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Tell me why I need a crate?(13 Posts)
My puppy is 12 weeks old and all is going well except crate training.
He sleeps happily all night in a fenced off area of the kitchen, is toilet trained and can be left for a couple of hours at a time with no problems.
He doesn't like being shut in the crate, prefers to sleep in an open bed. I hate the crate taking up all the space. I really want to give up on it.
If I do will I regret it? In what ways will it make my life harder.
Really appreciate anyone taking the time to answer and help me decide.
What are you using the crate for?
I created mine but he was a small cocker spaniel in the biggest crate I could get online so he had a lot of space in it. We used to use it as his safe area when we needed to do stuff in the kitchen around him as well as when he needed to chill out.
If you have an area that is safe where he can't jump over or destroy things he shouldn't (12 weeks is still young and mine went through a few destructive stubborn stages until he was an adult) then you might find you can do away with the crate.
Hmmm he'll definitely be able to jump over it if he puts his mind to it when he's a bit bigger.
At the moment I'm using it for giving him treats in and trying to sometimes shut it for short periods. But each time I shut it he starts avoiding going in for a bit.
If you have a fenced off area and your puppy is toilet trained, you dont need a crate. They are used to assist toilet training and to stop your dog destroying things when you need to leave them alone.
We use one because there is nowhere to fence off.
You don't need a crate - we have one but ours doesn't use it. As long as you have an area you can put him in where he can't destroy anything, you'll be fine. Some people fence off the kitchen, others have a playpen or similar in the living room.
Crates are fine for some dogs but not all dogs suit them. We tried training ours and he hated it. We don't need him to be crated so we just left it. He's eight months now and happiest sleeping on the sofa!
Admittedly DDog wasn't with me when he was a puppy, but I've never used a crate or felt the need to. I don't remember crates being used with the family dogs either and I'm sure DGM would look at one with with bafflement (though I do remember some slightly odd and very old school advice about the use of hot water bottles and a ticking clock, which would apparently replicate the puppy's mum's body heat and heartbeat... Though I'm not sure what that's meant to tell you!)
Using crates is great for some but not for others.
I personally was glad I did up to the age of 1 but if you are finding it isn't working for you then try without.
Not for me either. They can give the dog security and comfort, but it sounds as though yours doesn't much like it or need it.
If you want to persevere then you could try putting the food bowl in the crate so the dog has to go in to eat (but leave the door open).
I use a baby gate to keep mine contained, of course he could jump over no problem, but he has learnt that he isn't allowed, and so doesn't.
Our dog was a lot like yours. He tolerated the crate but only just. I followed the whole crate training procedure fed him in there, hid treats in there, didn’t shut the door till he was relaxed. It was a huge waste of time. If I left him in the crate during the day he would howl like hell the minute I left the house (even if he was asleep when I left). He was ok sleeping in the crate at night - that was the only time he voluntarily went in there.
We got rid of the crate and the dog was much much happier. Now he just lounges around all day and is the ideal dog.
I get all my dogs used to a crate for the following reasons:-
Where ever we are they are always happy if in their crate eg other locations, camping, on the car,in a hotel etc
They always relax and sleep in a crate - we do search and rescue and the crate is a sign they can chill out.
If they are really dirty I will put them in the crate until dry
They are safer in the car if crated
When training more than one dog one will wait happily in the crate for their turn.
They do not worry when crated in the vets (also get puppies used to buster collars for the same reason)
They love their crates and chose to go in them
It gives them a secure place to be without interruptions from anyone or anything.
My dogs are rarely locked in a crate (only in the car and vets) but they choose to go in them so they work for us on many levels.
I didn't crate train until my dog was older but the catalyst was a vets visit for an operation - she went so mental that they had to get me to come and get her early.
By comparison the most recent stay she was fine as she now regards a crate as a safe space.
Our crate kept our dog safe from eating the sofa, carpet, skirting boards, kitchen cupboards while teething, the worse was from 6 months. We needed it until he was 18 months old and stopped chewing.
My puppy is 12 weeks old too - he LOVES it in his crate. Takes himself off inside sometimes. He’s not what I’d call toilet trained yet, we still have some accidents, but he won’t poo or wee in the crate, so it’s handy.
If you have a nice secure fenced off bit, I’d imagine it’s just doing the same job as a crate anyway.