neutering and crate training, really?
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Thread: neutering and crate training, really?

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    neutering and crate training, really?

    Hello all, let's get the discussion going.
    We are all familiar with the pro's and con's of these two highly recommended practices. So far, it seems that the most conclusive arguments for both of them lie in how awfully convenient they are for humans, either by modifying unwanted behavior by removing sexual glands and controlling stray populations, or by preventing destructive behavior and facilitating potty training by caging the animal. While these practical advantages are obvious, I fail to see how the best interest of the dog is considered. Agreed, dogs are very adaptable animals and will live the life they know, I don't think that they become miserable, but I also think that they could live more fulfilling lives by not being castrated or caged 8 hours a day.
    Statistics show health benefits both for neutered and intact dogs, so let's try to not settle this debate with technicalities or quoting blogs. (They will most likely draw attention from the fact that hormones are a determining part in brain development, behavior and life of any animal.) As for the crating thing, I just don't buy the "they love it" and "its a den", they are just trained and accept their caged reality.
    I want to read what you think, am I missing something? do you agree that most of what surrounds these issues is a lot of self righteousness and convenient justification of what better suits us (humans)?

    P.S. I'm not against neutering or spaying, and I'm not against crates for training or convenience over short periods of time or travelling, It's just that I don't delude myself into thinking is the 'best' for dogs.

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    Senior Member LenaCara's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I think you are right in fixing the dog being mostly for the owners good but I also think it removed the drive to run away and keeps them safe. I also thing crate training an animal is the easiest way to keep them safe, but also convenient. I will say this though, some dogs like crates. Some dogs hate them and there isn’t a way to train that out of them. Rory runs to his crate and naps in it through out the day when were home. He also spends 9 hrs in it when we are work because he hasn’t quite learned not to chase my cats. It’s also safer than have 2 one year old puppies wrestling unsupervised. Josie on the other hand hates her crate. She would bark for hours and escape any way she could. The instant we realized she could go 8 hrs without the crate and without any accidents, we gave her free roam of the house. So yes the crates are a convenience but I can say that without them, we would never had brought an 11 month dog into our house and put Josie and our cats at risk when while we were at work. Also when I was little, we had a family dog. My parents really didn’t know how to train him and when he got to big and destructive, he moved into our unfinished basement. That is the one single thing I feel guiltiest about and my parents do now as well. Unfortunately before the time of internet and crates, options were limited. So a crate for training temporarily and having in the house permanently if the dog loves it isn’t a bad thing. Neither is having a dog fixed if you never want it to breed. I have no idea what I would do with puppies and I never plan on finding out.

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    Senior Member Elliebell's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    We've had both of these debates before. If you want to know people's views, use the search bar.

    But if you really want to start it up again- Neutering is a personal choice. As someone who lives downtown in a city, my dogs interacts with other dogs all the time. I want my dogs to be able to be off leash in public parks because that's the only off leash space there is- and I have yet to find a legal off-leash area that allows unfixed dogs. I also can't 100% prevent either of my dogs from getting away all the time. We do our very best, but Neeka escaped a couple years ago for a few minutes because the neighbor opened our gate and didn't close it. That's what you get for living close to a lot of people. Maybe some people can manage unfixed dogs responsibly, but our dogs would get considerably less freedom if they weren't fixed.

    As for crate training, SiSi was crate trained as a pup. It was mostly for her safety- like you'd keep a baby from wander around your house and killing themselves if you couldn't watch them. It helped with potty training as well. I think the biggest thing it taught SiSi was when to relax and sleep. She would have played all night and been stimulating her bladder all that time if we had let her. Neeka was crate trained as a pup, but I don't remember if she spent her day in there or not (I was 9 at the time). It is DEFINITELY her den/safe place. She goes there when she's afraid. We say "Bath time~" she runs to the crate. We pull out the nail clippers and she runs to her crate. Our rule is that no one touches her when she's in there, so she goes in there to relax when she's stressed. Sometimes she'll randomly sleep in there.

    I have no idea what I would do with puppies and I never plan on finding out.
    Quoted for truth.
    Last edited by Elliebell; 03-05-2012 at 06:43 AM.

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    Senior Member JulieK1967's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I personally think crates are way over used and many dogs are kept in them way longer than is fair to the dog. I realize this puts me in the minority here but that's my personal opinion & not meant as a challenge to crate users. I don't crate my dog but I don't object to sensible crating, meaning a few hours here or there. I get uncomfortable when I hear about 8-10 hours in a crate. We tried b/c I thought it was "mandatory" but I've found that to be untrue for our situation. I think, like most things dog-related, the number one rule is "Know thy dog." My girl has never been even slightly destructive and she's earned her solo access to the various rooms in our house. When she's left at home alone, which isn't that often, she's restricted to one or two rooms.

