View Full Version : Crates - Does everyone use ?

Joanne M
22nd November 2006, 01:55 AM
When I first got Tucker I couldn't bring myself to purchase a metal cage. I know, I know, it's for their safety and security, but I had this mental block. But after he ate a pair of Ralph Lauren prescription sunglasses (a splurge for me), that necessitated a trip to the vet emergency room, I decided to go out shopping. Instead of the metal crates, I found a travel crate, nylon with rubberized mesh panels. It looked really sturdy, felt sturdy. About a month later, Tucker chewed through the mesh panel flap. I doubt I would have been able to do this with a knife and scissors. I worried that Tucker would be able to collapse the metal type crates that I've seen. Since he was about 8 months old he's had the run of the house. (A four room ranch, puppy-proofed) He sleeps with me at night. When I have to leave him alone, which isn't all that often, rarely for more than two to three hours at a time, he has the run of the house. I also have hired my nieces at various times to babysite him (am I crazy or what?) Seems like everyone I meet, or read, uses a crate. Just wondering, am I the only one who doesn't?

22nd November 2006, 02:31 AM
Hello and icon_welcome

First off let me say what an expensive lesson!!! :yikes :yikes :yikes

My most recent lesson was that mine cannot even be trusted at 10 months old. I did leave him unsupervised the other day while we had a visitor explaining various window coverings to me, and I learned a very embarassing lesson. Kosmo ate the man's shoe!!! :sl*p: :sl*p: :sl*p: I was so embarassed I couldn't even think straight.

Secondly, crates are not bad at all as long as they are introduced properly. I know there's a mental block when you're unfamiliar, but when your puppy is raised with a crate, it will become his or her safe haven. Kosmo runs to his crate when he's had enough of the children or when he's in trouble because he knows when he's in there, it's his time. Nobody else's. Many of us use a crate with wonderful success. I am now training Kos to be left out while I am gone as well. As a matter of fact I ran off for an hour tonight and left him out with the crate door open.. when I came home I snuck to the window and found him sleeping in his crate.. :)

Some people prefer not to use them, which is fine, but they are great tools for potty training and means of containment when they can't be watched 100% of the time. :flwr:

22nd November 2006, 03:08 AM
Well no, I don't use a crate, I lean more toward partitioning off an area, such as the kitchen, and putting the dogs (or dog) in there while they are still puppies. I did try the crate once, and Bentley had a freak accident while in the crate that scared me so much I gave the crate away.....he somehow started to chew on the bars to the metal crate, and opened his mouth wide enough to get his jaws stuck really good....he yelped so loud I nearly panicked, but I got him un-stuck without any injuries, but I was shaking like a leaf. So, mine have the run of the house now, and yes I still do get a few things chewed up, I just have to take extra time when I leave for work to put up and put away everything that could be a potential chew treat for the little bugger. Also, I live alone and have nobody that could come and let the dogs out for me while I am at work all day, and I wouldn't want to leave them crated that long. It's working out pretty good tho, and the older Bentley gets the better he is about not chewing things, and if he does chew I don't get mad at him about it, he's just being a dog and I know he is bored when I work all day (he has a ton of dog chewies and toys tho, as well as Bailey, my toy Poodle, for company).

Cathy T
22nd November 2006, 03:10 AM
I thought of crates as being cruel. My brother who has two goldens told me his biggest mistake was in not crate training his two. So I crate trained mine...and don't regret it for a minute. Both of mine sleep in theirs and they love it. When Shelby had knee surgery had to be confined I didn't have to worry about her at night. My favorite explanation is what my brother in law said "so, their crates are kind of like how I see my room as my space?" Yep!

22nd November 2006, 03:10 AM
i also couldn't stand the thought of putting my baby in a metal crate when we first got him. but we got him one, and now he loves it. when he was a little puppy we would bring the crate up next to our bed and if he would wake up and cry, i would just stick my hand in and he'd lick it and go right back to bed... turns out all he wanted was to know he wasn't alone.

to this day, he'd rather sleep in his crate next to our bed than in the big bed. we also crate him if we leave the house. i tried to let him out to roam a few times if i was just going for a few minutes, but he can't relax because he thinks i'm standing outside the door. so he just stands in front of the door and cries for me until i get back.

a simple "max, get in your crate" and he gladly jumps right in. i think they are the way to go.

