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Stopping use of the crate

(14 Posts)
wineusuallyhelps Tue 13-Dec-16 18:19:49

When did those of you who use a crate, stop using it?

My Labrador is 11 months old and absolutely loves his crate! Has all his naps in there by choice. Sleeps in there at night with the door shut - also in there 3.5 hours a day while I work.

But now he's older, I'm just wondering whether I could stop using it and when is best to do so? Is he old enough, as some websites say wait till they are two years old?

He's never chewed the furniture...yet!

If he was out of his crate, he would be contained within the kitchen where the chewable items are kitchen cupboards and the chair and table legs. Nothing hazardous to him e.g. electric wires.

What would you do or what did you do?

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 13-Dec-16 18:22:19

My lab is nearly 7 and still uses it. It is her safe space. She sleeps in it every night in her own room (boot room). If she is tired she will sometimes take herself off to it - or if we have lots of guests and she wants some peace.

blueskyinmarch Tue 13-Dec-16 18:24:51

We kept our lab in her crate until she was about 3. We didn’t close the door as there was no need. We only got rid of it because we bought her a really big bed so she could properly stretch out.

wineusuallyhelps Tue 13-Dec-16 18:29:50

Aah Madame my dog is like that too - retreating to his safe space!

Bluesky that's what I was wondering. The crate is big enough but maybe he would like a bit more room to stretch.

Thank you both.

madgingermunchkin Tue 13-Dec-16 18:30:00

All of mine were shut in overnight/when we were out until they were fully house trained. They then had the option of using it whenever they wanted.

FiveShelties Tue 13-Dec-16 18:31:12

My Sheltie loves her crate, puts herself to bed when she feels like it. Could you leave the crate with the door slightly ajar and see what happens for a few days and then open it fully?

wineusuallyhelps Tue 13-Dec-16 18:40:12

Good idea - I'll leave the door open and see how we go! Maybe build up to an overnighter!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 13-Dec-16 18:59:10

My lab is nearly two and still loves his crate. He often takes himself off for a nap. It is massive, big enough for him to stand up and stretch out. Unfortunately it takes up so much room that we struggle to use our kitchen table and the crate is going to have to go soon. He has a big bed in the living room. Will just have to see how it goes. Feel bad about taking his crate away though.

wineusuallyhelps Tue 13-Dec-16 19:18:55

Mrsadoreabelle same here - we're a bit squished round our kitchen table! Bless them!

Moanranger Tue 13-Dec-16 19:26:04

Dogs have a "dennning" instinct which is why a crate works. Mine was never crazy about the crate but loved to crawl under a sideboard or a (human) bed. There is no harm in leaving them to use it as they wish, but if it takes up too much room, start by putting a dog bed or towels/ blankets in it, then remove crate but leave towels/ bed.
I think dogs do like having a den, though.

KinkyAfro Thu 15-Dec-16 23:23:27

Our lab is 4, won't go to sleep at night unless we shut her in her crate! She goes in it during the day when she wants but at night, the door has to be shut.

NavyandWhite Fri 16-Dec-16 08:01:22

If it's not in the way I would keep it up. Why change his routine if he's happy?

GinIsIn Fri 16-Dec-16 08:05:37

As PPs have said, get a soft dog bed elsewhere in the house where you'd like him to start sleeping, stop shutting the door to the crate, and see how you get on. Our dog was never a huge fan of her crate so was fine when we phased it out, whereas my parents' dog loves hers and cannot be persuaded to sleep elsewhere.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 16-Dec-16 08:35:13

We stopped shutting the door of our dog's crate when he was about 8 months old but he still took himself there for naps and at night. Then we got him a couple of comfy beds, one in the kitchen and one upstairs and he gradually started using those for daytime naps. Then he started to go to sleep at night out of the crate but he'd always have gone in it by the time we went down in the morning. And eventually we went cold turkey and got rid of the crate altogether - it was enormous though (XL and he's only a medium sized dog - we got given it...). He was absolutely fine, possibly because we'd made the change so gradual. He's never been much of a chewer though, has always been happy to be left and he's slept through after the first week we got him. If he'd been a trickier dog we'd probably have kept it for longer

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