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When to stop crating....or should we stop crating?

September 10th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Several months ago we started crating Buster whenever we were away, even for just an hour or two because he was having accidents, destroying stuff in the house and we thought it would give Harley a break. He is very good in his crate, goes in without a fuss and stays in all day while we are at work ..... I HATE doing that to him! He hasn't had an accident in the house since probably June and now whines at the door when he wants out.

So, I was thinking of starting to give him a bit more freedom when we leave for an hour or so. Hubby isn't worried about "accidents" since we seem to have that under control. He is, however, worried that Buster might decided to "taste" our new leather sofa or anything else he discovers. Buster was a destroyer for quite a while when he was a lot younger, but so far, all my leather shoes, purses, my plants etc are all in perfect condition.

Has anyone changed from crating to letting free? Did you work up to an hour at a time? This probably bothers me more than it does Buster.


September 10th, 2007, 02:18 PM
A lot of dogs like to have the crate as their personal den, even if you don't want to lock him in it, leave the door open for him so he can choose to sleep in there if he wants.
As for not crating him anymore, you can do that small steps if you don't feel comfortable with giving him run of the house.


September 10th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Isn't there some way you can leave him out of his crate but restrict that areas that he can access. Maybe a gate to keep him in the kitchen area? That is what I plan on doing when I eventually leave Lukka out of her crate when we leave the house.

September 10th, 2007, 02:29 PM
When Riley basically outgrew his crate we had to start allowing access. Luckily he really isn't left alone all that much. His favorite sleeping spot is our bed so we started to leave him gated in our bedroom (usually with our other dog Lucy). We find that is still the best spot to leave him because he associated it with sleeping. I would find a similar spot for your pup and just leave him confined in one area before I progressed to full house access.

September 10th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Unfortunately, we live in a large bungalow, very open concept (see pictures) so we can't gate him in any one room. It's either all or nothing..... Buster does sleep with us at night but has in the past gotten into things in the bedroom that he shouldn't have. (my hubby's daughter locked him in our room because he was annoying her :mad: and he chewed the corner of our new bedroom set!!!!....HER fault, not his:rolleyes:). Also, our bedroom has a large patio door and the sun shines in there all day, so the room is extremely warm.

Maybe I will just have to start slowly and work up in time.....As you can see, Buster won't outgrow his crate so he has lots of room to move around and stretch. He also has a water bowl attached to the crate and food, plus bones, etc.

Ford Girl
September 10th, 2007, 04:19 PM
NEVER NEVER NEVER! LOL! I am going by the..."if it's not broke, don't fix it" theory with my pooch, she loves her pen, never fusses, sleeps sound, naps, has quiet time, time outs, chews bones, issues at all with I may never stop crating her. Is there any harm to that?

Either way keep us posted. I know when they behave the way you want them to we get so excited and proud!!! And if Buster decides to entertain himslef, we'd love to hear about that too. hahah!

September 10th, 2007, 04:41 PM
how about this one, it can expand up to 13', that's quite wide. It could end up paying for itself in the long run, you wouldn't have to replace a leather couch. I think most kitchen openings wouldn't be more than 13'. Just an idea

September 10th, 2007, 07:36 PM
The only problem with putting the crate in the kitchen is moving it in and out everyday (big crate and it looks like there isn't much floor real estate in the kitchen). You could rig up an x-pen but then do you really want to look at that every day?

If you've found something that works for you go with it. If you want to test Buster, why not wait until you have a few vacation days. On those days, plan to be out of the house for short periods graduating to longer periods to see if he passes the destructo-test.

kashtin's kin
September 11th, 2007, 12:57 AM
Lots of advice already...and it sounds like your basic system is working okay at the moment. However, it never hurts to have 'options' i.e. DH and I are fortunate (well, sometimes it feels a bit UNfortunate!) in that one or the other us is generally at home as the resident animal butler.

Sometimes we can actually go out, together, at the same time :eek: (be still, mah poundin' heart). So, we have worked with combinations of gates and crates for our 2 dogs, over the years. Our ACD/border collie x took ages to attain 'de-crate' status...she was at least 2 yrs old before we finally returned after an hour to find nothing destroyed!

For a few years we seldom crated either dog-although their crates were always available to them, and they did use them on a daily basis on their own terms (we resigned ourselves to integrating 'crate decor' into our fabulously chic :laughing: house interior).

As the ACD aged, she got a mite too bossy with the cats; one cat in particular has just never felt inclined :cool: to cede alpha status to 'Freyja'. When Freyja went after Nutty Sally one day, this ACD lost her always-open-door crate privileges (we now crate both dogs if we're both out).

It's always kind of a balancing act, depending on your circumstances/dog temperament/other animals etc. I know some dogs are crated 'all day' on a regular basis and do fine (with exercise and attention when they're out), but we lean more towards as much freedom as feasible. "If the shoe fits...??!"

September 11th, 2007, 03:03 PM
I crated my boy, Hogan when he was young but one evening I was going to visit my Dad after dinner and after working all day too. Dad had Alzheimers so really I had no choice.... had to be at his call all the time. Hogan felt neglected and chewed up a chair arm. He had never done it before or after.

Soooo, I just think you need to pick a day when you've been home, he's been exercised and given lots of attention and try leaving him uncrated for a short time while you go out. Maybe a new chew toy would help too.

Good luck!

September 11th, 2007, 05:51 PM
I have a suggestion. Why don't you go to the pet store and get a puppy pen. They have different heights and instead of putting it in a circle, you can run it straight down the length of a wall opening. Then you can find something to put against it at each end. This would work the same as a child gate.