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QCS
18th July 2006, 12:51 AM
I have had my LilyBelle just shy of a week now, and I need night time crating advice, please! She howls and cries sooooo loudly and bites at the cage door so hard, she has cut her gums. I worry that if I leave her in as the "books" say, she'll really hurt herself - or become so traumatized by the crate that she'll NEVER want to go in. As a result, the past 2 nights she's been sleeping with me. What should I do? :?

Maxxs_Mummy
18th July 2006, 12:59 AM
Oh no! Poor you and poor LillyBelle :(

I think I'm one of the only people on here who has never used a crate so i'm not able to help you but it is perfectly natural for them to want to be with us all the time - that's bred into them and you won't change it!

Are you happy with her sleeping with you? If not, could you put her in the kitchen in her bed with one of those snuggle pups or something?

Maxx slept in his bed in our kitchen when we first got him and he was fine - we put a piece of bedding that smelled of his doggy mummy in with him and he was fine.

If you can't do this then what about a DAP diffuser - it mimics the smell of the lactating female and so comforts them.

I know lots will disagree with me but a crate isn't the be all and end all of it. Maxx is actually fine when he goes to the Vets or Groomers and has to be crated btw but i couldn't have imagined leaving him in one as a pup.

Moviedust
18th July 2006, 01:04 AM
Have you tried putting the crate in the bedroom??

Since you've started letting him sleep with you, you've set a precedent so it will be much harder to get the dog sleep quietly in the crate now. (Boy, dont I know it!!)

If the crate doesnt work, you can try putting the dog in a room or in an ex pen.

It's really hard to have patience when you're sleep deprived, so just do the best you can.

QCS
18th July 2006, 02:01 AM
I started her off by putting the crate in the bedroom so she could see us. The only way I was able to do that, was to let her fall asleep on me then carrying her quietly into her crate. She was fine then, but only til around midnight or so. The only reasons I would like to crate her are: if she falls off the bed, or has to releive herself. Last night she did good with a last potty at 10:00P.M. But the other night she peed on the bed. Not what you want to wake to! :yuk: LOL I feel like I have to either let her cry and howl and possibly hurt herself, or take the chance of getting peed on at night. :? Maxxs Mummy: where can I find a DAP diffuser?

Moviedust
18th July 2006, 02:07 AM
When Cedar was a pup, we crated her from day one. We had to get up at least once a night to take her out, though. Their bladders just arent big enough to hold it all night. When your pup wakes up around midnight, she may just need to go out to potty.

If you really want to crate train her, you might have to do some positive training during the day. Does your pup go in her crate on her own during the day? If so, that's good; she doesnt hate the crate. If not, you might have to start from scratch with some treats and encouragement and only short periods of time in her crate to work your way up to a full night.

You can put an old shirt of yours in the crate to give your smell. Setting the crate up in the bedroom is also helpful. Snuggle puppies seem to be popular as well.

Even if you do all this, the pup will still need to go out at night for a few weeks probably.

Karlin
18th July 2006, 12:04 PM
If you wish to crate train, I'd work to crate train during the day and find an alternative at night. I only tried crating for a few nights when Jaspar was a puppy then never bothered after that. He was crate trained (with a minimalist approach as part of housetraining -- and now that they do accept the crate, I never leave them in crates during the day or night, using them only for transport. However they are quite content to use the crate when staying at the woman's who minds them -- she crates all the dogs at night. Jaspar and Leo stay together in a large crate then).

There's no 'rule' that says ANY dog needs to be crate trained, and if anything I think crates are seriously overused. For proof, look at how many puppy training sites advise that you can crate a puppy for 5+ hours after age five months!! Crating a puppy for hours and hours goes so against everything puppies are about, to me. I've found crates are hardly used by anyone in Europe outside people who show dogs BTW -- everyone I know in Ireland keeps the dog in the house or a room, never a crate, and never crates at night (I'm sure there are those who do crate, but honestly, amongst all my many dog owning friends and rescue contacts, no one crates their own dogs). Crating seems to be a phenomenon that developed in the US over the last decade or two; I'm still not sure why it became such a norm -- I presume maybe it was advocated by some of the TV dog trainers or maybe the internet has spread its use.

Let me be clear that I do find it useful to have a crate-trained dog. And I respect other people's choices and approaches. But even during training, one needn't stick the pup or dog in a crate for hours. And I strongly feel most dogs would be much happier confined in a room, rather than a crate if being left alone. Some dogs end up spending a significant amount of their lives in a crate -- easily half their lives, if crated at night and during a full workday five days a week, which to me raises questions about quality of life. We would be shocked if zoo animals were kept in such cramped quarters for so many hours. Most dogs would be very happy to have the kitchen to themselves or a utility room in the hours people are away, if they have a bed, water, some toys. Then they can play with the toys, get up and move around and stretch, have a sniff; but they don't have the run of the house.

So think about why you are crating and if you need to crate at all. Most people find it useful to have a dog that they can put in a crate for various reasons. So, I would certainly use a crate to help with housebreaking, which will effectively crate train your dog so that it is happy enough being transported in a crate or confined if necessary (use Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining a dog in seven days).

At night I have always had the dogs in my room but they will also sleep in another room on their own, or in a crate if required (this is nice for travel). When I go out durting the day I keep all three in one room -- either my office where they have a sofa to themselves, or a bedroom, where they sleep but sometimes play, or sit and look out the window to pass comments on the neighbour cats. :)

If your puppy is harming herself chewing on a crate I'd not force her to stay in one and/or I'd find a different model of crate where she can't hurt herself in this way. She doesn't need to sleep in your room if you don;t want, but why not then leave her in the kitchen with a snugglepuppy and some toys, inside an X-pen for example to keep her more confined and help with housebreaking?

Karlin
18th July 2006, 12:17 PM
know lots will disagree with me but a crate isn't the be all and end all of it. Maxx is actually fine when he goes to the Vets or Groomers and has to be crated btw but i couldn't have imagined leaving him in one as a pup.

