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How important is getting the puppy used to a crate?

kismit
December 29th, 2005, 09:54 PM
We put our 9 week old in an upstairs bathroom with the crate. He got out the first night because the door wasn't tight enough. Now he goes spastic when we put him back in the crate at night. The thing is he seems to treat the bathroom as his den. Doesn't mess in it or chew the cabinets and sleeps through the night. When we are out for the day we have put him in the garage with a heater and his carrier and toys and he "holds it" until we get back which I find pretty amazing altho he is a Shepherd cross so is a pretty big pup. So long as he treats these places as well as he has are we okay not to force the crate thing?

Bushfire2000
December 29th, 2005, 10:40 PM
In my opinion to use a crate is a personal choice.
In some cases it's important to be able to confine the pup/dog safely in order to transport it, or in case of a Vet visit. Crates are also handy for providing security for your dog if you need to move it from room to room (ie. someone visits and they are allergic to dogs and you have to move it from the bathroom so your company can use the facilities) well then their bed moves with them.
Puppies don't like to be isolated from the rest of the family, you are their pack and they want to belong. Maybe confine him to the crate in the living room or kitchen which ever room you are in while you are home and the bedroom at night, where he can see you.
If you do decide to crate your puppy be aware of the fact that pups do cry if left alone and do stop after a while.
If you intend to let the puppy stay lose in the bathroom you will have to remove all lose or dangerous objects.
It might be funny the first time but believe me you don't want your puppy chewing on the toilet paper. Your puppy's going to grow and I don't know how big your bathroom is but he could possibly learn to open cupboards and get into things he shouldn't. Garbage cans can also be harmful to the puppy who knows whats in them. And toilet water is not good for them either, let alone the cleaners found in the bathroom, just soap can make your dog very sick.:sick:
Your puppy is only 9 weeks old it's great that he can hold it, but maybe the bathroom is not a good place, lino floor not withstanding. And I like the garage but if the bathrooms dangorous what do you find in the garage?

Leave him free or crate him that dosent really matter, what does matter is leaving him in a safe place (I'm not suggesting that you aren't just want to point out these hazards in case you haven't thought of them)

My dogs sleep in very different places. All of them can be confined to a crate and don't mind it. Lacey and Buster sleep with my youngest son. Cocoa mostly prefers to sleep in her crate unless it's really cold, then she joins the others on the bed. Mavis has a dog house but prefers to sleep on a hay stack no matter the weather.

mona_b
December 29th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Call me old fashioned,but my parents never crated(this wasn't heard of when I was a child)and the dogs turned out fine.So I never felt the need to with mine.

I had my kitchen blocked off.It was a good sized kitchen.And I puppy proofed it.And by 6 months they had free run of the house....:)

If you have puppyproofed your bathroom,and he seems to be doing fine,then let him be in there.I would also suggest you keep him there when you are gone instead of the garage.He can definately get into something that will seriously hurt him.

No you don't have to crate him if he is doing fine in the bathroom.BUT as one who has a GSD,they grow quick...So I would definately be looking for a bigger place to confine him.Can you block off the kitchen?

Also remember,a 9 week old puppy should not be "holding" it for more then 2 hours(I think it;s that long...Been 9 years since I had a pup)

And they should be getting fed 3-4 times a day.

Do you have someone to come in and feed and take him out while no one is home?

I would love to see some pics of him...:D

Prin
December 29th, 2005, 11:27 PM
I thought I was a minority, so I didn't want to say anything, but we always did exactly what Mona described. Puppy proofing is the key.

LM1313
December 29th, 2005, 11:46 PM
Our puppy, too, was left in the kitchen at night. I think it's fine! I would try to create positive experiences with the crate (like leaving goodies in there) just to make going to the vet less of a hassle, though.

~LM~

StaceyB
December 30th, 2005, 07:48 AM
A safe room is just as good as using a crate but seeing as you have one I would still get him used to using it. If you ever travel or go somewhere where you will need one you don't need to get him used to it when he is older.

Bushfire2000
December 30th, 2005, 08:14 PM
I don't do it now but, when the puppies were young, they were confined to my kitchen. I spent most of my time there anyway so they didn't mind. I put, as has been sugested elsewhere, a baby gate in the doorway. I use crates as housetraining tools and beds for naptime/bedtime. Cocoa has just graduated to freedom of the whole house. Well, not my bedroom or the laundry room but everywere else.

