Crate Training

(29 Posts)
Kitcat47 Wed 22-Jul-20 13:18:19

What's your opinion on crate training? We got a puppy who is now 11 weeks old. Decided not to use a crate. I think it looks cruel. Did I do the right thing?

OP’s posts: |
Whoknowswhocares Wed 22-Jul-20 13:41:21

No not imo. I’m a trainer and always advise their use.
Puppies like a den, a safe space and as long as it’s properly introduced it will help them feel more secure especially when left alone, aid toilet training and give them a safe space to rest when they can’t be watched.
Obviously we don’t want them chewing stuff in the house for our own benefit, but it keeps them safer too. Add to that the dog will almost certainly need to use one during its life at a vets and it means on holidays with the dog, you can take their ‘bedroom’ with you. Or at kennels or home boarding they will be in a crate/cage and it’s a bit unfair for any of those situations to be their first experience of it, having just been left you you too!
It doesn’t have to be forever by any means, my older dogs don’t use them day to day, but my puppies are always introduced to them and made to feel happy using them for those reasons.

Sitdowncupoftea Wed 22-Jul-20 17:01:41

I think its down to personal choice. I have never crated a dog. My dogs are downstairs they sleep in my living room. I put a safety gate on the stairs. I've never had a chewing issue as I've always made sure they have had plenty of chew toys to keep occupied. When they were small I made sure the area they had free range of was safe for them. If you put the training in you don't need to crate.

Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 17:18:46

It’s down to personal choice , we used a big pen when ours was small and then went on to fencing off parts of the house if we needed to go out . I’m not a fan of crates purely because I think they are too often abused . As an example someone I know got a 13 month old Yorke mix last year from someone who had basically kept it in a cage since they got it at 8 weeks . They told my friend that it wouldn’t settle without being shut in and it didn’t like the garden or walks . My friend has never caged her and from day one she’s been clean indoors ( they said she wasn’t) , loves the garden and has been keen to get out for walks . I’m sure they are very useful in the right hands but I think there are now huge amounts of people who work and get puppies because they go out all day leaving them locked in a cage with maybe a dog walker for an hour whereas before cages became ‘the thing’ the dog would have trashed the house and been rehomed pretty quick .

ViperBugloss Wed 22-Jul-20 18:02:54

I always crate train my dogs.

A good life skill to learn - all dogs will be crated at some point eg vets, surgery, so one less thing to stress them out

Dogs love a secure quiet safe place

A crate helps to teach a dog to relax -I have working breeds and the crate works as an off switch

If trained and used properly most dogs love them

Keep a dog safe in any environment

Dogs relax happily in new locations if they are in their crate

Dogs are safer in the car if in a crate.

However my dogs come to work with me and are rarely left unattended in a crate. The door will be left open in many situatios from an early age as the dogs prefer to be in the crate and will stay there from choice

pigsDOfly Wed 22-Jul-20 18:56:46

Of course it's cruel if it's used as a punishment or the dog is locked in it for hours at a time.

However, if it's used in the way that pps have described it it can be an enormous asset in helping the puppy feel secure and giving them a safe place to go.

I remember when my DD's dog was a small puppy playing in the garden, there was a loud bang from somewhere nearby and the puppy shot into the house and straight into her crate.

Obviously DD's dog didn't think it was cruel, it was a very safe place as far as she was concerned.

My dog was crate trained so that for the short time I needed to leave her I knew she was safe and wouldn't do something dangerous like chew something that could harm her.

When I realised she wasn't a chewer I started to leave her free to roam when I went out and we gradually stopped using it.

Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 19:27:42

But a dog can have a safe place that isn’t a cage ,


BiteyShark Wed 22-Jul-20 19:48:02

If you don't want to use a crate then don't. Not sure why you are asking if you are right if you think they are cruel.

Personally I am glad we did for the first year of my dogs life.

ViperBugloss Wed 22-Jul-20 19:59:15


But a dog can have a safe place that isn’t a cage ,

Yep but I guess there will still be a degree of restriction?

Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 20:12:33

Why does a safe place need to have restrictions unless it’s in the car ?

ViperBugloss Wed 22-Jul-20 20:16:39

Describe your safe area Floral?

Sitdowncupoftea Wed 22-Jul-20 20:33:19

Unless a dog is fearful why would it need a safe place. My dogs have their own favourite places which is usually the sofa or rug.

Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 20:37:51

Our dog has various beds and the run of the house including his own bedroom with double bed that he only occasionally has to share - with our adult son , which the dog is happy with . I’m not sure he’s ever needed to find somewhere to feel safe indoors as he’s never scared of anything , he doesn’t even mind fireworks and is a very confident chap .

