Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?
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Thread: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

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    Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    Hi there,

    We committed to a female rough collie puppy from a reputable breeder, we specifically chose the breed for its friendliness, intelligence, love of children and that they like other pets. My husband owned a dog as child and I never did, so we're learning as much as possible now (she won't be old enough until the end of February).
    We have to young children and two cats (spayed/neutered; one 5 year old, one 2 year old, one girl and boy). We read about dividing the house into two sections and let the cats sniff at the dog when in the crate. How do you feel about it? any experience?
    And for the crate, we want to purchase one that will fit her adult size. We're not sure what size to get, it seems to be between the 42 or 48 inch crates. Her parents are average sized rough collies, so it is to be expected that she won't be petite nor huge. What would you recommend?

    Thanks so much in advance!

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    I had a Rough Collie as a teenager. She was only about 55 pounds. I would suggest a large crate with the "divider" so you can adjust the size of the interior of the crate as she grows. My Doberman mix is over 60 pounds and fits in a large Remington crate.

    I can hardly wait to see pics! Roughs are my heart breed!

    I don't own cats ... I can be of no help with that part.


    ~While you were busy judging others your closet door came open and a lot of skeletons fell out.~

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    Thanks! I have been looking at the crates on Amazon. This one looks promising. The breeder said large or extra large, which confuses me, as those crates come in like 8 sizes without labeling, but inch measurement... http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Life-S.../dp/B0002AT3M4 We thought 42 or 48 inches, or is that too big even?
    Taffy is only 4 weeks old now and CO law states puppies can go home at 8 weeks She doesn't look like Lassie at all yet, she's so tiny, but our kids were so happy to meet her. I like that the breeder doesn't tape down their ears, that's just for looks, we're looking for a family companion, looks are secondary really.
    Our cats are relaxed, but the older one is really scared, but none of them is territorial. I was thinking of not letting the puppy in the basement at all (we have a basement, main floor and upper floor - the basement is semi-finished as kid's playroom, also houses 3 litterboxes and in a different area the cat's food). The cat's water is in our bathroom on the countertop (or our toddler would drink it) so the puppy would have no access there either. The cats are not declawed (cause that's painful and scary and outlawed in the state we adopted them anyways) so they can defend themselves if necessary, they are however used to rough housing with our kids (aka tail pulling, bear hugs, kisses, being dragged around the house and such).
    We have a well sized backyard, fenced in, with a playground, sandbox, grass area and rock area. My main concern is that the puppy, especially if outside, would think the cats are prey, cause they like to run around in the backyard.

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    Senior Member Rowdy's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    We got collies specifically because we have cats. The dogs are very good with the cats. Unfortunately, the cats never did warm up to the dogs, but that's another story.

    When we first got Toby we set up a baby gate outside of the master bedroom. We put a second litter box and food inside the master bedroom in addition to their usual box and food in the laundry room. That way the cats had 2 places they were comfortable that they could hide from the dog. The cats could sit inside the bedroom and watch the dog and vice versa, but they couldn't reach each other. We kept the second litter box for a month, but slowly cut back on the second food dish, which made the cats go outside of the bedroom and past the dog, to eat. We only did this when we were home. When we were gone, the dog was crated. After the month we took away the second litter box. This worked well for us. The dogs will watch the cats and occasionally chase them if they run, but they would never hurt them. BTW, I've never met a collie that wasn't totally fascinated by cats.

    member of the Great Collie Conspiracy

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    That sounds like an excellent idea. We are planning on putting a baby gate up on the upper floor (basically to contain our daughter when we bathe the kids, but that's another story) that would seal off the guest bathroom and the two kids' rooms from the rest of the house, so the cats could flee to there as well as the basement area (our staircase won't allow for a baby gate, no studs grrr; the basement has a door with a small cat door Taffy will not fit through)..
    We will crate train her, in fact the breeder starts the crate training a week before she will come home to us, so at night she'll be in there and the cats can roam the house freely (as I know our Siamese, he'll prolly be teasing her).

    As for the crate, which one would you suggest as a collie owner?

    Btw Rowdy, your Collies are very cute. Merle looks so nice - we've got a dark sable female, but her mom's a merle.

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    Senior Member Rowdy's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    We got a soft sided collapsable crate. I don't know if I'd recommend one or not. We got it because we weren't sure whether we'd be keeping the dog downstairs or in our room upstairs at night, so we wanted something that was easily carried up and down the stairs. The portability did come in handy one day when I had to bring Toby to work with me due to a failure of our child care plans. I just carried it in and set it up in our lounge.

