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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't posted on here in a while but I am always driven to these boards in search of the same answer: how long in the crate is too long?

The consensus on this seems to be that anything over 8 hours is cruel.

In fact, it seems like the majority of people claim that they are NEVER gone from the house for longer that 6 hours at a time.

I find this just, unbelievable. I work full time, which is at LEAST 8 hours daily not including travel. My fiance also works full time. We both commute at least a half hour every day, both ways.

So, on any given day, we are gone from the house for at least 9hrs, if not more since sometimes things need to be done on the way to or from work.

I also have two pups. Shrimp, who is a 10 lbs chihuahua mix at 2 years of age, and Brosef who is 11 month chihuahua mix, at 6 lbs. I have crate trained them since they were puppies, but have always been in situation where I have been able to keep them kenneled for no longer that 6 hours a day (they were staying with my inlaws for the last year.) Getting ready to start the school year in September, I won't be able to continue to take them to my inlaws to be watched. It is too much of a contraint on them and too expensive for me to continue. I can't not crate, as they are not yet trustworthy when left on thier own.

Which means that my dogs will be crated for 9-10 hours a day, up to 5 days a week. Though this may vary, as my fiance's schedule varies from day to day, as he works construction.

At first, I felt that this is just too long, and was feeling bad about it. But lately, I'm thinking that it isn't unrealisitic to do this with my dogs, or harmful or cruel in any way. I know plenty of people who crate thier dogs for up to 12 hours a day and thier dogs are fine and happy.

Realisitically, I also have been having a hard time beliving that almost every dog owner I have read about on this board really has the ability to not crate thier dogs for more than 6-8 hours a day. I don't know how you could not crate at least 8 hours a day if you have a full time job that requires commuting.

But I want to know, if you do work a full time job, and your spouse also works a full time job, how do you not crate your pup all day?

And if you do crate your pup while at work, how long is typical and how big is your dog?

I'm just wanting some more input on the issue. I won't have to worry about a daily thing until September but they have to deal with 9-10 hrs in a crate one a week right now, and though it doesn't seem to bother them other than that they need to go potty, I still like to hear what REAL dog owners/people do.
 

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My dog is a Chihuahua mix and I've had her "crated" in the laundry room (i.e. loose in the laundry) for up to 12 hours with a puppy pad and water.
 

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I"m fortunate that between school and my two jobs I'm never gone for four hours at a time. That being said, my dogs (doberman ~75lb, icelandic sheepdg ~25lb) have been crated for up to 12 hours during the day. I wasn't pleased about it but they were alright.

For me, as long as the dog(s) is/are getting enough exercise and stimulation then being crated for 8-10 hours while their owner is at work or whatever is alright.
 

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My dog is a Chihuahua mix and I've had her "crated" in the laundry room (i.e. loose in the laundry) for up to 12 hours with a puppy pad and water.
When my laundry room is finished, I'm hoping I might be able to do this too, I just don't know how long it will be until it is finished. Thank you :)
 

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We are really lucky that we can take Gally to work with us and right now my partner is at home during the day. When he goes back to work the dog will come with us part time and go to daycare the other days.
 

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I"m fortunate that between school and my two jobs I'm never gone for four hours at a time. That being said, my dogs (doberman ~75lb, icelandic sheepdg ~25lb) have been crated for up to 12 hours during the day. I wasn't pleased about it but they were alright.

For me, as long as the dog(s) is/are getting enough exercise and stimulation then being crated for 8-10 hours while their owner is at work or whatever is alright.
Yea, and my pups are only kenneled when I'm not home, otherwise they are running around my house like tom and jerry. When the weather is good, they have the luxury of going in and out as they please. (I have a Magic Mesh, most amazing thing ever!) I appreciate the affirmation that I'm not doing something "bad" to my dogs. :)
 

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The 12 hours was actually a mistake, I thought I would be in St. Louis for 9-10 hours (nothing unusual) but it ended up longer! I felt bad!
 

