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Does everyone crate train?

April 6th, 2006, 09:43 PM
I was just wondering how many of you all crate train puppies? With the pups i have had I never once used a crate for them and never had a problem, Mind you they were taught to be transported in carriers.
Why is it that crate training is such a necessity now a days? I dont personally like the idea one bit but to each their own i know. My pups were taught (with alot of patience ) that bed time meant, time to go to your bed, there has never been any problems with that. Yes the dogs have knocked over the garbage, peed on the floor and one dug a hole in my couch (which was old) my theory is "dogs do dog things" just teach them not to. What happened to thouroughly puppy proofing your home?
I know of a few people who have completely abused the "crate training" words, their dogs spent most of their puppy life in their crate! (I know they are not good pet parents and im not implying that all crate trainers do this by all means)
So back to the point of my thread now LOL how many of you crate train and why?

April 6th, 2006, 11:18 PM
I didn't even know about crate training when I got my dog as a puppy. :) We would shut her in the kitchen when we weren't home with baby gates blocking her from other parts of the house. Any messes were easily cleaned up.

I can see the usefulness of crate training, but I really don't agree with it unless there's no other choice. If a puppy wants to hang out in its crate as a safe area, that's fine, I understand that. But shutting a puppy in for hours at a time? Even only two hours . . . think how utterly BORING that must be, shut in with only the same ol' toys and barely any room. Ugh.


April 6th, 2006, 11:49 PM
I haven't had a full on puppy in a while, but with Boo, who was a chewer and wasn't fully house trained, we gave him a room. The puppies I fostered got a smallish room too. I don't like crates. They might work for a lot of people, but I just don't like them and so far, I've never had to use them.:thumbs up

April 7th, 2006, 12:15 AM
I have never crated trained our dogs till I got Royce, our furry cocker spaniel.

I do see some pros:

(1) If a stranger comes to visit and someone is not too fond of dogs.... I can put Royce in a crate and let him stay there for a while without him whining and barking....

(2) Unknowingly I had created a safe sanctuary for him. When he is scared, say when I'm vacuuming, he goes into his crate and takes a nap with a peaceful mind...It's HIS place where no one will bother him..

I also heard that crate training is very helpful when you have children. A place where the dog can chill away from children...

April 7th, 2006, 12:38 AM
My dogs have crates but during the day have free run of the house and a few walks too!! I found that during the house breaking time made it simple to train with a crate. My dogs crates are large, comfy and there are lots of chewy's and toys if needed. We are up at 5 a.m. every morning and most nights I am up until at least midnight. My dogs loooooooooove their crates its like curling up in THEIR bed for the night. The crates are open all day long and I find when they are having an afternoon snooze they CHOOSE to take it in their crates just as I would choose my bed to take a nap in. I work at home and am sure if I were out of the home for 8+ hours I would not crate them, but as they are only in there for the night when they would be sleeping anyhow its fine and they truly seem happy to be in there. I do want to stress that when Im awake they are NOT crated. I kind of see it as when I put my children to bed that is where they stay for the night, same with my furbabies....their bed is where they stay for the night. My dogs get LOTS of excersise and play for the majority of a 24 hours span and probably are crated for 4-5 hours a night. I guess to each their own this just works for us :)


jesse's mommy
April 7th, 2006, 05:02 AM
Growing up I never had to crate train a puppy, but as soon as we got our monster, things changed. We HAD to crate train her. It wasn't just for the sanity of keeping our things in the house, but for her safety. She wasn't a chewer on furniture or shoes, but on wires -- plugged in or not. For a week straight we came home to some kind of wire chewed into pieces, most of them were plugged in. Three electric blankets, two lamps, a space heater and a treadmill. Everything was plugged in except one of the blankets and one of the lamps. So, until she was old enough we had to use the crate. I really think it depends on the dog. If you have a dog that can't occupy themself with the million toys you have around while you are gone (like ours) then you need a crate, but if you have a dog than can keep themself occupied then you are fine. It truly depends on the dog.

