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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have an active 50-pound foster dog that's about 2 years old. You can see guesses about her breed mix here, but there is no conclusive answer to that question. My husband and I are home during the day, so she's used to being able to go in and out all day. Typically she spends about half the day outside, maybe more, when the weather's good.

She loves to zoom all over the yard at full speed, sometimes doing this several times a day. She also likes to chase toys. Running fast is as important to her as the fun of chasing a toy that someone throws. She also enjoys lying in the sun, where she can jump up to run to the fence and bark whenever anyone goes past.

She sleeps in a large crate with the door closed at night and is fine in it. We didn't have to crate-train her when she came here. She often goes in the crate during the day with the door open to nap or to chew on a bone.

We know that we may not be able to find an adopter who can let her go in and out all day like we can. I'm hoping that we can find someone who can let her be outside at least part of the day. She's challenging to place because she's leash reactive and when off leash, only likes some dogs. She also can't be with cats. Since she can't go to dog parks and needs to run hard, we're requiring a fenced yard.

A potential adopter works full time and wants to crate the dog she adopts all day while she's at work. This dog would have to be crated, confined to one room, or in a puppy-proofed house if left alone for a long time because she looks for things to get into, take, or play with. She is mentally as well as physically active. The potential adopter didn't say, but I'm assuming for now that this adopter would have someone come during the day to let the dog out for a bathroom break.

What are your thoughts on this dog going to someone who would crate her all day? What do you think about crating any adult dog all day?

This dog probably won't go to this adopter because she's looking for a lower-energy dog, but the question is bound to come up again, so I'm asking it now.
 

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I know how hard it is to find adopters for some dogs, but I'm against crating dogs all day when they're crated or at least confined at night too. I'm sure there are dogs who just lay around all day anyway for whom it would be fine, but I've never had one. Active dogs that tend to get into things are just going to be pent up and get into more trouble when they're loose if kept that way.
 

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It's not a big deal. Many, many, many people crate their dogs for an entire work day (including many members here). The alternative is their house gets destroyed, or the dog eats something it shouldn't and dies, or nobody who has to work outside the home for a living has a dog. You would be severely limiting this dog's (or any dog's) adoptability by requiring an adopter to either work from home, not have a job, or pay a sitter to come and let the dog out 5 days a week. As long as the adopter has a plan to properly exercise the dog, provide for it's basic needs, provide veterinary care, and do basic training, whether or not they crate the dog while they work is irrelevant.

I should add, if the adopter's work required 12 hour shifts...then I would be concerned. That is pushing it if it's an everyday occurrence. But the regular old 8 hour shift? No problem.

My dog is an Aussie/Collie mix (so, quite active), and is crated at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. He does not get a bathroom break (he's an adult). When he was a pup, he was crated while we were at work and while we slept, but once we could trust him not to get into trouble while we slept he was allowed to sleep wherever he wanted. I make sure to meet his exercise and mental stimulation requirements with regular walks and agility training. He's turning 6 in July, and he's still crated during the work day because he seems to prefer it, although he is trustworthy in the house alone. He'd just find a different spot to lay around and do nothing if we left him roam, so what does it matter where he sleeps, right?

If I were you, I would be more interested to know how potential adopters would meet the dog's exercise needs and work on her leash reactivity. Quite frankly, just running around the same fenced yard all day without any structure isn't going to meet her exercise or mental stimulation requirements if she's really as active as you say. Additionally, she'll need to know how to behave on a leash to places like the vet, so how will adopters handle that? Whether or not adopters crate while they're away at work is the least of your worries!
 

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I should add, if the adopter's work required 12 hour shifts...then I would be concerned. That is pushing it if it's an everyday occurrence. But the regular old 8 hour shift? No problem.
The problem with this, at least for me, was that any "8-hour workday" actually came out to more like 10 hours away from home because it means 8 working hours, and there's always lunch to add to that even if breaks aren't counted, and then there's travel time. Add in bad weather, road tied up by accident, overtime....

I know people crate all day. I know some have to. But when someone asks, I tell them my own feelings, which are it's not a good thing. Better than homeless, better than euthanized in a shelter, sure, but that doesn't make it great, and the higher energy the dog, the less great it is. Since crating is illegal in some European countries, a lot of people must agree with me.

