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To wonder at this latest idea of dog training - the crate

(41 Posts)
Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 11:23:03

I'm very dubious about it if i am honest, but i say this a the owner of two little fuckers, one of which has since we had him in march (hes a rescue) systematically destroyed my house and my sex life (sleeps in our bed). So maybe im not the best person to comment!!!!

This really isn't a thread about a thread, but it was inspired by a thread on here at the moment where someone is struggling with crate training and made a comment that she has to have him trained so she can leave him alone in the house.

I will probably get flammed to within an inch of my life but to me, if i dog is creating merry hell because it doesn't want to be kept confined then just don't do it? Also, i think there is so much potential for missuse - locking a dog in a crate all day while you go out for instance? This can't be right??

I'm not really buying the "but the dog needs a secure area to call its own, it likes it once it gets used to it" either. Yes, they need a safe and secure area where it will be left alone. One of my JRTs likes his basket under the small table by the sofa. The other one likes to lay with me ALL THE FECKING TIME! So its horses for courses surely?

I am not saying the crate is bad - but just that surely if people are having issues getting the dog to accept it, it is because it doesn't come naturally to what is essentially a social animal to be incarcerated on its own. Yes, in the end, like the less fortunate of pavlov's dogs, they accept it as inevitable and probably don't have any lasting damage and come to enjoy the safe area etc, but it seems like a whole lot of hassle to me, just give the dog a bed at the foot of your bed, he doesn't want to be on his own, so why make him?

<puts on flameproof coat>

dreamingofsun Thu 08-Nov-12 11:36:41

our dog used to eat everything as a puppy (food or otherwise), and could chew through cables so quickly and quietly you wouldn't even notice. only way to maintain some of our possessions was to use the crate

she loved her crate. as a puppy she would take herself there when she considered it her bedtime. if she was naughty and told off she would go there as i guess she felt safe.

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 11:43:06

and to keep her safe too dreaming! little buggars aren't they! So yes, i can see that in some situations it is useful, but like you say, she would do it discretely without you knowing, but you can't keep them crated all the time and would assume that she would be out of the crate when you are around?

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 11:49:20

I think they do serve a purpose and can be made into a very nice little den. So long as they are never used as an instrument of punishment or incarceration then I think they're fine. Of course some dogs just will not accept them and you should respect that.

But for keeping puppies safe then they're fab. Penning them is is great until the little buggers work out how to climb out of the pen as if they're fecking squirrels!! [fond memories of a certain foster litter emoticon!]

MothershipG Thu 08-Nov-12 11:49:52

I agree that it doesn't suit every dog and isn't necessary for every dog.

DD1 (Dear Dog) was an over excitable, nippy puppy who also did a good line in chewing so a crate was essential! No, she wasn't always keen to go in there but we couldn't have managed without it. We don't have it out all the time now but as soon as it comes out she's trying to get in it before I've even put it up. smile This time of year we get it out and cover it with a quilt as it's her preferred place to be when there are fireworks.

DDs 2 & 3 were both much easier puppies so although I have a little crate for them it's only used when DD3 and I go to agility comps and I need somewhere safe for him to be left with our club while I walk courses.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 08-Nov-12 11:50:58

Just think of them like a baby playpen- they contain the mess and keep the puppy out of mischief when you can't be there to watch them yourself.

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 11:52:12

I should add that i do actually own a crate and use it for trips out to the woods with the dogs so for them crate = walk so if they see it, cue mass hysteria as they battle to get IN!

HoneyDragon Thu 08-Nov-12 11:54:02

I don't think it's new. I was using 20 years ago and they were common place then.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 12:06:01

i had a crating trauma when rescue pup arrived 11 days ago. he would howl, cry and bark the place down.ALL NIGHT! Now he sleeps on his bed on my bedroom floor. Peaceful and happy as anything. He is absolutely fine in it if When i need to pop out and goes in without any fuss. Also barely looks up when i get him out again..As soon as he is reliably house-trained and isn't such a chewer I will prob ditch it. When I go upstairs he is gated downstairs with the run of the hallway and kitchen and doesn't seem to mind too much though will whimper for two mins at first. I really do sit on the fence with the whole crating thing but it is working for me on the occasions where I need to pop out

I think it depends on the dog. My dog was ok with the crate. It was kept in the living room, where we all were, and gave him somewhere to hide out if he needed to have some down time. We also used it in the car, and when we went out and had to leave him for short periods. By 6 months, we'd stopped using it. He wasn't chewing up the house, and my DC are old enough to know that if the dog goes to his bed, you leave him alone. He never howled or tried to escape the crate, though, so I'm not sure I'd have bothered if he had. Different situations and circumstances make them useful or not, I reckon <fence sitting>

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 12:14:33

ah i remember your thread WTF glad it is going well.