Your garage could be a safe place if it was puppyproofed. If you plan to keep him there long term you could make an inside/outside run for him. Use chain link and build an enclosure inside the garage and build an adjoining one on the outside of your garage with a dog door in between.

NaNa8
December 30th, 2005, 10:40 PM
Our last dog was a Golden Retriever (10 yrs ago) and we used the bathroom and did not have a problem at all. But I also was home all day with her for the first 4 mths of her life to train her what was acceptable and what was not. We never crated or kenneled her. We took her everywhere we went and was a great dog up until she died last January.

We now have a 7 mth old Chocolate Lab (Laci). We got her when she was 7 weeks old and also planned on not using a crate. Our laundry room is 9 x 11 and is on the main level of the house and thought this would be perfect place to keep her. We placed her bedding, food, water and toys (many chew and a few others). The only difference is that I now work full time. I am only 3 minutes from home so I come home everyday for lunch. I assumed that this would be a piece of cake and that the problems would be few.

The first week seemed okay, she would be waiting at the top of the stairs by one of the gates for us to come home. By the 2nd/3rd week she got bored with being left alone and the chewing on woodwork and her bedding and the gates started and increased.

When we were home she was also given the kitchen and family room to roam. For correction of her nipping at my family, the only option that worked was to place her in her area for a couple of minutes away from us. She would go to the already chewed woodwork and chew her frustation out. At this time we figured we would try a crate to see if this was a better place to "Time her out". We placed it in her room with the door open and at first threw in treats before leaving for work everyday and at lunchtime and she sometimes would be in there when we came home. She was also using it at night for sleeping. We were also able to use it for timeouts and lessen the damage to the woodwork and gates. And for during those times that we simply needed some time away from each other (mainly when I needed to clean and couldn't watch her). She now has free rein of the house, but her crate is still in the laundry room and she still uses it for a place to escape from grandkids and such.

The use of the crate also helped when we had to Kennel her when we needed to go out of town in an emergency and when they had to keep her all day at the vet. So tho we preferred not using one, Laci seemed to be in need of a crate for many different reasons.

JoAnne

catsnatcher-CDN
December 31st, 2005, 04:22 AM
I, too, had no choice but to crate my dog when we first brought him home. But every weekend we would test how long he could be left alone. We would leave for an hour and return to check the dammage. Then we would leave for an hour and a half, etc. Once we found his comfort zone, we would leave him uncrated for just so long. Eventually, he stopped making such a fuss.

Though we don't need to crate him anymore I'm glad that in cases of emergency, my dog has no problem being crated for a few hours without panicking.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
December 31st, 2005, 06:49 AM
Actually I think crates can be wonderful if the dog is used to them from a young age. If you think of it like a private place for your dog to hang out, and not lets shut him in his crate now. Joey goes in his crate when he wants to and when hes in there we leave him alone.

On occasion we may lock him in there when we go out, but thats only when I havent cleaned the house and I do it for his safety.

I would never use a crate for punishment, as you dont want your dog to associate being bad with the crate.

Last night I fixed the blanket in Joeys crate for him, he grabbed his new Tweetie bird and went right in.

Also I dont believe in just leaving the dog in the crate all day while you are home. Joey spents 95% of his time with us.

Lissa
December 31st, 2005, 11:48 AM
I personally do not like crates because I think they tend to be relied on too heavily... Dodger was never crate-trained because he had terrible separation anxiety...

However, as much as I do not like crates, I am thinking about trying again with Dodger - now that he's older his SA isn't as bad... A few reasons:

- needing to stay overnight at the vet's
- when we travel
- at motels
- at competitions, training clinics or dog camps (or boarding)
- in emergency's like fires or natural disasters

I don't really like other reasons for crate training but here are some:

- housebreaking
- letting a dog have a den (for instance if you have to move)
- destructive behaviours like chewing
- piece of mind
- when guests arrive or while they are visiting
- separating from other dog's or cats etc...

joeysmama
December 31st, 2005, 03:06 PM
I've been using the crate with Cooper but not relying on it heavily. He sleeps in it at night and he's more than fine with that. Not a peep. He knows the bedtime routine. He gets anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour in the grown up bed and then he goes to the crate. One night my husband put him down and got distracted before he put him in the crate and Cooper just walked in and layed himself down.