22nd November 2006, 03:52 AM
In addition to our cavvie we have a greyhound. At the tracks in the States crates are used routinely in greyhounds' lives. We used one as to ease his transition to home life and as a housebreaking tool. He has a metal or wire crate, and initially had some anxiety issues that involved him trying to chew his way out of the crate and causing it to collapse. Thankfully he wasn't hurt! At that point, I used those plastic cable tie thingies http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f39/huesiemama/cableties.jpg and that really seemed to make the difference! Now he is only in his crate when we are not home and during meals.

Ariel has a plastic crate which she is in overnight as well. If she is "loose" at night we have had potty issues. But even the chewer that she is, has not chewed this crate a bit. Go figure.


22nd November 2006, 03:53 AM
Only one of mine was not crate trained. And that one cried so pitifully the first night so we took him out of the crate and into the bed (big our mistake).

Well, when he had to stay overnight at the vet's, he had to be sedated because he was so crazed to be in a crate. So we then crate trained him although it took longer because he was then older.

All of mine will go in the crate by themselves during the day to nap or get away from the grandkids or the other dogs. We also feed some of them in the crates too. So they love their very own rooms!

22nd November 2006, 04:23 AM
I've used a crate for King ever since day 1...plus I know dozens of ppl who used a crate and had wonderful success... King loves his crate, he knows when we're going out (and he's not coming with) to go into his crate... or when I'm getting ready for work all I have to do is call his name he comes into the room to go lay down in his crate.

From what I've seen sometimes when a pup is not used to being in a crate then all of a sudden put into 1 for extended periods of time the pup starts to regress...starting to urinate on the floor out of spite, or chewing on furniture...So what I would recommend in doing is start off slow...putting him in for mayb 30 mins leave the house but stay within ear shot...

You may need to do this you may not... This is what a trainer I know tells her clients who are having this problem... What ever works, I hope it works

22nd November 2006, 04:30 AM
Bailey loves his crate. Until I started researching in prep for him coming home I had never heard of crate training and I thank my stars I stumbled across it before I got him home. He loves his crate. I love that he is safe at night and when I am not home. I wouldn't be without it now!!

22nd November 2006, 09:50 AM
nup i dont use the crate

22nd November 2006, 09:56 AM
I have also been using a crate for Scampi (now 11 weeks) which she happily took to from day one. I use cable ties to attach it to an ex-pen, meaning that there is a door from the crate into both it and out to us. She seems to think that if she's in the ex-pen we are open to negotiation when it comes to being picked up or let loose, but if she's in the crate she settles immediately and gets on with attacking the Kongs etc which I always put in there. It's miraculous! It's also good protection from the cat, allowing them to get used to each other safely so far.

22nd November 2006, 10:37 AM
I have always had my dogs running free. But with this lot I crate trained. I find them a lot more settled and happier. I think because it sets up a routine and gives them their own space.

22nd November 2006, 10:42 AM
i use one of these ...its a croft freedom pen
the girls sleep in there at night with the door open ...the only time the door is closed is when we sit to eat our meal


22nd November 2006, 11:58 AM
Wow that freedom pen is really nice! :)

Crate training is a *really* good idea not least because a crate is the safest way for you to travel with your dog in a car and there may be times you need to use a crate. But I actually found it very easy to get all my dogs used to a crate including two older dogs who were NEVER formally crate trained, simply by using it for travel to fun places. All three will go in a single crate for transport and they always sleep at night in crates when they are bing minded when I am away. I did use the crate as a very useful aid in housetraining for Jaspar, who I had from puppyhood, but I never used it to confine him at all times, only sometimes, in the last 10-30 minutes before I knew he'd need to do a wee or poop. This helped to regularise when he would go and also kept him from having accidents the majority of the time.

Having a dog that goes happily into a crate is very useful for when you need, for his safety or someone elses's, to keep a dog confined. You can of course also use a room -- I never, ever crate mine during the day and never have; they all just go into a spare bedroom and are very happy and well behaved there (plus they can bark at the roof cats out the window :roll: ) but some do find crates are useful for penning the dogs during the day.