    Regarding neutering, I support it wholeheartedly. When we are able to stop euthing perfectly healthy but unwanted dogs in shelters everyday, maybe I'll change my mind about that.

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Spaying/neutering - Yes it is convenient and it is a personal choice but the truth of the matter is there are millions of dogs a day who are put to death because of the overwhelming numbers. To spay or neuter helps control the population and from my personal experiences does no harm to the dog. In females it often prevents certain cancers as well. I can tell you that the dogs I had growing up were NOT spayed or neutered and weren't as healthy as my dogs now who are spayed.

    Crating - Recently, I adopted a 1 year old Great Pyrenees, she was kept outside all of her life with little interaction and no training. The man who gave her to me also gave me a crate, she had never been crate trained but low and behold after putting a nice soft dog bed in for her she was in and out of the crate. She would go into the crate when feeling overwhelmed or just when she wanted to laze about. Yes she sleeps in her crate at night. It's also helped with potty training. If used properly a crate is nothing bad. You don't think it's good my dog is in her crate at night to sleep? She loves laying there snoring away. During the day she is with me at all times unless I can't bring her with me, to which she goes in her crate but rest assured she gets 3-4 mile walks daily, she is played with, loved and taken care of and that is all that matters.

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    Senior Member sscott87's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    While I agree with the points that there is indeed a factor in both neutering and crate training that is convenient for the owners, they both also guarantee a level of certainty that does not exist otherwise. Not that there aren't people out there with unaltered dogs who've never had the chance to breed, but it allows for a very real chance of an accident. There's another post on here currently where someone has posted a picture of their new, unexpected puppy. Relative took the dog for a walk, dog got away, person didn't want to admit the dog got away from her so she never mentioned it, and a few months later...bam...an unexpected puppy. That's not too horribly uncommon, and especially for those who have female, unfixed dogs...well, you're the one that may end up with a surprise litter you have to take care of somehow. That isn't very easy for all.

    Crate training? While I agree, I truly do not like days when Jax gets left in his crate 8-10 hours, I know the crate itself he does not mind. The first week I had him, my fiance was staying with me from out-of-state at the time so he did not have to be put in his crate during the day, but it was there. We quickly discovered that he likes it. He goes to it and will sleep in it anytime (and this is before I, personally, had begun putting him in it). For that reason, he has a large one currently but I plan to buy him one of the biggest. With that said, it really and truly is the best option for many people. He's torn the vinyl floor out of my kitchen on one of the few days I didn't make it home at lunch and I'd had him confined to the kitchen. Not only for the safety reasons mentioned already by others for the dogs, but I can't have him destroying the house. Previously, he'd gotten through a gate and ripped a hole in the carpet on the bottom of the stairs. He's not destructive, other than those 2 incidents when left all day. I simply can't afford that to continue. Because I now keep him in his crate all day, aside from coming home an hour at lunch most days and getting him to run in the yard, I let him sleep in my room at night rather than in his crate. And I really hope I get him to the point that I can trust him in the house alone, or at least in the kitchen again, but until then...crate.

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I have some opnions on each issue, but they don't really matter in this context. To generalize, because what is best for any given dog is different, what is best for dogs is what keeps them in a home where they are safe, loved and well cared for. There are not enough potential, responsible, dog owners out there for all the dogs in the world as it is and there are certainly not enough potential owners with a "perfect setup" to house all the dogs. If people need to make compromises, due to the rigors of their own lifestyle, to keep a dog and take good care of it, I'm not going to judge them.

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    For the 1% of dog owners who can handle an intact dog(s) and zero crates at any given time, I say go for it.

    Sadly most can't do it!

    Otherwise we'd have a lot less dogs in shelters because we wouldn't have the 'oops she got pregnant'/'oops he jumped the fence' or my favorite 'I didn't think owning an intact male and female would result in them breeding at some point and now we have puppies' litters. We'd also have a lot less 'not housebroken'/'chews everything'/'keeps jumping on the kids' dogs dumped into shelters.

    Would any dog choose to be intact, breeding all the time and never crated/confined? Of course! But really, my guys don't mind their crates, I've tried having them sleep loose and it doesn't work on our end since they just don't settle down. Even with the indoor/outdoor run, Storee will bark to get put to bed if I don't do it on time (she's very scheduled in her brain).