I keep him in the crate since we have not been able to successfully block off the kitchen. We tried, but there are three doorways--two of them quite wide and gates are just not holding on one of them. Plus we watched him as he very stubbornly tried to get through the small gap and almost wedged himself in. So that worked only if we were in the kitchen anyway. Now that he's been here a while we know his habits better and he doesn't slip off so we don't need to gate off the kitchen.

But if I'm going to be out I feel that he's safest in the crate. And when we're asleep as well. I look forward to the day when he can be trusted to know what's "NO" even if I'm not saying it. Then he can sleep in my room and have the run of the house. But right now, for his safety, I'm glad that he likes his crate.

But having said that I think he is ok with the crate because we don't overuse it. He's rarely alone so it's mostly just for sleeping at night. He's got anywhere from 2 to 4 grownups doting on him most of the time. Poor baby !! Do you think he's getting enough affection ??;)

mona_b
December 31st, 2005, 08:16 PM
- in emergency's like fires

This is not always the case.

I have been to many fire calls.And many times the family dog has parished in the fire.And lets just say the outcome of a dog/pup dying in a fire while in a crate is not a pretty picture.They suffer to the extreme.....:sad:

The fire dept is not looking for crated dogs.They don't have the time,unfortunately.They have a better chance of saving one that is loose in the house than one crated.

If your dog is crated,PLEASE have them in the same room as you.This way it will be much easier.

Also,I suggest that everyone should get the sticker that I have on my door.If you don't already have one.

It's a sticker stating that there are pets in the house,please save in case of fire.


If you think of it like a private place for your dog to hang out,

Tron has his private place..It's called the bedrooms,livingroom,bathroom,basement...Anywhere he wants to go to be alone.....LOL

Lissa
January 1st, 2006, 01:27 PM
This is not always the case.

I have been to many fire calls.And many times the family dog has parished in the fire.And lets just say the outcome of a dog/pup dying in a fire while in a crate is not a pretty picture.They suffer to the extreme.....:sad:

The fire dept is not looking for crated dogs.They don't have the time,unfortunately.They have a better chance of saving one that is loose in the house than one crated.

If your dog is crated,PLEASE have them in the same room as you.This way it will be much easier.

Also,I suggest that everyone should get the sticker that I have on my door.If you don't already have one.

It's a sticker stating that there are pets in the house,please save in case of fire.

Sorry, I wasn't clear...like I've stated before, my dog(s) will never be left in a crate for anything other than drastic situtaions...

So by emergencies like fires, I meant after the fact...when we are ALL out of the house - the last thing I'll be able to deal with are my pets on-leash, so having crates for them would be necessary to keep them safe and confined. This is especially important if I couldn't go home immediately - either I'd need to stay in a motel or with other members of my family (none of which have pets) so a crate would be necessary.

I do have those stickers too...on all the doors just in case;) !

joeysmama
January 1st, 2006, 02:04 PM
Where can I get those stickers? I always worry about fire when I'm not home.

mona_b
January 1st, 2006, 05:23 PM
So by emergencies like fires, I meant after the fact...when we are ALL out of the house - the last thing I'll be able to deal with are my pets on-leash, so having crates for them would be necessary to keep them safe and confined. This is especially important if I couldn't go home immediately - either I'd need to stay in a motel or with other members of my family (none of which have pets) so a crate would be necessary.

Gotcha....:D

See my worries are those who do have their dogs crated when they are not at home,and a fire breaks out.

joeysmama Where can I get those stickers? I always worry about fire when I'm not home.

You can check out your pet supply store.That's where I got mine MANY years ago.

papillonmama
January 1st, 2006, 08:46 PM
I wrote a long answer, but didn't want to elaborate quite so much. So here's my brief-er opinion.

I think it depends on the dog, some dogs enjoy the crate, it's their place, they feel safer in it when you leave them home alone. For me, it helped with the barking with the pap. But I only used it as a teaching tool, and now that I have more confidence that she isn't going to destroy everything she can get to, I let her stay out and leave the crate door open for her to go into to lie down when she wants. The pittie never used a crate at all.

