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Can anyone explain how crating dogs isn't cruel?

(216 Posts)
DalaHorse Fri 03-May-13 13:10:35

I am not trying to be controversial. I am genuinely shocked by the crating "trend". I am aware that lots of people do this. But I cannot understand how locking the dog in a crate is at all fair or beneficial to the dog. I can however see how locking the dog in a crate is very beneficial to the owner. Is there any justification in terms of it being beneficial to dogs that I really can't see?

topknob Wed 15-May-13 21:50:48

Not read whole thread yet but how is a crate any different from a dog bed, a safe place where they are left alone??

Effortless Tue 14-May-13 11:33:32

Shocked?? You should talk to Charlton!!

Here he is... in his crate... where he takes himself for a snooze...



He loves his crate. The door is never closed. And especially when there's loads of kids in the house, he takes to it to get away from incessant cuddles... and nobody is allowed to touch him when he's in there. It's his refuge.

And there is really nothing to be genuinely shocked about ;-)


Slavetothechild Sun 12-May-13 20:52:06

Mine use them as dens only our two puppies sleep in them at night as they both chew and climb ! We also use tem at shows and theyvmore happy in crates with blankets over tan sitting and being sniffed . They feel secure and safe we have never used the crate as punishment. I can't see the problem .

theodorakisses Wed 08-May-13 08:04:25

Worral the MN earless Pitbull still tries to squeeze in his but sometimes gets stuck and walks around like a tortoise with it stuck on his bottom. I never really shut the cage, just gave him a safe place that was his (the other 5 dogs turned their noses up at it). Like anything, misused it is cruel, used properly it gives comfort and security and I think if you have had your ears and tail hacked off and been chucked out of a car window all before you are 10 weeks old, comfort and security is something good, not cruel.

Ohhh D0oin - that is such a lovely story!!

Our hounds raid the bin whenever they can - they currently have two shredded quiche boxes in their beds.

Ddog2 is part pointer, and she can do the pointer thing of curling up into a teeny tiny ball, even though, when not curled up, she is an enormous collection of long legs and elbows in a bag of fur.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sun 05-May-13 07:31:17

dala exhuberent is definately the right word to describe lab-dog. I'm going to start using that word to describe him, grin definately sounds better and isnt as much of a mouthful as bouncing slobbering over-friendly nutter. grin

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 05-May-13 01:07:48

Yes, Devil Dog attracts a lot of comments too, mainly ones that involve the words "live wire" or "full of character" hmm

tabulahrasa Sun 05-May-13 01:02:38

Exuberant, aye that's one word for him. hmm

Funnily enough, no-one ever offers to steal my boy, lol, I get lots of comments about how friendly and affectionate he is closely followed by words like playful, lively and energetic... I offer him to people on a fairly regular basis, they sort of slowly back away.

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 05-May-13 00:51:10

Honey, everyone wants to steal whippy. She comes on the school run with us sometimes by demand of the pupils grin My next door neighbour has more than expressed an interest in purchasing her or borrowing her to take rabbiting (she is scared of rabbits) I regularly get asked if I am willing to put her with X's dog, so people can buy her puppies (she is spayed)

To rub salt in the wounds of all the whippy admirers she is the dog we were never meant to have. At first she was supposed to be a tortoise shell kitten, the story being every time I left my FB open dd1 would jump on and post "Dose anee won hav a kiten i can bi for 5 punds on x rowd?" £5 being her weekly pocket money and x road the only street she was allowed to play in unsupervised. One day someone replied to her and I agreed she could take the kitten. They then messaged me to tell me the kitten had gone, but they knew of a puppy looking for an urgent home. I declined the offer a puppy and received a reply asking if I knew anyone who would be interested because she would be drowned that night if she did not find a home. Of course we took her in. Only ever meaning to keep her a few days until a rescue space was located. As soon as DH saw this tiny, palm sized ball curled up in a bawling teenagers arms he said "Don't call the rescues just yet, wait a while and see how things go" That was three years ago and we still haven't called the rescues grin Lots of people offered to rehome her in the two weeks it took DH to decide she was here forever and was his dog and his dog only, including every vet nurse she ever met.

I often wonder if her potential murderers would have been so hasty in getting rid if they knew how she would turn out. They've certainly missed out on a very loving, calm and funny dog.

HoneyDragon Sun 05-May-13 00:16:49

I love hearing the 3am wander that dogs do. In our case it's between ransacked chair and digested sofa in the conservatory. So two flumps. Then at 5:30 pm lie on the kitchen floor pretending you were there ALL night.

You Dad is weak DooIn, weak. grin

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 05-May-13 00:16:30

Whippy can be trusted, she's never really chewed anything or displayed any kind of anti social doggy behavior, to be honest I am not wholly convinced she is actually a dog. She may be an oddly shaped cat. That would make sense grin She's only crated because she likes it.