I think judicious use of a crate is fine, but I would have issues with an increasing tendency in the US in particular to advocate a crate as a hald-all for a puppy or dog for 8 hour days when someone is at work. I am really annoyed at the huge number of training websites which happily advise leaving puppies in crates up to 6 hours by the time they are 4 months old simply because 'you can' and this is seen as convenient! What a hideous life for a puppy -- like confining a 5 year old to a bedroom all day, every day in exchange for small segments of 'quality time' with us :( ). Though the environment is clean and warm in a home crate, this limited view of the world and excessive confinement is hardly different from the large breeding companies that supply puppies to pet shops and which we rightly complain about. I also have long found it strange that people would immediately feel disturbed to see a zoo animal the size of a cavalier or any dog confined to a small cage the size of a crate for an 8 hour day yet people will routinely do this with dogs. I do not buy the idea that this is an equally happy environment for a dog as it is like 'a den' -- it is still enforced confinement and a dog, as a highly amenable and trainable animal, will learn to accept virtually anything (as one knows if you've ever seen the environments and abuse puppy farm dogs uncomplainingly tolerate). My own personal preference would be for more people to consider a room for confinement rather than a crate for any period of over 3-4 hours. For a human comparison, think how we go crazy being stuck in an airline seat with just enough room to shift position. That is the equivalent of crate space for dogs. Over three hours in an airline seat without getting up to move around, talk to someone, use the toilet, get a drink, etc is grim for us -- much less 8 hours! -- surely it is the same for a dog, a highly social, responsive animal.

I also don't think a crate or x-pen should EVER be viewed as a space to keep dogs from getting into what we don't want them to get into. We don't stick children in a playpen all day, we childproof the house. The playpen (eg crate or xpen) is a useful *tool* for specific uses and a safe place for a dog at night. But it is our job as responsible dog owners to get anything up off the floor that we don't feel can be sacrificed. :) I think we have all learned, a pair of favourite shoes or two later, that many dogs and nearly all puppies do not think: "hmmm, there's my hard Nylabone and there's a nice chewy leather shoe. I know she values those Jimmy Choos whereas the Nylabone is my cheap plastic chew toy so I will of course select the Nylabone for chewing." :lol: I'd chew those Choos too, given the choice!

I emphasise that crate training is in my book a very valuable bit of training to do and can and should be done in a very positive way. But I don't like them as a long term storage environment. My dogs actually get really excited whenever I bring a crate into the sitting room as they know it means they are going somewhere. 8) This makes it really easy to confine them for short periods as needed. I have taken them on trains and planes as well in crates.

BTW I would never give a dog under 12 months the run of a house. There's far too much that they could get into. Much safetr to confine the dog to a room or downstairs or whatever, using a baby gate or closed doors. First off few dogs that age are totally reliable and are very likely weeing somewhere where you cannot see them and this will end up as an eternal problem. Secondly few people take up every single risky item and clear all lower shelves in the bathroom or bedroom of dangerous substances like medications, cleaning items etc. Puppies are inquisitive and chewing up a container of a dangerous cleaning solvent is just as interesting to them (and they CAN open cupboards!) as that Nylabone they are supposed to chew).

As usual I have given a long response but this is an issue close to my heart. I'd like people to think of crates as short term safe places. useful tools for training and management in the short term, and nighttime 'dens ' for dogs. But not as the daytime kennel por the place a puppy stays at all other times than when it is out peeing or pooping or having short term play sessions with owners.

22nd November 2006, 12:17 PM
Karlin that was very well put....couldn't agreed more our pen is open and the girls just see it as a bed they have the run of the kitchen and conservastory at night with 2 nice sofa's but they all snuggled up in the pen

I only close mine when we eat the girls know its tea time they all wait for the gravy bones and are happy to doze in the pen for half an hr until we finsish
mine are never left for hrs in there ( they would go crazy ) :shock:

22nd November 2006, 12:30 PM
I love your freedom pen, where did you get it?

Holly wasn't crated as a puppy- she had the use of a rather large under stairs utility room thing, which was good in that it was cosy, but now I wouldn't put a puppy there- unless you left the light on it was pitch black with the door closed. On the plus side it was large enough to emulate the crate-and-xpen set up, and as soon as Holly was old enough, she graduated to thekitchen where she could curl up in her basket or wander around.

Amber on the other hand has been crate trained from day one, but the only time she's actually left in the crate is when she's sleeping (and not always then, except overnight) and when I need to go out. She originally had a ridiculously large traditional wire crate, but she always crated havoc in it. Now I use a crate that's just the right size for her, and because it's the kind that's all plastic apart from the wire door, she seems much happier and SO snug! I feed her half a doggy choc button when she goes in, so now she goes in quite happily. She's never left in it during the day for longer than three hours, and only then when I'm out. I think it has really made a difference- apart from her puppy cheekiness she has been an extremely easy puppy so far.

