To crate or not to crate??

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NYRgal25
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To crate or not to crate??

Postby NYRgal25 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:29 pm

Hi everyone! I'm new here! I currently don't have a "pit," but will be rescuing one at the end of June! I have a few questions though. I am a teacher and have the summer off so I will have 2 months to train and bond with the pup. I definitely DON'T want a puppy (well I do because they are so darn cute) but I only have 2 months off and I don't think it would be fair to the dog when I go back to work. I am looking for an older puppy, maybe between 1-3 years old. Anyway, (sorry for my rambling) I have been going back and forth on crating. What are the pros and cons of crating? I don't really like the idea of it, but I would love to hear from those who do crate and those who do not. When school starts up in September I will be out of the house for almost 9-10 hours. I leave work at 6:30 and don't return until 4. My sister doesn't leave work until 8 so she could take it out before she leaves. I also thought about hiring someone to come walk him/her at lunch time. I have a fenced in yard as well. Although my work hours are long (mostly travel time) I figure as a teacher I only work about 185 days out of the year so I would be home a lot!

I think I got a bit off topic, but please let me know your thoughts on crating!
I look forward to your responses!

Thanks,

Kara

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spammie
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby spammie » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:58 pm

First, congrats on the new addition. I think it's wise to adopt an older dog because of the time he'll have to spend alone. Puppies just can't hold it that long.
Crating is a wonderful tool to help potty train and to ensure your dogs safety while alone. I crated mine for the first year until I was sure he was bomb proof in the house. ( Although 2-3 times a year, I find he's eaten a loaf of bread while I was gone). It would be nice if somebody could come by during the day for a potty break, though.

mnmh
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby mnmh » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:07 pm

Welcome to PBF! I am newer to this forum as well. I adopted Abby this past summer, she is now almost 11 months old. Good for you rescuing a dog! I am a fan of crating. I have a 13 year old Cairn Terrier who still is crated when I leave. It helped me with house breaking, gave my dogs their own "special" place to retreat to and gave me a good feeling that they were safe while I'm gone and the house is safe too! I'm not gone as long as you will be so you might look into someone stopping in during the day while you're gone. I had thought about leaving Abby outside while I'm gone (our yard is fenced) but I've read too many sad and scary stories so I'll just leave her inside in her crate! Do you have a dog picked out? I have learned so much reading posts here, they are really knowlegeable members! Again, welcome!

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spammie
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby spammie » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:08 pm

also, if you do a search on crating, a ton of good threads will pop- up with all kinds of info

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Leslie H
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby Leslie H » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:16 pm

OK, I confess, I'm posting partly to ask if you're also a Rangers fan. If not, we'll have to stick w/loving bull breeds and being teachers as what we have in common.
If you're thinking of rescue, I highly recommend Out of the Pits and Animal Farm Foundation, both in NY state. They do extensive evaluation of the dogs they take in. In fact, they're hosting a temperament test in Malta NY, April 24 or 25th. I'm a temperament tester, and I've seen about 20 of their dogs participate in the ATTS temperament test, w/great results.
I am a fan of crating. Currently, my older dog has run of the house. She's 11, she's been uncrated since she was 7. My younger dog is 4 1/2, and is not what I consider trustworthy. Not that I'd have both dogs loose together, but my younger dog has a tendency to break rules (mostly related to food and garbage) when left to her own devices. If you can get someone reliable in to walk your dog mid-day, I think that's a great option. Even if your dog proves to not need a crate, at the end of the summer, your dog will likely be still in the process of adjusting to it's new home. It will likely feel some stress when you go back to work. A crate (introduced positively and correctly), will help you keep your dog safe and secure.

NYRgal25
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby NYRgal25 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:02 pm

haha! Yes Leslie, I am a Rangers fan... watching the game right now actually! Where do you teach? What grade??

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and ideas on crating. I was thinking about what might happen when I go from being home all the time to being at work. It is going to be difficult for the dog (and for me). I have been doing A LOT of research on the breed and on raw feeding, but aside from countless episodes of "It's Me or the Dog" I haven't done too much in the training department. That's my next step. Do you recommend any good books?

I do not have a dog picked out. I am trying not to look until June because fortunately (adoption) and unfortunately (euthanized) most of the dogs that I look at now won't be there when I am ready.

Thanks again everyone!!

Kara

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HollyJoy
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby HollyJoy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:06 pm

I think crating is awesome. Growing up I had dogs that didn't need to be crated, as they could be trusted not to get into the garbage, destroy furniture, and bark bloody murder at every passerby.

Now however, I have one dog who would eat couches, shred blankets, chew up and consume things when he gets bored. And my other dog is a menace to anything that moves outside. This includes squirrels, people walking, loose dogs, cats, the wind etc. She is trustworthy as far as destroying things, but I don't want her to practice bad barking behavior when we're not there to curb it.

We have spacious 30x42 crates for our dogs. We also feed them in their crates so they're happy to go in there and don't complain. Now if they're crated while you're home and trying to sleep after working 3rd shift, that's another story!

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Leslie H
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby Leslie H » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:46 pm

Fortunately, I had to go to agility class, and only saw the first period. Sigh....
I'm a special ed teacher, I teach 8-10 graders w/behavior problems. I teach at a private school in NW CT. How about you?