Devil Dog was crate trained because we had a few problems with him including toilet training, cat chasing, snapping and general aggressive behavior. The crate was a place where he could be left when we had small children around who did not know how to properly behave around him and where he would not toilet or attempt to make supper of the cat. He is mainly cured of most issues now and a perfectly friendly, if a little excitable wee terrier, although we have newbie dog who arrived yesterday, so he is currently doing his best impression of the world's most over sexed bi-sexual dog hmm - we are trying to train the dry humping out of him, it is his last remaining anti-social habit.

He didn't take to his crate as well as whippy. He went in it on command happily enough and stayed in quietly as long as we needed him to, however once we got to a point where we were able to leave the door open he opted to sleep outside of his crate so we folded it up and put it away.

We still get it out from time to time to play crate games with it, so he remains comfortable with it because he is the dog we have trouble finding sitters for, so if we ever to go to DH's friend's caravan or weekends away, he is the most likely to come with us and the crate makes that much easier. While I can trust him not to pee all over my house, if we took him somewhere new and left him alone, he almost certainly would leave his mark there and over there and a bit more over there and some in the corner over yonder...

It's also handy if we ever get any short term, emergency fosters who may not be dog friendly. When that happens we operate a kind of double door system, whereby the hallway is a no go area and dogs are kept in separate rooms, with the hallway as a buffer zone in case of escapees. However in order for the front room dogs(s) to get to the loo they must pass through the back room, so the back room dogs(s) get safely crated before the front room dog(s) is allowed out there.

DalaHorse Sun 05-May-13 00:04:38

Moosemama our bin was our lab's equivalent of a pick and mix sweet counter smile, he would do anything to get his nose in the bin! He loved greens too, carrots and cabbage especially. Oh he really was a sweetheart. He had been so ignored in his previous life he had no idea how to play. He couldn't grasp the purpose of a squeaky toy or a ball. All he worried about was making sure he had food. He was the most unassuming, gentle dog. If he had had a motto it would have been "I don't mind" or maybe "Thanks for everything". He was so grateful.

DalaHorse Sat 04-May-13 23:58:11

tabulah and frustrated your dogs sound lovely! I know that different dogs, especially younger dogs, do need tailored and appropriate responses, for their own safety. I think most dogs under 3 are still giddy kippers grin and some will be very hard to control - not because they are badly behaved but because they are, er, exhuberant and full of the joys of life!

I read Marley and Me... that dog! He was very destructive when distressed. I think he ate through some concrete too. Certainly he ate a lot of furniture!

moosemama Sat 04-May-13 23:51:10

The only thing I don't trust lurcherboy with is the kitchen bin. He seems to think it's his personal nosebag. We've actually moved it out into the back porch and the door is locked at night, but as you have to go through that door to get to the downstairs toilet we frequently find him with his snoot in the bin when the dcs have left the blooming door open - again! hmm

For that reason, anything that might vaguely be dangerous to him if he ate it has to be taken straight outside to the wheelie bin.

I have a cunning plan to change it for a pedal bin to put an end to his bin mooching ways. I can clearly imagine the reproachful looks he's going to give me already! grin

He used to be an expert counter surfer as well, but <<fingers crossed>> seems to have grown out of it these days. Mind you, I think it's second nature to us not to leave any food out these days, so maybe it has more to do with that than his levels of self-control. Bizarrely, he had a thing for baked potato skins and they would guarantee a smash and grab raid on the worksurface if left on a plate. confused Mostly he is a bit meh about any food we have anyway, as he's raw fed and we are vegetarians, so while he does enjoy the odd bit of fruit and veg - in fact he begs for the apple peelings when I'm making the porridge every morning - he clearly believes his raw meaty bones etc are far superior to our rabbit food! grin

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sat 04-May-13 23:40:30

dala I don't completely trust lab-dog I still half expect to come down one morning to discover he's eaten a table-leg during the night. grin he has so far proved me wrong and hasn't so much as touched a shoe overnight.

I also think he is very loyal to his stomach more so than to me he is fickle in that way. But if he can find something edible he will find a way to eat it.

He is also still quite young, (under 2) and hasn't lost all of his oversized puppy behaviours, but he is getting there.

tabulahrasa Sat 04-May-13 23:38:45

Dala - I've had older rescue dogs, ranging from 6 months old to about 5 years old when I got them and didn't need to crate them.

This puppy has been a whole different ball game to previous dogs, partly because of having him from a tiny baby, partly just because he is some sort of puppy crossed with a tigger, lol and partly because he has a joint problem that limits exercise.

I think different dogs require different care and mine needs protecting from himself more than any amount of wandering while alone.