By the way, after about eight months of crate training we were slowly able to give her free run of the house. Now all she does is sleep on the bed in our guest bedroom.

April 7th, 2006, 06:50 AM
I agree, it depends on the dog...
Sam was never crate trained. He had a room with baby gates, and he never chewed anything, and respected the gates. Maia on the other hand can climb any gate or gate combination, and chewed baseboards, chairs etc. She also was very difficult to housetrain, whereas Sam was a breeze for some reason.
Anyway, out of desperation I did buy a crate for Maia, and I very rarely close the door of it. She loves it, mostly because she can take a treat in there and Sam can't get in! She doesn't love being shut in, but it did help with house training and with the chewing stage she was in. Now, she respects gates if Sam is with her, but if she's alone she climbs them and ends up on the couch...
I reallly, really disagree with crating dogs all day while gone. Just not fair imo. (unless done for short periods for their own safety as above).

April 7th, 2006, 07:04 AM
Growing up we never crate trained our dogs. As a kid my first dog, Lassie, was not crate trained. She was not a chewer and was extremely easy to train. Shandy too was not crate trained. We got Blacky when he was already 6 months old and there was no need for a crate.

Then we got Misty, our beagle! At first I didn't like the idea of using a crate either. We had Dinah's (our cat) crarrier out for some reason one day and Misty went in and fell asleep! She was a very young puppy then. Good thing she liked the crate because she was definitely a chewer! She liked to chew everything! She was never locked in a crate and forgotten. I only put her in there while I went to classes and she slept. My classes were only a couple of hours. She slept on my bed with me at night and was loose during the day or tethered to me. We could never leave her out of our sight without her getting into something. Our house was puppy proofed, Misty liked chewing furniture! Misty eventually chewed her crate. She wasn't in it at the time. She would lie down next to it and chew the connectors!

Now Princess has her very own crate as well. She is not usually in there during the day unless we have to leave her alone for a little bit (no more than 30 minutes). Other than that she only sleeps in her crate. She is way too small to sleep on the bed. We are always afraid that she is going to fall off and hurt herself. She does occasionally sleep on the bed, usually on top of my dad's head! Once she is old enough, the crate will be used only when she feels like it. The door will either be left open or removed completely.

I definitely like the idea of crates as a safe haven for dogs. I don't like the fact that way too many people abuse crates.

April 7th, 2006, 09:29 AM
Crates are not for everyone. However we believe that if every dog was crate trained the shelters would not be so full. A dog who has this skill will have it for life - even if you don't regularly crate your dog. It can also prevent so many issues which send dogs so quickly out of the home - destruction being one of them. It also helps in potty training and can stave off seperation anxiety because the dog learns how to self entertain, patience and how to be alone. Some dogs can also feel more content in a small environment when you are gone.
We recommend it to all of our clients - better to have a skill than not!

April 7th, 2006, 09:32 AM
Thanks for saying that Tenderfoot, I totally agree!

April 7th, 2006, 09:40 AM
I have never crate trained but I think with some dogs it is the best thing. I have always given a pup a room when I was not home. But eventually it gets to be more and more till they have full run of the house. But I also live with dogs on bed and couches there are no rules about staying off furniture or out of certain rooms. If I did not want the dog to have run of the whole place I probably would consider it. I have friends that crate train and their dogs love the crate it is there safe place. As long as you never use it for punishment or leave them in it to long. Most of them now leave the crate open even when out and the dogs go into the crate on there own.

April 7th, 2006, 09:46 AM
I agree with tenderfoot. Also it is alot safer for the dog to be confined when it is young, no wires to chew, no walls to chew, or doors.....I believe 100% in crate training, and always will.
I have crate trained adult fosters, who were tied up their whole lives, so anything is possible with the right training methods

April 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
I believe in crate training 100%. As Tenderfoot said, it's a great skill. His housebreaking went smoothly, he has a safe-retreat should he need/want it, he can stay w/ friends/family with no problems and they don't have to worry about him getting into trouble at THEIR house, I know HE'S safe while I'm not home, I know my HOME is safe while I'm not home, I know my 2 cats are safe while I'm not home, he can attend daycare because he has this skill (the daycare I use crates during shift changes and lunch hour), if we travel with him he is content in his portable crate, if we have repair men in the house they can safely work without my dog underfoot, IMO crate training = peace of mind for me and my dog, inside and away from, my home.

