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I read a lot online about crate training, but it seems you need to train the puppy to be comfortable sitting in the crate. What about just training them to be comfortable in a small fenced off area that includes a crate? This can also include the puppy pad area, so that you don't have to let them out at night, and it seems like it'd be easier to train them to deal with that. Thoughts?
 

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They both have benefits. when I get a dog in that doesn't have foundation training. I start off with a large room area for containment, they have a crate in the room that I put their food in with the door open and work with crate training from there. Being able to spend long hours in a crate being comfortable is essential for me. You never know when your going to need it in an emergency situation. Disaster evacuation situation. Medical reasons for recovery or needing to stay at the vets after a procedure, having to be in an environment that it's safer for them to be in the crate.

Setting up an area like you suggest is great, and will work for first confinement training, wouldn't leave out at some time working on crate training as you go along
 

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I have the situation you described and it's been a God-send. I have a metal octagonal fence with crate inside, along with food, water, toys, and pads. I've been using this system since my Boston was 9 weeks until now which is over two months. I started with the pee pads as he was using them with the breeder and it got me through a LOT uninterrupted nights, but after a month he started shredding up the pads for fun. By that time he wasn't using the pads very often and now it's rare for him to wake me up in the middle of the night to go potty. I'm usually up by 5 or 6 am and so I just take him out and he sleeps another few hours. I recommend this system.
 

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I'm in Australia where the use of crates is no where near as prolific as it is in the States. I've had dogs for over 30 years and have never once had to resort to using crates, so they are not a necessity as some people believe.
I think crates are abused, they may be fine to put your dog into for an hour or two while you pop out to the store, but imo absolutely no longer. I know people lock their dog in crates and then go off to work for hours. This in my opinion is abuse.
I think a partitioned space that contains a crate with door removed is a much better idea.
 

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I'm in Australia where the use of crates is no where near as prolific as it is in the States. I've had dogs for over 30 years and have never once had to resort to using crates, so they are not a necessity as some people believe.
I think crates are abused, they may be fine to put your dog into for an hour or two while you pop out to the store, but imo absolutely no longer. I know people lock their dog in crates and then go off to work for hours. This in my opinion is abuse.
I think a partitioned space that contains a crate with door removed is a much better idea.
It's easy to judge when you're someone who has the luxury of staying home with the dog all day. IMO what's abusive is letting a dog injure or poison itself, or escape, when left unattended. Crates are sometimes the safest option.

Puppies sleep 18+ hours per day and adult dogs sleep 12+ hours per day anyway.
 

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I'm in Australia where the use of crates is no where near as prolific as it is in the States. I've had dogs for over 30 years and have never once had to resort to using crates, so they are not a necessity as some people believe.
I think crates are abused, they may be fine to put your dog into for an hour or two while you pop out to the store, but imo absolutely no longer. I know people lock their dog in crates and then go off to work for hours. This in my opinion is abuse.
I think a partitioned space that contains a crate with door removed is a much better idea.
Actually, crates on not an "American" trend. Crates are used worldwide. Crates are used by professional trainers, breeders, owners, and dog handlers for multiple reasons. Crates are not cruel as many people falsely believe. Should a dog spend 8 or 10 hours in a crate? No, definitely not. But a few hours is just fine and crate trained dogs actually prefer to spend their down time in a crate rather than in a place where family members/visitors can disturb them. The reason a properly sized crate is healthy for your dog is wolves raise their pups in confined spaces called dens. This is what a crate comes to serves as, a safe place for your dog where he/she feels comfortable and safe, away from distractions and people's prodding hands. In fact, if you have children or company where kids come over, they should be instructed to never put their hands in the dog's crate or bother the dog while he is in it. This is the whole point, a safe retreat for your dog to go when he/she does not want to be bothered. A crate is also a safe place for your pet while you are away, or busy with your business. Also, if you need to travel, or if for any reason at an animal hospital, or even the pound (provided your dog escapes), it's much easier on the dog if he/she doesn't panic when put in a crate. There are so many reasons why crate training a dog is useful, I hope you will read on this subject further, it's important as a dog owner to understand the proper use of a crate.
 