Donna, I've found almost every one of the rescues I've had -- not a single one crate-trained -- were content enough to sit in a crate for transport and most are fine in one for short periods anyway, especially if there's a person sitting with them. I've had to manage dogs in my house like this many times because of the cats. My dog-minder Margaret, who crates all the dogs she boards at night, puts all these un-crate-trained dogs into large crates and rarely ever has had a single problem, she has told me. I've been around plenty of crate trained dogs that whine and bark when in a crate as well so it is hard for me to even see if at the end of the day, there's any huge advantage to formal crate training for 90% of people. I think if the crate is left open as a 'den' most dogs will get used to it ad accept transport and so on, without going through the ritual of hours of confinement and 'training'. This was true of Leo -- perfectly happy in a crate, never crate-trained. Lily as well.

So: experience suggests to me that actually, as you have found too, you can easily train a dog to accept a crate for all the basic reasons you'd use one -- transport or short term confinement -- without elaborate training, and for me anyway, there's no real argument to keep a puppy or a dog in one for hours in order to crate train it unless the intention is to regularly leave the dog in a crate for hours. If the latter is indeed the intention, then I'd just suggest people think through whether this is really necessary and why -- and consider using a room instead. :) My own contrarian opinion that goes against much that has become the 'norm' but I don't think the norm -- because it is convenient -- is necessarily right. It's worth thinking through these issues if only so that people feel confirmed in their own decisions, but also, remember decisions are always worth re-examining regularly too to be sure they still fit circumstances and philosophy.

Mia
18th July 2006, 12:34 PM
I have to say that i would agree with Karlin a lot! I had never even heard of a crate until i joined this website - maybe that is just me being naive but all of my friends with dogs also leave them in a particular room - usually the kitchen or utility room - when at night or when leaving them alone.

I know that the puppy will pee and poop when you are out but if in a kitchen or utility where the floor is perhaps tiled or easy to clean? I always left Bailey in the utility room at night because it was warmer and a little smaller in the dark for him. But when i go out i leave him the downstairs of the house - he is a little older now and won't pee or poop in the house but when he was younger he just had the run of the utility room and the kitchen.

He has always been very happy with this scenario and has his toys his bed and food and water. Having said that i think we will get another dog to keep him company while we are at work - he usually just settles down for sleeps when i am out and he has never seemed stressed or worried leaving him or when i come home.

We have a little goodbye ritual where he sits on the stairs to get a cuddle and a kiss and he watches me go out and then i wave through the little window at him and he goes and cuddles his teddies on the couch till i come back!! So cutE!!

I don't like the idea of a dog being left in a crate at night or during the day and am sure that it is not enough room for them at either time - i think confining them to a room is better and it gives the dog a room to call their own as opposed to a little space not much bigger than themselves!

Bailey has a little bed that he sleeps in and now he is bigger he usually sleeps in the room with us but in his bed. Although he might decide to sleep on the landing if it is too hot!!

Anyway i think that there are many solutions better than maybe crating them but saying that i have never used one so maybe my opinions are not valid - i just don't like the idea of them - sorry!!

Maria & Bailey

Alison_Leighfield
18th July 2006, 04:07 PM
Why do people crate train for the house?

I only use a crate in an emergency (illness) or when tiny pups as a safe den, always with the door open and covered over with a blanket....somewhere safe to have a rest!

Let your puppy use the house and garden and just provide a nice dog bed for naps and to lay in near you in, I don't personally see why people get upset and find it a "must" to use these thing.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

WoodHaven
18th July 2006, 04:19 PM
Why do people crate train for the house?

I only use a crate in an emergency (illness) or when tiny pups as a safe den, always with the door open and covered over with a blanket....somewhere safe to have a rest!

Let your puppy use the house and garden and just provide a nice dog bed for naps and to lay in near you in, I don't personally see why people get upset and find it a "must" to use these thing.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Safety, health, convenience-

If I didn't feed in crates- I wouldn't be able to guarantee that the pups would get any food. If I didn't give Kongs, chews etc... in crates I would have fights.
There is no way I could possibly make my home totally puppy proof-- too many cords, tables and humans running around.
Housetraining would be much harder without the crate-- IF (and when) the pups urinate in the house-- the males think they can mark over it and (you get the picture) Sandy

Alison_Leighfield
18th July 2006, 05:11 PM
Sandy,

I think if perhaps you are a breeder your situation might be slightly different.

I thought we were talking about 1 pup in this instance, in a family home? and an owner being concerned and worried
about her pups possible dislike to the crate, and the very possible harm that she could do to herself?

It isn't always the best thing for every puppy to be crated, your reasons are quite different.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Karlin
18th July 2006, 05:13 PM
That's a good point, Sandy; with multiple dogs there can be good reasons people choose to use crates.

I have four large crates and two smalls BTW -- I do think they are a very useful tool for transport and when needed to separate dogs (I don;t have a lot of doors in my house nor a garden, so it is harder to manage new rescues waiting to go to a foster).

My objections to them are that they are clearly overused in some cases (to the point where you wonder whether a dog was the best option for some people) -- and probably not really necessary in many more cases. Especially with only one or two dogs that mix well. I haven't needed them yet for managing three. :lol: Though all three will fit in a single crate quite happily for short transport. :drivecar:

WoodHaven
18th July 2006, 05:48 PM
That is true! They can be overused leaving the dogs to feel neglected. But they aren't evil-- If I had one to three dogs-- I probably would not use a crate (except in transport). I would use an x-pen until the dog was housetrained and section off parts of the house for them to safely use.
Sandy

Maxxs_Mummy
18th July 2006, 10:31 PM
Karlin,

You and I are obviously on the same wavelength! Alison too as I know that her dogs have the run of her enormous kitchen/breakfast room and conservatory when she's out (her house is doggie heaven!).

I'm sorry but if someone wants a caged animal then they should buy a hamster! That's not meant as a slight to you mind QCS so please don't be offended. It's meant for the people who buy pups and then crate them whilst they are at work all day every day, let them out for an hour or two in the evenings and then put them back again at night :x

Sandy,

I can understand you and other breeders using crates for feeding etc - as you have said it is sometimes a necessity but as I said previously, I don't understand people using crates for the majority of a dogs life.