I have never left my dog in his crate all day. If for some reason we are gone all day, he either attends daycare, or I arrange for a friend/family member to stay w/ him. The absolute most he stays in his crate is 5 hrs. He can go longer than that, but we make other arrangements so he doesn't HAVE to.

since I've crate trained in a constant positive way, my dog LOVES his crate(s). He voluntarily uses them - he sleeps in his bedroom one, he naps in his kitchen one, he lays quietly while I make dinner, clean the house or work. If I put my coat on and grab my keys, he goes right in, and lays down.

April 7th, 2006, 11:04 AM
I too agree with what Tenderfoot has said. Crate training is a wonderful skill to have. It is one that can be used during recovery time after a surgery.

When Misty had her knee surgery a few years ago, she had to be confined and a small room was not going to cut it. She wasn't allowed to get up and walk without someone supporting her back end and even then she was only allowed to go to the bathroom and back in. The vet was extremely happy to hear that Misty was crate trained and enjoyed her crate. It helped us and her in her recovery. I still believe that her quick recovery was in large part do to the crates assistance in helping us keep Misty quiet and calm. She wasn't stressed as she loves her crate. Of course we did take her out and allow her to stay with us in the living room, bedroom, etc., as long as she didn't get up and walk around.

Also due to Misty's medical conditions, she is required to spend some time at the vet's office every now and then for tests. The vet office staff always tell me how well behaved she is in the kennels. They tell me that she never barks nor whines, she just lies down and naps. They are usually shocked since most beagles are extremely vocal when confined. But, Misty enjoys her crate for naps. To her it is a safe area and she feels secure which helps in stressful times like these.

April 7th, 2006, 11:08 AM
Hi All
When we got Dale he was 8 months old and had really bad seperation anxiety, whenever we would leave him alone he would chew up everything. I really didn't want to crate him because I felt that it would cause him more stress, he would bark and cry even if we tried keeping him in the kitchen. So I worked with him a lot, I spent so much time leaving the house for one minute and returning and then I would leave for five minutes and come back. I must have done this a hundred times but eventually he realized that even though his mom had to go out sometimes she was always coming back. He is great on his own now and I never once had ot put him in a crate, I think every pet owner has to make the crate decision for themselves. I just like Dale to be able to play with his cat brother, run around the house and sleep in my bed when I am not home. I want him to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, not to mentionI love seeing his little face waiting for me in the window when I come home:)
Dale's Mom

April 7th, 2006, 01:57 PM
I think that crate training is wonderful. I personally didn't have to use it with Candi beacuse she wasn't a chewer, I just confined her to the bathroom when I was gone plus since I take her to work with me she's never alone more than 3 hours. However when we had our dobe we crate trained him because he would chew and eat anything he could get his mouth around. This ment wires, doors, and once he even ate dry wall right off the wall and we had to take him to the vet and they pumped his stomach, this is when we started the crate training. Before then we had never done it, but with him it was wonderful.

We also crate trained my mothers dog BJ who chewed as a puppy, but now that he has out grown that he has full run of the house when we are gone. After the dog is trained you don't have to keep putting them in the crate if you don't want to.

April 7th, 2006, 02:05 PM
I believe 100% in crate training. If you start putting your puppy in the crate when she is little she wil learn to love it. A crate is a safe place for you to leave your dog when you have to go out. There is so much trouble that a dog can get into when you are not around to watch her. It is much safer to put them in a place where they are not going to chew wires or get into other dangerous things.My alex walks right into her crate, its her home. A place where she feels safe. I just say, "get in your crate," and in she goes. I always leave the door open and she walks right in and takes a nap. A trick to getting your puppy to like the crate is to hide treats in with her blankets. I also place a few of alex's toys in the crate with her. :usa:

Lucky Rescue
April 7th, 2006, 05:03 PM
Why is it that crate training is such a necessity now a days? I dont personally like the idea one bit but to each their own i know.

