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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all once again! So glad that the weather has decided to warm up a little here in PA! Got to go out and do some fun activities with Snickers YAY:)
So here is my issue.....Stimpy lived with my husband at his parents house for a little over a year before we were married (we got him Aug. 2000 and finally moved in together Nov. 2001) Anyway, he was left in the bathroom a lot.. they figured it was easier to keep him there in case he had an accident, easy clean up... well when we finally moved in together, we bought a crate for him. Well one day I came home from work, and we had just put a new lock on the screen door, well... I couldn't get the key to work, so I had to bust open the back door, and in the process heard the pitter patter of paws across the linoleum floor. He had escaped, and his nose was bleeding... granted we zip tied this thing, it was like Ft. Knox. So from that day on, he was free to roam the house... he did not touch a thing (except for the occasional dirty dish from the sink)
Now flash forward... I was VERY adamate about crate training Snickers, cause I heard of the benefits (mainly potty training). Now it seems that my Hubby and I can't agree, I say when you can't pay attention to her she should be penned, he says that it will make her more hyperactive. I think it gives her more structure and prevents her from getting into something she shouldn't have. I also am TRYING to make it a rule that when we eat, she gets penned... she's a huge mooch.. and yes I know we own a food motivated breed...
Some sort of input/ guidance would be GREATLY appreciated
 

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IMHO in the examples you give the crate is more of a cruch or a substitute for training. example A dog can be taught to sit or lie quitely in a particular spot while you are eating it is quite easy and does not require a crate. see Table manners

IMHO the crate as a tool for pottytraining is overrated and often abused. It can be very effect at teach one aspect of potty training however and that is for the dog to hold it until it can access an appropriate places to go. But it often abused on the mistake notion a dog will never soil its den, every dog has its limit. I have had to crate confine a dog for seven months total including pre and post surgical care for a soft tissue injury to the leg. I understand the profond psycological effect confinement can have on a dog. I am not condeming the tool but the practice of extended confinement

I think it is best to confine the use of a crate to those instance it is a training tool or used as a safety device. ie confine the dog in the car, or other open area where if they were left to roam free they are in danger of being injured. All my dogs are crate trained and happily go into their crates on command and some time on their own as well. But I do not use it as a substitute for training the proper behavior. Your hubby views your use of the crate as totally as a management technique and never a training tool which is not the case. You on the other hand are a little to eager to embrace it for ease in managing situations rather than take the time to train an appropriate behavior. There is some middle ground. Keep in mind a crate is a tool nothing more or less. It can be used for good as well as bad it is your (plural) decission on how to best deploy it if at all as a training or management tool. Keeping in mind that dogs have been house trained successfully without one. There is always more than one way to accomplish any training task. To be successful however you need to come up with a program and training scheme each of you is comfortable with. and cofindent you can deploy successfully. Two different training styles confuses the dog and slows progress while eventual the dog will learn to adapt.

I say when you can't pay attention to her she should be penned, he says that it will make her more hyperactive.
Niether is correct. At some point the dog needs to be able to explore the world on its own in order to grow up. You can be overprotective and it does not lead to a well behaved stable dog just as being overprotective of a child has negative consequences as well.

The crate can be an excellent interactive training tool. Using it as such might be one way to get the hubby more on board in using it in more management situations as well. In this vain I sugggest the follow video with heavy emphysis of using the crate as an inteactive training tool.

Crate Games for Self-Control & Motivation DVd


and a couple utube video with some of the training in action


 

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I've never used a crate to train any dog I've owned, including Flash. It took more effort and a longer time to potty train him than it had with any other dog I've owned, but it was successful. He's also never been destructive of furniture, clothing, etc., but I think that in large part, that's because such behavior was never tolerated and alternative behaviors were encouraged and rewarded.

I agree with Mikey in that many people use the crate as a crutch.
 

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The only time I've used a crate with puppies is at night, as a tool for housebreaking: I've kept the pup by my side of the bed in a small crate with soft bedding; when he had to pee he would whimper because he didn't want to soil his bed. I would get up, carry the pup downstairs to his potty place in the yard, praise, and take him back to his crate to sleep. With really young pups I would do this at least twice during the night.

