Puppy training without a crate?

(26 Posts)
5mile Tue 16-Jun-20 10:08:19

Is this a crazy idea?
From what iv been reading in here it sounds as though most/many are using crates, I'm just not a fan and wonder if anyone else hadn't bought a crate for their pup, what are your experiences?

OP’s posts: |
vanillandhoney Tue 16-Jun-20 10:19:46

Hi OP smile

We never crated ours and it was absolutely fine. He was toilet trained really easily (we took a month off work between us to get him settled) - he sleeps on the sofa during the day and in our bed at night (though you could always just buy him a dog bed and have him sleep there.

However - puppies can be destructive so if you're not going to crate, I would get a playpen or puppy proof a room for him/her so you can go out and protect your house grin

5mile Tue 16-Jun-20 10:35:38

Thanks for your advice,
we are quite lucky in the fact someone is home 90% of the time, I never thought of a play pen, I definitely do not want my house to be destroyed!

OP’s posts: |
vanillandhoney Tue 16-Jun-20 10:37:30

You can get special puppy pens with high sides so they can't escape! Definitely worth getting one if you can - it means both puppy and house will stay safe while you pop out.

It's inevitable you'll need to leave the pup on it's own at some point, so a playpen is a great place to leave them while they're small.

Syrrup Tue 16-Jun-20 10:40:42

We planned to crate train but ended up not, he's larger breed than we planned and would need an XL crate which would take over our house. It was absolutely fine. The main reason for crate training is for house breaking, but we made sure he was outside every time he needed to go and he learned in no time. By about 4 months they're perfectly capable of holding it for a couple of hours and will be reluctant to go inside their house. One of us slept downstairs with him at the beginning so if he woke during the night he went straight outside.

We made sure he was comfortable being on his own before we left the house without him so as long as he's well exercised and has toys so he's not bored then he doesnt get destructive. We have a camera to watch him but he just potters around and naps where hes comfy!

We still make sure he has his own places to escape to if he needs some peace but most of the time he chooses to be with us. He prefers sleeping on the cool hard floor to any of his dog beds or the sofa so I'm quite happy we left him with a choice.

Syrrup Tue 16-Jun-20 10:43:02

We did also puppy-proof the living room for a while. He had a high walled puppy pen but could scale the sides by 13 weeks!

totallydevoidofideas Tue 16-Jun-20 10:44:32

It definitely depends on your house I think, as well as whether you will be around or not. Some people manage to have a room where there isn't much the puppy can damage so they can let them loose early on, but also at night if there is room in your bedroom I'd say that's also good. We muddle along in our kitchen as we have a crate but puppy still wont really sleep in it and in the end it wasnt worth the fight and barking, so he sleeps wherever he wants and sometimes chooses the crate. So far he hasn't chewed anything in the kitchen but that's because I'm there when he eyes things up!


CMOTDibbler Tue 16-Jun-20 10:47:43

I use a crate, even though its not something I thought I'd like. It gives the puppy somewhere that is theirs, and that can be a quiet hideaway. It also gives you somewhere the puppy can be that is totally safe for them, and means they can't be destructive when left.
A playpen works as well, but takes up more room

5mile Tue 16-Jun-20 11:03:12

Thankyou for the great advice.
Ours is a larger breed too, I do like the idea of one of us staying downstairs with pup at nights till he gets use. I will also create a nice space for him to sleep in. I can definitely see the pros and cons of crates, so il see how we get on

OP’s posts: |
Juiceey Tue 16-Jun-20 15:13:26

We intended to crate train but failed and packed it away on day 4 as I couldn't bear his crying blush

He sleeps on the sofa/floor during the day and on our bed at night. We have a baby gate on the kitchen door and he goes in there if we need to go upstairs or anything (haven't gone out without him yet). He's got nothing to chew in there and it's a wipe clean floor, unlike the rest of the house which has carpets.

5mile Tue 16-Jun-20 22:14:53

I think we will try without the crate, thankyou for sharing your experiences

OP’s posts: |
Catsrus Tue 16-Jun-20 22:25:50

I'm not a crate fan, I've successfully housetrained 6 pups without one, though i do confess that dpup1 ate through a skirting board and Dpup3 stripped the wallpaper from the hallway blush.

