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Bare Bones: Crate

Repeat after me: this is not a cage. When used properly from puppyhood, it can be a great escape for your pet providing a quiet place to sleep and relax. I'll talk about crate training in more detail next week, but using one keeps your home and dog safe while you're out.

Choose a crate with your pup's adult size in mind as many come with dividers to make it smaller when he's little; there should never be enough room for pup to do his business and still have room to play and sleep without stepping in it.

North has a collapsible Precision Pet crate like those above – it (and he) can easily come on hotel adventures with me! He loves to suck on the crate pad I added to make it more comfy. In fact, some dogs like their crates so much that they sleep there at night, but not North. The crate's in the dining room, and he likes to sleep in his bed (right next to my bed) in the unlikely chance I decide to get up in the middle of the night for peanut butter... or something else he'd want to tag along for.

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arienne arienne 9 years
At first I thought crate training was mean, but I've learned that my dog really likes his crate. When he was little we crate trained him so that he would ride in his crate in the car. He learned to love his crate because traveling in the car meant going somewhere fun. But during the day and at night he had free run of our house. When we moved we weren't sure the fence in the yard was secure so we put him in the crate during the day as a temporary solution. Turns out it was the best thing we could have done. When I tell him to go to his "little house" he runs in and lays down (he now has a good sized wicker crate with a soft pad). When I know I'm going to be gone too long for him to stay in the crate all day (and can't take him to daycare), I leave him in my bedroom where he has access to the yard. When he figures out that is what I'm going to do, he makes sad faces at me and tries to run past me to get in his crate in the living room.
kkbutler kkbutler 9 years
I crate trained my pup (who is about 9 months old now) with the one pictured in the middle. She sleeps in there at night- now with the door unlocked. And she's in there during the day. Eventually when she is a little older I will have the crate open in a gated off area so she has more freedom, but really she sleeps most of the day as it is and loves her crate. When she gets tired at night she goes in the crate on her own as opposed to sleeping on the bed we have for her in the living room.
indreams8318 indreams8318 9 years
both of my dogs were crate trained and it was great. It was a way to move them when needed and a place to keep them for a bit when we had to mow the lawn. my standard poodle charlie LOVED his crate. he had a bunch of towels in there and he would nest....for about 30 minutes before he decided his bed was PERFECT...then it was hard to convince him to get out. he slept in there every night and loved it. my akita on the other hand would break out if she needed to be in her crate for more than 10 minutes, needless to say she spent the night laying in the middle of the floor where there is lots of space!! We finally gave up and packed away her crate ^__^
DejaVecu DejaVecu 9 years
Ugh. On my third rottweiler, the second to be rescued. Until they are fully trained (i.e. past house broken and able to be trusted to not attack the furniture), they sleep in the kitchen. So, it's a room restriction. Crating bugs me. Don't get me wrong, I am not throwing out charges of animal cruelty here, but my family did rescue an abused rottweiler and crating was part of that abuse for her. It broke my heart what they did to her, but this is what happens when certain people get dogs they don't understand, can't handle and don't really want. We have the room for a big dog and have the patience for their needs, so we never, ever will crate.
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
My dog sleeps in her crate every night. She has a sheepskin bed inside like the middle picture. She won't sleep anywhere else. She even goes in there when she's scared. It's her little home :)
MamaD MamaD 9 years
All of my dogs have been crate trained. We rented for a lot of years and that was a huge selling point to a prospective landlord that our dogs were crate trained!!Most of the time I would get ready to go out and the dogs, without being told, would go lay down in their crates!! When there's a lot of activity in our home the dogs always go to their crates and all children were instructed that those were off lomits and not a place to play in. They were like the dog's own little bedrooms!!
KawaiiGiggle KawaiiGiggle 9 years
I like the idea of crate training. My dog is "garage" trained.. LOL!!! He knows when we say "go to your room", we mean the garage. I think every dog should have some training. Besides housebreaking. So, yeah. My 2 cents.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I have never crate trained a dog and did not really understand the concept until recently. When we got Kassie it was during the summer which was nice because I could be with her all day to potty train her and teach her boundaries. She quickly learned to stand at the door when she wants out and had a blanket that was her designated bed. It was funny because when it came to sleeping at night she chose to sleep in the hallway between my room and my moms room to keep an eye on both of us. We Jeffrey in the fall but he too was potty trained really fast and had a designated bed. I used to fall the dogs around the house so that they could explore and become familiar with their surroundings but I was there to stop them from doing something wrong. They learn really quickly that way