Just as an aside, my own puppy is of a high energy breed (and that foster dog looks like high energy border collie to me), and the breeder won't sell to anyone who works all day away from the home. Evidently even with a puppy price in the thousands, she finds enough people who meet that condition.
 

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I don't believe that requiring a yard is an effective strategy to guarantee a high-energy dog gets a home that's a good fit. I've known people living in small apartments who have active, dog-friendly lifestyles, and/or are into dog sports, and work their butts off training and exercising their dogs. I've also known far too many people who think that high energy dogs are totally fine just left out in the empty yard for an hour or two, on their own, as their only form of exercise and mental stimulation.

In either scenario, I think the most important thing is having a conversation with the potential adopters about their dog experience, lifestyle, and plans for their future pup. People who are prepared for a high-energy individual will likely volunteer all the activities they want to do with their future dog, or what they already do (hiking, running, biking, etc.) that they hope to share with a doggy companion.

I understand some hard rules get set in shelters because resources are limited and you have to make matching adopters and pups as efficient as possible while still making sure you're finding good and safe fits. But the yard/no yard thing has always bugged me since, in my experience, it's a really terrible indicator of how much time and effort people are prepared to put into meeting their dogs' needs.

As for the crating thing, I'm more in agreement with Lillith. Obviously some discussion should happen in regards to how long the dog will be left alone regularly (commute included), whether there will be anyone checking in during the day, what their contingency plan is if something happens and they're delayed getting home, etc. but many, many households make it work. And there's just not a lot of households where someone's home all day and are in the market for a high-energy dog with leash reactivity, especially once businesses resume more normal operations and fewer people are working from home again. Not something I'd immediately write off a potential adopter for, but worth a discussion to make sure they have a realistic idea of how much crating is too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know how hard it is to find adopters for some dogs, but I'm against crating dogs all day when they're crated or at least confined at night too.
Good point. We don't know if she'll be crated at night after she's adopted, though.

I'm sure there are dogs who just lay around all day anyway for whom it would be fine, but I've never had one. Active dogs that tend to get into things are just going to be pent up and get into more trouble when they're loose if kept that way.
That is a concern. She needs mental stimulation too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You would be severely limiting this dog's (or any dog's) adoptability by requiring an adopter to either work from home, not have a job, or pay a sitter to come and let the dog out 5 days a week.
I agree. I'm hoping to find a home where someone is often home for even a couple of hours during the day most days, but I don't know if that will happen.

As long as the adopter has a plan to properly exercise the dog, provide for it's basic needs, provide veterinary care, and do basic training, whether or not they crate the dog while they work is irrelevant.
I'm not sure if that's irrelevant for a dog that needs to be physically and mentally active.

My dog is an Aussie/Collie mix (so, quite active), and is crated at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Interesting.

If I were you, I would be more interested to know how potential adopters would meet the dog's exercise needs and work on her leash reactivity. Quite frankly, just running around the same fenced yard all day without any structure isn't going to meet her exercise or mental stimulation requirements if she's really as active as you say. Additionally, she'll need to know how to behave on a leash to places like the vet, so how will adopters handle that? Whether or not adopters crate while they're away at work is the least of your worries!
Those are all concerns, and we've talked a little about her leash reactivity. However, running in the yard does help her a lot. Her main need beyond what every dog needs is to be able to run fast.

One time someone who was staying with us left a gate open, and she zoomed out of the yard. Fortunately, my husband and I were in the yard at the same time. She ran onto our quiet dead-end road and raced up the hill as fast as she could. Then she turned around and came right back to us. She didn't want to go anywhere; she just wanted to run hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Just as an aside, my own puppy is of a high energy breed (and that foster dog looks like high energy border collie to me), and the breeder won't sell to anyone who works all day away from the home. Evidently even with a puppy price in the thousands, she finds enough people who meet that condition.
Interesting.

And now I'm wondering if she is part border collie. Her coat is quite short, and since no one has been able to conclusively identify her breed, she's probably a mix. That could be part of the mix. I wouldn't describe her as super intelligent, and I haven't seen the urge to herd, but she's very agile, and she loves to try to catch toys in mid-air when I throw them.

As you've probably seen, there are more photos of her at the link in my first post. She's also the dog in my profile photo.
 

