Crate training?

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
Member
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I crate trained my dog beginning at 8 weeks old. I’d put him in his crate at night, and during the day the door would stay open so he would have access, if he wanted. Now he’s 2, and the door has been removed. He sleeps in it every night, and hangs out in there voluntarily all the time throughout the day.

Post # 17
Member
1296 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

We adopted our girl at 8 months old and she is very anxious and had never lived in a house before. We crate trained and she really depended on her crate as her ‘safe space’ that she could run back to whenever she got nervous.

I worked from home most days so she was only crated in at night (until we could trust her not to destroy things) and if I had to pop out to run errands. Although now that I think about it I would occasionally crate her while working just so she didn’t always associate crating = left alone (I would give her a frozen kong and then work at the desk next to her while she was locked in).

I am SO GLAD our girl is crate trained. While she rarely uses it anymore, we do keep it her for her as our plan is that once we have our first child (within next year) the crate will be the “no kids allowed” zone that she can escape to if the little one bothers her. 

Post # 18
Member
695 posts
Busy bee

Personally, I don’t agree with it. I used a crate when my dog was a very young puppy for potty training purposes but only for a couple of hours at a time, by the time he was 4 months he was potty trained and I tossed the crate. Until he was about 6-7 months I did put up a baby gate so he was confined to the kitchen and living room while I was gone, but by the age of 7 months he had earned my trust and was given free run of the house. I think it’s abuse to put a dog in a cage for more than 2-3 hours per day and would only do it if my dog got injured and I needed him to not move around much in order to heal. 

Post # 19
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

pinkglasses :  We worked on crate training our Doberman mix, Kenobi. When we adopted my first dog, Bailey, I was a student, so I was at home a lot and we never had a need to crate train her. Adopting Kenobi, however, came at a different time- Darling Husband and I both work full time (roughly the same hours). While Bailey was trained and left out during the day, that was not an option for an ambitious puppy. We would put him in his crate before work, and Darling Husband and I would stagger our lunches, so we could come home and let him out (DH left at 6am, I left at 8am. Darling Husband came home at 11am and let him out, I came home at 1pm and let him out, Darling Husband would be come from work at about 330pm). There was quite a learning curve for us, it being our first time crate-training a dog. We learned what toys we could leave in there with him after a while, and what toys we could not. We learned to not have anything by the crate that he could pull in and chew on, like t-shirts or towels. He was very resistant to go in his crate when we first got him, but now, it’s second nature. He’s 2 now and we still leave him in his crate (otherwise, he gets bored and there’s quite a bit of destruction, from torn down blinds to 4′ of ripped up carpet). We leave Kenobi in during the day when we are at work, or if we leave the house. When we are at home, we never crate him (unless we are outside and unable to keep an eye on him). He sleeps in the bed with us at night, but we leave the crate door open, and once in a while, he will get in it to sleep. Anyways…
-Crate training is extremely beneficial- helps keep puppers out of trouble and in a safer environment
-Make sure you get the proper-sized crate and to read all reviews first
-Keep an eye what items you leave in with the pupper- no toys that they could choke on, etc. 

Post # 20
Member
2571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We did crate training at first. He mostly slept in it at night and then occasionally when we were running a few errands, mainly to avoid accidents around the house when he was a puppy. However, we never left him in the crate while we were at work. I just would drop him off at doggie daycare to play all day and then pick him up after work. 

We stopped using the crate when he was almost 1 year old because we felt it was no longer necessary for our dog. He doesn’t get into anything while we are running errands, doesn’t really have accidents in the house, and now just sleeps on his bed on the floor next to me. 

Post # 21
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

We didn’t use a crate for my first GSD but my current puppy we crate trained ASAP at 8 weeks. She’s been an excellent little girl but it was important for her to have a safe space since we travel a lot and have a second older dog. The first few nights were hard and I nearly caved but by night 3 she “got it.” It was super helpful with potty training and teaching her to be polite when feeding. She’s 6.5 months and still stays in at night – sometimes the door is closed and sometimes we leave it open – she sleeps in it regardless. She’ll put herself in for a nap and when she wants to go to bed. I think it does help that my fiance has to get up at 4:30 am every morning and he feeds the dogs and lets them out and then Z goes back in until I get up a few hours later.

