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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I've had my baby Jackson for exactly one month now and just got him a crate. The shelter told us he was crate-trained and it seems they did not lie -- he's happy as a clam in there right now. No barking, no whining, he's just sniffed around the thing, was allowed to go in and out with the door open for a while first while I put some treats in there, and got more treats when I shut him inside it...

My questions are --

1. What should I put in there with him when we have to keep him in there? (Food, water, toys, blankets?)

2. Where is the best place for his crate? Can we move it or would he be more comfortable if it was always in the same place? Ideally when my roommate and I are both gone for 6 hours or so one night of the week, I would like to let him be able to run in the yard, but is that the best thing for him? Should we put him on a cable with the crate nearby, or use the crate only to keep him indoors or on our enclosed porch?

Thanks!
 

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I put a toy that I know my dog cannot destroy- for my dogs that is a stuffed kong, a nylabone, or an antler. Water is up to you, if its less than 4 hours I ususally dont. Food no. Blankets if you know he won't chew them.

I personally am not comfortable leaving my dogs outside alone while I'm gone, so I crate or babygate into a room. Too much that can happen outside while nobody is there, IMO. I would just be worried the entire time.
 

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My dog is a chewer, but I want him to be comfortable. I out an old bathroom rug into his crate for him to lay on, I always have bones around for him to gnaw, should I keep one of those in his crate for him?
 

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Hi!

I've had my baby Jackson for exactly one month now and just got him a crate. The shelter told us he was crate-trained and it seems they did not lie -- he's happy as a clam in there right now. No barking, no whining, he's just sniffed around the thing, was allowed to go in and out with the door open for a while first while I put some treats in there, and got more treats when I shut him inside it...

My questions are --

1. What should I put in there with him when we have to keep him in there? (Food, water, toys, blankets?)
He probably doesn't need food while you're gone.

Water is good if you're going to be gone for over four hours and Jackson is generally house trained. When Katie was young, she was left for four to five hours without water, but she was able to drink when I was home for potty breaks. She's older now, alone for six to eight hours at a time, and always has water available, but I don't think she drinks while we're gone.

Like Rescued, I'd leave a toy he can't destroy; Kong toys and nylabones are good, I'd be leery of leaving something like an antler or bone if he could chew it into a size he could swallow (Katie swallowed the end of a bully stick and was sick for a few days).

If you think there's a chance he'd chew the blanket or rug, I wouldn't leave it in the crate. There's too great a risk for intestinal issues if he eats a portion of the blanket or rug.

I probably seemed like a very cruel "mom" to Katie. For the first few months, she had nothing in her crate - no bed, blanket, water, or toys. As she got older and I learned how long she was able to go between potty breaks and that she wasn't inclined to chew everything, I started making her crate a little more comfortable while I was away.

Honestly, I think Katie just sleeps while we're gone. I rarely see any of her toys moved or a drop in the water level in her bowl. From things others have said, I suspect the same is true for most dogs (excluding those with separation issues or destructive tendencies).

2. Where is the best place for his crate? Can we move it or would he be more comfortable if it was always in the same place? Ideally when my roommate and I are both gone for 6 hours or so one night of the week, I would like to let him be able to run in the yard, but is that the best thing for him? Should we put him on a cable with the crate nearby, or use the crate only to keep him indoors or on our enclosed porch?

Thanks!
I'm not sure there is a best place for the crate. We kept ours in the bedroom, but it might work better for you in the living room or kitchen. Also like Rescued, I wouldn't leave a dog alone outside. There are too many things that can happen - they can get loose, injure themselves, be harassed (or worse) by neighbors, eat something they shouldn't (several times I've found bones in our yard that I suspect were dropped by birds or there may be poisonous plants)... It's far safer for them to be inside when you're not nearby.

Being alone six hours isn't that bad. Many dogs are alone longer every day while their owners work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much!!

Jackson is housetraied -- he's never once had an accident yet. I would still want to leave water for him while we're gone just because it seems cruel not to... And he does chew but he doesn't eat things. Maybe I can put him in there with a pillow or something while we're home so I can observe and make sure he's safe with something to lay on?

My neighbors are actually great -- they have dogs of their own, they know Jackson, and they look out for him... he got out of our fence twice and they returned him... they're good people around my dog. Especially the kids. But I get your point.

Thanks again for the advice :)
 

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You can leave water for him, if he won't make a mess (for example, Labs might dig in the bowl and spill it), and if he won't have an accident b/c he had too much water ... both are very easy decisions to make.

Dogs don't need a blanket to sleep on. However, you can leave a blanket if he won't chew and swallow it. Shep DOES chew and swallow, but he rips little pieces, so I've been very lucky that he's had no issues in more than 10 years. The dog I had before Shep would chew and destroy, but never swallow the pieces.

A Kong is usually a safe chew toy, b/c most dogs cannot swallow any of the pieces. Shep used to rip off tiny pieces to swallow :)

You can put the crate 'anywhere.' You can put the crate in a back room to encourage Jackson to sleep. Or you can put the crate in the living room, so that Jackson can be with the family, while the family members are busy and can't monitor Jackson (if that were needed).
Or you can put Jackson where you can hear him, so that if he whines and needs to go potty, you an hear him (if that were an issue).

For the most part, when a dog is fairly stable, and fairly well-exercised, then he won't be too destructive. So, if you leave a dog alone at home, he will get bored. And, for the most part, when a dog is just bored, he will go to sleep. When I take Shep for a walk, if we see a neighbor, Shep wants attention. If the neighbor isn't interested, Shep will lie down, and then he will go to sleep. And I stand and talk for too long, AND If he gets hungry or hasn't gone potty yet, then Shep will complain ... it was the purpose of the walk :) On the other hand, he was in the back room with me, while I'm typing this message. I guess I was making too much noise, b/c he got up and went into the living room to go to sleep. :)
 
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