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Alternatives to crate training help?

(16 Posts)
Firsttimedogowner Wed 29-Apr-20 19:01:06

Hi all

I have had my pup around a month now and he is 3 months old. We’ve been trying to crate train him - treats, into bed etc. he sleeps there fine at night and during the day will sleep in there for a wee bit but prefers to snooze on a mat in the sun by the door or at our feet (we are currently wfh).

We’ve never been able to leave him alone for more than 2 mins in the crate - he goes mad and trashes about whining and howling etc. Ignores all treats etc no matter what we put in there (stuff he loves).

The other day he was contentedly chewing on a toy a bit away from us so myself and my DH just quietly left the room and watched him through the phone video. He was perfectly fine, trotted around looking for us, gave a little whine then settled down on the floor where he likes to snooze and watched the tv for a bit then went to sleep.

I’m wondering now if we should just give up on the crate training and let him just snooze where he likes and try leave him alone in kitchen when we go out.

When we go back to work he will be going to doggy crèche for 3 days and then we will be home either working or off for 4 days. So we only need him to be happy alone for a few hours if we go visit a friend/go shopping.

Has anyone done this with their dog without a crate and if so how? Did you just leave him as is like we did the other day? Has this worked for anyone? Also thinking of just letting him sleep on a normal dog bed in our room instead of in the crate and then moving him down to the kitchen in same.

Any tips or help appreciated! Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Imboredinthehouse Wed 29-Apr-20 19:21:47

Imboredinthehouse Wed 29-Apr-20 19:27:05

dog bed in our room instead of in the crate and then moving him down to the kitchen in same

Just put his bed where you want it to be to begin with otherwise he might not be happy to move away from you.

I’ve never felt the need to lock a dog in a cage, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that even prisoners have more space. Dogs are easy to please, just train using loss of fuss, positive reinforcement and small treats.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 29-Apr-20 19:40:43

Crates really aren't compulsory - I've never used one for DDog and they I'm not sure they'd been invented 20 years ago (certainly I'd never heard of them when I had dogs growing up)

Firsttimedogowner Wed 29-Apr-20 19:51:54

@imboredinthehouse thanks so much for those links! I’ve read a few like that but they more say ‘don’t crate train it’s mean’ rather than how to not crate train - all the doggy books I’ve found say to crate train. So it’s more how do I go about ‘not’ crate training him and is it ok to do this. Like do I just walk out the room when I’m going somewhere and leave him there or is there a process??

How did you do it? I see the second link has a book so I might check that one out.

It’s all very confusing! Just want to do what’s right for pup!!

OP’s posts: |
notquiteruralbliss Wed 29-Apr-20 19:56:24

We have 4 dogs and don’t crate train. All the dogs sleep on whichever human’s bed they want to overnight (generally 2 sleep with me and 2 each sleep with a DC) and they all have the run of the house during the day. If I am out, the hounds that sleep with me will either settle down with their next favourite human or sleep on my bed.

Floralnomad Wed 29-Apr-20 19:56:38

We didn’t have a crate when our dog was a puppy , we had a huge play pen at first , then fenced off part of a room for him if we were out and then when he was reliable house trained he had free run of the house . I’ve no idea why they are seen as a necessary item for pups and my issue with them is for everybody who uses them properly there is some other poor dog who is locked in a cage for hours at a time whilst it’s owners are at work .

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Wed 29-Apr-20 20:01:48

We've never crated, in almost two decades of owning dogs (often several at once), except in the car. I grew up with dogs and they were never crated either.

When they're young and chew everything, we just move anything dangerous or vulnerable out of reach in the space where they will be left.

Firsttimedogowner Wed 29-Apr-20 20:06:10

Thanks @floralnomad this is what I kind of have in mind. Thinking of installing a puppy door after lockdown and then he can go in and out as he pleases. We have a secure garden and then he would have run of our main living area. I just went straight to crate training as it’s what everyone says to do. And it’s very hard to find information about the alternative.

@notquiteruralbliss we don’t want him in the habit of sleeping on our bed as we’re hoping to have a baby in the next year and it would be a bit of a squeeze as our master bedroom is quite small. So with baby fully grown dog and two adults it wouldn’t work.

However we were told to put him in our room initially so he wasn’t scared. We’ve managed to move him from beside our bed to the door but it’s not that far away.

Should we just go cold turkey and put him in the hall from now on? And just let him whine?

I’ve read 5 puppy books now and it’s nothing but mixed messages 🙈🙈🙈🙈

OP’s posts: |
Firsttimedogowner Wed 29-Apr-20 20:09:09

@GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman I grew up with dogs but they were always outdoors so this is the first indoor dog I’ve experience of.

He’s actually not chewed anything yet of ours bar our shoes - maybe because his toys are everywhere!!! When we left him that once he just chewed his bone and didn’t seem interested in the furniture however we have only left him once for 15 mins!!!

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Wed 29-Apr-20 20:11:48

I’d be very wary of letting him have access to the garden whilst you are out , dogs get stolen from secure gardens all the time and it’s really not worth the risk . You also have the issue of barking if you have neighbours .

Firsttimedogowner Wed 29-Apr-20 20:14:36

Thanks for the advice @floralnomad like I said above we always had outdoor dogs growing up so my mothers view is the dog would prefer to be outside running around while we are away! It’s all a minefield really.

I should also say he will need to be happy to be elsewhere on his own sometimes when we are there as my best friend is terrified of dogs so that was another reason we initially went toward creating but now I’m thinking maybe I could put him out in the garden for when she visits or get a extending gate so he can be put in the hall.

What do you non craters do if you need them to be on their own while you’re home?

OP’s posts: |
Winederlust Wed 29-Apr-20 20:21:42

Our dog just refused to even entertain a crate.
In terms of leaving him, we just built up the time really gradually, and I mean REALLY gradually. Just stood outside the front door building up time in 1 minute increments to 10 mins or so, then increased it by 5 mins until we got to an hour. Once you've broken the hour mark you can build up the time much quicker.
We thought we'd never get there but now he's happy snoozing on the sofa if we go out for 4-5 hrs. We have a camera so we can keep an eye on him while we're out as well.

Floralnomad Wed 29-Apr-20 20:22:45

I rarely shut mine away if I’m in but if I do I just shut him in a room .

StillMedusa Wed 29-Apr-20 20:58:27

We gave up on the crate very quickly... she didn't like it and even though I followed the tips (easy peasy puppy squeazy book) she still didn't settle well... so we folded it away.
Mine's a clingy pup so we just let her follow us around but let her have something more fun (like a lickimat) where we wanted to stay and gradually she didn't need to be with us. She's lucky in that she doesn't need to be left for hours, but if she is left for an hour or so, she now just flops down somewhere and dozes.
We also used stair in the living room and one on the stairs and she could see us but get used to not being right under our feet.

I know crates are a useful tool for many (and if they need vet treatment) but tbh mine would be so unhappy left at the vets that the crate would not make much of a difference!

notquiteruralbliss Wed 29-Apr-20 21:39:53

He should be fine in the hall. Mine are Salukis, a breed that prefer to sleep with their humans. It makes for a better nights sleep for all of us.

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