When Maxx was younger he just had the kitchen and utility room & when I ended up with four cavaliers for a weekend (I'd arranged to look after the little boy over the back and also my friend's mum & daughter on the same weekend) they all stayed in the kitchen/utility. It was warm and comfy for them and it kept them all happy & feeling safe. There were dog beds everywhere though & hubby had a surprise when he came home from work at 6.30am and opened the kitchen door to be greeted by not one, but, four babies :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Moviedust
18th July 2006, 11:24 PM
I believe there is a benefit to having a dog that is familiar and comfortable staying in a crate for a given amount of time. For example, when visiting others' homes, it is helpful to have a dog that you can leave safely in a crate while you go out to dinner or something. It would be considered rude, at least in my midwestern USA culture, to assume you could bring a dog over to someone's house and expect the dog to stay inside unsupervised, even if the host has said it is okay to bring the dog. If you left the dog in an ex-pen, you are still exposing the host's floors to damage (from even a well behaved/trained animal). While some people may feel they can pick and choose their family/friends according to how these people feel about dogs in their homes, I'm not at the point where I will do that. If it means being able to take my dog with me versus not going or even finding separate arrangements for the dog, I would much rather have a crate trained dog that goes with me. So if you plan to travel with your dog, not only is crate training possibly important for travel (I prefer to use a carseat, myself), but it is also important when you arrive at your destination.

Perhaps Karlin's observation of a cultural difference in the use of crates, European/Ireland/UK in comparison to US has more to do with other cultural aspects aside from perceived dog care. What is considered polite dog owner behavior can also make a difference.

Crate training has its other uses, as mentioned elsewhere, but I hesitate to dismiss crate usage as unnecessary in a single, or even double, dog home.

It is also important to note that, in any culture, in any country, a dog left alone for 5-8 hours a day, whether in a crate, in a garden, or left free to roam in the house unrestrained is improperly cared for, IMHO.

WoodHaven
18th July 2006, 11:37 PM
I love this free exchange of ideas-- and hopefully the dogs will benefit from what we all learn. Staying in hotel rooms (vacations, dog shows) is another good place where crates can and probably should be used. Sandy

Moviedust
18th July 2006, 11:41 PM
Donna,

Your tri-color animated graphic in your post's signature caught Willow's attention. She literally crawled across my lap and stepped on the keyboard (laptop) to sniff and inspect the little guy!! :lol:

Maxxs_Mummy
18th July 2006, 11:41 PM
So if you plan to travel with your dog, not only is crate training possibly important for travel (I prefer to use a carseat, myself), but it is also important when you arrive at your destination.

Well, from my own point of view. I either take my dogs to extremely dog friendly friends or leave them home with a dog sitter & I also have doggy seat belts in the car so a crate most definitely is no a necessity in my home. We've almost always had a dog and I've never owned a crate - i don't intend to either!


Perhaps Karlin's observation of a cultural difference in the use of crates, European/Ireland/UK in comparison to US has more to do with other cultural aspects aside from perceived dog care. What is considered polite dog owner behavior can also make a difference.

Maybe it has but then here in UK if people didn't want you to take your dog and have them treat their home as their own then they would say no to you bringing them. I think maybe we are more direct!


Crate training has its other uses, as mentioned elsewhere, but I hesitate to dismiss crate usage as unnecessary in a single, or even double, dog home.

As I said earlier (and I am not arguing about it or about to fall out with anyone over it), I disagree & I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one! Maybe for breeders they are a necessity and I can see why but they are most certainly not for me.


It is also important to note that, in any culture, in any country, a dog left alone for 5-8 hours a day, whether in a crate, in a garden, or left free to roam in the house unrestrained is improperly cared for, IMHO.

Too darned right and I have only ever left my dogs alone for a maximum of 3-4 hours on an odd occasion. Luckily, my hubby and son both work shifts and I have some wonderful Cavalier loving friends and neighbours, so if I ever need to go anywhere that I can't take them (rarely) I always have someone I can leave a key with. When we had to go to my sister-in-laws funeral a few months back, it was a 2 hour drive away and so my friend came and dog sat for me for most of the time we were out.

Incidentally, I only work occasionally and wouldn't even entertain the idea of having a puppy or dog whilst I was still working long hours.

Maxxs_Mummy
18th July 2006, 11:43 PM
Donna,

Your tri-color animated graphic in your post's signature caught Willow's attention. She literally crawled across my lap and stepped on the keyboard (laptop) to sniff and inspect the little guy!! :lol:

Tell her to watch her nose - he gives a nasty lick :lol: :lol: :lol:

Moviedust
18th July 2006, 11:50 PM
I love this free exchange of ideas-- and hopefully the dogs will benefit from what we all learn. Staying in hotel rooms (vacations, dog shows) is another good place where crates can and probably should be used. Sandy

Ditto on the exchange of ideas. That's one thing that we could have more of on the board, I think. Sometimes it is easy to think that the way you've chosen to care for your dogs is the "right" way, when it really is just the way it works for you. When someone is asking for advice, I think it is important that we dont run into the situation where everyone thinks there's just one way to do it. It doesnt make for the best advice, at all! It can also leave the new cav owners feeling that they've somehow done something wrong, adding to the stress and anxiety they might be feeling.

In this instance, I dont feel anyone who suggests using a crate is suggesting its abuse. And I certainly dont think that anyone who opts not to use a crate is somehow putting their dog in harm's way. There are certainly different philosophies and opinions, though, and each of those different ideas deserves space on the board.

Maxxs_Mummy
18th July 2006, 11:54 PM
Here, here!

QCS
19th July 2006, 01:32 AM
Whoa - what did I start?? LOL It has certainly helped me to read all of your feedback on this issue - as I myself was shocked the first time I ever heard of crate training.

My friend had told me she crated her Maltese at night, and every time she went out on an errand. I was appalled by that, but recently learning that not only is it accepted, it's recommended, I second guessed my "puppy smarts". When I was a child, we let our pets have run of the house - otherwise, why have them?