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Spaying and neutering - I feel it is beneficial in some instances due to health reasons ... such as testicular cancer and such. I also feel the dog should be done growing and its growth plates closed due to hormonal changes from s/n too early ... as this can cause issues as well. There are too many good animals being pts on a daily basis because of unwanted pregnancies and uneducated owners ... sometimes just plain old irresponsible owners. If you are a responsible breeder and doing health testing and trying to better a " Breed " of a dog than I feel it is not necessary and that persons legitimate right to breed and to not s/n. I have had puppies from a wanted litter and the help of a reputable breeder ... it still is no picnic.

    Crate training and living? - This one is close to home. I crate trained my largest dog and she did well until one day she broke out when I was not home ... injuring her leg. She did it three times and those times her jaws were so trapped I almost had to get a steel cutter to get her out. She just did not like it and I know I trained properly. I am with my dogs 24/7 with the exception of one or two day a week and I attribute this behavior to slight SA. She now has a safe room ... but still destroyed a rug and some wall insulation .... I have two small dogs who like a crate to go to for alone time ... and they were never trained by me to be in a crate :/ I also have tried to fix a dog who was crated form 4am until 3pm ... let out to eat and potty and crated again until about 7pm .... let out until 8pm or 9pm .... and crated again until 4am. This dog was almost beyond repair. He had to be re-homed to where he could start all over again due to horrible issues from crate abuse! I believe anything can be abused .... but if done properly it can be a life saver for some dogs who destroy things due to SA and such and eat objects that can be life threatening due to not being supervised.


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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Just because something is convenient for the owner doesn't make it bad for the dog. Kabota would much prefer being allowed to roam off leash at will, that's not happening. Not just for my convenience in that I don't feel like chasing my dog all the time, but also for his safety.

    As to spaying and neutering? Sure, if we weren't killing 10,000 dogs PER DAY in the US, I'd totally agree with you. If every owner of a dog was totally trustworthy and responsible and every dog was totally trustworthy and reliably, 100% recall trained (ha!), that would be awesome. Unfortunately, we live in this reality where none of those things are true. Dogs like Kabota are born, abused and neglected then thrown away to die every day because the huge supply of oops litters makes every idiot in the country a potential dog owner. Why treat your dog right or get him medical care when there's 5 puppies on every street corner to replace him?

    Beyond that, I've had and have healthy, happy neutered dogs, so if you want to go on about brain development this and that being more important than 10,000 dogs per day being killed simply because there are no homes for them, don't waste your breath.

    Crates, meh. Some people seriously overuse them, like Kabota's former owner. They certainly aren't necessary. But if crates make more people willing to be dog owners and stay dog owners, fine. And if the dog likes resting in the crate, that's great. Muggsy loved curling himself into corners, behind and under furniture, etc., so I do believe the den thing, at least for some dogs.
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    My two males are neutered, which gives them the privilege of free roam with the pack, on five fenced acres. It decreases the fighting over the bitches when they come into heat, and keeps them from having to be separated 6 months of the year.
    One of the females is spayed, as she has to be ready for deployment anytime. If she were in heat, that wouldn't be an option. She is happiest when working, as the males are happiest when with the group, so I don't see how altering has made them miserable in anyway.

    When the females are in heat, and have to miss training or calls, they run the fence barking like mad.

    All of mine are crate trained, but none stay in a crate other than for transport or emergencies. Occasionally if one must be confined for a short period, I may use a crate. I see nothing wrong with keeping an intact dog, as long as you can guarantee no accidental breedings. I have yet to see a spayed or neutered dog create unwanted puppies.

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Thanks for all the replies!
    All personal experience on these topics is far more valuable than the dry facts that are usually tossed around. One of the things I like about this forum is how responsible are the members here with their dogs. I particularly agree with the 'know thy dog' maxim. It also seems that most agree with neutering and crating being practical solutions. Wouldn't it be better,though, to put the extra time and effort to deal with our dogs' 'issues' (or ours) without mutilation or confinement? I know not everyone has the time or will to do it, however if we take our dogs' overall welfare in consideration we have to at least reconsider our commitment to them. Just food for thought.
    I never spayed nor crated any of my dogs and never had an issue or bad experience because of it (other than the strays roaming around when they were in heat). I also don't think that I'm part of a 1% select group.

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    Member Damnath's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I come from a country were -- despite the fact that countless people own dogs -- crate training is UNHEARD OF. I frequent a couple country-specific anima/dog forums and I can honestly say that I have never heard of a discussion about crating, either for or against it, simply because no one does it. Oddly enough, most owners (since there's irresponsibility anywhere, crating or not) still manage to control their dogs.