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I've set up cameras to watch my dogs while I'm at work, and every adult uncrated dog I've watched just sleeps all day in their favorite spot or spots anyway. So I don't think that crating a properly crate-trained adult dog for a normal workday really has a big impact on their quality of life. Of course, if they're being crated longer than they can comfortably hold it, or they're not comfortable in a crate, that's unkind.

For a normal active dog, in most cases I'd take someone who crated during the workday, but was actively engaged in training and exercising the dog other times, over someone who was always home (and/or left the dog loose) but didn't do much with the dog.

I'd point out, too, that just because someone is able now to be home with the dog doesn't mean they'll always be. Work and family arrangements change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't believe that requiring a yard is an effective strategy to guarantee a high-energy dog gets a home that's a good fit. I've known people living in small apartments who have active, dog-friendly lifestyles, and/or are into dog sports, and work their butts off training and exercising their dogs. I've also known far too many people who think that high energy dogs are totally fine just left out in the empty yard for an hour or two, on their own, as their only form of exercise and mental stimulation.
Those are good points. The yard requirement is because she can't go to dog parks (she likes only some dogs and has to be introduced to them carefully first), and she needs to have somewhere where she can run as fast as she can almost every day. Jogging with someone wouldn't do it for her. She wants to sprint at full speed.

I understand some hard rules get set in shelters because resources are limited and you have to make matching adopters and pups as efficient as possible while still making sure you're finding good and safe fits. But the yard/no yard thing has always bugged me since, in my experience, it's a really terrible indicator of how much time and effort people are prepared to put into meeting their dogs' needs.
She's with a small rescue group that is flexible and doesn't have hard rules. The goal is to find an ideal match for each dog. I'm the one who said that this particular dog needs a fenced yard.

I agree that it doesn't indicate how much people will do to help meet dogs' needs, but I don't think of it that way. A fenced yard is a place where dogs can run, play, lie in the sun, nap, sniff their favorite spots, chase butterflies, and watch the world go by. Every dog can benefit from that, but most of us can't offer dogs everything that would make their lives perfect. Some need fenced yards more than others do.

As for the crating thing, I'm more in agreement with Lillith. Obviously some discussion should happen in regards to how long the dog will be left alone regularly (commute included), whether there will be anyone checking in during the day, what their contingency plan is if something happens and they're delayed getting home, etc. but many, many households make it work. And there's just not a lot of households where someone's home all day and are in the market for a high-energy dog with leash reactivity, especially once businesses resume more normal operations and fewer people are working from home again. Not something I'd immediately write off a potential adopter for, but worth a discussion to make sure they have a realistic idea of how much crating is too much.
Good points.
 

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I'm not arguing that having a yard is a bad thing, or has no benefit to the dog. I just have known far too many people, some of whom I'm related to, who have the attitude that having a yard is a substitute for training, exercise, mental stimulation, or otherwise expending any effort on the dog beyond letting them out the door, so even if an adopter has a yard it's important to have conversations about what the owner's vision of life with this dog will be like.

You won't know if someone has access to a space where he can run by whether they have a yard, though. There's lots of options out there - long lines, access to property owned by friends and family, rented spaces (I've known people who will rent fenced fields from property owners, but many dog clubs and training centers also have these kinds of services), etc. It's also possible that there's other activities that will offer him the same benefits as running, such as dog sports, swimming, frequent hiking, etc. that someone doesn't need a yard to provide. I've made use of many of these myself, having an active young dog who loves to run, a small and awkwardly sloped yard unsuitable for much activity, and living somewhere with an off-leash ban during most of the spring and summer. Again, not saying throw out every application with a yard, just not to automatically discount those without one.
 

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I'm not sure if that's irrelevant for a dog that needs to be physically and mentally active.
Does the dog need to be physically and mentally active 100% of the day? It's often quality, not quantity when working with dogs.

I would really suggest you speak with actual people who have owned a wide variety of active breeds. Check out an agility trial. A disc dog trial. Dock diving. You will find some of the highest energy, highest drive dogs you can find. Ask what they do with their dogs on a daily basis. You will hear a wide variety of answers from "I'm home with my dogs all day and they do whatever they want" to "I work all day, the dogs are crated, but when I get home we exercise and/or train!". Some believe in crating, some don't (although pretty much all have crate trained dogs because you have to crate at events).

