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When to stop crating for daytime naps?

(19 Posts)
PuppyProblems Sun 31-Aug-14 12:03:08


My mini schnauzer puppy is 4.5 months and crate trained. He goes in overnight, and also has quite a routine nap schedule on weekdays of a long morning nap from 9 / 10 to 1 / 2 and then a shorter afternoon nap from around 4.30 to 6 - both in the crate with the door closed.

I am wondering whether we should be starting to leave him loose in the day? I don't work and so I always wait for his long morning nap to go out anywhere, but we are expecting a baby in a few months and I worry about him being confined if i had an emergency whilst out. However, i also think being able to crate him for 3/4 hours in the morning once baby is here could be useful too, so perhaps we should stick with routine?

I just want to do what's best for him.

tabulahrasa Sun 31-Aug-14 12:08:06

Um, I just crate when I need to.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 31-Aug-14 13:08:25

never actually heard of a gina ford type routine for a pup wink

we left crate door open all day and pup decided where/when to sleep

if it works for you and pup keep going the way you are, I can see how it would be helpful to know pup is crated with a new baby, but you might find their routines clash or pup doesn't fit into the routine as he gets older

personally I would get safety gates up so pup has more freedom, but is still away from the baby

Floralnomad Sun 31-Aug-14 14:56:55

I don't think you should be shutting him in the crate during the day . Add up the amount of time he is 'confined' as a total of the day - average 5 hours during the day and perhaps 8 hours overnight that's 13 out of 24 that he is quite restricted - too much IMO. ( I'm not a crate user though) .

PuppyProblems Sun 31-Aug-14 15:40:19

Thanks for responses so far, taking all comments on board.

He is only in there when he is sleeping (and when the grumpy tesco delivery man brings the shopping in), but I think he has earnt his freedom now he has been reliably house trained for a good many weeks. I've not put him in today and he's not slept as much... hopefully no zoomie antics this evening!

NCISaddict Sun 31-Aug-14 15:43:07

We continued until he stopped being nippy if he hadn't had enough sleep. If we didn't shut him in when he was small he wouldn't relax so didn't sleep enough and behaved like a sleep deprived toddler.
It stopped when he was about six months from memory.

Catsmamma Sun 31-Aug-14 15:43:30

our current pup is only closed in at night, or if she is on her "home alone time" ...afternoon nap when no one is here... otherwise she puts herself in there for a snooze and wakes and comes to find someone as and when she feels like it.

SpicyBear Sun 31-Aug-14 15:44:15

I do use a crate and I think that is far too much crate time. I think you should only be putting him in there if you need to to go out, not regularly every day for all those hours. In a few months he should trained to be able to be left free, why on earth lock him up as a matter of course? It's misuse of the crate.

SpicyBear Sun 31-Aug-14 15:46:00

We had the same NCIS but I'd pop him in for 30-60 mins. Not 4 hours!

NCISaddict Sun 31-Aug-14 15:53:27

I just used to leave him there until he woke up although that was generally a maximum of two hours and an hour was more usual.

WeAreGroot Sun 31-Aug-14 15:57:41

I'd agree that's far too much time for him to be shut away. I don't know if I've just had extremely active puppies but none of mine have ever napped for four hours in a single stretch during the day.

I use a crate but only for leaving the puppy when I go out or when they're tiny for when I need to nip out of the room. Overnight plus several enforced naps during the day really does add up to a lot of time in there.

If you want to be able to separate him from the baby then I'd get him used to a routine with baby gates rather than shutting him in the crate.

marne2 Sun 31-Aug-14 15:59:09

I used to crate my pup to get him to settle, he was constantly on the go and when I needed to get on with other things he was a nightmare ( crying and following me around ), the crate worked well until he was about a year old, he will now settle himself most of the time, if he doesn't then it's usually a sign that he needs more exercise.

PuppyProblems Sun 31-Aug-14 19:43:54

Think I might just have a routine pup by the sounds of it! If I count up the overnight sleep and the naps it's about 13.5 hours a day sleeping, which doesn't sound like much for a puppy from what I read online?

If I do go out without him, it's never for long, and so I know from being here with him that he is sleeping in that crate time.

He's hardly slept today but there has been quite a lot going on with DH and friend in and out. He's been yawning since his big walk this morning but hasn't really settled. He is doing his 'frog' impression by my feet now though where he lays with his back legs sprawled. So sweet.

DollyMixture99 Sun 31-Aug-14 20:54:55

I don't really like puppies being crated, so I agree with the idea of baby gates.

13.5 hours is far too long to be crated.

Luxaroma Sun 31-Aug-14 21:42:34

My pup -12 weeks, seems to sleep all bloody day! We crate him overnight 10.00pm to 5.30am - he lounges around for the rest of the day on the sofa. I use the crate occasionally during the day when I need to do stuff and no one else is around to stop him getting up to mischief!

Florin Mon 01-Sep-14 10:16:32

Our pup is in his crate over night from 10:30-6. She loves her crate but I try and not shut her in it unless really necessary. She normally has a nap about 8:30 ish for about 20 mins of this I often do close the door just to get me and our toddler dressed then open the door but leave her to sleep for longer if she wants but keep my toddler away to stop him from waking puppy up. When my toddler has a nap about 1 she tends to nap for about the same amount of time (2 hours) for maybe 30 mins she will be in her crate while I get on with jobs that I need her out of the way for then she spends the rest of the time either sleeping in her crate or if I sit on the sofa she will curl up on her cushion next to it. She would like to sleep on the sofa but isn't allowed.
Oh I also put her away when our toddler eats as otherwise he doesn't eat plus I don't want him to learn to feed puppy but only for about 10 minutes for each meal.

SugarSkully Mon 01-Sep-14 12:31:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PuppyProblems Mon 01-Sep-14 12:55:03

So, day 2 of no crating and so far he's sticking to his routine. Has been flopped on his gel cooling mat (best thing we've bought him) since 9.30, except for when he heard voices in the car park at the back of garden and had a barking session hmm.

Unfortunately, we don't have any windows at the back of our property, just sliding french doors, so the garden door has to be open to let fresh air in and if he's laying by the door or in the garden he will bark at voices in the car park. But i'll save that problem for another day!

Taz1212 Mon 01-Sep-14 20:40:13

Our 10 week old puppy is crated overnight from 10:30-11ish until 6:00. The rest of the time the crate is left open- sometimes he goes in for a nap and sometimes he curls up on an old robe on the floor. When he wakes he just pads along to find me to be let out for the toilet (am possibly fooling myself on that point right now, but he does just come and find me).

I do crate him if I need to go out which usually is briefly once or twice a day.

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