My main concern is, as I stated earlier, to crate for safety and housebreaking purposes only. I would LOVE to sleep with LilyBelle all night; if she continues to do well with hubby and I, that's wonderful. (As long as she doesn't fall off the bed)

I guess the lesson learned here is - in some situations it's better to listen to your heart instead of a book - we all live different lifestyles, so what's good for the goose, may not always be good for the gander. :)

Donald Duck
19th July 2006, 08:08 AM
My husband and I got our 8 week old Cav just under a week ago and are using some crate training. We haven't had any problems thus far but then again its really too soon to know for sure.

Weekdays we put his crate with the door open inside an x-pen which is literally filled with toys and Huey sleeps in his crate every night.

Although we work from 8 - 5 we spend every waking moment we have at home with Huey. We try to keep him pretty active, letting him follow and chase us around, going on short walks, up and down the small hill in front of our house and up and down the stairs, tickling him etc. We don't go to bed until around 11 pm - 12 am and by that time he's usually pooped. The only thing I can say is it certainly helps to tire him out before we put him in the crate.

I'm no expert but maybe this will help even a little!

Claire
19th July 2006, 01:36 PM
No crates for our guys either they had the kitchen and lower hallway - I cut out a bit of wood to stick across the stairs as they could'nt climb them then - beds and toys and water and paper/wee mats were in the kitchen and anything that was chewable....... now they are fine and have the whole downstairs, stairs and landing. We tried Busta downstairs first of all but that didn't work and they are all in our bedroom - we just put down wee mats in the bedroom and landing.

amanda L
19th July 2006, 01:52 PM
I only ever use a crate for Milly and soley for transport reasons. She is quite happy to hop in when she knows she's going out to the beach or in the car for travelling. I only bought it for her as I feel when in the car it is the safest place for her (Shes only 3 months old). Elliot sits with his seat belt on, so hopefully when she gets a little older she can do the same. I also will be using it when I go back to dog training (Tara and Lisa, DTI) in Sept. It is very useful when you are bringing the 2 dogs up, and when both are in separate classes, usually one after the other.

Saying all of that, I would never crate either of my 2 at home ever, both have the kitchen when I'm out (3/4 hrs max), and I sometimes use a big x-pen for Milly.

I do not agree with crating dogs for reasons other than transport, ill health, etc. and hate to think any dog would be locked in a crate for long periods :( .

Cathy T
20th July 2006, 04:55 PM
Wow...this is an interesting exchange of ideas! I crate Jake and Shelby at night. The reason we started with Jake was that we had a 13 year old cat at the time who didn't much care for a puppy. So, from the first night he slept in a crate for his own safety. Couldn't exactly crate the cat! :shock: The cat had passed by the time we got Shelby but since Jake was so used to the crate and we slept so much better without him in the bed we crated Shelby as well. When we vacation with the dogs they both sleep in the bed with us...and let me tell you....neither hubby nor myself gets a very good night's sleep. Both of my guys go very happily to their crate at night. We have a super soft cushion in there and of course Shelby's puppy (she likes to use it as a pillow) and Jake's pink bunny. They have never given us a problem with the crate.

I crated both of them as puppies when I left the house. Maximum of 4 hours. I did this because I didn't want them roaming and my house is difficult to close off. Plus, they were so comfortable in their crates from sleeping in them at night that it wasn's an issue.

I think the important thing about crating is to make it a good place. If you dog (like Lilybelle) is harming herself because she dislikes the crate that much...don't do it! It's not worth her hurting herself. The idea of the crate is safety and comfort.

If you do want to crate her I would gradually work her into the crate. From the day we brought Jake home I would put him in the crate several times a day when he was falling asleep. He would be relaxed going in. Once he woke up I let him spend 5 minutes or so in the crate before letting him out.

I am thrilled with my crates!! They have been an incredible help for when Shelby had her knee surgery and had to be confined. No issues with her being crated. They have also been a big help when I've fostered. I cannot feed everyone together. Fights!!!

It's all a matter of what fits you and what you're comfortable with. My prime example of crating is when my brother in law said "so, they use it like I use my bedroom, a place to be alone and relax", Yep, that says it all. They are both totally relaxed in their crates and know they are "off duty".

notme
21st July 2006, 06:56 AM
I am new here....so I will introduce myself (Nancy) and tell you that I have two cavaliers. Maxwell is 20 months old and Jack is 4.5 months old.

Maxwell and Jack are both crate trained (Jack more than Maxwell). We started crate training from day one when we brought them home from our breeder. Maxwell spent very little time in his crate in the daytime but slept the night peacefully in his crate. He did not like the crate much to begin with so I did several things to make the crate more interesting. At bedtime, we would take our sleepy boy and potty him outside. Then when he came back in he would get a treat as he was being put in his crate. Really it wasn't much. Maxwell always tollerated his crate at night but didn't love it. Jack, our new boy, loves his crate. We use the same process, but Jack is much more food motivated that Maxwell was. Jack goes out to potty at bedtime and RACES to his crate because he knows his treat is in there. The treat can be nothing more than a couple of Charlie Bears or a Kong with peanutbutter rubbed on the inside. Jack loves crate time.

Maxwell now sleeps on our bed and Jack is still a crate boy. Maxwell did slip back at about five months old and started getting up at night to potty in the house so we went back to step one with him and started crating again. Since then, we have not had one potty accident in the house.

I am totally against using the crate for long periods of time. I do believe that dogs are den animals and do not view the crate as a "bad" thing unless it is abused. I never use the crate as punishment.

Recently, I took Jack to a dog show and he was crated when he was not with me. I would go to dinner and leave Jack for the very most an hour and a half so have a nice dinner. The rest of the time he was out and about.

Both of my dogs ride together in their crate in the car and are quite happy. I even hear games of "bitey face" going on while they are riding in the car.

If you view the crate as a "bad" thing, odds are your dog will also. However, using a crate responsibly really helps in potty training, travel and those odd times when you are away from home and need a safe place for your pup.