    My family has had a dog for over ten years and we have never used, or thought about using a crate to keep her in while we were out and there was no one home. She was taught to stay in her 'area' (which is the kitchen and halls, mostly) and not come into the bedrooms unless invited, which she does perfectly. So although I can see how keeping a dog in a crate (especially if said animal feels safe/protected inside) can be a good thing, I can't ever agree with having a dog that -- for one reason or another -- has to spend most of its life locked inside a cage (which apparently happens often enough? From what I've read on these forums).

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by perrodeapeso View Post
    Thanks for all the replies!
    Wouldn't it be better,though, to put the extra time and effort to deal with our dogs' 'issues' (or ours) without mutilation or confinement? I know not everyone has the time or will to do it, however if we take our dogs' overall welfare in consideration we have to at least reconsider our commitment to them.
    For someone putting on a front of being reasonable and open to discussion, you are making a pretty obvious demand for affirmation that you are "better" or more committed to your dogs than someone who neuters or crates.

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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I guess I support mutilation and confinement, BUT, to each their own.

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    I have been a responsible owner for over 41 years now. I never had a dog s/n. I never kept them in a crate. I dealt with their issues. They stayed at home alone ... un-crated ... and intact. Never had a problem.

    The big " But " IMO ... is that the " welfare " of our dogs also includes their " safety " and as a responsible owner ... that I consider a " commitment " to them. In all honesty ... my " commitment " to keep my dogs safe last week leaving them unconfined while I was not present entailed four vet visits in a 10 day period ... because they have never had any " issues " .... but " accidents " do and can happen. I put years of time and commitment into my dogs.


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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Mia is the thirteenth dog I've lived with (both my family's dogs growing up) and then I've had three dogs of my own. Mia's also the first one that is still not trustworthy to be left loose and I doubt she will ever be trustworthy left to her own devices. That said I don't really crate her but rather she has a large x-pen with some toys and a bed and such inside it. But there is no way that I'd leave her out loose. She is only 7 lbs but has put away a few thousand dollars in damages to various things.

    My dogs are also both spayed. I seriously think all my female dogs in the future will be spayed. I'm hoping my next dog will be a male so I can leave him intact, but we'll see.
    Mia CGC - (5 year old papillon)
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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    For someone putting on a front of being reasonable and open to discussion, you are making a pretty obvious demand for affirmation that you are "better" or more committed to your dogs than someone who neuters or crates.
    Yes, our opinions are welcome, but MUTILATION!

    Dude, quit pretending to be reasonable. You obviously feel we're terrible dog owners who enjoy MUTILATING our dogs for our own evil purposes. Go on with ya, then.
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by perrodeapeso View Post
    P.S. I'm not against neutering or spaying, and I'm not against crates for training or convenience over short periods of time or travelling, It's just that I don't delude myself into thinking is the 'best' for dogs.
    Have you ever seen an adult dog go into a crate for the first time for travel? Imagine the stress and anxiety of being pushed into a box you're unfamiliar with, then having that box picked up and moved? I'd far rather my dog be accustomed to the crate before we need it for travel...whether that means we use it all the time, or just sometimes. Then there's the issue of the dog's safety as well. It's not a "convenience" to sleep at night. It's a need. People can't possibly have eyes on their dog 24/7. We can all puppy proof all we like, but there are always things we'll miss that could pose a danger to a dog. Or there will be dangers we can't remove 100%, especially if we don't live alone (ie: kids, roomates, etc). Tell me it's just a convenience for me and not in my dog's best interest to avoid intestinal blockages or electrocution from cord-chewing.

    As far as the spay/neuter goes, people who have to deal with unwanted puppies hear all sorts of stories about how dogs mated in a way that was totally beyond the control of their owners. Those dogs can do amazing things when a bitch is in heat. I'm sure they can pass through walls and leap over the tallest fences or punch holes through steel to get together and do the dirty. Fact of the matter is that humans have proven their incompetence over and over and over again. Promoting spay/neuter is less about the convenience of incompetent humans and more about taking away any possibility of having to sit there listening to a person conjuring up excuses while trying to figure out what to do with these homeless puppies. I'm sure there are lots of people who are perfectly capable of keeping a dog from mating that will opt to spay or neuter for convenience as well, but I certainly wouldn't fault them for making a responsible decision to leave no room for error.

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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: neutering and crate training, really?

    Speaking of mutilation, here's my dog back when he still had his testicles, 2 weeks before I got him:



    Here's my dog today, sans testicles:



    Oh, yeah, he was doing much better with his testicles, before I had him mutilated.
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