We have one of those big crates that you can move the partition as the dog grows. She’s 60 lbs currently and can easily stand, stretch, and move around. Our old lab tries sneaking in there too, lol! Z has definitely made it her den and drags random socks and bras and toys in to sleep with. We will probably put it back in storage when she is 1-2 yrs like we did with the lab.

We use the Monks of New Skete as a baseline for our training and it worked wonderfully – especially for the first month. They are not for everyone but with high drive breeds I think they have it down.

 

Post # 22
Member
1011 posts
Bumble bee

We trained our dog to stay in his crate whenever we leave the house, and now his crate is his little den.  He voluntarily goes in there to relax throughout the day.  

Post # 23
Member
7028 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Crate training is hands down THE best way to housetrain a pup. I wouldn’t do it any other way lol. 

I also agree with pps who point it out as its THEIR space. I had one foster who was friendly enough, but when we had people over he would just go to his kennel and chill. Watch everyone and come out when he wanted. Not all dogs love being around people/dogs 24/7. Especially if their are kids involved. I think crates are especially important with them around. And they (kids) need to be taught to leave the animal alone while its in there. 

Post # 24
Member
698 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Weird that American dogs feel safe in a crate as in many European countries it’s against the law to leave a dog or cat in a crate… just saying. Never heard of it before I moved to the states. I find it cruel. 

I also have never seen it used on TV – except they edit that our for Europe – because it’s mostly illegal. 

If you take the time to train your dog, a metal jail isn’t nessecary. Yeah. Training a dof takes time! And dedication. And gives you and the dog freedom. I can walk my dog without a leash. When she needs to stay she stays and when she can roam she roams and when I call her she comes. Also works for the states. Never had any issues here. 

Also i thought my dog not to chew on stuff. Again  it took a couple of weeks but now she distinguishes between her stuff and ours. And when there’s something new she’s not supposed to chew on, I show it to her and when she reaches for it and tell her “no”. She then never touches it again. 

And for the record. She’s just a Chug not some mastermind Australian Sheppard.

Feeling safe 😂 if she wants to feel safe – whatever that means – she’s free to go into her little “house”. One of her beds is underneath my nightstand wedged between three walls. But the only time she goes in there is when I wiggle to much at night and annoy her out of the bed. 

Post # 25
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

We are currently using a crate for our great dane puppy (he’s 9 months old tomorrow and has one of those huge 54 ‘ crates).  This is not a forever solution for us, but only while he’s young and in training.  We crate him while we are at work, but do go home at lunch to let both dogs out (we have an older rescue that we don’t crate) to play.  

Once we get home, the crate is not used.  I know a lot of people crate at night, but thankfully both dogs have taken to the routine of one sleeps on either side of our bed next to us (in the floor on their own beds).  I look forward to the day we can start giving him some freedom while we are not there, but I also dread it at the same time. lol  He did get loose once (one of us forgot to double check a latch) and by some miracle he didn’t destroy anything.  

I will say that crate training at first was horrible and I and our puppy hated it.  He would howl and cry.  We made sure to never “force” him into the crate, but would gently lead him in there with a treat.  Every time he goes into the crate either Darling Husband or myself give him lots of love and snuggles (1. so he doesn’t think the crate is punishment & 2. So it lessens his anxiety towards the crate).  That alone has worked wonders.  He knows when it’s time to go to the crate now and runs towards/in it because he knows he gets his favorite treat (carrots).  

Looking back, I’d say overall it’s been a positive experience, but a TON of work.  Because he is crated, we have changed our schedules around a lot.  Our random trips to Home Depot (60 miles away) are strategically planned to make sure he hardly has to spend any time in the crate on the weekends, we NEVER go out to eat/movies during the week so that he gets all the play time he wants when we’re off of work, etc.  I know a lot of people aren’t fans of crates, but we try to be as mindful as possible to give our puppy the most play/exercise and human interaction as we can.  

Post # 26
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

MiaSuperstar :  It sounds like your dog uses its space by your nightstand the same way many of those of us with crate trained dogs use their crates. Nothing cruel about it if used correctly and there are so many that don’t look like a “metal jail.”  A den atmosphere type space is natural for a dog and why many go running to a bathtub or under a desk when feeling scared during thunderstorms or fireworks or any other anxiety inducing situation…especially when they are still young. It’s not a replacement for normal training nor a form of punishment. I view it more as an indoor dog house! Their own little room.