It taught the pup that when he signalled, I would take him to relieve himself; he quickly generalized this behavior; we use a bell on the door for our dogs to signal now.

If my husband or I couldn't be with a young pup to supervise, they were confined to a relatively small area which we puppy-proofed and gated off, with their bed and a food-stuffed Kong to keep them busy.

I personally feel that too many dogs in America live in crates.
 

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I used a crate with Beldin and Mocha when they were little for help with potty training - after that I'd actually leave the door off of it and they would go in and out as they pleased duriung the day and were only confined to the crate (door back on) at night. It wasn't long before they would stay in the crate at night and I could leave the door mostly shut (but not locked or latched).

After Mocha was sick and we only had Beldin he seemed to choose to stay in the crate himself - it was a place of comfort to him and he was sad and missing Mocha.

Then after we moved across country from BC to New Brunswick he actually became very possessive of his crate. It was the one thing he was familiar with and that was strickly "his".

Now it's used primarily as a bed and it's entirely by his choice.

As for begging food during meal times he knnows better than that. There is a defining line in the flooring between the kitchen and livingroom space even though it's basically one big open room. He'll lay on the floor on the livingroom side and watch us quitely. But he won't step over that line while we are sitting at the table.

I personally think that having a dog is a little like having a perpetual 2year old (only they listen better at times!) ... I wouldn't stick a child in a "playpen" for hours on time - sometimes training isn't "convienient" and having a pup or dog underfoot can be frustrating at times... but it's part and parcel of being a pet owner.
 

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I use crates for housebreaking, my dogs sleep in them at night, lounge in them during the day if I'm only gone for an hour or two. A great big plus for crates--once you get your dog used to them and quiet in them, they are great for travel in motels. Zip dog in crate, put a do no disturb sign out, and you're off to dinner or for a short sight seeing tour.
 

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I crated my Snickers from the first night I got her and I put her in there at night and when I leave the house. At the start I crated her when I would eat, but quickly stopped because I personally didn't want to put her in the crate after she spent most of the day in there. She isn't left in there all day, but a few hours at a time. She willingly goes in there and doesn't fuss unless we put her in there when we are still at home.

You may want to look at a doggie play pen. It's a big circle or octagon that you can put her in to confine her when you are eating, cleaning, etc. Basically when you can't watch her every second.

If done properly I don't think dogs think of crates as prisons (that's a human thing).
 

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I never crated trained Mattie. Mattie never went into one. Sometimes I wish I did, but I only had minor things to come home to clean up, thank goodness!!
Since I didn't crated train Mattie as a puppy, I would get up about every 2 to 3 hours and let her out at night. Still 4 years later, I can get up once to twice a night to let her out to go to the bathroom. I am a light sleeper so I know every move she makes during the night, and I know when she walks around it is time for her to go out. The longest time Mattie is lefted in the house alone is around 5 hours. And she does fine now. If it is longer then that then Mattie's grandma comes and sees her or she goes to Grandma's house.
Mattie still to this day has accidents in the house, sometimes I think it is just because she is mad because we left her. As a puppy, they were just normal potty training accidents (i have had to scrub the floor before). I got child proof locks for pantry and some cabinets cause Mattie would get into them as a puppy and help herself. We came home one day to Vegatable Oil all over the kitchen floor. But the child proof locks solved that problem.
Most of the time when my husband and I are gone Mattie sleeps. Cause both couchs are very well laid in when we get home. I am glad we did not have to crate train Mattie!! I don't have anything against it, I just did not want it for Mattie!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, let me reword this... Snickers is in one of those playard pens, shortened enough to fit her, her bed, and her food and water bowls. Sorry I didn't differentiate the word crate from pen. But she is in there while my husband and I work (full time) And I am usually off Tues. and Fri., and he is off the weekends, so she's not in there for 8-9 hours every day.
Thanks again for all the input... so nice to have such a strong support system:)
 

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The effect of confinment are not the result of the size of the encloser but the deparvity of mental and physical stimulation, In most single dog households the dgo that is not crated or penned spends the vast majority of time sleeping just as the penned or crated dog because of the lack of mental stimulation. Including interactive toy, buster cubes, stuffed kongs etc can go along way in keep a pup stimulated which cuts down dramatically on destructive behavior.
If interested in interactive toy cleck out Interactive toys for one of the larger selections in one location.

