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For those of you who crate train...

June 24th, 2006, 09:08 AM
I have a question for those of you that crate trained your puppies/ dogs. I am trying to decide if we should continue to have our 1 year old sleep in her crate at night or not. She really doesn't seem to like going in it but she settles down right away once inside. Part of me wants to keep her sleeping in the crate at night for various reasons. I am a light sleeper so her wandering around at night (if she did) would keep me up. Also, if we travel, it's nice to know that being in a crate won't freak her out. Another reason is my bf and I have different schedules so often I get up first and leave for work and Indy stays in the crate until he gets up. If she wasn't in the crate, would she expect and need to go out as soon as one of us is up? HOwever, she seems to really just want to sleep by the bed and the other part of me is fine with that. So!
1) For those of you who crate trained your puppy and then stopped...what were your reasons? Where does your dog sleep now?
2) for those of you who are still crating your adult dog, what were your reasons for continuing to do so?
I am just curious to see what people are doing and have done. Thanks!

June 24th, 2006, 11:45 AM
Hi Tracy!

My Chloe (now a 16 mos old lab) has been crate trained since she was 8 weeks old. We live in a condo and had the crate in the main room because that's where we were most of the time. At around 11 mos, we started to leave Chloe out of her crate at nights (although we kept the crate out) in the main room while my husband and I slept in our bedroom with the door closed. We decided to do this because we noticed that she was really calming down and not chewing stuff anymore. That worked great... when we got up in the mornings, she would be taken out within 30 mins.

Two month later, we put away the crate entirely and she was left to wander around the condo during the day and night as she pleased. No accidents, just a happy dog. We decided to do that because it would give her freedom to roam around and she was maturing/ calming down significantly.

Now, Chloe has two "beds" - one in the mainroom (where the crate used to be) and one in our bedroom beside our bed. Chloe follows us into our bedroom at nights and sleeps until she hears our alarm clock go off. During the days, she sleeps on the bed outside.

Sometimes when we're cleaning/ need her to be in her crate, we bring out the crate and she still goes in with no fuss. Bottom line - I never had the intent of keeping her crated forever... I used it more as a training/ safe haven for her while she was a puppy. Now, I can trust her to leave her out and do as she pleases while we're at work. Some of her favourite pasttimes - sleep on her bed, look out the window and watch the cars go by, sleeps under our dining table.

My only advice is that if you plan on phasing out the crate, do it in gradual increments because you are taking her "home" away. She/he needs to adjust to the idea, understand what you're trying to do and learn that a key to it is trust!

Good luck with your decision!

June 24th, 2006, 12:02 PM
I stopped crate training, but the crate is still out. Harley has not been in a crate at night since 5 months old. He has always either slept on my bed, or on the floor in my room.
When you get up, in the crate or not, she should be let out to at least pee.
Once again I state, I have never had any dominance issues with my dog, he has earned his right on my bed

June 24th, 2006, 12:20 PM
I work 8 hours and am unable to get home for lunch so I prefer not crate for this long a period, 2 sleep on the floor next to my bed one is allowed on the bed, in this she is extremely submissive and it helps with her confidence around me. my more dominant is allowed on the couch so it helps to keep his nose from getting out of joint, with me giving special privileges to a lower ranking dog. plus I don't want him up on the bed for his own sake he has some back problems and had broke his leg so the bed height could aggravate these problems, when I get up the dogs do get up right away and a ready to go outside, but I live alone so that has become part of their routine, I know of families who are likes yours where the dogs stay in bed while the first partner gets ready and goes off to work and gets up later with the other partner. Your dogs routine is already established and she knows your spouse is the one that takes her out when he gets up, maybe try just leaving the crate set up but leaving the door open, if she does fine later remove the crate but leave her bedding in the identical spot as where the crate is now

June 24th, 2006, 03:09 PM
All of our dogs are crate trained and we use it sparingly at this point. But you can be as flexible with it as you need to be. So long as your dog has the skill its up to you what, where, when and how you want to crate her.
She could go in some nights and not others. She could be out in your room all night until you get up and then you put her in. She could be in all night and then you let her finish the last few hours with the BF. Its your rules.