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In our house, while my sister and I are at school and my mom at work, there is generally no one at home for 9-10 hours 5 days a week. Our method is the same as Kayota's, although instead of the laundry room we keep our pup in the bathroom with his crate, bed, interactive toys (such as a Kong food dispenser), pee pad and water. Our pup is an American Pit Bull Terrier/German Shepherd mix, now 7 months old and over 40 lbs.

In my opinion this is a better option for our dog compared to leaving him locked in a crate since he can stretch his legs in a safe room, play, sleep and urinate in case we're gone too long. Our bathroom needs to be renovated therefore we're not using it for the moment; I would suggest finding a safe room in your home to keep your dogs in during the day. Also, since you have two dogs they will be able to keep each other company while you're gone, instead of them being individually locked in their crates all day!

Edit: I'd left my computer open for a while before posting my answer so I didn't see everyone's replies, haha. Sorry if my post is redundant!
 

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I think the big variable here is bladder strength. People have to work, someone has to earn the money to pay for the lovely home you both enjoy and if a full-time job disqualified you from dog ownership then almost no one could have one. I think 9-10 hours is okay, not ideal but at least they can keep each other company. I do think it might be a little much to ask you dog to hold it for 10 hours every day, imagine if you had to do that! Is it possible to leave them in an enclosure either with access outside or a puppy pad?
 

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I think it's more:

-Does the dog feel safe/comfortable in the crate?
-Does the dog have room to change position/stand up, do that circle thing dogs do?

...and what happens in all other times. Does he get to use up that energy in stimulation, some social time, etc?

If all those things are true, the actual length of time isn't ever cruel as long as it's somewhat reasonable (no 21 hours a day or something), and the dog doesn't have accidents in the house/crate.
 

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Right now, my husband and I are full time students, so 4-6 hrs is about as long as we've crated, unless something unexpected came up. However when we have jobs again that may well change. As long as you give them some good walks and run their energy out I think that's okay. I wish I had a small room to leave mine in but I don't. I am scared to death they might eat something they'd choke on or the little one might find a cord to chew or something.
 

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I won't crate that long. I just don't feel right about leaving a dog in a crate for 9 hours. I also work 9 hour days though so we make do. I try to come home at lunch if possible (and most the time it is) just to let them out and run around for a bit. In that case it's 5 hours in the morning they're alone then 4 hours in the afternoon. But I also set them up in a really nice double x-pen in my spare room. I put plastic mats under it for them for easy cleanup. Hopefully when I move I won't have it in a carpeted room. They have beds, a toy box, chews, water, and a potty pad in case they really need to go. I feel much more comfortable leaving them in an area that big so they can move around and have a little more to do. Mia is not trustworthy left loose.

Yesterday my dogs were alone for 12 hours and it was very unusual circumstances. I had presentations to make through lunch and then a doctor's appointment I had to go to right after work (the only time I could go for these tests I needed without having to take time off). I hate doing that but they survived although one did use the potty pad. I wouldn't expect them to hold it that long. The potty pad is never used on normal days but I like having it there on the rare occasion I am gone longer than usual or that one gets sick and really has to go. I'd rather them go on that than the floor.

Here are my dogs in their 'crate' pre plastic floor mats.


pen by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

I know some people will disagree with leaving them together alone and I generally agree. But with Summer's separation anxiety, it's either leave them together or have her suffer panic attacks and hurt herself while I'm gone.
 

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I'm lucky that my brother works nights and is home during the day while I'm at work so there are never really long periods of time with no one home. Not really an issue for my dog Jubel who has been trustworthy in the house since day one and never crated.

I have a foster dog now who has to be crated due to marking in the house and he is actually in the crate for a large portion of the day but broken up into multiple blocks. If he can't be directly watched by my brother or I he's in the crate.

*overnight while I sleep he's crated.
*He gets out in the morning to potty, eat (well chance to eat, still being picky about that in the morning), and some snuggles then back into the crate as I leave for work.
*Not positive on the details during the day with my brother but in general he gets out for the morning walk of about 40 minutes and my brother says he hangs out with him in the living room for a bit before he heads to bed.
*I get home from work and shortly after we'll go for the afternoon walk, again about 40 minutes, chill out for a bit, eat dinner, snuggle and play/train for close to 1.5 hours. Depending on my plans for the night he might go back in the crate for a few hours or he can stay out while I watch tv. Once I can get him to go down in the basement with me (where my computer is) I should be able to cut out some more of that crate time.
*Before bed time is another potty break and about least 10-15 minutes of play/attention then into the crate for the night.