I don't like it either. Never heard of putting dogs in small cages when I was younger. Dogs grew up hanging out with the family, since people didn't get puppies when they were out 10 hours a day.

What I do not like is that SO many people have dogs who are virtually living in crates. How many times on this board alone do we see someone saying, "I only crate when I'm working and at night." which amounts to about 16 hours out of 24 in a tiny cage. No wonder dogs these days have so many behavioral issues.

Crate training and crate living are very different.

April 7th, 2006, 08:28 PM
I too was initially 100% converted!

Until my fosters can prove they will not eat/destroy the house when I'm not there (or can't keep my eye on them) - they are asked to go in their crate (with some good toys, Kong, etc). It's for their own safety (I can always replace material goods) - I don't want to come home from the grocery store to find 'fluffy' has chocked on something / chewed a cord, etc....with my current cutie - it's also for the safety of my cats, as I don't trust her unsupervised with them -she *really* wants to play with them, but is just too big, and too boisterous....

The rescue group I volunteer for also strongly recommends crate training - for providing a 'safe, secure' place for the dog, and until the dog has 'earned' their space via training......

BUT - agreeing with what others have mentioned - it *must* be positive, short durations, and they need to be out running around & socializing for more hours than in the crate - although IMHO, nothing will ever replace good, consistent training to having a well behaved dog:thumbs up


April 8th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Personally, I hate crate training - it is too easy for people to abuse. I will never crate train a dog for housebreaking, separation anxiety or destructive problems!

I do however believe that a dog needs to feel comfortable in a crate for emergency situations/travelling/vet visits and I will also need one for when Dodger and I start trialing. Nonetheless, I will use crates as little as possible (and never in my dog(s) day-to-day life)...

April 8th, 2006, 08:58 PM
I wasn't sold on the idea until I researched how it's supposed to be done and then it made more sense to me. I don't crate train by the book, but I do have a cage for Hunter that is his home.

He will protest if he's in there and we are in the house and not playing WITH him, which makes perfect sense. He has room to move around, it's where he eats and sleeps. I put him in there when I go to school (2 hrs a day), when I need to clean the house (to keep him away from chemicals) and when he's overly excited. I put him in there with a treat. He's fine going in there at night to go to sleep and to eat - I think he appreciates the cage when it comes to meals.

Does he prefer to run around the house? YES! Does he retreat to the cage for safety? Not at all - not for himself anyhow. He goes to the corner of my loveseat. But I can't risk not being able to supervise him and then he messing with the cats.

April 9th, 2006, 05:39 AM
I don't like it either. Never heard of putting dogs in small cages when I was younger. Dogs grew up hanging out with the family, since people didn't get puppies when they were out 10 hours a day.

What I do not like is that SO many people have dogs who are virtually living in crates. How many times on this board alone do we see someone saying, "I only crate when I'm working and at night." which amounts to about 16 hours out of 24 in a tiny cage. No wonder dogs these days have so many behavioral issues.

Crate training and crate living are very different.

The length of time in a crate does not add to behavioural problems,
greyhounds on the track are crated 20 hours a day ming you their crates are biddere than household one being 4' by 4' . Those that have been crated on the track for a while are extremely easy to adapt ot household living and are very easy to housetrain and are well settled and well mannered, the ones who have not been crated but lived in kennels runs instead or spent very little time at the track are a whole lot more of a handful, it takes much long to housetrain, they will more likely be getting into things and chewing things up around the house, age is not even a factor the broodmom who never spent time at the track or very little of it are just the same, for a person who has never had a dog before and wants a greyhound, it is better to start them with a geyhoud who has spent a couple years on a track for that reason,

I actually now regret not having trained Nikki to a crate when she was younger, because if she has to be crated at the vet she totally panicks, the vet had trried sedating but even that did not help and he was reluctant to put her under while she was so stressed out, the vet had hoped she would tire out after a couple of hours, but no ways The only way we can manage now is to have Sunny stay with her in one of the larger kennels.