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It's easy to judge when you're someone who has the luxury of staying home with the dog all day. IMO what's abusive is letting a dog injure or poison itself, or escape, when left unattended. Crates are sometimes the safest option.

Puppies sleep 18+ hours per day and adult dogs sleep 12+ hours per day anyway.
Where in my post did i say I stay home all day? I am very fortunate that i have never had a dog injure or poison themselves or escape, hence why i have never had the need to lock my dog in a cage.
 

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Actually, crates on not an "American" trend. Crates are used worldwide. Crates are used by professional trainers, breeders, owners, and dog handlers for multiple reasons. Crates are not cruel as many people falsely believe. Should a dog spend 8 or 10 hours in a crate? No, definitely not. But a few hours is just fine and crate trained dogs actually prefer to spend their down time in a crate rather than in a place where family members/visitors can disturb them. The reason a properly sized crate is healthy for your dog is wolves raise their pups in confined spaces called dens. This is what a crate comes to serves as, a safe place for your dog where he/she feels comfortable and safe, away from distractions and people's prodding hands. In fact, if you have children or company where kids come over, they should be instructed to never put their hands in the dog's crate or bother the dog while he is in it. This is the whole point, a safe retreat for your dog to go when he/she does not want to be bothered. A crate is also a safe place for your pet while you are away, or busy with your business. Also, if you need to travel, or if for any reason at an animal hospital, or even the pound (provided your dog escapes), it's much easier on the dog if he/she doesn't panic when put in a crate. There are so many reasons why crate training a dog is useful, I hope you will read on this subject further, it's important as a dog owner to understand the proper use of a crate.
I have nothing against people using crates as a den/safe place, it's when the door is closed and that crate then becomes a cage is what i have issue with.
 

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Where in my post did i say I stay home all day? I am very fortunate that i have never had a dog injure or poison themselves or escape, hence why i have never had the need to lock my dog in a cage.
Right here:

I've never left my dogs home alone for hours on end either, so obviously this has something to do with it.
On the days i do have to go out, i make sure they get exercised fully before i leave, so they're tired and not wound up and likely to get bored which is when they tend to get up to mischief.
 

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Many people do this with young puppies that can't hold it for a full work day yet so they have someplace to relive themselves that is not their crate. They simply attach an ex pen to the open crate and put pee pads down inside the pen. If you have a larger dog, though, this obviously will only work while they're little!

This can potentially slow housebreaking, however, so yes, it is better to just take them out during the night. It isn't forever, just a few months. The ex pen attached to crate method seems to be seen most often when owners can't get home from work for some reason. Your pup should be able to hold it through the night after a few months, anyway, so then you won't have to worry about it.
 

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My dogs compete in an assortment of dog sports. This requires travel (in a crate is safer), sometimes hotels (crating inside the hotel when alone or unsupervised is required), and at the actual events they must be able to be contained and *left* for fairly long periods of time before their turns, which requires -again- a crate. They also go to classes and seminars which - again with requiring crating while humans are otherwise occupied/have 1 dog out of a crate at a time rules. Trials and seminars crates also provide a space for them to relax and SLEEP without being constantly overstimulated during the 8+ hours we're there.

I have also had to leave my dogs overnight at the vet (where they use banks of cages that are actually smaller than crates), and have had dogs professionally groomed (again with crating while waiting their turns between stages and while waiting pick up).

So, yeah. My dogs are crate trained. I rarely do more than leave them open and feed in them once they're fully comfortable in crates and old enough to not destroy my house, but I absolutely would not be skipping crate training. To do so would greatly limit their ability to travel, attend classes, and play games they absolutely love. Not crate training them would actually result in them being left home MORE, because their ability to go places and do fun things is *directly* related to their ability to be _crated_.

Why in the WORLD would I take that from them because I have some weird hang-up I can't help but project all over my poor dogs?
 
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