So overall he's spending a large amount of time in the crate but it's how it's got to be until he learns not to mark in the house, also assuming he doesn't start to become destructive as he settles in and the 'honeymoon' period is over. So far he's only chewed on inappropriate things the same way Jubel does on occasion, for attention. Whenever I start to feel bad about all his crate time I remind myself he's got to be happier with this arrangement than he was at the shelter for the last 2 years with much less human interaction. It's more about the big picture of their life than just a simple number of how many hours in a crate. It's not black and white, this number is good and that number is bad.
 

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I currently am watching my grandkids at home so the dogs aren't crated but when I worked, I never worked more than 5.5hrs so my dogs were crated less than 6hrs. Since I have one that absolutely has to be crated, I couldn't work full time and have her crated then and at night. JMO
 

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Up until last year my dogs were crated 9+ hours a day and that lasted for years. For awhile when I lived in an apartment I sacrificed a lot of my social time to make sure they were exercised enough and I could spend a good amount of time working with them. Now I have a dog room where two of them stay together and the third has the living room. I know people believe leaving two dogs unsupervised is dangerous and I may may the price for that some day but this situation works for me.

My dogs are still left alone in their rooms for 6-9 hours a day depending on our work schedules. All of my foster dogs are kept in their cages while we are gone and then again at night. So they probably get at least 16 hours a day in a crate. We make sure to do lots of training and play time with them when they are out because we do understand they are crated way more than they should be.

I don't feel the fact you can't be home with your dog every few hours makes you a bad dog owner. I think the quality of time you spend with them is what is important.

We have a joke in my family about "prison dogs". My Aunt and Uncle have showed all kinds of different dogs over the years. 90% of them spent their lives being rotated from crate to run. We would call their time in the run "yard time", like prisoners get. I have never felt that is a fair life for a dog.
 

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My dog is crated from 9-5:30 or so. I leave after my husband in the morning, and he comes home before I do. But we also have a dog walker come midday for a 30 min break. I would not leave her for that long with no break.
 

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I currently am watching my grandkids at home so the dogs aren't crated but when I worked, I never worked more than 5.5hrs so my dogs were crated less than 6hrs. Since I have one that absolutely has to be crated, I couldn't work full time and have her crated then and at night. JMO
I could never survive working just part time. Just not feasible for most people imo. Yeah it's not a perfect setup but I think about the life 99% of dogs in the world have then I don't feel so bad about having to leave mine while I work. Most dogs don't get daily walks, trips to the pet store, trips to the park, agility classes every week, high quality food, good vet care, their own swimming pool, and all the tennis balls you could ever ask for.
 

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I could never survive working just part time. Just not feasible for most people imo. Yeah it's not a perfect setup but I think about the life 99% of dogs in the world have then I don't feel so bad about having to leave mine while I work. Most dogs don't get daily walks, trips to the pet store, trips to the park, agility classes every week, high quality food, good vet care, their own swimming pool, and all the tennis balls you could ever ask for.
Totally agree.

Plus, I leave Wally's door open so if he wanted, he could stretch out or go sleep in my room in his favorite spots. But he stays in the crate. Can't be all that bad if he's choosing it on his own.
 

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I could never survive working just part time. Just not feasible for most people imo. Yeah it's not a perfect setup but I think about the life 99% of dogs in the world have then I don't feel so bad about having to leave mine while I work. Most dogs don't get daily walks, trips to the pet store, trips to the park, agility classes every week, high quality food, good vet care, their own swimming pool, and all the tennis balls you could ever ask for.
The above post is where it's all at, some owners have to work to survive in this world, The little stuff, food, place to sleep, etc etc etc etc. The owner survives, the dogs survive and all is good in the world.
 

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I work 8 hour days and am fortunate enough to get to come home at lunch, however there have been days that I have not been able to get home at lunch, which leaves my dog crated 9.5 hours. I don't like doing it, but he survived :)
 
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