Possibly a silly crate question(7 Posts)
Our 18 week old puppy is crate trained. We used the recommended method of introducing the crate and even on his first night he went in there and slept without crying etc. We now use it closed when we go out and for night time. During the day, he goes in there himself to sleep, and if he's sleeping on the floor in the kitchen and I tell him to go to bed, he does quite happily (he is a little shadow so would rather be on kitchen floor with me than sofa on own - but crate has cushion so is softer for him, hence the command). The only time he cries in crate is if we have put him in there for a particular reason (eg need to clean up something or do something that would make it dangerous for him to be around).
I've been reading the thread on here about the puppy who is really distressed in his crate and its worried me. If we go out, we put him in the crate rather than leave him the run of the kitchen. He never cries when he goes in there and he wags his tail in delight when we come home but never seems distressed. He has never had any toilet accidents in there and he's got the cushion from a dog bed in there as well as vet bedding and he's never destroyed it. Generally, we don't leave him for more than about 20 minutes (school run etc) but on odd occasions, it will be more (eg today, school play, he was on his own for about 2 hours). On the longer occasions, we give him a good walk first and we leave him with a couple of stuffed kongs.
So my question is, am I safe to assume he's not distressed when we leave him. Are some dogs just naturally more chilled in a crate than others? In general, he's an affectionate, sweet natured and laid back puppy (I'm expecting teenage phase to pay be back of course). I have no reason at all to think he's unhappy other than the fact that other puppies seem to find being in a crate upsetting.
He is probably fine but these days it's so easy to prop up a phone or tablet to take some video while you're out - that way you can be sure he's happy
From what you've said I wouldn't worry at all. He's happy to go in the crate both voluntarily and when he's asked to. There's no evidence of him performing any stress related behaviours (destroying his bedding, messing in the crate) whilst in the crate. He's happy but not frantic when you get home. Sounds perfect!!
Some puppies are more apt to be anxious than others and I think it's very easy to end up with a crate-hating pup if they are less confident and don't have good early experiences with them.
DDog2 has always been very anxious and her first crate experience was when she was taken from her mum and siblings too young then spent the night in one alone. Understandably she hated them with a passion and it took a long time to get her happy being left in one.
My three whippet puppies have been the exact opposite. They were all supremely confident little things and had been able to explore crates at the breeder's house. With gradual introduction they all took to the crate fine and were/are more than happy to be left in one. When we were still crating two of them they'd run off and put themselves in their respective crates waiting for their treat before being left
If you're worried at all you could always try filming him when you're out just to reassure yourself that he's ok.
Filming is a good idea - stupidly never even thought of that! I'll do that I think, just for my peace of mind. I'm pretty certain he's ok, but it would be so awful if he wasn't.
We leave the door of the crate open. Then they can still wander around or lie in the crate if they prefer. I don't like the idea of them in the small crate with the door shut.
We used crates with our dogs but we put them under the stairs and draped them in blankets so it was like a den for them and didn't look like a cage as such!
To start with we would shut the door but soon we left it open and they would always be in there when we got home so I assumed they liked it.
My dog is crate trained and she won't settle for the night unless she's in the crate with the door shut. She'll sleep next to me on the sofa but when we close up for the night, she's straight in the crate.
We started leaving the crate door open when we went out when she was 1, she's now 2 and has the run of the downstairs when we're out.
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