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Amie
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby Amie » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:34 am

In my house, Oscar has "run" of his own room, because six years ago when I found him as a stray I didn't want a dog and there's no way I was keeping him, let alone buying him a crate, but I needed to know he was separate from my cats so they wouldn't terrorize him to the point of him having to defend himself. Now he's happy in there and you'd have to pry him from my cold dead hands. lol

Liberty has a crate because she has separation anxiety and has broken out of what was her room several times. She eats inappropriate things and shreds any paper or plastic she can find, which means if she's not crated I come home to a house that looks like a bunch of frat boys threw a tickertape parade.

Neither dog will be loose in the house if I can help it, and because of that I can leave for work or other activities and know that they aren't getting into things that would be dangerous for them, that my house isn't being trashed, and that when I come home they will be safe and happy.

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jamielvsaustin
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:10 am

Hi Kara!
:welcome: to PBF and thank you for being a teacher! I think you'll find on here that most owners crate their dogs. In our house we have two resident dogs, a foster dog and two cats. We put the cats in "the cat" room aka spare bedroom. Trooper (male resident dog) goes in his crate and so does Resi (female foster). Bailey (female resident) gets the rest of the house. If you've done your research then I'm sure you've come across tons of info that says to separate your animals while you're not there so that they can't do harm to one another. So I think our set up will always be like this. However, if we just had Bailey it wouldn't be an issue. She doesn't chew inappropriate things and if she has an accident it's for one of two reasons-she's sick or it's our fault. If we just had Trooper or just had Resi-we'd still choose to crate them. I wouldn't even trust leaving them in a room with the door closed. Trooper gets separation anxiety and turns to destroying things and with Resi I don't think it's so much separation anxiety as it is boredom. Overall I recommend crating. I think it keeps the dogs from ruining things (if they have that tendency) and it can save them from hurting themselves. For Trooper I think he feels safer in his crate. Like others suggested, we've made it a good place for him. And I like knowing and having the peace of mind that he's safe and comfortable when I'm not there.

If you think about it, dogs were/are den animals. I know the dogs we have now have been domesticated for years and years, but I'd imagine it's still an instinctual thing for them. Much like we feel safe and comfortable in our house. Shelter. It just so happens that their "shelter" can be substantially smaller than ours.

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HollyJoy
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby HollyJoy » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:48 pm

Since you will essentially be with your new dog for two whole months straight, then go back to work, I would definitely crate the dog. Work on it as soon as you get the dog. Start with feeding him in there and gradually lengthening the time he's left in there. This way when you go back to work it's not such a shocker.

If after a while you don't think he needs to be crated, then you can work backwards. Leave the house for short periods of time with him unattended. See how he does, and lengthen the time. You can also try gating off parts of the house and see if he respects the gate.

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tiva
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby tiva » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:14 pm

With only one dog, you will only need to crate your dog if he or she can't handle being alone without being destructive. Most dogs are fine without being crated, although many owners choose to use a smaller, dog-proofed room at first. When we adopted our pits, we start them in a crate when we're gone, then work up to more and more freedom (because we have more than one, they are separated from each other by both a door and a baby gate--one gets the downstairs; the other gets the upstairs. The younger dog does have a crate in his space, but now we can leave the door open, so he can choose where he wants to hang out when we're away. Mostly he hangs out on my pillows.

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kaytenmags
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby kaytenmags » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:21 pm

i only have one dog and she gets the run of the place.
she's non-destructive, and that was high on my "list of demands" when i was looking for a dog lol
i got her from a rescue group, and she had been fostered in a great home, so i had a pretty good idea that she wasn't going to eat my couch or anything like that!

she will countersurf if given the chance, but she's taught me to keep my counters nice n clean! ;)

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Gatorpit
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby Gatorpit » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:18 pm

It's always a good idea to have a crate, and get the dog used to it as routine even if you don't intend to keep him shut up in it frequently. You never know when you might need the dog to be in a crate.

If you keep it set up in your house, like next to your bed or in your living room, it becomes the dogs "room". If you feed him there, give him special treats in there, you will see that he will choose to go to his crate to relax.

Even trustworthy, non destructive dogs could get into something that could hurt them. It only takes one time. That being said, if your lifestyle is such that their is not easy access to potentially harmful materials, and the dog is trustworthy when left alone, then crating is not neccesary.

NYRgal25
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Re: To crate or not to crate??

Postby NYRgal25 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:21 pm

Leslie- I teach Kindergarten Special Ed (self contained) in Queens! Glad to see another Special Ed teacher and RANGERS fan!! haha

Thanks for all the great advice on crating! I grew up with a dog (Max) who was a complete mush and was never crated. He didn't touch anything so we didn't have to worry about him. Of course that is not always the case. We also had Smokey who chewed (not swallowed, thankfully) quite a few of my toys! I definitely think I will start out by using the crate and can always use it less frequently if/when the time comes.

I can't wait to get my pup! I am so excited! Plus that means this school year will be over and I am sooooo done with this year!

Thanks again for all the advice!

Kara


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