I open my bedroom door, this isn't because he likes sleeping in there he doesn't, but to stop another dog going in before him, Dolly is likely to do this. He hates sleeping in a crate, he would prefer to be loose.

There are a lot of signs you can see in your dog if you know how to recognise them, dogs talk a lot by their body language, the more we can understand their body language the better the relationship we have with them. It is hard learning their body language but well worth the effort. There is a thread in the Articles section with several clips of body language, welll worth looking at.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

ladybug1802
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by ladybug1802 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:44 am

I have a crate for Dylan, but I only got it, and only use it, because he is not great when people come in the house. Once people are in, and he has seen that they are OK, he is OK. So he has a very large crate in the corner of the living room, it has a big comfy duvet in it, some toys and half of it is covered with a throw. The door is open all the time and he alternates his chill out time between lying in there and lying on his bed. The other night I was watching tv and he just took himself into his crate, curled up at the back of it and went to sleep! Then a little later he came out and over to me for a cuddle. I have trained him now so that if the doorbell rings, or I say "crats" he runs straight in there. He loves it and sees it as his safe place, but the only time the door is shut is when people come into the house. He is then let out again once the people are settled and he has calmed down. The rest of the time the door is open and he can go in if he wants, and come out when he wants.

I am not a big believer of shutting dogs in crates, in separate rooms away from the rest of the family, and I would always rather my dog was loose in the house. At night my dog has the whole of the downstairs....he could come upstairs but I have trained him not to unless asked.

I think a lot of the time people expect their dog to go straight into a crate, with no training, and expect it to be happy shut in there for a fairly long time. If the dog has been trained to the crate, and does like it, then I think it is a good thing to have when needed....but a lot of the time I dont think they are really needed. I also think people sometimes use the crate as a way to get the dog 'out of the way' which I think is terribly sad. Dogs should be part of the family. When I am at work Dylan goes to my friend for the day whop is a dog walker, so he is around other dogs and is not alone...but even so, when I pick him up, i still like to give hima load of fuss, play with him and interact with him because I havent seen him since that morning.

I think Emmabeth has a good point.....why does your dog have to be crated in the basement? Its the darkest, most isolated place iun the house I imaagine......he may noit cry or resist going in, because he knows that is what he is expected to do...but doesnt mean he is happy with it. Why do you feel you need to crate him at night? I think if you had the crate in the main house, with the door open, and then let HIM choose where he slept....you would then see if he truly does love the crate or not.

hellogoodfriiend
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by hellogoodfriiend » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:34 am

Thanks so much for the responses guys! You all have some really great insight!

The reason why we crate him in the basement was because when my mom was trying to get my sister ready for school in the morning, he would cry and bark and just drive my mom insane. so she decided that we were going to put his crate in the basement for some quiet time. unfortunatly, she is against having the dog in the bed with us. I mean, as soon as we take him out we all kiss and hug him in the morning and then he doesn't go back in until bedtime. if we leave to run errands he has full run of the middle floor of my house. Nightsrainfall--thats so funny that you talk about 'bedtime' because around 11:00 Spencer will sit by the basement door waiting for someone to take him "goodnight." ladybug1802, you make a really good point. now that i think back, when we were remodeling the basement we put the crate in the kitchen and every night Spencer would end up curled all the way in the back.

hmmm, i'm still a little tossed at the idea. haha...i guess like some of you have said, it depends on the dog. i'd like to get rid of it eventually, maybe as he starts getting older and maturing. of course my mom worries about it being a 'punishment,' i'm really not sure. lol thank you guys so much for the advice!!
<3 teresa (:


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Deirdre
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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by Deirdre » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:09 am

When we re-homed Dexter he was already crate trained for night.. and I have to admit I was against it at first, but the little guy goes and gets his blanket and into the crate he goes about the same time every evening (after being walked and pottied). I don't like the door closed so when he was staying with us we tried to leave the door open but he wouldn't sleep! He would just come out and stare at us and go back and forth into and out of the crate! So I believe, at least for Dexter, it is a security thing.. it's very much like the routines we use to go through when our kids were little (in the room rather than a crate :D). I know and have no problem accepting that he is a dog but with this it seems very much like he wants to be securly tucked in at night. I NEVER use the crate for punishment or confinement during the day and at the end of the day, off he goes to find his blanket and off to the crate (den) he goes, no muss no fuss just make sure you close the door and he will sleep a full 8 hours! I guess he looks for his proper place in the house and the crate (den) is comfortable for him...

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Re: To crate or not to crate? --that is the question!

Post by Sarah83 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:02 pm

I don't crate at night as Rupe sleeps upstairs on the spare room bed. I do crate while I'm out though and while I'm hoovering as he has a tendency to stand and stare at the front of the hoover and get in my way. Rupe's is in the dining room and he quite often goes and lies in there of his own accord. It's just another bed to him I guess.

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