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Craters, now's your chance to convince me

3982 Views 23 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Abbylynn
Full disclosure, I've never been comfortable with crating. I don't believe for a moment that any living creature likes being in a cage. I also feel that it's too easily abused; I've seen people crating because they have multiple dogs and it's convenient to keep them crated when they don't feel like dealing with them, or they are at work for many hours including commute time and they crate the whole time. I've had two dogs as an adult and numerous under my parents' roof, and crating was never necessary as long as you kept their living area fairly clean/dog-proofed.

However. I have adopted a wonderful 16-week-old puppy with many delightful qualities, but she has clearly only been kenneled in her short life and has not the first clue about house living. Adding to that, this time around I'm not just a dog mama, I'm a mama to a human as well, so I'm less tolerant of 1:00am poo cleanup than I once was. I'm going to give her fair time to prove herself...maybe she'll housetrain quickly, and maybe leaving her for short periods of time will not translate to a destroyed home (I don't anticipate leaving her alone for more than a couple hours at a time). But, given that even in the most puppy-proofed room she will chew a wall corner right in front of me, I can only imagine what she will do when she's entirely alone. So...is it time to put a big ugly cage in my living room and crate her at night and when we're gone? Will it actually prevent her from defecating or will I wake up in the morning to a puppy who needs a bath? She's a sensitive, intelligent breed and I need to know that the benefits outweigh the negatives, which to my mind include losing access to me at night (not being able to come tell me she needs to go out) and losing her ability to patrol the house as she gets older. Can I phase out crate training once she's full grown and can be trusted regarding chewing/peeing?

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I don't see any reason to try to convince someone who doesn't like crates. People have been raising puppies without crates for centuries. They are a nice training tool, they can be used for housetraining and impulse control training, as well as teaching a solid release word and recalls. But they are not an absolute must.

I think it's a bit silly to dislike crates "just because", or because you've (general you) never used one before. If you're going to choose between crating or not crating, at least look into the pros and cons of both, and then decide what works for you.

I know some people dislike crates because you're taking all choice and freedom away from the dog and it's not natural, and others argue that a well-bred, confident, stable dog should have no need for its own den where it feels safe.

I personally think I used the crate to the exclusion of other things that I should have been doing with my puppy, but it hasn't harmed him. It's just caused some minor issues that now have to be corrected rather than prevented in the first place. I will always use a crate, for the reasons stated above, it's a valuable training tool.
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