Am quite happy to be put straight on it of course smile

tabulahrasa Thu 08-Nov-12 12:17:05

I use mine at night and if I have to leave him for longer than about a minute and a half - he chews everything and anything, it's not even that I'm worried about damage, it's that he will suddenly going looking for cables and anything that he can break pieces off he'll then eat them.

Most days he's in it about an hour, not all at the same time though, ten minutes here and there or 20 minutes while I have a shower, that sort of thing - a couple of times a week I have to go somewhere he can't go, if that's for an hour or two I just make sure he's tired and he sleeps mostly (I've spied on him through the window, lol) any longer than that and I get a puppysitter.

Very occasionally if he gets overtired and a bit bratty I'll put him in to make him go to sleep, but as he's got into a routine that's rarer and rarer.

The rest of the time the door's open and he can sleep in there if he wants or not - he chooses to about half the time.

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:33:12

our dog came crate trained he had only been in the rescue a few days , till we got him he is 8 months he only sleeps in it as i think his last owners may have misused it as he barks during the day if i close the door , and he is in it when i go out which isnt for long , he will wander in it during the day for a snooze but I only shut the door at night , not every body wants a dog chewing up their house or sleeping on their bed every night, you can say the safe place is a rubbish idea all you like but i think as long as theyare not being shoved in out the way then there is nothing wrong with them , My aunt is a guide dog trainer they use then from puppy

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:34:23

new dog also hates the car so we use it then too he is better in it than racing about the car freaking out

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:36:07

I dont think my dog would chew but we have only had him 6 weeks or maybe 7 so we dont know him that well yet i nipped to the shops the other night for 10 minutes didnt put him in and he was fine waited on me but i am not sure how he would be for an hour

TalkinPeace2 Thu 08-Nov-12 15:40:21

I know people who have been using crates / cages for 40 years
they are an excellent solution if you travel or have guests a lot as they give the dog its own space regardless of what else is going on
often with the door open ...

Narked Thu 08-Nov-12 15:46:11

I loathe them. If the door is open it might offer them 'their own space', but close it and they're trapped in a tiny space.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 08-Nov-12 15:48:18

>new dog also hates the car so we use it then too he is better in it than racing about the car freaking out

As a matter of safety (theirs and humans), dogs should be crated/restrained somehow in a car. We have a soft crate specifically for this. We're on the third as dog gradually eats them (the metal ones are all a bit too big)

We found a crate useful when we first had this dog, but didn't often actually lock him in it. Essentially it was an optionally closeable dog bed which we could stack DDs art junk things on top of - very space-efficient. They can be misused, but they do have good uses too. Very useful to have the dog used to one if you're on holiday for instance. Or if you or your DC have a very dear friend who's dog phobic.

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:48:39

TBH new dog is using his crate less and less since we got him and using the house/sofa sigh more to lie about bbut he will occasionally go in we are hoping he can have a bed of his own and take it away cos it is huge in the livingroom but I guess they do have their uses ,

TeaTeaLotsOfTea Thu 08-Nov-12 15:56:09

my first terror (the typo is intentional) was a terrible chewer, everything in his path. I couldn't even do the school run (20 mins) without him destroying something.

I bought a crate. By far the best thing I ever did. He even tried climbing in it when I was setting it up. I never locked him in at first just left it open with his bed in it. He has always loved it. It his little haven and his spot for peace and quiet now I have 2 more terrors.

I'll be honest, my little yorkie isn't too keen on being on his own in his, he'd much rather share but the others prefer their own space so its tough luck for him. I'll also put it down to the fact he's a pathetic wimp when it comes to anything, my little jack russel girl is tougher than him and she's half his size grin

Narked Thu 08-Nov-12 17:30:03

Why would anything mind being locked in a small space alone? hmm

Cuebill Thu 08-Nov-12 17:38:04

"To wonder at this latest idea of dog training - the crate" rofl only been around for over 25 years smile

MothershipG Thu 08-Nov-12 17:57:46

Narked I think you are anthropomorphising. Many humans do not like being enclosed in a small space but many dogs actually do as it makes them feel safe. My Mini Schnauzer being a good example of this.

If you don't like them fair enough, don't use them, it's not obligatory, but please don't react so negatively to others making responsible use of them.

HoneyDragon Thu 08-Nov-12 17:58:36

I don't get why people get het up either way. They are like anything else a useful tool and a positive thing when used properly, but like thousands of other things can be abused.

I genuinely don't understand why people feel they have to take a for or against stance.

LST Thu 08-Nov-12 18:00:40

Narked - you can pay my vets bill then when my dog eats something he shouldn't or hurts himself? Yes?

My dog loves his crate. Goes in there on his own accord and he goes to bed on his own at night too.

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