During the day, Jack's crate sits in our family room as a safe place for Jack to crawl in (with the door open) when the grandkids visit. All three young children understand that the crate is Jack's safe place and they must not touch him if he goes in there.

Nancy

*Jenný*
21st July 2006, 01:46 PM
My dogs are crate-trained, but onley for transporting, like many of you hava said.
During night, they sleep in a little room in the carage (Isn't it writed that way?) and they are very happy with that. In that room, we have an crate which is open, so the can walk in and out of it like they want, a little basket to sleep in, toys and food and water. They stay there also when we are in work and school.
There where never a problame to let them stay in a crate, but Nóra where very scared of going in the car. We allways tooke her with us, even if ve where just going to the shop, and soon she got used to it.

winkatbella
21st July 2006, 06:27 PM
It is also important to note that, in any culture, in any country, a dog left alone for 5-8 hours a day, whether in a crate, in a garden, or left free to roam in the house unrestrained is improperly cared for, IMHO.


Why is 5 hours improperly cared for? I have school 4 days a week and there are times I will be gone for 5 hours while at school. Than during finals there were days I was gone 5-8 hours. Most people can't be home all day every day. Are those dogs uncared for just because their owners work or go to school?

Alison_Leighfield
21st July 2006, 06:44 PM
I waited 16 yrs until I had a much wanted dog so that I was home 24/7.

I wouldn't dream of leaving a puppy 5-8 hrs a day, how can that be cared for? I don't know many breeders or rescue homes either that would be happy letting a pup go to a home where it would be left that long. Perhaps an older dog for a few hrs every day, for example with a part time job, but never a youngster for that time....

If my situation changed now and I became unable to stay home I would employ a dog sitter/dog walker to break up their day, can you do this perhaps?

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Karlin
22nd July 2006, 12:35 AM
I tink my main issue with crates is that we have had this line for some time, that dogs are den animals and love crates as they are substitute dens. But where did this oipinion that a den constituting a crate only large enough for the dog to turn around, would be a satisfactory place for a dog to spend more that a few hours or overnight? I haven't found a believable answer to that yet; it seems to have emerged as a given on the basis of little more that that it must be so because we find it convenient for it to be so.

One could equally argue that wolves are den animals, or wild dogs. But imagine going to a zoo where all these animals were locked into cages barely large enough for them to turn around -- and you were told, 'They are very happy in there, they only sleep during the day. They don't want to get up and move around.' I do not think there's a zoo left that considers such a small space a satisfactory enclosure for an animal for hours on end. A wild dog's den also isn't a tiny enclosed space, but a large space in which the dogs get up, shift around, and resettle, or play for a bit, or go out into the sunshine, interact, or whatever. I'm home most of the time with the three I have and they would never stay in one small spot for the day or more than a couple of hours. If I tried to enclose them for a long period, even though they are crate trained, they would start to whine to get out.

So are long hours in a crate remotely natural, or are they something we train our dogs to tolerate -- after all they are highly trainable -- because it is more convenient for us to manage them in this way? I feel the latter is true, and therefore feel that while some basic crate training is useful, that most dogs will accept a crate as needed anyway and needn't be assigned to long hours every week in a crate in order to train them to accept such confinement, nor should they be left in such a small space as a ruti re way of 'keeping them out of trouble. (surely an enclosed room with anything valued up off the floor will keep them out of trouble, in a happier, more comfortable environment?).

Over time I have also become more and more uncomfortable with the regularity with which crating is used during daytime, and how it has somehow, in the space of a decade or two, passed into the norm of what you do with your dog when you are gone for hours.

I think all of us have to be *persuaded* at first that crating a dog is acceptable to a dog. We all initially feel this is too small a space and cannot be acceptable for long periods. Then we are told by a vague 'they' -- on the basis of little more that 'they say' that dogs think it is their den, that dogs really find it fine to spend a day in a crate -- that this is the best way to confine a dog.

I haven't been able to find anything authoritative that supports this stance for either the size of space or the time that is now routinely recommended as 'acceptable' periods for a dog to be crated. Yes, dogs and canids use a den but never something so small, for so long, as is used to enclose dogs these days.

How do we go from a gut feeling that this isn't right, to being persuaded in large numbers that dogs will be very happy in such a small space? This would have been a totally unacceptable view when I was younger (eg 60s, 70s and 80s), before a household had two people out working all day. I can remember when I first encountered crate trained dogs (early 90s) -- they went into their crates for the night and my mother and I thought it very strange.

Crating for longer than 30 -45 minutes when housetraining went so against what, for me, seemed like a fulfilling, stimulating life for a puppy that I could never do this to Jaspar. I'd crate him in the time leading up to when he would need to do his wees and poops, as a method of helping create a routine, and rarely for longer than 20-30 minutes. And then he was out being a puppy and playing. This worked very well. I did the whole routine of encouraging him to use the crate and see it as his 'den' and he was having none of it. He'd go in if he had to and that was it.

That said, all three including Lily, never crate trained in her life, will happily go into a crate for transport or to sleep overnight or anything I might need it for within a modest usage framework. Jaspar in particular associates the crate with going somewhere inteeresting and he goes right into it when I have it in the car. But I cannot imagine using it as a place they would stay all day, every day, when I am out. If I am to be out and away, they go into a room, they get water and a treat, they have toys and a place to lay, they play a bit and sleep and sit and watch traffic go by and do other do things.

So I am of the opinion now that it is a useful tool in a range of circumstances but I am not persuaded that it is appropriate for long term confinement when an x-pen or room would be more appropriate.

Maxxs_Mummy
22nd July 2006, 01:04 AM
Karlin, that was so well written and I agree with it all. I'm one of the people who still find it extremely strange that anyone would want to crate a dog other than to transport it (or to feed pups, like Sandy said). I do not think it is any life for any animal to be shut in a cage. I refuse to visit most zoos and the like, preferring safari parks.