I don't currently crate but keep it on hand in the event a dog gets injured and to to be kept of strict bedrest, and when I go to greyhound event I use an x-pen so my greyhounds remain used to some confining

Lucky Rescue
April 9th, 2006, 08:59 AM
greyhounds on the track are crated 20 hours a day ming you their crates are biddere than household one being 4' by 4' .

Yes, I know, but they are constantly surrounded by other dogs, noise, people coming and going and are let out regularly.

Very different than one small puppy sitting totally alone in a crate in an empty house 8 hours a day with no stimulation, companionship or exercise of any kind.

April 9th, 2006, 09:35 AM
I think it is easy to say that anything in extremes is out of balance. But under normal circumstances under the care of knowledglegable, loving humans a crate trained dog fairs very well with the skill.
Example - we are caring for a mini poodle who is supposedly crate trained. I have to put her in the crate at night because we leave our door open at night to the deck and she could get scooped up by an owl, fox, coyote or lion. The crate in our bedroom ensures her safety. Unfortunately she is not so well crate trained and cried a good part of the night - this was stressful for her and our other dogs. Had she been better trained it would have been a breeze for her and the transition to our home would have been much smoother. By the time her parents return I can promise you her crate skills will be top notch and she will happily go in there to sleep.

April 9th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Joey came to us already crate trained. I have never personally crate trained a dog.

We use his crate sparingly if at all - and only if we think its for his safety - ie people coming in and out the front door - or if we need to leave the front door open and no - one can watch him.

Joeys crate is in the kitchen and has the door open for him all the time - he goes in there on occasion just to get away from it all but not to often.

My personal take on crate training is I think it is good to have a dog that is crate trained but it should not be used to put the dog in all the time. Like if you are home with you doggie I feel that the dog she be with his owners. :D

April 9th, 2006, 10:41 AM
I prefer to go by the individual dog/puppy. If they are destructive and it's honestly safer to use a crate when I can't watch their every move then I will. But I won't use one because it's convienent for me, like for housebreaking. If I couldn't devote the time to housetrain then I wouldn't get a puppy. Puppies require pretty much constant attention and training. They can't get that alone in a crate all day. IMO not to start any heated arguements. That's just how I feel about it.

With Bubba my Saint, we didn't need the crate. He didn't chew anything inapropriate, and slept through the night on my bedroom floor without having any accidents. As for housetraining, I swear it felt like was outside with him more than inside, lol. But it payed off and he had in total 4 pee accidents on the floor and NO poops inside.

I know everyone has a different opinion on whether to use a crate or not. In the end it's all up to you to do what works best for you and your pup.

Lucky Rescue
April 10th, 2006, 10:08 AM
But I won't use one because it's convienent for me, like for housebreaking. If I couldn't devote the time to housetrain then I wouldn't get a puppy. Puppies require pretty much constant attention and training. They can't get that alone in a crate all day. IMO not to start any heated arguements. That's just how I feel about it.

If more people felt the way you do, the shelters wouldn't be nearly so packed!!:thumbs up

April 10th, 2006, 10:19 AM
I agree, BUT certain dogs feel more secure, and safe in a crate. Harley was extremely easy to house train based on the crate and how many times a day I would allow him out and play. Everyone is different, just like all dogs are different. But having a puppy in a crate all day without socialization, or playtime or human affection will lead the dog to be antisocial, nervous and possibly fearful.
I will always use a crate, but moderation is key.. Would you allow an infant stay in a crib all day...Hell no, why should a puppy stay in a same scenerio....
You just have to learn how to use it... PROPERLY....Harley at 18 months old, still goes in his crate to eat bones( I taught him no wood floor) for that, and when too many people are over and he is tired I place in in the crate, other than that he has earned his stay out.....