I don't trust him, not at all, not when it comes to deciding what is suitable for him to play with and what isn't.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sat 04-May-13 23:28:35

D0oin I do believe you've just instructed honey on the best way to steal her. (Don't open the car door. grin )

DalaHorse Sat 04-May-13 23:27:16

SDT Our first dog was an elderly rescue collie-cross. Then we had a rescue labrador. They were both wonderful. We are waiting until the DCs are slightly older before getting a new dog, because we want the DCs to be old enough and aware enough to experience it all thoroughly, eg accompanying us to training sessions with the dog. We have a cat too. the cat wasn't very welcoming with the first dog. (spitting and hissing) so we made their introduction very gradual. We put a baby gate on the stairs initially so the cat could leg it upstairs away from the dog if ever it wanted. In time it wasn't needed - the dog and the cat each minded their own business but occasionally they laid down together in front of the fire together smile.

Maybe we were lucky, but both our dogs despite having very different personalities (sparky quick collie cross, and lumbering, sweet natured lab) we got them fitted in quite quickly. We showed them what we expected of them, they were told if they misbehaved, which was rare. They were allowed to move around the house freely, unless for example we had a visitor or a party that they might find noisy or perturbing in some way. Then we would move them upstairs away from the action until after the party was over/visitor had left.

The dogs' bed was under the desk. If it wasn't appropriate for them to be in the lounge or the kitchen on occasion for example, they were directed out of the room and that was that. At night they had run of the hallway and the study where their bed was. Occasionally we would hear them getting up for a drink of water and having a bit of a wander and a stretch of the legs but then flump down back in bed. They were happy.

This is all why I struggle to see the need for a crate for a dog who has clearly adjusted to the household. If they are well behaved and mentally adjusted why would I lock them in a crate at night as opposed to letting them have at least a hallway to stretch their legs in? Not to reopen any closed points. Just I didn't have any reason to. I would actually have felt... I don't know... slightly snidy, like I was only pretending to trust them but really they were not to be trusted. I can't explain it. but like they were so lovely and loyal to me, I would have felt guilty limiting their personal freedom if there was no real reason to.

<I am not casting any aspertions on anyone else here or suggesting people are snidy who do use crates etc etc I am NOT. I am simply reporting how I felt. What worked for me wouldn't work for someone else and all dogs are different.>

Anyway, how lovely that you reconnected the injured staffy with his owners. They must have been so relieved.

tabulahrasa Sat 04-May-13 23:26:16

D0oin - my DS (he's 17) says the puppy has mastered dog diffusion, he goes from high concentration of dog standing up and spreads out into a larger volume less dense dog when he lies down, lol

I've had dogs that were considerably taller than him and could sleep in half the space he takes up, lol.

That's why the huge crate - he's not fully grown, it's looking like he'll be smaller than breed standard anyway and that's the next size up from what's reccomended for rotties, but I know he likes to sleep on his back with all his legs stretched out, so I got him one that he could do that in.

Lying neatly in a down position he doesn't even half fill it.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 04-May-13 23:24:44

grin @ Honey.

My Dad tried to actually, properly steal her once. He was convinced she was happier with him after he dog sat her for a week. It took us three days to convince him to return her. He eventually brought her back, but did admit that he just opened the car door and if she didn't get out of her own accord he was going to drive back home with her. Apparently she "shot of the car like shit off a stick" so he started to feel bad about trying to steal her grin

Booboostoo Sat 04-May-13 23:10:37

impty yes that's my understanding too, but you don't want a crate that is too large either as the dog may use part of it as a toilet. With most breeds you would need more than one size crate, e.g. our old GSD had three different size crates from puppy to adult.

impty Sat 04-May-13 23:08:03

I thought a crate needs to be large enough for a dog to stand up and turn around in?
In my experience people who use crates have ones larger than needed. Obviously that's not everyone though sad

HoneyDragon Sat 04-May-13 23:07:29

This thread keeps challenging my ethics. I think of myself as a very moral, caring and law abiding person.


If the chance ever arises I am going to steal Whippy dog from Dooin and run away, and I won't feel one teeny tiny bit of remorse grin grin

<<disclaimer: I probably would turn back the moment Whippy started missing her mum. But I'd be bitter as Hell about it wink>>

Booboostoo Sat 04-May-13 23:00:30

DalaHorse no I am not a dog trainer, but 17 years ago when I got my first dog as an adult my dog training club was looking for help so I took a 6 month trainer's course in clicker training. I then helped out at the club but always as an assistant to the trainer and only dealt with straight forward pet dogs (no aggression or difficult issues!!!). I enjoy reading up on the topic and attending lectures so I try to keep up although since coming to France this has been impossible because they are about 20 years behind the UK.

I've done a bit of everything with my dogs from obedience, to clicker fun to agility but nothing to any amazing level. I also have horses and have used the clicker to solve some problems I have come across with them.

I am glad the thread has been interesting for you. The photos of the crates mentioned are far to small for the dogs shown in them. Using a crate correctly is hardly brain surgery but having seen people fail to understand the behaviour-click-treat sequence after literally weeks of trying to show them, nothing surprises me!

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sat 04-May-13 23:00:12

tab that's about the same size as ours.
Lab-dog looks about the same size as that retriever in it, in that he had about the same amount of room to move about.

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