to crate or not to crate???

  1. Well kinda long.....Just wondering what other small dog owners do. We have a 8lb or so minpin who is about 4 1/2. She's still pretty much as much of a puppy as she was the day we got her and though I always thought that one day we may stop crating her I just haven't been able to get myself to do it yet. My concern is for her safety more than anything else......our house is very open with lots of windows, the whole back of my house are windows from ceiling to floor so there's so much wildlife for her to see. She runs around, jumps on things, chases things outside that she doesn't realize she can't catch and sometimes hurts herself (as much as we try to break her of this she's still a bit of a spaz) but when she's out while we are home we can help tend to her if or when she hurts herself, if she did something while we are gone I would never forgive myself. Therefore she stays in her little room (aka crate), I mean she goes in it when she doesn't have to so she must like it to some extent. I would just never forgive myself if she got hurt while I'm not home and I feel so much more comfortable that she's in a "safe place" so to say while we are out. Does anyone else go through this??
  2. I do this with my puppy who is only 3 months old, and I think im gonna stop when hes older...we did this with my other dog (who is now 5) at the beginning and stopped after a year or so and shes fine now
  3. I put a gate at the doorway of my bedroom when we leave so Maya has the entire bed to herself, I always bunch the covers so she can get under them, and she can run around the room and go pee on her pad if she needs to, drink water, etc. Its completely safe in our room, there is nothing she could get ahold of, etc. I would rather do that than keep her confined in a small space, it used to break my heart. She would constantly be on my mind because I'd be thinking "what if she has to pee?" This is much better and she's happy and comfortable and free.
  4. Thanks for the input, unfortunately a gate to a minpin is mearly a test of their jumping ability, gates haven't worked for my Lola since she was....well you know I don't think they EVER worked for her LOL... I've spoken to dog experts about this and they always tell me I shouldn't feel guilty that in fact they feel safe in their crates ......I guess it has a bit to do with the breed and maybe someday I will have a house where she could have a room to herself that has nothing in it that I would worry about hurting her, our bedroom is not that room though. As it is she has jumped wrong while getting up on the bed many times and I just can't imagine if one of these times she does that and really hurts herself and I'm not there to help. She can be such a daredevil, she thinks she's a cat sometimes the way she jumps on things but she's def. not as coordinated in it as cats can be.......
  5. My dogs are crate trained but I leave the door open and gate them in the kitchen. Granted they are much shorter (dachshunds) than your min pin.. just get a really tall gate! :smile:
  6. Lola I can understand your feelings about crating. You are right when you say dogs, when used to the crate, actually don't mind being in it. Dogs think of the crate as their den. Since you've been using the crate I would advise to continue using it, as dogs do better with consistent routines. I never let my pup have free run of the house. When I am home she is usually by my side and I can keep a good watch on her. I tried the crate but she injured her feet and claws trying to get out of it. I brought her home when she was two years old so she never knew the crate. When I leave I put her in my tiled laundry room. When I was house training her she never had an accident in there.
  7. I have a 4 month old puppy & we are crating for housetraining right now.. He sleeps in the crate at night & I put him in it when we are gone. During the day when I'm home, I leave the crate door open & he will still go inside to lay down. If he's not locked in the crate or with me, he's in the utility room where I have gates up. He has room in there to run around & play. (& he won't go potty in there either). That's where his crate is too. I will probably continue to crate him when he gets older~ I've already bought a larger crate to upgrade him too once he's potty trained. Maybe once I get over the fear of him going potty in the house, he'll be out more but not right now~
  8. My dogs, mini doxies, are 3 and 6 and they have crates. They stay in them when we leave the house. They are safe and happy. They go in the crates on their own when they need some alone time. If the crates are moved (when the cleaning people come), they get very upset.
  9. When I first got Tuffy I thought I would crate. The Breeder had all readys started him on that road (he can hold it for 8 hours) but the little guy is so full of energy that when I would get home he would just bounce around out of controll. I felt bad so I switched him to the extra bathroom. But I noticed again this was to small and he had bleeding on his paws from trying to open the door.
    So I then switched to leaving him in the spare room with plenty of toys and potty pads in the corner (he is house trained). This lasted all of a week until the day I decided to experiment and go wash my car and leave him in the house unattended with only the doors to the master bedroom shut. After 3 hours when I had come back I found him sitting on his blanket on the couch waiting for me to come home.