22nd November 2006, 01:43 PM
inca, that Freedom pen is awesome! I also love that pic. Their coats are all so shiny and beautiful and I bet they all smell good and feel so soft. I want to crawl in and cuddle with them all!

My Chester slept in a crate at night until he was 8 months old and once he was reliably house broken he slept with me or on his bed on the floor. Until he was 1.5 years old I would confine him the bedroom whenever I left the house and he was very happy because he can sit on the bed and look out the window and bark at all the squirrels, dogs, cats and people that happen to walk by. He never once had an accident while confined to the bedroom and now that he's 2.5 years old he has free roam of the house while I'm gone, but he still prefers to stay in the bedroom on the bed. In fact, whenever I leave the house he will immediately run up the stairs into the bedroom and look out the window at me as I leave. I have a feeling he looks out the window for a while, but I know for a fact that he will sack out the bed for hours at the time.

Lucky for me Chester has never chewed on any shoes or clothing...just paper from the recycle bin...so at this point he has proven himself reliable to have run of the house.

Best of luck to you and your adorable furbaby!

Monica & Chester

22nd November 2006, 01:51 PM
its from croft online.....you can order them there i have to say its the best thing i have ever bought ....
its really solid

Barbara Nixon
22nd November 2006, 02:48 PM
This company does a cheaper version. They are quite good quality;,rather like Rosewood, but less expensive.


22nd November 2006, 03:37 PM
Love that Freedom crate! And the dogs in it :badgrin: .

Boy, Karlin, well said. I sure hate to think of a pup being kept in a crate all day because the owners work which seems to becoming a trend.

22nd November 2006, 04:23 PM
inca your dogs are beautiful. Just look at that little puppy too, how sweet.

Joanne M
22nd November 2006, 05:56 PM
I cannot say enough how much I appreciate your consideration and time in answering, my questions. I must warn you, I've got lots :)

22nd November 2006, 06:30 PM
When we first brought Mr. Quincy home at 10 weeks he was easily trained to sleep in a crate next to our bed. This was very handy for the first three months or so. He would get up once a night to go potty, and go right back to sleep in the crate. Gradually we began to let him sleep in our bed at around 6 months, and he has never had an accident there. In the kitchen downstairs we maintain an x Pen. He stays in there when we are away from home, no more than about 3 hours at a time. He also eats his meals in there, takes naps on his cozy bed, and occasionally has a timeout in there as well! He pretty much has the run of the downstairs when we are here to maintain close supervision. Upstairs we have to be a little more diligent. If he feels ignored when I am on the computer he has been know to leave a little surprise for me in another room.........He is such a little smartie and is very good at getting my attention!

murphy's mum
22nd November 2006, 08:48 PM
Inca your babies are soooooo gorgeous! I could steal the all. They look so cosey in their pen.

Murphy is not crate trained we decided not to because we both work during the day. He stays in a Utility room with a baby gate up to keep him in, and his radio on to keep him company. I come home at lunch to see him and let him out. And he sleeps with us during the night.

22nd November 2006, 11:57 PM
Very well said Karlin, you took the words right out of my mouth. I would love to print this out and show this to a few of my co-workers who have dogs. I call these gals I work with "dog owners" and not "dog lovers" because of how they treat their dogs, to them they are "just a dog" and my co-workers think nothing of leaving their dogs confined to small crates for 8 hours, or more, each day while they are at work, and then they complain about their dog's behavior. I am so disturbed by my co-workers doing this that I cannot even discuss it with them any more (and believe me I have tried to explain to them that crates are not meant as prisons for dogs to be left in all day long).

I don't know why it has become such a trend here, but it is pretty disturbing.

I love that freedom pen!!

Cathy T
23rd November 2006, 01:11 AM
Oh I know what you mean!! I used to work with a woman who had 3 dogs, including an Alaskan Malamute. She would leave these dogs for, I kid you not, 12 hours at a time!!! And then bitch and moan about them destroying her house. Her Alaskan completely destuffed the coach, chewed the tv cord, ripped a rug to shreds, I mean just completely and totally destroyed her house. At the time I didn't have dogs and didn't "get" it. Now I do!!! What the he** did she expect?!