Crate training/ use of

(16 Posts)
catbus Tue 15-Apr-14 14:32:55

I'm not anti crate, but very interested to hear from those who have raised pups without using one.
It seems to be a relatively new thing, or am I wrong?
What I mean is, many people must have successfully brought up dogs without them and I am questioning using one at all.. All input gratefully received smile

We have a crate, Eric (15 weeks) has never been very interested in using it and we haven't persevered tbh. It sits unloved and unused, I don't think he's set foot inside it for the last month and only went in sporadically for the first ten days or so that we had him.We never shut the door and because he craves our company he'd just come and join us.
He's house trained and has free rein of the downstairs. He sleeps on the sofa, or in front of the fire, he's currently sleeping in the sunny spot on the rug near my feet.
I probably wouldn't bother with a crate next time if I'm honest and expect ours to be relegated to the garage this weekend. If we go out he has access to the kitchen, living room, dining room we close off the hall so that he doesn't go upstairs. He's never made a mess when we leave him (up to 90 mins so far) and the neighbour says he doesn't bark or cry, he's usually sat on the window sill when we get home.
I'd say for 15 weeks he's a pretty well behaved , well adjusted little dog really.

catbus Tue 15-Apr-14 15:42:15

Eric sounds greatgrin
Good to know a success story without one- DH's parents had pups when he was in his teens and as they weren't crate trained either, it's not only what he is used to with pups, he really is quite averse to the idea of one.

I think because our heart wasn't in it then we never really saw the crate as a great thing tbh. Dh's family always had dogs and they never crated them and so dh didn't really see the need. I'd never had a dog before and so just went with what suited us.
We don't have small children and so if Eric took himself off for a sleep there was nobody who would bother him but I can see why if you have young children a crate might be somewhere for the dog's happiness. Eric hasn't chewed anything but his toys but I imagine they'd limit damage if you did have a chewer.
I suppose it depends on the dog and the family just how needed a crate is.I think we've been pretty lucky with Eric really.

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 15-Apr-14 16:19:00

We had a dog a long time ago and didn't use a crate, virtually no-one did back then. Now, with our 8 month old, we use a crate for night time sleeping in. It seems virtually everyone I know uses one these days.
I wanted somewhere she could go to bed and not be disturbed by family moving about. I wanted her in bed before I go to bed, which is 10 ish, but I have teenagers who are often up later than that. She has rarely gone in her crate during the day, but is happy to go in it at bedtime.

Dogownerwithoutacluebuttrying Tue 15-Apr-14 16:20:08

We are using one and our trainer swears by it. I have to say it makes me slightly uncomfortable as much as they are called crates, really it's a cage. I am using it to keep my own sanity as otherwise I'd go crazy at the moment as he has a stomach upset and I'm finding it hard. But he only goes in for short periods in the day and happily goes in at night.

The whole idea is that in a smaller space they won't soil in their own crate as it's like a nest and dogs are naturally unlikely to do this. Sadly whilst mine got that initially, the tummy upset means he is pooping in there anyway.

If you don't use one I'd stick with a small space initially and with a floor that's easy to clean!

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 15-Apr-14 16:23:14

I utterly disagree with crate training.

Our lovely dog is 2, and we didn't crate train.

He sleeps on my bed, and has the run of the house if we're out.

It is a cage.

catbus Tue 15-Apr-14 16:35:40

Re the soiling- surely they wouldn't want to soil a regular bed anyway..
We have a slate floor kitchen and a wee alcove that could house a bed in it. Probably use a stair gate across kitchen doorway as we have (four kids but) two aged 3 and 6.
I suppose when I really think about it, I'm with DH- although I can see why they are used, I guess I just don't find it ok to use a cage hmm

SocialQueen Tue 15-Apr-14 16:43:23

We didn't crate train, but we were having a party and pup was only around 12 weeks old, so we borrowed one, put it in the utility with a blanket over it and prepared to entice her in.

It took about 10 seconds - and she loved it for evermore (well, til we took it away). It was quiet, peaceful and dark and even now she will find little 'holes' to rest in (ie behind the Christmas tree, under the computer desk etc).

