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Crate training- so does everyone do this now?

(70 Posts)
anxious84 Wed 18-Jan-17 11:30:16


Am due to pick up our puppy in a couple of weeks and have been doing lots of research watching YouTube recently and can't seem to find any alternative to crate training in the first few weeks.

Honestly, my first impression was confused they look like horrible little puppy prisons. However, since reading and watching about them, it seems to be the way to go.

Couple of questions though. What happens with toilet training at night? How much time do they spend in their in the day time? Do they go in when you're out? How long do you use a crate for?

I'd seen this Puppy Apartment on YouTube and originally thought it looked great, as it is a bed and puppy toilet\pad, with a divider, but then towards the end of the ad, I changed my mind, as, to me, it just seemed like they wouldn't understand that they should also go outside.

I'm still a bit sceptical of any crate tbh, as I had a puppy as a child and we didn't have a crate. She was toilet trained fairly quickly. I don't remember any prolonged dramas. However, I'm quite nervous about the first couple of weeks and want to do it right.

Opinions please.


Setterlover Wed 18-Jan-17 11:34:32

I don't use a crate in the house.
I have a travel one for the car. Puppy has a bed in a quiet place downstairs and another couple of pieces of vetbed that she can sleep on.
She sleeps at the end of my bed.

EagleIsland Wed 18-Jan-17 11:36:08

A dog training company told us to use them a few years ago. I hated the cage, and there training techniques.

Orangebird69 Wed 18-Jan-17 11:38:18

I'll get flamed for this (cue the barrage of 'my dog loves his crate/it's for his own safety blah blah), but they're not necessary at all if you're willing to put the effort into training them properly. They're a lazy convenience imo.

Ilovecaindingle Wed 18-Jan-17 11:39:48

I have 3 dogs and never used a crate. We had a baby gate on the kitchen for the kids anyway so it contained the puppies when I needed to!! Bare minimum in the kitchen for them to chew and near the back door for toilet training. Never felt the need to confine them more than that. .

anxious84 Wed 18-Jan-17 11:45:54

Hmm interesting. I didn't think I would get this response at all!

averylongtimeago Wed 18-Jan-17 11:47:48

We have owned dogs for 35 years and never used a crate. Pups sleep in their baskets in our room.
With a new pup I do end up getting up to let it out at night, but gradually they sleep through. Never had that crying all night drama either.
The dogs do have their own "safe space" though - one liked her basket under my desk, the other preferred a bed under the table.
TBH, that is the only thing I can see a crate being useful for, to provide a "den" the dog can go in and out of as it wants.
I'll probably get flamed for this, but too many people not all I know use a crate as a sort of toy box where they can shut their dog away when they go out or at night, instead of training the dog properly.

DramaAlpaca Wed 18-Jan-17 11:50:34

I have never, and would never, use a crate for my dogs. It goes against all my instincts to use one.

I completely agree with what Orangebird69 said above.

NoCapes Wed 18-Jan-17 11:53:18

I was against a crate too, until DPup ate something she shouldn't while we were out and landed herself in hospital having her stomach pumped
So we used one after that just while we were out and at night time, she actually was much calmer having somewhere to escape from the kids (but they were very little when we got her, they don't bother her so much now)
We used it for about 8/9 months, then gradually she stopped going in and now has her own spot on the couch hmm

So I'm not totally against them, but I wouldn't use them forever, we just used it for Ddogs own safety really

NoCapes Wed 18-Jan-17 11:55:35

avery the toy box analogy is interesting
We did train our dog properly, but were in the early stages when she ended up in hospital, training doesn't happen overnight
I preferred to think of it like her cot/playpen - somewhere you put a baby who doesn't understand danger yet, for their own safety

CMOTDibbler Wed 18-Jan-17 11:56:55

My dogs use a crate, and I use it with my foster puppies. It gives them a safe space that is entirely theirs (children are banned from even putting a hand in the crate, I only sort the bed out or whatever when the dogs aren't in there), gives me somewhere I can put them when they are wet/muddy etc, and promotes resting/settling for younger dogs.

I didn't like the idea of them before I had the dogs, but they seem very happy - one of mine has taken themselves off for a sleep in it now when they could be on the sofa/human bed.
My dogs go to bed at 10, get up at 7, same for the puppies. Puppies get a morning nap, after lunch, and afternoon nap in the crate - 30-45 minutes. Obviously if I'm going out without puppies, they go in the crate and then wouldn't have the extra nap.