Powerpuffgirl- Yes they really can! And most dogs wont "defile" their home. If you start them off by putting them in to sleep and work up to leaving them for a while it becomes their second home. I'm sure Pet will have more info later, but it IS possible!
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
We tried to crate train Roxy and SHE WOULD NOT HAVE IT! I would come home from a simple 45 minute errand and there would be pee and poo ALL OVER. Try cleaning a poo covered crate at 9pm (time I'd get out of class) in the middle of February a couple of times and you'll understand why we gave up crate training!!
Powerpuffgirl Powerpuffgirl 9 years
I'll be joining the ranks of dog-ownership soon. Can they really stay in a crate all day while you're at work?
My girl was crate trained and she LOVED it! She doesn't have one anymore because my new place is too small and honestly, she doesn't "need" it anymore, but she used to go hang out there by herself all the time. I would notice that she wasn't around and find her curled up in her crate with all her toys :D
sashak sashak 9 years
Sully was crate trained too. But Mick had to leave him in it all day (& I mean ALL DAY) cause he worked out of town & his roomate wouldn't take care of Sully. But now he hangs out in his grandparent's back yard with Bodhi all day!
teresamari teresamari 9 years
Marley loves her crate. She lays in it even when we're home, but it's also where she goes when she knows she's been bad.
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 9 years
My dog loved his crate.... But he was sneaky... When he wanted to get out he could... and if he thought he was gona get in trouble he would go back in the crate and use his teeth to lock it as if he had been in there the whole time... Gosh... I miss my puppy.... But seriously crate training is the best way to go......Especially if you travel a lot with your dog......
lauraut lauraut 9 years
We call our dogs crates their "house." They stay in their crates when were not home. Whenever we are leaving the house we just tell them: "go get in your house" and they run straight there!
james-bond-girl james-bond-girl 9 years
My puppy hated her crate the first three to four days we had her...the first two nights she pretty much whined and barked the ENTIRE night. I thought it would never get better, but after the first week she learned to love it! She'd rather sleep on the bed, but she happily goes in her crate at night and doesn't make a sound.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
We've got the crate in the middle for Basil. He sleeps in it every night (well, ALMOST every night, sometimes I convince the BF to let him sleep with us) and he stays in it while we're at work. We're almost at the point where we trust him to not be in the crate while we're out, but he doesn't like it. If we leave the house when he's out, he freaks out, but if we put him in the crate before we leave, he feels safe.
Tall-Face Tall-Face 9 years
being that members of the canis family are den dwelling creatures by nature, i think it's only natural to crate train your dog
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
yep my little pup is crate trained and he LOOOOVVVEEESSSSS his crate. He would be lost with out it. He sleeps in it every night and when he is ready to go to the bathroom in the morning (or 3am!!!last night!! i was pissed) he takes his paw and makes a sound on the gate of his crate.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
I love our crate. We actually call it 'Thunder Crate' since our little dog Bella FREAKS out when there is thunder/fireworks. It is all heavy canvas that pops up like a tent and zips closed when not needed. It has cute little mesh windows with flaps that rolled up with a mesh zipper door. If she needs to go in there we say "We are going on doggie lockdown!" Image Hosted by
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Hahaha because they look so sad in it behind the bars!!! Awwww haha!
mnp mnp 9 years
Fuji was crate trained. And then, ashcwebb's was used a s a "jail".
capeartist capeartist 9 years
Our wheaten was trained in a plastic airline-style crate. At almost 3 years old she still loves it and it is her safe haven. (We took the door off of it when she was about 8 months old) We were told not to use the metal cage style because puppies often get their paws stuck in between the wires and it can cause bones to break!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
Brando has that exact crate in the middle- the same liner and everything. He loves it- whenever he takes naps he always ambles into his crate to curl up. Eventually, we'll get him a bed (he's still just a little one at 4 months) to have next to ours, but I suspect his crate will always be his little safe haven in the house.
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