You know what they all have in common, though? Every single one is happy, healthy, and enjoying what they're doing. There is not a singular, exclusive owner lifestyle that is the only option for an active dog. They don't need to be entertained every waking moment of their lives. They just need an owner who can provide for their needs and can find an appropriate outlet for that individual dog's energy level.
 

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I don't have a problem with someone crating all day, even though I probably won't do that myself. I've adopted out to people who do that and their dogs are fine. If it is a concern, maybe you can talk to adopters about maybe coming back to let the dog out during their lunch break or a similar arrangement. A good chunk of people I help out at the shelter through our impromptu training help do this. They work a typical 9-5, with their lunch break having lunch and exercising their dog, and then they go back to work. You can also talk to potential adopters about whether they will crate at night. Balance between open-mindedness on what they might do with the dog and letting them know what you are doing now will set the dog up for success.

As for the fenced yard, I don't think you should automatically discount people without a fenced yard. I do think a fenced yard is a massive plus (I use my fenced yard extensively as well), which is why I don't come down as hard on such a requirement per individual dog, but I agree with other posters that it should not be a hard requirement. From what you are saying with this particular dog, I think being open about preferring a fenced yard is helpful. Something like, "I think this dog benefits more from a fenced yard because of her leash reactivity and dog selectivity. There are other methods, of course, to exercise a dog like this, and if you have something else in mind, I'd love to hear it."
 

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For a normal active dog, in most cases I'd take someone who crated during the workday, but was actively engaged in training and exercising the dog other times,
It's also possible that there's other activities that will offer him the same benefits as running, such as dog sports, swimming, frequent hiking, etc. that someone doesn't need a yard to provide.
I would really suggest you speak with actual people who have owned a wide variety of active breeds. Check out an agility trial. A disc dog trial. Dock diving.
Guys, really? You think agility competitors are representative of most rescue adopters? Or 1 in 20? Maybe the rest of you find that most people who adopt dogs spend a lot of their free time training, providing physical and mental stimulation, etc., but that sure wasn't my experience. Adopters wanted dogs that slid into the lifestyle they already had, and it wasn't dog centric. No one can convince me a high percentage of the general dog-owning population works as hard or as long on dog-related activities as those of us who spend time in forums like this one.

And you see it all the time in forums like this full of dog people - someone asks what kind of dog they should get. Prominent among the replies is the advice to adopt an adult dog because you can get something already housebroken, easier than that puppy that will require months of attention and effort. That's the ideal, comfortable, easy, fits into your life - not get up early, use every lunch break to run home, go straight home from work and provide exercise, mental and emotional stimulation.

Heck, I'm retired and have all the time in the day, and the truth is I'd never have a high energy breed if I didn't plan on competing in dog sports through this puppy's mature years.
 

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Guys, really? You think agility competitors are representative of most rescue adopters?
Of course not. But lots of people already have a daily run or a couple of good hikes per week and can take the dog, or have kids that play outside daily and can play fetch and whatnot with the dog, or can learn to do a couple of 15 minute training sessions daily. My own high energy boy sleeps like a log after a short swim in the river near my house, or a 20 minute nosework session, neither of which require much extra of me. If someone doesn't already have a reasonably active lifestyle and/or much interest in dog sports and still wants a dog, they can limit their search to an older dog or a couch potato.
 

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Guys, really? You think agility competitors are representative of most rescue adopters? Or 1 in 20? Maybe the rest of you find that most people who adopt dogs spend a lot of their free time training, providing physical and mental stimulation, etc., but that sure wasn't my experience. Adopters wanted dogs that slid into the lifestyle they already had, and it wasn't dog centric. No one can convince me a high percentage of the general dog-owning population works as hard or as long on dog-related activities as those of us who spend time in forums like this one.
I agree that there isn't a super high percentage of dog owners who do a lot of dog related activities. I won't conflate that with willingness to work through stuff though. At the current shelter I volunteer at, most of the people I adopt to and work with with are purely pet people. Maybe they are just flexible or willing to manage stuff? I'm honestly still parsing that out. I was on staff for a long time at another shelter where I previously lived, and I witnessed something similar. I think a lot of it is whether the dog's problems actually negatively affect your life or not, and the person's view on said issues.


