View Full Version : What age for no crate at night?

2nd April 2011, 07:59 PM
Henry is 11 months old now. He loves his crate and is very happy in it at night or if I have to pop out for an hour during the day. He also likes to escape in there to get away from the kids sometimes!

I'm just wondering what age your cavaliers were when you no longer crated them? He has 2 other beds which he also loves but he's quite the chewer so I know if he slept in his bed in the kitchen, I'd really need to make sure there was nothing for him to chew!

Also we're going to visit my sister in law soon and she just recently rehomed a gorgeous Cav who doesn't sleep in a crate so would night time be a bit manic with them both if Henry wasn't in a crate?

Thing is, space is a little tight in his crate so I'm just wondering is it worth getting a bigger one?

He feels so safe in his crate

2nd April 2011, 10:15 PM
I've wondered about this as well. Bentley is just over 4 months and sleeps all night (without getting us up) in his bed within his cage, and is very happy to have his daytime naps there. Occasionally in the daytime I don't even latch the cage and he's never noticed. We bought him a second 2-pc bed last week that's in our den. He investigates it and will stretch out for a few minutes but still needs confinement to really get into deep sleep.

2nd April 2011, 10:23 PM
Mine put themselves in the crate so I know they don't mind being in there. I suppose they are familiar with it so I will probably always have them in it at night.
I always keep the door open during the day and Ruby is often fast asleep in there and some mornings when I open the door to let them out for the toilet she doesn't move :D.
She is so lazy! :)

3rd April 2011, 12:07 AM
If he is tight in his crate, then the crate is too small. The average cavalier–say a dog about 12 inches high at the shoulder and weighing about 18–20 pounds–really needs a medium-size crate–I like a medium-size wire crate that is about 2 feet wide and about 3 feet long as it is a nice comfortable size for a house trained dog. I then cover it (you can buy custom-made crate covers from some places, but I just use a lightweight cloth). But you can use a plastic crate. A crate should be large enough for a dog to comfortably stand with some clearance overhead, turn around and lie down. A crate that was the right size for a puppy is not going to be the right size for an adult dog.

Many people have their dog sleep in crates at night–it is actually a good safe place for a dog to be, because if there were an emergency you would know exactly where the dog was if you had to get out of the house. If you have a dog that likes sleeping in a crate, I would certainly take advantage of that because it's very handy if you are traveling for a dog to happily go to its crate and sleep inside. All of mine sleeping crates at night–they all run in last thing at night to get their treat in their crate and then I closed the doors. I have dogs that all get along well so to the girls are in one crate, and then the two boys in one of the other girls in another larger crate. They all like to sleep in a pile with each other! :)

I would not allow two dogs that don't know each other well to be loose at night together.

3rd April 2011, 01:24 AM
Coco stopped sleeping in her crate by 5 months old, maybe even 4? When she was reliable at night time is when she started sleeping with me :) Home alone she graduated from a crate to her pen around 5 - 6 months old. We still have her crate and she goes into it and naps in it, but we no longer close the door on her. At least I know she is comfy in there if I ever need to fly her or something.

3rd April 2011, 02:59 AM
Helio stopped sleeping in his crate around 5 months. He really hated spending the night in there because he's a huge cuddler and he hated knowing I was in my bed right next to him and he couldn't snuggle with me. Plus, he had a lot of trouble not peeing in his crate, no matter how often I woke up and took him out, but he never once has peed in my bed, so he moved up to my bed and he was so much happier. Now, he can jump out of my bed, but he's very, very good! He'll curl up against the edge of my bed, with our older dog, or on our older dog's bed, and in the morning, no accidents! Unless I've slept too late by accident and then it's totally my fault. It's amazing, as he's kind of a troublemaker during the day, but at night when we're all asleep and he potentially could get into a lot of trouble, he's a perfect angel! :D

Also meant to add, I still have his crate and he goes in it when we have to go somewhere -- not too often! There's almost always someone home to watch him, but when we do leave him, it's never been for more than four hours, and he's completely happy in there with his Kong. He's much better about staying in it when there isn't anyone home, he really, really hates being away from people when he sees they're around. He'll cry if he can't play with people who jog down the street by our house!

3rd April 2011, 03:05 AM
Sophie was 18 months old when I started leaving her home alone in the kitchen with just baby gates. Otherwise, she would have chewed furniture or the cabinets. The crate is in our kitchen and I often find her in it (voluntarily) when I return home. It has a nice thick pad and fabric draped over it, so she has her own "den." I use a lighter, gauze type fabric in summer when it's warm, and polar fleece in winter --- whenever the heat is turned on. So it is more or less her own little dog house.

She is now 2 1/2 years old, weighs 18 pounds, and still sleeps in her 24" long crate at night. She loves it and can't get into it fast enough at bedtime,:jmp:
all for two little kibbles as her bedtime snack. Silly dog.

3rd April 2011, 03:20 AM
Max is 2 1/2 and Rylie 1 1/2. They both still sleep in their crates and I don't see that changing. If we go away they have a familiar place to sleep and if they ever have to stay at the vets they are already used to a crate so that won't be a stressor for them. Not to mention knowing where they are at night in case of emergency.