I got extremely upset at the small enclosure the Polar Bears were in at SeaWorld in Florida and told the guards so. I informed them they should be sent on a visit to our Bristol Zoo as it's a conservation centre and the Polar Bears have a massive enclosure. they seemed interested but probably thought I was mad :roll:

We used to have rabbits and the only time they spent in their huge hubby made hutch and run was at night time or when it was snowy & they didn't want to come out. Some dog cages are smaller than my rabbit hutch was :(

I'm sorry if it upsets anyone but I still think that if you are out at work all day then you shouldn't have a dog, least of all a Cavalier. I waited years to get a dog as I wouldn't have one to leave him/her at home alone all day. it was only when i went part time and my hubby works shifts anyway that we took the plunge. I feel guilty if I leave my two any longer than a couple of hours, let alone all day.

Karlin
22nd July 2006, 01:26 AM
I do think there are many ways of creatively managing dogs for people who work during the day. Many have posted to this board in the past about some of the ways they find work well. I live alone and can;t always be home with the dogs -- sometimes I have to be out for a good while -- but at this point I know they get along well and manage fine when I am away. They are always happy when I get back but after a lot of excitement they all mainly settle down and sleep some more. :lol:

I also think many people who are home all day don't give a very rewarding life to their dogs. I've seen this first hand from rescue work -- nothing makes me sadder than a cavalier that has spent its life out in a garden, ignored, but that is the case with some of the cavaliers that come into rescue.

Personally, I don't think it is so much a matter of whether people work or not as what kind of arrangements are there for the dog(s) when they are not at home, and what sort of overall life the dog has.

Certainly I think two dogs is a better option than one for a dog home alone much of the day. So there's an excuse for everyone to have at least two cavaliers or to go find a 'Gus' of their own!! 8)

Claire
24th July 2006, 03:28 PM
Its a hard one to comment on - Darren and I work all day - I am lucky that I can leave late in the morning, come home at lunch time or leave early in the afternoon.

I really don't think my guys worry that much, they have a walk in the morning and if I get home for lunchtime they look at me to say why have you woken us up.

I used to feel guilty in the very beginning but now with the three (playing or sleeping) then I am happy to leave them for 6 hours.

Cockerspaniel
24th July 2006, 07:15 PM
My pups are over three months old, and for the last 2 weeks or more have been getting crate-trained at night, for longer and longer periods of time(the newspaper method failed dismally). I set the alarm, get up, leave em out, say the command word "caca" and wait for them to do their business. After they do, I immediately give them food reward and return them to the crate for the rest of the night. Before they go into their crate for the night, I bring them to the beach for a good run around, then feed and water them at home, and finally give them a chance to eliminate. They run into the crate at night, because I leave a few treats in their cage for them to hunt. I bid them good night, and leave the room promptly. Routine is the same every night.

They voluntarily go into the crate during the day, if they are in the kitchen.

I leave them outside in the back garden during the day, occasionally playing with them or bringing them for a walk in the local green. They pee and poo in the back garden to their heart's content. If I leave them indoors during the day for a few hours, they are still very likely to do their business on the floor.

If I catch them doing their business on the floor, I immediately say "No!", lift them and put them outside.

Toilet-training a dog is a lot of work!

molly
24th July 2006, 08:30 PM
Potty training a dog is alot of work. 3 of mine are crate trained. The last puppy we got at 12 weeks old and did not crate train him as we are both now retired and home full time. He took alot longer to potty train w/o using a crate. We had to recently start crate training him for several reasons. Rides in the car, short stays at the vet, trips to the groomers all require crates. And he is NOT happy. Howls unmercifully. It is much harder to get him used a crate now that he is older.

We have some crates in the house with open doors and all of the dogs go in their on their own and take naps, etc. They will also go there when my grandchildren are visiting and they are tired. My grandchildren know to leave them alone then.

While there are many pros and cons to how long and when you crate a dog, as Karlin so eloquently outlines, I do agree they should be trained to view a crate as a good experience in case one is every needed.

Maxxs_Mummy
25th July 2006, 12:41 AM
Cockerspaniel,

You say you leave them outside all day - I hope it's not too hot where you are or it could kill them :(

Also, dog napping is on the increase and both Cavaliers and Cockers are quite regularly stolen to order :(

Do they have access to a kennel or the like? I personally wouldn't leave either breed of spaniel outside all day long, they are not outdoor dogs.

My patio door is usually open all day long for the dogs as 9 times out of 10 there is someone here with them. However, the other day, we still had a pee from Charlie on the washable rug right by the door :roll:

Tbh, if you have dogs you should really expect the occasional accident and with pups you should be prepared for the pees and poops :lol:

I'm not having a go at you btw, I just personally think that maybe the dogs should be kept in a room together whilst you are out with some pee pads or paper on the floor & not in the garden.

Cockerspaniel
25th July 2006, 01:27 AM
MM, I greatly appreciate the constructive advice. Tell me what you think of the following: I'm open to instruction, as I'm new to the dog thing!

As I live in the west of Ireland, it rarely gets too hot. I have a very fine kennel outdoors for them to hop in and out of whenever they want. The kennel is just outside the patio door and they can see inside into the kitchen if they position themselves near the kennel doorway. I have several pieces of garden furniture also under which they can plonk themselves if they want, as well as many nooks and crannies. During the recent heatwave here, I kept the patio door open and they could stay in the kitchen if they so wished.

We live in suburbia, so we have a 57 foot by 36 foot back garden which is completely enclosed and secure. We have trees and shrubbery which they love to spend time in. I go out to them frequently during the day and play with them outside changing their toys to bring variety into their day, or bringing them for a walk on the local green, etc. From sometime in September onwards, they will be brought indoors until the following summer. When I'm back teaching, they'll have to entertain each other during our absence during the day, except for an hour at lunchtime, when my husband is home or when a dog walker comes in. I am currently planning to build a decent sized puppy room (subject to planning permission) which will have a dog hatch through which they can go in and out as they please and where they can pee and poo without that causing too much hassle. And - most importantly - LINO on the floor (it's the easiest to clean!).