And you see it all the time in forums like this full of dog people - someone asks what kind of dog they should get. Prominent among the replies is the advice to adopt an adult dog because you can get something already housebroken, easier than that puppy that will require months of attention and effort. That's the ideal, comfortable, easy, fits into your life - not get up early, use every lunch break to run home, go straight home from work and provide exercise, mental and emotional stimulation.
What fits into people's lives are different. Heck, I don't really use phrases like "fit into your life" much anymore. I think it's more about what people want and what they are willing to do. It sounds like a lot written out, but I guess it works for them and it doesn't cause additional stress.

I do think adult dogs are easier, but that's not why I mainly recommend them. I recommend adult dogs because most people aren't interested in delaying gratification. People don't want to wait six months to two years for a puppy and they want to do stuff with the dog immediately. Luckily, when I direct them to shelter or rescue, most of those people are happy with adult dogs they get. It's the people that are insistent on getting puppies in under six months that are harder to convince. But then I think...maybe there should be an ethical option to get a pup within six months or less...
 

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Let’s say the owner leaves for work at 8 am, returns at 6 pm, then stays up until 11 pm, that would mean the dog spends 5 hours per day outside the crate, and 19 hours per day inside the crate, which comes out to the dog spending 95 hours in a crate every week. And that’s only including workdays, not considering possible crate time on weekends/weekend nights. Why get a dog then? And how does anyone feel comfortable saying that this is a good idea?

I work from home now. But when I didn’t, our dogs had access to a dog proof area of the house and the backyard. No dog spends all day in the same position, and they frequently get up to play, explore in the yard, and stretch their legs. My answer is an absolute no as a dog owner and dog lover. When people clearly don’t have time for a dog, or can’t come up with a better solution while away at work, then they shouldn’t get a dog.
 

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Guys, really? You think agility competitors are representative of most rescue adopters?
People who compete in agility also have jobs, families, and obligations outside their dogs and agility trials that force them to leave their dog home alone, possibly crated for hours....People who compete in agility also rescue dogs, and rescued dogs compete in agility (such as, you know, mine, the one in my signature and avatar)....I suggested OP speak with owners of high energy dogs (such as dogs that might compete in agility) to gain perspective on the reality of owning a high energy dog, and that high energy dogs can, in fact, live with regular people who work away from home provided those people take time to adequately exercise their dog (whether that be agility, jogging, hiking, biking, a rousing game of fetch, whatever your active fancy is). I hope that clarifies my point.

Nobody is saying that someone who wants a dog that sits on the couch all day is a good fit for the dog OP is trying to place, just that having to crate/confine a dog while they're away at work shouldn't disqualify a potentially great home for the dog.
 

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No, it’s absolutely not ok for the dog. Why is is so difficult to tell someone that they shouldn’t have a dog because they don’t have the time to care for the animal? Years ago, I had a breeder tell me that she wouldn’t sell a puppy to me because I was going into the office 3 days per week back then, and I didn’t like her response. But after I had some time to think about it, I realized that she was right.

It shouldn’t just be about what works for people, we should also consider what’s best for the dogs. And 95 hours of crate time during a regular work week should not sound reasonable to anyone.
 

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Let’s say the owner leaves for work at 8 am, returns at 6 pm, then stays up until 11 pm, that would mean the dog spends 5 hours per day outside the crate, and 19 hours per day inside the crate, which comes out to the dog spending 95 hours in a crate every week. And that’s only including workdays, not considering possible crate time on weekends/weekend nights. Why get a dog then? And how does anyone feel comfortable saying that this is a good idea?
Outside of housetraining and triage measures related to serious behavior or health issues, I think it's uncommon for a dog to be both crated during the day and at night.

One of my dogs is crated during my workday but sleeps (and I have grudgingly accepted this) on my bed, usually draped over me in some way. He is crated for his own safety, as he is truly innovative at finding new and creative ways of risking his life. I am hoping he will eventually outgrow this tendency, but in the meantime, it is what it is.

It shouldn’t just be about what works for people, we should also consider what’s best for the dogs.
Of course. But if being away from home three normal workdays per week is too much, then the vast majority of dogs need to be rehomed. Not sure where you're going to find all those new housebound owners now that quarantine is over.
 
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