    The downsides are that it's not sturdy enough for the car and it's not good for chewers. Later, when we got Cameron, the dogs managed to crush the crate when they jumped on it while they were playing. We threw it out and never replaced it. By then both dogs had full run of the house.

    member of the Great Collie Conspiracy

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    Senior Member agility collie mom's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    Congratulations on your collie pup! They are wonderful family dogs. I have two a blue merle female and a tri-colored male. I also have 5 cats and it has never been an issue as long as you introduce them as Rowdy suggested. In fact my one cat plays with my girl they have been playing together since she was a puppy!
    Last edited by agility collie mom; 02-02-2012 at 08:09 PM.
    "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    THanks Now if my cats only understood that they can JUMP over the baby gate, hahahaha! They did it when we had it up when my son was little, but they forgot. They have 3 weeks to learn before Taffy moves in!

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    I have two rough collies. My male is about 70 lbs and my female is about 60 lbs. The male is 6 and the female is 4.

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    Did you ever figure out what size crate to get? I just got a 4 1/2 month old male rough collie whose sire was 85 pounds and dam 75. He seems like a peewee who will never get that big, really. I got him from a guy who lives in rural Pennsylvania horse country and he is not registered. He learns quickly and I have been using my cocker spaniel's second crate for him, but need to get him his own and the 48" ones on Amazon seem just a bit too big. How much does a collie grow from 4 1/2 months to maturity?

    I am also happy that the breeder did not glue or tape his ears. One is up and the other down now which reminds me of my first dog, a German shepherd. His tips flop most of the time but at full attention do not tip. I could care less. I didn't even know that breeders did brace, tape, glue and otherwise interfere with the natural ear form. I read it is too hard to control genetically because it involves so many factors that it is simpler just to train the ears. Sounds suspicious to me...

    Know it's been a long time since the original post, but hope to hear about crate sizes from some one.

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    Senior Member RoughCollie's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    We had the XL 48" Vari Kennel for our rough collie, who weighed between 90 and 100 lbs. He loved it and he chose to use it as his den (to get away from the kids). We took the door off because he preferred to lie with his front legs draped over the sill anyway.

    The kennel was a gift ... to fit it into my SUV, we had to take it apart. So if you have a vehicle, better measure the height of the opening and the interior roof if you plan to use the kennel/crate in it.

    A friend of mine owns 3 collies who weigh between 55 and 65 lbs. She uses 40" or 42" wire crates for them.

    We did not have a cat, but we had a 7 lb. fully grown cat visit us every day. When Teddy was staked out in the front yard so he could dig the holes for me when I planted bulbs, or supervise yard work, Rosie would waltz up to him. She would lie on her back, wiggling around, across his front legs. He was leery of cats because the vet's cat scratched him during his first visit, so he tolerated her attention with dismay. He never hurt any animal, including a shrew that visited us every night, chipmunks, lizards, toads, cats, dogs, and bears.

    He did herd the kids -- they were 7 and 8 years old when we got him. The first morning, he had all 4 of them sitting on the back of the couch and would not let them down. I was tempted to train him to do that -- all 4 kids in the same place, sitting quietly ... that was a peaceful moment.
    Last edited by RoughCollie; 10-28-2012 at 11:10 AM.
    Aidan is a 3 year old, 50 lb., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    Thanks for the information. I think I will get the 48" crate. It has a divider so I can resize it as he grows.

    He just learned leash walking yesterday in a 20 minute walk around the block. Of course, I had let him wear his collar and leash continuously the first 4 or 5 days I had him. He didn't seem motivated by any treats but my daughter suggested cheese, and, lo, he loves little cubes of Monteray Jack. Now he is getting SIT, and definitely had a great time walking on a slip lead leash I just got after he pulled his head out of a regular collar. He never pulled when we walked, it was so relaxing! Now I can get him out and about and begin the overdue task of socialization. He has already gotten used to the neighbors coming to the fence and chatting with me and no longer barks. I love this guy, he seems to have a gentle and affectionate personality! He does however chase the cats sometimes. Pounces on them and they either scatter or stand their ground. There is a gate between the kitchen and family room so they can easily escape.

    My only wish is that I had discovered this breed sooner. What a love he is.

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    Senior Member RoughCollie's Avatar
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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    I didn't know about martingale collars when I got Teddy, but I sure needed it.

    Walking with Ted was relaxing for me, too. Twice in 8.5 years he saw a cat and took off. Once my mother was walking him, and she ended up flat on her back on the neighbor's driveway (unhurt). Years later, Ted had just gotten out of the SUV and I was closing the door. He took off, and my choice was to be dragged behind lying face down on the ground or to let go of the leash. I let go. I was amazed by his strength since I had never experienced it before.

    He liked chasing everything that moved (cars, bikes, cats, birds).
    Last edited by RoughCollie; 10-28-2012 at 11:16 AM.
    Aidan is a 3 year old, 50 lb., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

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    Re: Rough collie puppy questions: what size crate and how to introduce resident cats?

    The key is gradually. Having a puppy is easier. The cats can take care of themselves. I would let them get used to the idea that each other are in the same house for a few days. You could use a divider in the doorway then to let them see each other. Just take things gradually and it should be ok.

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