I left the patio door open quite a bit today and had two poos and about six wees. Too much. It's as if my 6 weeks of toilet training has born no fruit whatsoever! And this, despite hovering around them for a lot of time, watching for signs and giving them plenty of time and encouragement to do the business outside...Boo hoo!

Nancy
25th July 2006, 01:32 AM
I cannot even begin to imagine all the dangerous things that could happen to puppies, even grown dogs, if left alone in the yard, bee stings, predators ( some large birds have been known to fly off with puppies) , eating things dangerous or poisonous, , even beating each other up too roughly or getting stuck somewhere.

Cockerspaniel
25th July 2006, 01:33 AM
Righto. I'm going to give my dogs a salary raise.

Performance related pay and all of that.

From now on, outside "business" will be rewarded by pieces of good-quality cooked chicken, rather than by the Coachies. Coachies will be reserved for lesser work done, such as sitting down on command and giving the paw.

Will report back...

Maxxs_Mummy
25th July 2006, 01:46 AM
LMAO at the salary rise. Puppy training is darned hard work and you have to be (as I'm sure you are) consistent.

Lino is imho too easily chewed and if I were having a doggy room built I would go for ceramic tiles and, if I could afford it, underfloor heating :flwr:

The house we lived in before this one was a new build and we left Maxx with the run of the hall, dining room and kitchen whlst we went food shopping. We got back an hour later to find a lovely pile of chewed up lino had been left in the hall for us. Not much left on the kitchen floor though :lol: It was coming up anyway but actually came up sooner than anticipated :lol:

I do appreciate the fact that you obviously care for and really love those pups but am inclined to still say that I wouldn't leave them outside alone for all the reasons Nancy and I have already mentioned and plenty more.

My two usually adore each other but today I went to the local shop with my youngest and left my two in the garden chewing on these natural meaty crocodile shaped chews. Ten minutes later my eldest rang my mobile to say that he'd had to break up a fight and confiscate the chews.

We suspect Charlie as being the instigator as unless he realises he's being watched he tries to steal whatever Maxx has got as well as his own :roll:

Obviously, Rhys was there and stopped the fight & Maxx then skulked off into the house and lay down sulking. Charlie however had them on him until I put him to bed and kept nipping Maxx's ears & pushing him out the way. I almost sent him to bed with no dinner :roll: :lol:

WoodHaven
25th July 2006, 02:19 AM
MM, I greatly appreciate the constructive advice. Tell me what you think of the following: I'm open to instruction, as I'm new to the dog thing!

I left the patio door open quite a bit today and had two poos and about six wees. Too much. It's as if my 6 weeks of toilet training has born no fruit whatsoever! And this, despite hovering around them for a lot of time, watching for signs and giving them plenty of time and encouragement to do the business outside...Boo hoo!

If they are 12 weeks old they might not have the bladder control to deal with a military style of training. Much like one year old children in that respect. You would never expect a one year old to be potty trained. I do know of a person who was pottytrained by 18 months old (parents were military intelligence). She is manic - depressive and has many issues.
Have you considered a litterbox in an x-pen? Just another alternative- Sandy

Nancy
25th July 2006, 02:43 AM
I left the patio door open quite a bit today and had two poos and about six wees. Too much. It's as if my 6 weeks of toilet training has born no fruit whatsoever! And this, despite hovering around them for a lot of time, watching for signs and giving them plenty of time and encouragement to do the business outside...Boo hoo!

Also, the problem is, if you don't "set them up for success" they don't know what success is! IE....let them take a nap inside, confined, and as soon as they wake up, take them outside and when they pee, praise to high heaven. If they are outside all the time, and you aren't there, they don't know that anything they did was right or wrong.

judy
25th July 2006, 05:55 AM
My patio door is usually open all day long for the dogs as 9 times out of 10 there is someone here with them. However, the other day, we still had a pee from Charlie on the washable rug right by the door :roll:

Tbh, if you have dogs you should really expect the occasional accident and with pups you should be prepared for the pees and poops....

Zack was house trained a long time ago, no going inside the house in probably 4 months--he'll be 9 months old in a week or so. He used to scratch on the door to ask to go out. Then, i started leaving the patio door open all the time when i was home, and he never needed to ask to go out. In addition to going in and out to the backyard, he goes to the dog park a few times per week, and goes for a walk with me every night.

My nextdoor neighbor called yesterday and said there was a racoon hanging out in her backyard lately, and she said she thought it was acting strangely. She said it got into a fight with a cat. So, i closed the screen door. for at least a couple of weeks, Zack has been charging outside toward the fence and jumping straight up and is looking up, and i thought it was squirrels in the trees. Maybe it was the racoon on the fence. Anyway, i couldn't persuade him not to bark so i started closing the screen door at night even before yesterday. It never occurred to me to worry about Zack going potty inside the house. But last night i found a giant pee on the kitchen floor. And then i found a poop in the bathroom, scattered over both rugs. :yuk: The good news was, earlier in the day at the dog park he had a loose stool, possibly due to switching to Innova Evo the day before, but the poop last night was firm. A miracle. It made me feel better. But since he hasn't had an 'accident' since he was trained, i was very unprepared mentally and it was upsetting.

But now I'm prepared. The thing is, clearly he has forgotten about scratching on the door and asking to go out, and the task before me is how to teach him to do that again. Off hand, i'm not sure how to do that.
It seems harder than teaching him the first time around.

Karlin
25th July 2006, 11:36 AM
This has been an interesting thread with a good range of discussion I think.