June 24th, 2006, 08:44 PM
Two of my three are crated during the day. At night, my oldest (the one who is not crated) will start sleeping on our futon then move downstairs to the couch. Our middle dog will start on our bed (usually for an hour or two) then she goes to her crate which we've outfitted with a custom sized pillow. My youngest tends to spend the entire night on our bed but will occassionally sleep either under the bed or will go into his crate.

June 24th, 2006, 10:47 PM
Cider's slept crateless for near a year. Only accident has been while ill and didn't try to wake me.. She holds her bladder till I get up no problem..

She doesn't become unused to her crate because she's a mill dog who can't seem to be taught self control.. So if I work or have to go out, she has to be crated until someone can watch her in the day.

June 25th, 2006, 08:32 AM
Thanks for your replies! They have been very helpful. I was concerned that if I stopped using the crate then that would be it! She'd never want to go back into it. As I said, some nights I don't mind...but others, or while I am away, it would be more helpful for her to be in her crate. Perhaps we'll try having her stay out on occasion. She's not crated during the day so it's not like she's "locked up" all day long. Thanks again!

June 29th, 2006, 01:22 PM
I had a similar situation with my dog; he did *not* like to go in his crate at night and settle down (though he was at the time also crated during the day as I had no other choice). I started "bribing" him. I'd get him in his crate (I use the word "kennel" as a command to go in it) and then close the door and get in bed (lights off, ready to sleep). He'd make a big fuss and whine and cry and push on the bars.... but when he quieted down, I gave him a treat. I kept a little container of them on top the crate and the crate was within reach when I was laying down. Eventually he got the hint that he didn't get the treat if he made a big fuss, but went in and settled down quickly. I've had him for almost a year and a half, and he still sleeps in the crate, with the door closed. Now, though, he's so happy about it being bedtime--cause he knows he gets a treat--he goes running in there without me even telling him! He *loves* to sleep on the bed with us, and often wakes me up about an hour before it's time for me to get up to go pee, so I usually let him sleep on the bed for that hour every morning (longer on weekends). I give him 1/2 a dentastix at bedtime (his favorite treat), and there's been times when I didn't want him locked up at night, got him to come on the bed for his dentastix and he took it, ran to the kennel and went in and laid down. Funny doggy.

Anyhow... the point is, it's up to you. If your dog is currently not happy in the crate, but you still want to use it in the future, I'd highly recommend that you find a way to get her used to the crate now, and then when she is happy in there at night, *then* you phase it out. If she's unhappy now and you never get her trained to be happy in there, you can't expect that she'll then be happy going in it in the future. You have to think of it from their perspective. Perhaps she's afraid of being in there, so if you stop using it, and then try to get her to go back in there, she's going to be terrified! If you teach her to be happy and comfortable in there and then stop using it, when you bring it back, she'll be thinking "ah, that nice private bedroom, how nice!" or something like that.

My 2 cents... that's all. HTH

June 30th, 2006, 12:42 PM
Hello! I am no expert but I thought I'd share my situation with you. My 5 year old rescued male pomeranian, Nicky, used to be crated all day long while my partner and I were at work, due to lack of housetraining. I would come home at lunch time to potty him and play. When we got home from work, we'd let him out and he'd sleep in our room, uncrated, in his own bed. For some reason Nicky can go all night long and not go potty in our bedroom, but he will pee in or around his crate during the day. Well, we wanted Nicky to not have to be crated during the day so we ordered a special babygate to give him some freedom in the kitchen where his crate is located. We waited until there were no more accidents before we started this. Nicky has been free to roam the kitchen for about 2 weeks and there's only been 2 accidents, so it's getting better. Also, even though Nicky has the whole kitchen, he stays in his crate, door open, all day long. The point is, the crate is his den, so if you plan on getting rid of your dog's crate, phase it out slowly. Nicky will move around the bedroom at night but he behaves, so he has earned the right to be in our "den". If you're worried about your dog getting into things that are off-limits at night time, puppy proof the room and make her earn the right to have night-time freedom. Also, if you're a light sleeper, make sure she has a noise-proof collar. Nicky has a choke chain and I hear every step he takes! lol