Crates...some advice please?(17 Posts)
We will have had our new pup Maggie for a week tomorrow, she has been a little star. I bought her a crate and a bed. The bed fills the crate and she settles happily into it for the night next to my bed, has slept 11ish-7am ish every night without crying or accidents (I can't quite believe it). So every morning we bring the big heavy crate down two floors and have it in the kitchen. She might wander in and out in the day but never settles in there, whether her bed is there or not. She wants to be close to me and I haven't left her alone yet (only with other family members, who she also wants to be close to). She will climb into her bed for a nap if it is near me in the day though - but also happy on the floor by my feet. I'm wondering whether I should just leave the crate in my room and forget about using it downstairs? I'm thinking she probably won't suddenly decide she likes being in there when I do leave her alone? My plan is to fence off our open plan kitchen so she has the run of that, access to her bed, water and toys and no access to carpeted areas whilst I am out. Thoughts please? Am I missing something?
I can only see two possible downsides of not using a crate when you leave.
1. Depending on how secure you make the fencing could they get over, under or through it and thus cause destruction.
2. Given that the area is big they may just see part of it as a toilet and thus make toilet training harder.
Hmm. The gates I have are these, heavy and 80cm high. Pup is tiny so security isn't a concern. But I take your point about the size of the area and toilet training. I should probably make it a play pen instead of a fence for now.
My puppy is 5 months old and sometimes takes himself into the crate in the day to sleep. It is also nice to be able to pop him in there if I need to be in another room and know that he is safe and can't get up to mischief.
That pen does look secure so I agree security probably isn't a problem.
A few points:
1) You have said 'big heavy crate' - does she have a lot of room in the crate as they do tend to suggest not to leave them lots of extra room, being able to stand up comfortably and turn round. They don't feel as secure if they have lots of room. You can get crate dividers so you can 'grow' the crate as the pup grows. I have collected lots of sizes over the years so just swap them as pup grows.
2) Is the pup given her meals in her crate? This will help her associate it with nice things.
3) While you are at home with her pop her in the crate with something to chew or a stuffed kong so she gets used to settling in there in the day.
Hope those help. I tend to leave pups in their crates when we go out until the chewing stage ends as you never know what they might get hold of and swallow. My pup is 11 weeks now. Any pics?
Ahhhh cute! Just be careful with leaving them unattended in those pens as mine has just learnt to climb out of hers by walking her back legs up the horizontal bars and flinging herself over the top if that makes sense lol!! It's suprising how well they climb.
Personally rather than moving the crate downstairs each day could you not get a second one?
The crate is 30cm one, so much bigger than her, but once her bed is in there there's no room for anything else. I feed her right outside the open crate at the moment. She is a typical cockapoo, velcro dog, so only ever wants to stay near to me, she will go in the crate and collect treats I've left there - has no fear of it - but won't settle anywhere - with toys/kongs/treats unless I am close by. I know it is early days but my experience with another cockapoo tells me that this won't change! I have to build up gradually to leaving her and will start doing that in another week or so, but in the meantime I feel like struggling the crate up and down is a waste of energy. She would probably settle and sleep in her bed in there if I sit next to it, but invariably gets up again when I do!
Bitey that is one option I guess, though I'd prefer not to...I wonder how long before I can trust her to continue to sleep through the night without needing a wee? If I could do that then she could just sleep in her bed and the crate could stay downstairs (better option, it is large and incovenient in our room).
I guess the question is that, given she isn't bothered about it when I am here, and we don't seem to be making progress on that, whether she might decide, once left alone, that it is a nice safe place to be. I will leave it for her when I do go out....
You could try putting her in the downstairs crate after she has had a lot of exercise. Tuck her up and make it a little dark. Then leave her for a little. If she cries a bit, don't worry as a trainer told me there is a big difference between grumbling and desperation. She if you can leave her for half an houe while to do things nearby and in a nearby room. Then let her out.
When she is a bit bigger, and fully trained, it does seem as though you may not need the crate. It does sound though, for now, as if she wants to be near you during the day, so if you went out she would still be distressed in the big room - so why not train her to be safe and cosy in her crate? Also, are you sure there is nothing like chewing wires she could get up to?
I will try the dark crate, thanks Kind.
Yes, happy that there's nothing in the playpen area that she could chew (it's the end bit of our kitchen, tiled floor etc.). In the bigger area of the kitchen the only thing she might just chew is the wood at the end of the island but she isn't too destructive yet!!
I am always really surprised and envious when young puppies sleep that long through the night without needing a pee. Mine at 5 months would not last that long but maybe he just drinks more
We reluctantly used a crate to start with when we rescued our 2 Huskies. But they disliked the crates more than we did and promptly tore them apart.
I would leave it upstairs as her kennel, with her bed and toys in it. Then continue with your existing idea.
Mine use a crate and I ended up buying one for upstairs and downstairs. They sleep downstairs all the time now though so it's being used in the car. Mine were the same as yours over night and slept really well but they needed a bit more time to settle in the crate during the day. Lots of treats and toys plus staying in the same room initially helped and now they're fine.
Bitey I've had 3 human babies that were a nightmare at sleeping, DS1 didn't sleep through the night until about 6! I figure I had to get a sleeper eventually!
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