3rd April 2011, 06:05 AM
It sounds like Henry enjoys his crate and thinks of it as his little haven. I would just upgrade to a larger one but keep his routine. My boy loved his crate and would go in there at night, however, after I found out about his neuro issues, I started bringing him in bed with me. It was more for me than him (he was perfectly happy in the crate) . I shouldn't have messed with a good thing.

3rd April 2011, 11:20 AM
Mine used to sleep on the bed but my quality of sleep began to seriously suffer as they woke me up constantly with shifting around. :lol: I think they are more restful in their crates and I certainly sleep significantly better -- I was actually astonished to realise how much they had disrupted a normal nights' sleep. I am a light sleeper.

If anyone has dogs sleeping on/in human beds I strongly recommend a waterproof mattress cover -- one of good quality. There will almost be accidents and once that urine is there in a mattress it is impossible to get out and can encourage further peeing that can easily go unnoticed.

3rd April 2011, 11:23 AM
I was torn between putting mimi in a crate when we got her but i decided against it, she sleeps upstairs and we have not had a problem, i think because she had enough toys to keep her busy if she does wake in the night that we havnt had a problem with her chewing anything (other than her toys but thats what they are there for) I am glad we didnt crate her, if we go out we do keep her in the kitchen with the baby gate but i think because we have given her more freedom she isnt taking advantage of it, she is 9 months now.

3rd April 2011, 05:19 PM
Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm going to get a bigger crate :smile:

3rd April 2011, 07:12 PM
I am glad we didnt crate her, if we go out we do keep her in the kitchen with the baby gate but i think because we have given her more freedom she isnt taking advantage of it, she is 9 months now.

You might want to reconsider this, and maybe read a bit more about crate training is I think there's a misunderstanding of why people do it :)

Crate training a dog is actually one of the best things that you can do! :D The intention is not that you keep your dog in a crate all the time, but that you can safely put your dog into a crate for car transport (having a dog loose in a car is not only dangerous and potentially lethal for the dog, but for every single passenger. Braking at only 25 mph could hurl a dog with such force that it would break the neck of any human struck by the dog). A crate is much safer than a harness for car travel as well. It also means your dog can be transported if it is ever needed, by plane or train or car, and also that your dog can be taken on your travels–because many hotels will accept a small dog that is crate trained, and a crate trained dog will sleep happily and safely in a crate while owners are out without damaging a hotel or a rental cottage. :) aAll the cottages are I have rented preferred that dogs be left in crates when people are out doing other activities

Crates are also used by every single person I know who offers home boarding services, which are generally a much nicer way to leave your dog when you travel than putting them into a kennel. It is risky to leave a group of dogs that don't know each other loose and wandering around, and any home boarding situation which boards dogs in this kind of way should be avoided. Each dog should have a separate crate. It is really nice to have this option instead of needing a kennel, and it also is generally very welcome by friends or relatives who might mind a dog when people are away, to have the option of having the dog in a crate at night.

Most dogs will actually mostly crate train themselves if you simply provide a crate, leave the door open, have a comfy lining they can sleep on inside the crate, and then put toys in and toss a few treats in there from time to time. Many dogs will choose to sleep by choice in a crate as opposed yo out in a dog bed because it is like a doghouse/den for them. For example, if dogs are penned in the kitchen, a covered crate can be left available for them to sleep inside (I like wire crates covered with a light blanket or cloth to create more of a den).

I just cannot stress enough how endlessly useful it is to have a dog that is crate trained. And again, that it has nothing to do with confining the dog during the day. :) I would never crate my dogs for a full day–never for more than a short while if I'm out. Otherwise, normally three have the downstairs of the house to rest in end two are gated into the kitchen because they are not reliable at house training (because one is elderly and on heart meds that make her pee frequently and the other is a former puppy farm dog who was house trained as an adult and is never completely reliable).

3rd April 2011, 09:33 PM
Claire is crate trained, and I am so glad I did it. Our other dog was not, and it's one of my biggest regrets.

Sometimes I have done it strictly of safety for Claire. We recently had about 25 people at the house, which about 8 were children. I kept Claire in her crate while I was serving food and whatnot. Later when we all settled down to visit, she was let out to visit.

I always worry about several things when you have this many people and kids in the house. One, that she'll get out when people are coming in, and no one will notice. Two that someone will feed her something they shouldn't.

Makes me think of an incident where my other dog was feed 'Mexican' food from a friends kids, during an open house I had, this all unbeknown to me. They then had him running up and down our stairs after which he promptly came down, laid in a friends lap and threw up all over her linen pants. Thankfully all my friends are dog lovers, and we got a chuckle out of the fact that it was the Pastors children that had done this. But, I was busy with food and guests and couldn't keep track. Had he been crate trained, I could have kept him safe till a better eye could have been kept on him and the kids.

I also like that I can take Claire anywhere I want, and she knows how to 'kennel'. Both in a car and at a hotel or cottage. Makes life so much easier for us all. And she really does like her crate. She has a nice winter (and has a summer one too) pad, a blanket and some toys.

But, she does spend her nights with us in the bed. She hardly moves a hair, and doesn't take up much space at less than 11 lbs.

I intend to crate train all future dogs too!