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Thread: Is it cruel/mean of me to crate puppy when he's awake and wants to play?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Hampshire, UK
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    Default Is it cruel/mean of me to crate puppy when he's awake and wants to play?

    Arthur is 9.5 weeks and goes in his crate for sleeps. Mostly when he's awake he's out with one of us and we play with him until he shows signs of tiredness.
    Today he seems to be having a very awake day, coincidentally today I have loads I have to get done in the house and can't play with him as much as usual. Is it cruel to leave him in his crate/den with some toys? He's yapping at me to come out and play.
    Normally he sleeps for 2 hours in the morning, today he doesn't seem tired.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Yorktown, Virginia USA
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    No, its not. A 9.5 week old puppy needs to be in supervision or in his crate or xpen area. Crying for attention is pretty common, I know its sounds bad who wants to hear their baby crying for them? But the fact of the matter is there are times when you cannot be within arms reach of him and do have things to do. As he gets older and house trained and learns a few manners he can have the run of the house and will most likely follow you around everywhere but he's not old enough yet. Plus if you are going to have him crated at night or when you are out he needs to learn now that his crate is not so bad.

    Here's a few suggestions.

    You might want to consider setting up an xpen area (search Ian Dunbar on this site- its After You Get Your Puppy I think) but a crate alone is alright too. We used both with Fletcher.

    Try a KONG I had a hard time trying to get Fletcher into them as a small puppy but as a teenage puppy boy has a stuffed KONG to amuse him help me out too. You might also want to hide little treats in his crate too. Make sure the toys he has he likes...sure some toys are fun to play with together but good alone toys. I know this sounds silly but I put a child's large sized mirror in Fletcher area, he loved it and played with himself BARKING it was funny.

    Be know he's in a safe place don't respond to the crying. Cavalier's are so smart they can train us!!!! When we first brought Fletcher home and he did this I would quietly whisper shhhhhhhhhhhhh and it would quite him for a few. Remember a dogs hearing is way better than ours so a quite reminder take I was near maybe???? Do not give it even if you have time to play now and he's still whining you need to wait until it stops to go get him. Again who's training who? Following these rules it took me less than a week to get Fletcher to be awake and in his area without whining.
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    Be prepared -- those 'sleeps for 2 hours' times pretty quickly will now come to an end and you will have a more wakeful, playful and demanding puppy.

    Using a crate is fine for the kind of thing you want to do.... BUT puppies need to be crate TRAINED however -- generally that takes some time -- before just leaving them alone in a crate. Otherwise it can be very distressing for the pup, and also create negative associations for the crate, which you definitely don't want Please download Ian Dunbar's free book after You Get Your Puppy at, which will explain crate training in detail. There are also free handouts there with handy summaries of how to crate train, housetrain, etc -- just register for free on the site to get them. Some whining is normal but crate training helps to work towards preventing/curtailing it and is very important. If you respond to whining in any way it simply trains the puppy that whining gets a response -- eg he is then training you. It will extinguish if you totally ignore him, saying nothing etc. But this approach again, needs to be done in association with proper crate training, not simply leaving him for 30 minutes when he has never been trained to be in a crate, awake, for that amount of time, much less longer (night sleeping does not count).

    In general, crate training involves working to create good associations with the crate and slowly leaving the puppy for longer periods alone in the crate. You need to be using the crate for him to help housetraining -- you def do not want a puppy running around without arm's-length, constant supervision or you'll have endless setbacks to the housetraining programme. Ian Dunbar explains all this. I also have pinned to the training forum, a selecton of links to good training sites all of which cover positive methods crate training (and remind that the crate is a tool, not a kennel for long hours of people being away. ). You are absolutely right to want to have him in his crate for short periods while you do other things and you can incorporate that into your crate training at this time.

    You must keep in mind that a puppy his age cannot hold itself longer than about 2 hours in a crate (and it will take you a while to work up to leaving him that length as part of crate training!) and thus leaving him in the crate has to be part of his housetraining regime so he gets out as needed. You do not ever want to have accidents in the crate or he will grow to view the crate as a fine place to relieve himself.
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    victoria bc
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    i do the same thing iwth maggie. shes 15 weeks now, but i cant get things done around the house if shes at my heals the whole time.
    she dosnt like it..and lets me know.. her crates in the bedroom..and if i dont need to be in there..ill shut the door. she usually falls asleep.
    if its in the bedroom..she lets me know shes displeased with that.
    but it offers a safe place for her to play while i have my back turned doing other things that need to get done. its a good thing. i tried letting her the runo f my room while i was in there folding laundry.
    she was into everything she wasnt supposed to. and it wasnt safe. so in hte long run..its a good move.
    Oliver and Max and Meeko man, i will meet you at the Rainbow bridge. I love you all. Miss you more then you'll ever know.
    wait for me...


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