Livelovelife35 Fri 19-Jun-20 18:03:08

We have just got a pup and were wondering about a crate but after speaking to a few close freinds who have said not to bother with one as it changes their behaviour etc so we just left it and my partner has had 3 dogs growing up and says they never had any crates.
Think at least we will buy a play pen durning the week

Stackers382 Fri 19-Jun-20 18:07:26

We used a pen for in the kitchen which we used when we were cooking or eating and to allow the cats to come and go in peace.

Pup slept in the spare bedroom at night with puppy pads. At around 6 months he just stopped needing to go to the toilet at night.

I’d say definitely get a pen, they do soon get big enough to jump out but it really helps in the early days.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jun-20 18:13:58

Originally we had a play pen but it was useless so we quickly ditched it and got a crate which was massive, bigger than the play pen but sturdy and he obviously couldn't jump out of it.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Fri 19-Jun-20 20:24:11

We've had three puppies and never used a crate. We just puppy-proof a room where we can confine them.

The rule when the DC were small is that you don't disturb a sleeping puppy, so a basket was enough in that regard.

percheron67 Fri 19-Jun-20 20:29:37

Hooray! Someone who uses their brain!! May I request that you do not use one of the very dangerous extending leads which are so prevalent now. Unnecessary and highly dangerous for the dog and humans alike.

frostedviolets Fri 19-Jun-20 20:45:50

I can’t imagine training a puppy without a crate.
It’s less about poo and wee for me and more the worry of chewed up skirting boards, door frames, holes in rugs etc...

Abbccc Fri 19-Jun-20 21:05:09

Crates are a fairly new thing, so,of course you don't need one to train a puppy.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jun-20 21:11:11


Crates are a fairly new thing, so,of course you don't need one to train a puppy.

My parents dogs never had crates as they weren't a thing back then. But they chewed furniture and walls when young. I remember things being destroyed and I guess they were lucky that it never caused injury to the dogs.

We had the biggest crate we could find which was used to keep him safe at times when we couldn't be 100% sure that we had eyes on him and I would do that again. Apart from a couple of mats we never had anything chewed and he was near us and safe if we needed the doors opened to the outside. We no longer use the crate but still use baby gates.

averylongtimeago Fri 19-Jun-20 21:12:41

I have never used a crate in over 40 years of owning dogs.
None of them have been allowed on furniture- they have all slept in their beds, most in our room.When they are pups I hear when they wake at night for a wee/ so can take them out.
Never had to leave them to cry, if they are upset during the first few nights you are right there.
During the day, I can make a room pup proof if I need to go out,but tbh it's not a good idea to leave them for too long when they are tiny.

5mile Fri 19-Jun-20 22:51:02

Thankyou for all your advice and sharing your experiences , my hubby seems quite keen on sleeping, either downstairs or in our room with him, at least for the first couple of weeks.

OP’s posts: |
StillMedusa Sat 20-Jun-20 00:38:38

No crate here.. well we did buy one but it was huge and I didn't see a real need for it so we got rid after two weeks as she wanted to be glued to me.. I slept downstairs for the first two weeks so I could be next to her and take her outside if she stirred... she only ever wee-d 3 times in the house and never pooed at all, so it worked.
We did have a stair gate and she slept downstairs until she was 6 months old, then we just let her choose and now, at 1 she generally sleeps on the floor in our room.
Never chewed anything, never destroyed anything.. we never left her alone and just let her be wherever we were and now she is a confident young dog...we still don't leave her for long as no need but she is fine if we pop out shopping etc.

runningon Sat 20-Jun-20 00:41:51

You don't have to use a crate, lots (most?) people don't.
I use a crate when appropriate.
For example: I used a crate for my puppy, but not with my rescue dogs as they were older and wouldn't chew my kitchen when I popped to the shops!
You have to adapt your training methods to your dog.

Girlintheframe Sat 20-Jun-20 05:43:05

We used a massive crate until ours was a year. We didn't use one with our previous dog and woke up one morning to our kitchen kick boards all chewed up.
Tbh I'm glad we did as dog has had to stay in one at the vets overnight which, if he hadn't been used to it could have caused him more anxiety.

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