I never realised they were supposed to be for toilet training... I never had any trouble there.

We've never had any trouble with toilet training either, I think we had about a dozen accidents all told and no poo in the house and never overnight even if he was asleep on the sofa grin
At the weekend we all slept in, Eric at 9 o' clock went and got ds up who sleeps in the downstairs bedroom so he would let him out, it was three hours after my usual getting up time.

EyelinerQueen Tue 15-Apr-14 17:08:41

I'm pro crate.

Our pup is 8 months old and sleeps in hers at night and goes in when I have to go out for shopping etc.

It's a godsend because it gives her somewhere to chill out where she won't be disturbed and it means I can leave her without worrying about pee/poo/chewed furniture.

Plus the one we have now is gigantic so it's more like a fenced off part of the room than a cage.

As long as they are used correctly, crates are great.

tabulahrasa Tue 15-Apr-14 18:00:09

I use one - yes it is a cage, I don't mind it being called that at all though.

With toilet training, it encourages them not to go because they don't want to go to the toilet in their bed and can't get anywhere else...that's not why I still use it, he's housetrained.

It's safe, he can't chew wires or coins or batteries (all things he likes to chew), he can't fall off things he's tried to climb up and he can't lick the cats to death, lol.

He chooses to sleep there with the door open, he takes his bones in there to eat them in peace - he's fine when he's had to stay at the vets because he's used to it and it was a godsend when he had to have an operation and he needed weeks of crate rest afterwards.

The door is never shut over if there's someone about, it's only ever shut if he's left so he doesn't kill himself with no-one there to tell him to drop and leave whatever it is he's got his eye on.

The plan was that when he was older I was going to get rid of it, it was purely to keep him safe while he was little...unfortunately he still thinks he's little and has never grown out of chewing, despite having someone with him nearly all the time telling him what he can't chew and plenty of opportunity to chew his own things - the little sod just likes chewing, lol.

Owllady Tue 15-Apr-14 18:15:34

We didn't use one before this one but it makes a lot of difference during adolescence in only my experience. My last dog chewed the stair carpet, emptied the fridge etc due on adolescence when I was out. I imagine this one would have been the same

basildonbond Tue 15-Apr-14 18:49:09

Dup's crate really came in handy last week when he was staying at my sister's house for a few days. He'd never been there without me and despite knowing my sister and her family pretty well he just couldn't settle until they brought his crate over from our house. As soon as he saw it he dived into it gratefully and settled down to sleep. He's rarely in it during the day but always runs in as soon as he sees his bedtime biscuit

hmc Tue 15-Apr-14 22:16:51

Didn't use it for my Bernese - but she was not into chewing at all. Use a crate for my current pup - a flatcoat retriever because he is a very mouthy pup. He always has something in his mouth - anything is fair game including electrical cables etc. Retrievers have a ridiculous compunction to chew and ingest non food items - I have friends with dogs that have needed surgery to remove socks, stones etc causing abdominal obstruction. A crate means that I can leave him in a safe environment for a couple of hours during the day, and he sleeps their overnight.

He didn't look at his crate and fall in love immediately - we turned it into a positive place for him by feeding him his meals in there. During the day whilst we are in, the door to the crate is left open and he chooses to hang out in there quite often (if he has a bone to chew or some other valued item or if he is feeling sleepy). He regards it as his den.

It certainly helped with house training - he will not soil his crate.

Raskova Tue 15-Apr-14 22:32:32

I use a cage. Tyson was a horrific chewer when he was little. 5 sofas, 3 brand new mobiles, countless old ones... Anything around was his to chew. I never thought of locking him in a cage when I was out. We just had it so he had his own little space.

When DD came along we reinstated the crate. He only had it closed if DD was asleep and I had to nip about doing cleaning etc. instead of making him follow me and forgetting in a sleepless baby haze, I just locked him in the cage. That's it really. All other times, it's his space to get away from DD who constantly mauls him.

Sounds like I'm using it wrong...

W

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