ViperBugloss Wed 22-Jul-20 20:50:36

Many puppies can not be left with the run of the house and this causes a lot of stress with most puppies.

A room is not a safe place to leave a puppy, that can chew, eat, break many things.

A house with children can be noisey and some dogs like to be able to get away from the noise - a crate can help with this. A specified area for the dog to go and a clear indication to the family to let the dog have some peace. Having the run of the house does not fufil this need for some dogs.

I think a safe place is not only a place for fearful dogs - it is a place to relax unwind and not be disturbed. This can of course be achieved by other ways than a crate but crates serve a clear visual aid to the puppy. As they get bigger the crate may not be required but your dog is crate train for life.

However there is no right or wrong way - what ever works for you and your dog. smile

rwalker Wed 22-Jul-20 20:55:50

My sisters dogs used to have a crate I always thought it was cruel but dog seemed happy quiet a small dog and big crate .
The dog prefers it she still has it never shuts the door and dog take himself off into it

SpringIsSprung1 Wed 22-Jul-20 20:58:23

Crates are a new fad. Cruel in my opinion. A puppy needs lots of contact with it's humans. It's just left it's mum and needs reassurance and love and play. Not locked in what is basically a cage.

ViperBugloss Wed 22-Jul-20 21:02:39

They are not a new fad been around for decades. Puppies are not locked in crates if used correctly. When the puppy sleeps it is in the crate, when it is awake it is free of the crate.

You could argue a cot is cruel for a baby confused

Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 21:03:23

@ViperBugloss , if you had bothered to read my post I did say that originally mine had a large pen and then we fenced off parts of rooms he was hardly left to run riot eating the house . My dog doesn’t get disturbed if he’s on his beds .

yearinyearout Wed 22-Jul-20 21:10:38

* Crates are a new fad. Cruel in my opinion. A puppy needs lots of contact with it's humans. It's just left it's mum and needs reassurance and love and play. Not locked in what is basically a cage.*

You're talking as if people who crate train lock the dogs in it all day and ignore them!

I've used a covered crate with both of mine. They've gone in it happily, sleep in it at night, and I've used it when I've had to pop out and leave them in the day (I wfh so never for any length of time) it's great when we go away as they settle immediately and I don't have to worry about them having a cheeky nap on someone else's sofa in the night. Now she's older I leave the door open so she has the run of the kitchen if I go out in the day, I only close the door at night.

pigsDOfly Wed 22-Jul-20 23:26:00

My dog was certainly never 'locked' away from me in her crate, as she was only ever put in it to keep her safe for the very short time that I needed her to be secured, such as when I was having a shower or had to pop out, and I didn't go out anyway until she'd been with me for several weeks.

Of course if they're locked away from their humans it's cruel. No one on here is suggesting for a moment that that is the way to do crate training.

Mindymomo Thu 23-Jul-20 08:24:22


welshdaisy Thu 23-Jul-20 09:57:24

I never used one as we didn't feel the need. However, during recent training classes the trainer said we should have considered it in case he ever needed to go in one eg the vets. We are going away in August and he's coming with us, I wish I'd have Introduced it because now I don't know what he's going to be like in a place that's not his home and we need to pop out or if we have a meal out.. what's done is done, I don't think I could successfully do it at 7 months. The reason we didn't use one was because when we had him he was textbook, which I know is rare (mums dog is a cute heathen) and we are very very lucky. He's never chewed and isn't a problem being in the kitchen with the door closed if we pop out or I need to ensure he's safe... I'd definitely consider it if we had our time again. And that's not to lock him away, it's just so he knows it's a safe place to go, and I can take it with me if we go on holiday, and it's a familiar place in an unfamiliar place if that makes sense smile

yearinyearout Thu 23-Jul-20 18:22:06

@welshdaisy every holiday home I've stayed in has stipulated that you can't leave the dog unattended, so you'll have to find dog friendly places to eat.

welshdaisy Thu 23-Jul-20 18:46:52

@yearinyearout that's really good to know, I didn't even think to check and in all honesty we were planning on buying bbq food and cooking in the lodge because of the predicament anyway. We are going to Centerparcs because we wanted somewhere for him to enjoy too smile

katddd Fri 30-Apr-21 10:29:18

I have a 4 month old German shepherd boy, who I took to the vets yesterday. The vet told me off as I refuse to use a crate on my boy. We have had 1 sleepless night since bringing him home. He is totally house trained through out the day but we stick a mat down at night. he sleeps well and as of yet is not destructive, although we have puppy proofed the kitchen. His safe space is 1 of 3 beds , he is happy well behaved.
I left the vets on the verge of tears..............I dont need a crate !!

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