The fact the dog is confined is not the reason some are hyper when let out of confinement rather that is caused by thre factor two of which I already mention which confimenent can exaserbate but are easily overcome with some fore thought First is lack of mental stimulation, second is lack of physical exercise. As mentioned befored they physical exercise that a single dog gets when left alone to roam free in the house is not signicantly different that of a confined dog. Excersise is in either case going to occur only when you are hiome so you just have to include that in your schedule.

The thrid cause of overall hyperness is what I condsider one of the most important because it greatly effects how easy the dog is to live with and that is self control. What happens is to often people rely on the confinement to control the dog. rather than training the dog on how to behave appropriate in certain situations. By using the crate in this way the dog is often out of control because it has never be thought how to be in control. They also lack as much mental stimulation because during social encounter because they tend to be out of control they get crated away from it etc. This was my biigest conern when you mentioned using the crate to control the dogs behavior at meal time. Granted it is a streach to say your headed down the slippery path but it could be a step in that direction.

It appears you and your husband disagree on how extensive the use of confinement should be It is best to reach a comprise that you both can live with there appears to be a lot of middle ground to the position you both staked out. Keep in mind no one here knows your living situation nor Snicker's her personality etc so they are not in a position to tell you wlth any authority what is best, you have far more information to make that determination all we can do is offer some prospective and idea, concerns that you may not have considered.
 

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We have used a crate for our last three dogs and I would always recommend using one. This coming from a person who once thought crates were horrible and mean! When used properly a dog will view a crate as a den and go in there on their own whenever they are stressed or tired etc.
We mainy used ours for housebreaking and for whenever the dogs couldn't be supervised. When they were out of the crate, they were confined to one room until they were housebroken. They earned being able to have access to the whole house, one room at a time.
Having said that, I don't agree with people who use crates for a dog's entire life. When mature, a dog should be able to have full run of the house when owners are not there.
 

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I had a German Shepherd who we never even thought to crate...ever. We owned a big travel-crate, but that was just for driving. After her, we took in a rescue dog and the oranization was a huge proporter of crates, so we gave it a try. We now have Maggie, our Basset. She slept in an open closet at her last house, leashed up. She was very unhappy with this system at our house and we are hesitant to let her be loose at night, as she is a bit of a chewer and would undoubtedly go on the furniture, where she is not allowed. So we started crating her at night and playing some Lorie Line at bedtime. Bingo. Worked like a charm. I also remove the door during the day and she goes in and out as she pleases. It's a good place for her to go to get some quiet time away from our troop of kids. :)
 

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I prefer to have crate trained dogs. My crated dogs have always been more settled than the ones that aren't. I have given them a mix of it being a safe haven and a space where they know they have to wait (until I can focus on their needs). Although the wire crates are cooler. I like the plastic crates because they can be taken apart and used as a familiar bed. Something I discovered with my beagle who was distraught about the removal of his crate when a new partner was vehimently against crate usage, so the compromise was to turn it into a bed.

B. Basset my foster and I discovered a game today for dealing with whining. If he wasn't happy in his crate he could be snapped to a lead fastened close to me. If he still whined he got a chance in the yard. When he barked to be out of the yard we went back to the crate. I'm sure the neighbours thought I was nuts cause I have to go all the way around my apartment building to put him in the yard. The third time we went back to the crate he settled and stayed put for long enough for me to finish melting cheese on nachos. When it was walk time anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: We have been doing VERY well lately.. we have now learned to alert mom and/or dad when we have to go out. Pen time has been reduced to only when Mom and Dad are not home with me. Accidents have dropped dramatically (yes I did knock on wood) And the weather the past few days has been prime for evening walks/ meet and greets (cause we are always meeting someone new!)
Thanks again for all the advice! We love our Basset family!
 
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