I use the crate for my cats mostly now, I put the cats in it before I get ready to leave my house so they don't take off into the streets. I have two little kids and getting everyone outside can be a challenge. :p

StaceyB
January 2nd, 2006, 07:41 AM
I don't agree with putting a dog away so to speak when someone comes over. I do however think that the crate is a great training tool. Remember that not everyone has the same routine as others and when you are dealing with young dogs that are still chewing or getting into things, I would much prefer that I knew that my dogs had not choked on something while I was away. If you are home all the time then fine don't use a crate but if you are not then they do have a useful purpose.
Dogs with separation anxiety or very young puppies usually can't be crated during the day. You never want to crate a puppy for longer than they can physically hold and those with SA usually can't be crated at all. You will know if they try to harm themselves trying to get out.

mona_b
January 2nd, 2006, 08:13 AM
I don't agree with putting a dog away so to speak when someone comes over.

I have to agree with this.

This is not a good method in regards to socializing and teaching them how to act with people.

What I mean by that is how can you teach the dog socializing and good manners if he is going to be locked up everytime someone comes over?

I can understand if a visitor has a fear of dogs.I have gone trough this.Mostly my daughters friends.And the reason being is because Tron is a retired Police Dog,they think he is a vicious dog...But I think they are starting to come to terms with him.They are realizing he isn't.:)

joeysmama
January 2nd, 2006, 09:34 AM
Cooper just LOVES when people come over and would be devastated if we put him away. Aside from his over exuberance when people first arrive he's great with company. I put him in the crate the other day when furniture was being delivered because the door was open, men were in and out and he wanted to be underfoot (he's very small and might have been stepped on)and there were strips of some plastic type of fabric lying around. It wasn't safe and he was going berserk in my arms. Wiggling and jumping and refusing to be held. He wanted soo badly to make friends and see what was going on. It didn't take long and the minute I closed the door behind the deliverymen I let him out and he went flying to door to try to find them. He's more social than any animal--or human-- I've ever met. Too cute !!!

I would much prefer that I knew that my dogs had not choked on something while I was away.

That's my big fear ! This puppy is into everything. He can jump so high to get something he shouldn't that we called him a flying squirrel the other day. He found a Santa hat and yanked the ball off the top and had the whole thing in his mouth. In a matter of seconds. While we were trying to stop him. He chases his toys into tight spots and we have to watch that he doesn't get wedged in or bring something down on his head.

Puppies are a lot of work !;) But there is almost always someone with him. I mean right with him !! Like having a toddler.

StaceyB
January 2nd, 2006, 10:00 AM
[QUOTE=joeysmama

Puppies are a lot of work !;) But there is almost always someone with him. I mean right with him !! Like having a toddler.[/QUOTE]

That is pretty much what it is like.

joeysmama
January 2nd, 2006, 10:48 AM
Stacey, it really is isn't it ?? Just to clarify though--I'm not complaining !! It's a lot of work but a lot of fun too !!:party:

StaceyB
January 2nd, 2006, 11:18 AM
Yes, nothing better than a puppy and all the stuff that goes with it. The best is when you see what your puppy becomes with all your hard work.

tenderfoot
January 2nd, 2006, 12:11 PM
Sorry I am jumping in so late - but from our experience a dog that is crate trained is more likely to remain in their original home for life because a crate trained dog is easier to manage and often doesn't have the behavioral problems many other dogs do.
That is not to say that you can't raise a great dog without one. And some people may raise 50 dogs and never need one - it then becomes both a reflection of the person and the individual dogs.
These days life is soooo busy and few people can afford the time and energy it takes to watch a young pup 24/7. Crates provide a safe haven and dogs often look at the crate as their special place to relax. It can prevent separation anxiety, chewing problems, soiling problems etc. It is NEVER a replacement for good training and time well spent, but it can help tremendously along the way.
Don't judge a dogs behavior by his behavior when he is 9 weeks old. That's like saying a mellow baby will be the same when he is a toddler or teenager. Many changes have yet to take place and as he matures you will get a much better idea as to his level of mellowness.