Some thoughts on housetraining, and dogs being left outside:

I agree with the very high value treats for doing their business -- this REALLY helps move the process along (so to speak!). I gave bits of cooked sausage or chicken for poops as that was what I really did not want done inside and Jaspar very quickly got the idea -- his concentration sure improved when I went from a bit of kibble or cheese as a reward to meat! :lol:

On dogs being left outside -- I would strongly, strongly recommend these two be housedogs and only in the garden when people are home AND they are supervised. The main reason is there has been a huge spate of dog theft in Ireland -- papers have been covering it recently -- and cavaliers are a prime target as would be cockers, but cavaliers in particular. They are stolen to order for people in the UK (the people think they are working with rescues and are on waiting lists; then gangs steal to order in Ireland!) or taken and sold on to puppy farms (there are dozens of them out in the west :yikes ) -- where the dog will live in a cage and produce pups for the rest of its life (see my puppy farm section which describes two Irish puppy farm situations). Cavaliers are probably the number one target for puppy farm or steal-to-order because they are small, there's always a ready market for them, and they are a favourite of puppy farm breeders (the latter is also why it is so important to neuter the dogs and then, have tags on the dog that clearly state it is microchipped and neutered -- this will often mean the thieves will abandon the dog which then has a much better chance to be handed in and returned to the owner. I know of several cases of this apprently happening with neutered males, where that status is more obvious!). Sometimes these gentle breeds are even stolen to use to bait fighting dogs. This is a huge problem, according to the SPCAs or those working in animal welfare. :(

Cavaliers in particular are very much an indoor lap dog, like yorkies or maltese, and can develop personality problems left outside (they are great outdoor dogs too but in the company of a person). I have seen quite a few like this, that have come in to rescue in Ireland. Two of them I had to place in experienced homes who could work with the behaviour issues. Both these breeds are very easy to have inside; if they can go in and out when someone is there to watch them, but spend all other time inside, that's the best situation. Cavaliers in particular usually do not really want to be out alone or even with another dog; they want to be with you.

I'd also be very careful about giving the two puppies lots of alone time together outside anyway, as this greatly facilitates the main problem of getting two pups at the same time -- they bond very closely to each other and not very well to you, which can cause behaviour and training problems as they get older (it is one reason why many trainers and breeders do not recommend people get two puppies together). Of course you can have great success too with two pups at the same time and it can also be lots of fun :), but it does take a a lot of extra work, making sure each is trained separately, gets separate attention, etc. There's lots of info out on the web on managing this situation successfully. 8)

Link with more links and info: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1956

Cockerspaniel
25th July 2006, 12:14 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the excellent feedback.

Righto, they are coming back in!

Finns Family
24th August 2006, 03:02 PM
I have just had the opportunity to read this very interesting thread. I think the person who said culturally there may be some differences in the uses of crates had a valid point. I live in Canada and I can tell you that in almost every puppy school the use of the crate is recommended as it is in most dog training books. When we go to our breeders and see crates we believe that they are endorsed by our breeders who find them necessary for various aspects of managing a multi-dog (4-5+) household. If you have training or behavioural difficulties, the first question always asked is "do you crate" and if you respond no then there is a head-shake from the questionner and if you say yes then you are doing it wrong:-S.

That is speaking from my personal experience, not any voice of authority on the subject. All I can say is that I tried the crate thing. I had the best of intentions but it came down to this - I love the snuffly breath beside my ear, I love the wriggling up to my face in the morning as I am waking up, I love the way Finn rearranges himself into the nooks and crannies while we are asleep and I even have come to love the snoring:-S. Finnegan has and has always had a crate. Finn will go and lie in his crate for naps during the day and did not need to be trained to do this - it is probably more comfortable than my bed and it doesn't keep waking him up every time it shifts (like my lap when I have to keep changing load of laundry;-).

The primary use of the crate in our house is still for Finns protection but rather than keeping him from hurting himself or having accidents (which potty training took care of nicely I am happy to say) it is to keep him safe from harassing children.

All of the kids have been taught that if and when Finn is in his crate that is "his" place and time. He is a lovable dog and plays with them and cuddles but has figured out that the kids are not allowed in there and when he is tired of the baby chasing him, and my daughter dressing him, and the kids just generally over loving him he goes in to his crate, curls up and rests his head on his paws and just watches over everything and naps until he is ready to throw himself back into the fray (which does happen:-). We all have our end points of tolerance and when Finn is at the end of his, his crate is his haven. The kids respect that and we have never had any aggression incidents and we have never had an antisocial puppy either.

I do however think that this means I may have crate-trained the children and not the dog! ;)

matties mum
24th August 2006, 04:32 PM
:) I like the last answer with the kids knowing not to harassing the dog when he is in the crate I do not use a crate wiyh my dogs but do understand the need sometimes Aileen

merlinsmum
24th August 2006, 04:47 PM
I bought a crate for Merlin - it was big enugh for a labrador. I unpacked it and thought no......... I've grown up with Golden retrievers and the only time one was ever created was a puppy that my mum fostered for a shortwhile as it had broken its leg.

Merlin as a pup used to have the kitchen when we were out. Easy clean floor as you can't shout if there's an aciident - after all its your fault that you weren't there to spot the signs. At night ( well actually the 1st night he cried in the kitchen on his own so my other half brought him upstairs - much against my reasoning that he shouldn't. He stayed dry all night.....

After then we just put wee pads in the bathroom which has a wooden floor for him to go to in the night if we didn't hear him - it didn't matter if he missed as the floo is easily cleaned.

Now at night he cries at the top of the stairs he he needs the toilet and we know thats the sign for toilet!

If we have to leave him during the day ( he now goes to Grandmas during work hours) - he has the whole house bar a room which has a lot of wires and stuff. He just goes to sleep on our bed....... doesn't bother and has not once had an accident.

he's such a good boy and thats without a crate.

I do know some people with other breeds that have used crates because their dogs have been destructive and the only way they have been able to resolve damaged houses is to crate for a short time.

I think it all depends on what feels right to you and what is right for your dog....

Gillian
24th August 2006, 05:28 PM
I have been reading all the treads about crates. I too hadnt heard of one until my daughter got Kayla. She didnt do badly but did used to cry at times.
With Abby though, she only cried the first night. I put the crate in the sitting room where we stay most of the time. During the day it is open . and she goes in it often to sleep or play. She seems to love it and never cries when I put her in it to go out.
Of course I am home most of the time so she is never left for very long. At the most two hours , when I go to the hairdresser. Or out to eat.
I find it very convenient as she is safe and so are my things.

hyork
30th August 2006, 02:23 PM
get a soft crate that zips-its like a little doggy tent, its much easier to haul around too