    Since that time we just let him free roam. We have trained him to stay out of the kitchen and give him the phrase "Time to go to work" as we are leaving when we are going to be gone for more than 8 hours or "I'll be back" when its a quick trip like dinner or a movie.
    He also has a bed and three blankets that he goes and lays down on and we never move them. We also have him trained so that when he is on one of the blankets he is safe and won't be bothered. So if he takes a toy to it we leave him alone. But 99% of the time he is in our lap or playing with me on the floor.

    So far (3 years) it has been good. He isn't a chewer, only has accidents near his potty area if the pads aren't changed.

    But what works for me may not work for you. I think we are lucky and Tuffy is really calm for a min pin. Other people I know describe theres as a child stuck in their terrible twos.

  10. Danica, you and I are kindred spirits!! LMAO!!

    This is EXACTLY what I do with my two chis...except I just shut my baby gate.

    If this isn't an option for you, Lola, they have dog playpens that are are very secure, but are larger than a crate and more "open" feeling. Good luck! :smile:
  11. Your doggie is now used to this and if she doesn't mind there is no reason to stop crating her now.
  12. I have two chihuahuas and both are crate trained. I put them in their cage at night to sleep and when we are gone. I keep both in a large size crate with a bed at one end, a puppy pad at the other end just in case and a water dish that is bolted onto the cage. They do perfectly fine in there. I leave the cage open so even if I am home they will sleep in there. All I have to say is "come on" and hold the door open and they run in there on their own. I think crate training is very important. We watched a friends dog and once he was in his cage he would freak out. He would howl and cry all night. I had my chihuahua shipped here to England (I am in the military and she was shipped to England from Virginia) and she had to be in her cage for a good 12-14 hours. She did great because the cage is a safe place and she is ok with being in a confined place. If you ever have to close a dog in a cage that is not crate trained it is very stressfull for them. Sorry this is so long I just feel very strongly on this topic. This is from my personal experience and it works for me, it may not work for others.
  13. I live in England and have owned dogs all my life and have had many different breeds. Sorry if i upset anybody but apart from when the dog is a puppy, should crating be used. How would you feel shut up in a crate all day (even a large one):sad: surely you realise that somethings may get damaged, a dog should be part of the family. All animal organisations in this country will stress to people if they are thinking of getting a dog that it should not be left for more than 3 hours a day maximum.
    Also i going out walking each day with a load of other dog owners, just 1 of these use to crate her dog or keep it only in the kitchen, the rest of the large group thought this was disgraceful, all these people allow there dogs to go anywhere in there homes. We also do not have these wee pads that seem to be something you use in the U.S.
  14. Thanks everyone for your input. When it comes down to it I just don't think I can change our system. Lola sleeps in our bed with us at night and has total access to the house as if it is hers while we are home, based on the things I see her get into while we are here I'm just too affraid to leave her out alone because of the possibility of her hurting herself, no gate made will be high enough for her to not try climbing and she really does seem to like her little den.......She can get into such moods where she's crazy running and jumping around and between that and the fact that I have wood floors everywhere that are slippery I just can stand to think about her possibly hurting herself. Plus I spoke with my husband about it last night and one thing we brought up made it solid in my mind.....we thought god forbid, what if something happened in the house, she would never let anyone catch her so I have the stickers on the windows that we have a pet inside and her room is right in the kitchen so she has a better chance of being rescued in our opinion.....that made our minds up. If she were a different type of dog maybe we would do things different but we ONLY crate her when we are out of the house for a resonable period of time. This may never be totally settled in my head but she's a happy girl and we give her a very nice, safe, and happy life and I hope all of the precausions I take and think about will lead to her living long and healthy!
  15. Have to agree with Rosie, think this practice of keeping dogs in cages is awful. I am wondering if the reason the dog is so crazy running and jumping is because it has been caged and its glad to get out. If the dog has long walks during the day and has a garden to run in then their is no need for a cage. I can see you are a caring owner and only want the best for your dog but putting her in a cage is not the answer. I would ask how many walks a day does the dog get and for how long. Also ask yourself would you like to be shut in a cage for any length on time every day, I would think the answer would be no.