Post # 27
Member
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: Disneyland - January 2016

It took me a long time to warm up to the concept of crate training since when I was growing up none of our dogs had ever been trained that way. But after my husband and I adopted our first puppy, we decided to look more into it. It took us about 8 months to actually get the hang of it, but our second pup took to it right away since she’s a little more independent and likes her alone time.

For us, the girls are only locked in their crate while we’re at work. They usually sleep either with us or the floor at night, and if we’re gone a couple of hours the crate stays open (we just section off the part of the house with carpet just in case of any accidents).

I was really afraid the dogs would hate their crates and see it as a place of punishment, but those fears were unfounded. I taught the girls to know when we were leaving by giving them each a small treat, so they hop into their crates without fear or hesitation when they see me getting my keys in the morning. Additionally, sometimes I’ve caught them napping in there or just hanging out, purely on their own whims. They have the whole couch to lounge on right in front of them (they aren’t forbidden from furniture), and they choose their crates instead. I doubt they’d be doing that if they hated it. 

Post # 28
Member
3822 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

We kennel/crate our dog. I really didn’t want to when we first adopted him, I thought it was cruel. I wasn’t working for the first month we had him and SO’s work was slow for a couple weeks after I went back to work so he was free to roam for the first 6 weeks. He’s the sweetest pup but even after being exercised at noon and night, he would still get bored and destroy stuff. Thankfully the rescue crate trained him so it was an easy transition to start using the kennel. For the first couple weeks we had to convince him with a treat but he never cried or whined. Now he doesn’t hesitate & heads right to his crate when I’m getting ready to go. We don’t kennel him at night since he’s usually so sleepy by 9pm and barely moves until I force him to go outside before work. We will kennel him at night if he gets a weird burst of energy before we go to bed because he WILL destroy shoes or shred things from the recycling bin & scatter it across the house. He absolutely knows he’s not supposed to have that stuff and he wont do it when we’re around so it’s not a matter of training.

We noticed he’s much better behaved overall after we started kenneling him. He listens infinitely better, he eats on a more regular schedule… SO and I don’t come home feeling nervous about what he’s ruined… It’s the right choice for us! 

Post # 29
Member
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

Like MiaSuperstar :   said I had never heard of this before, tons of friends (and myself) growing up had dogs but they were just loose in the house, normal. Then I get my own dog as an adult and it’s all about crate training. I was like what is this.

Anyway we didn’t do it and it’s fine. My dog was housetrained within two weeks of getting him as a puppy. I was off work (teacher in summer) so I was able to take him out every 1-2 hours and give him a treat each time he peed in the yard, he learned pretty quick! He is now 3 and totally fine just sleeping on the couch while home alone. Believe me he’s a big chewer but we have never come home to find our stuff wrecked (but we’re good about keeping shoes in the closet etc)

Anyway that’s just my side – was seeing most posters as pro-crate so wanted to show you that it is possible to not go that route. 

Post # 30
Member
695 posts
Busy bee

MiaSuperstar :  Right? Are American dogs somehow “different”? As in more destructive, more separation anxiety, harder to potty train?? I find it very odd that European dogs do just fine without a crate but in the US it’s seen as necessary and a “good tool”. I say this as an American who had my dog in obedience school at 8 weeks old. I’ve also lived in Europe as my mom is Swiss and it’s illegal there to crate dogs. I have no problem with the crate as a “den” where the dog is comfortable, my problem is locking them in it so they have no choice. If it’s open so the dog can come and go as they please I don’t see the problem. Personally, and I will probably get attacked for this but I don’t really care, I think it’s laziness. My puppy was a bit destructive as in she started ripping up the carpet but instead of locking her away when she did that we upped her exercise. I think most people get active dog breeds but don’t actually put in the work in terms of exercising, so the dogs are destructive because they are bored, and then the owners get frustrated and lock them up. I didn’t realize my dog (a Golden) would need as much exercise as she does, and it means that I have to wake up an hour earlier for work to take her for a morning run, it means that either me or my husband come home on our lunch break so she can get a quick sprint in, and it means after work when I’m tired and want to do nothing we go to the dog park so she can run around and socialize with other dogs. Honestly, I didn’t anticipate how much work a dog would be and how much my life would change but locking her up because she started tearing up the carpet was never an option. A tired dog won’t destruct. 

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