Wolfiefan Wed 18-Jan-17 11:57:52

My pup is 17 weeks old. She sleeps in a whelping pen (giant breed). Took me three weeks of cuddling her until she was sleepy and putting her in the crate before crawling to a nearby mattress for some sleep. When she woke and needed the toilet I took her out, settled her and put her back in the pen. She now sleeps quite happily and naps in it too. I'm back in my bed!
She only goes in there to sleep. I haven't trained her to be in it in the day. That's mostly due to her separation anxiety that means I can't leave her anyway!
I think it's a good idea to have a safe space for pup. Could be a playpen. Somewhere they can go for a few minutes whilst you cook etc and know they are safe.

tabulahrasa Wed 18-Jan-17 12:12:01

I use had no impact at all on toilet training though.

It is somewhere safe to put a puppy if you can't be watching them though, and somewhere safe they can retreat to if DC or visitors get too much for them.

It's been exceptionally useful because he ended up having medical issues, so he's never been stressed by being confined at the vets and I haven't had to do emergency rushed crate training for his recovery from operations.

whattheseithakasmean Wed 18-Jan-17 12:17:47

My little dog never had a crate. I remember an aggressive woman at a party telling me a crate was essential. Well, I am quite arrogant in some respects and it has served we well - I find it easy to bat off unhelpful advice when it comes to bringing up children and dogs. I didn't use playpens for my kids either - too much like a cage for my liking. I do it my way, with patience, love and persistence and it works.

All young creatures respond well to kindness and certainty, with clear boundaries and endless patience. That is what you need, not any particular kit.

LilCamper Wed 18-Jan-17 12:30:36

I crate train my dogs. Mainly because if they ever have to stay overnight at the vets or have complete rest to recover from an illness/injury/operation not being used to a crate will just add stress to an already stressful situation.

I also muzzle train for in case they ever need it.

anxious84 Wed 18-Jan-17 12:45:44

Thanks everyone. Lots of food for thought.

My instincts are telling me no, but then there does seem to be lots of valid reasons for getting one.

So...puppy pads. They're supposed to go near the door leading outside, right?

Floralnomad Wed 18-Jan-17 12:46:25

I used a large pen when pup was first home then moved on to gated off bits of a room for overnight , our pup never chose to go in his pen during the day ( but he did come from Battersea so had probably had enough of a cage ) . As soon as he was reliably toilet trained he had free run overnight although he chooses to stay downstairs on the sofa or his bed rather than coming to bed . I personally am very anti crate because I think they are too open to abuse ie dogs being left in them when owners go to work /out for hours .

Floralnomad Wed 18-Jan-17 12:47:41

Don't use puppy pads it just confuses the issue , they need to know that you go outside only .

Setterlover Wed 18-Jan-17 12:48:54

Didn't use puppy pads at all. Following the instructions in the book to the letter and being very vigilant meant our pup was sitting by the door asking to out within days and never had an accident. early days I took her out once at night but only for a few days

Also we fenced off an area of garden with an old baby playpen opened out so we could encourage her to go in one place.

Deadnettle Wed 18-Jan-17 12:49:31

I crate train my dogs for a number of reasons:

Vets use them and being crate trained is one less thing for the dog to stress about
The local dog walker uses them in her van
Been crated is a safe way to travel
A crate can be used as place where you know your dog is safe and secure

The right size crate (not too big) can help with toilet training because dogs don't like to mess where they sleep, this does mean that the owner has to be aware of the dog to let it out when it does need the loo.

anxious84 Wed 18-Jan-17 12:51:44

Flora, but what about at night time? I'm NOT a good sleeper and the idea of getting up every hour or two makes me want to cry. Again, we didn't do this with my puppy before. The days before puppy pads, we just put newspaper down.b

anxious84 Wed 18-Jan-17 12:53:53

No b confused

fessmess Wed 18-Jan-17 12:54:09

My pup is 14 weeks and sleeps in crate at night( up to now door open) and the first 2 weeks was on a blanket in our room. I have worked hard to crate train her in the day and now will sleep up to 2.5 hours in it with door shut. She is happy when she wakes up. I give her a Kong/ treat to settle her I and I pretend to sleep beside crate for 15 mins. We can't leave her in our kitchen with bs y gate but lounge is gated. I would say we're getting there with house training but the crate has nothing to do with it! I sleep next to her at night so I can take her out but crate is irrelevant imo. I'm glad I have taken time to crate train as now she has a safe place for when I pop to shops.

NoCapes Wed 18-Jan-17 12:54:51

Yeah don't use puppy pads, you have to train them to use the pads, then to stop and use outside, it just adds an unnecessary extra step in the process tbh

LilCamper Wed 18-Jan-17 12:55:36

No puppy pads. It teaches them it's fine to go in the house and on similar carpets.

If you have the crate next to your bed, the pup will wake you upon stirring and then you can get up to take them out. No need to get up every couple of hours.

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