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Discussions > Training > Crate Training > Crate is a dog's home within your's, not a jail.

Crate is a dog's home within your's, not a jail.

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We have been crate training our Beabull since we brought him home last June. He started with just a wee little one with a box in the back to keep him from having too much "roaming" space. If he had too big a space, he felt comfortable enough to relieve himself in a corner and sleep in another. We had the choice of allowing him to roam certain areas of the house with the possibility of destroying it while we were away or crate training. We chose the latter and have had no real regrets for it. There were a few "accidents" during the adjustment period of not going out every 20 mins like on the weekends but once he was able to hold his bladder for at least 4 hrs, things smoothed out and he began to "respect" his new home and not soil it. If you can or have someone else who can let them out midway through the day, thats a BIG help! We luckily had a neighboring girl who came over to do so around 11:30 mostly everyday. He had to be crated while we were at work. We'd leave usually around 7:00 a.m. I arrived home around 3:15 p.m. daily to free him. At first it seemed so horrible to have to "lock" our adorable puppy in this "box" for such a long time. But when we realized he didn't mind his crate, it wasn't such a torture to see his little eyes peeping out through the crate as we left for the day. Getting him to enter his crate was almost as easy as we could've hoped. Not saying it will work this easy for everyone, but be patient and they will prevail. We just left the crate door open all the time while we were home and placed a few of his toys along with some "worn" garments of our own,(thx to a friend's tip) that had our scent on them inside. When he went in we gave him a treat and praised him, allowing him to go in and out on his own. (NEVER put your dog in their crate as punishment for misbehavior!! Their crate should be a place of refuge and comfort, not a cell for correction or discipline.) After a couple months, as he grew rapidly, we needed to upgrade to a bigger crate. We were fortunate enough to have both donated to us by family members who no longer needed them, as they can be expensive. We had to use a box again in the back until he was big enough to fill out the crate more.(Guideline: your dog should have enough room to stand and turn around comfortably in their crate. If they can walk from one end to the other in more than a stride, its too big.) Marley learned to move the box so you may have to find a way to secure it in place. [:)] Marley will be 1yr old on the 22nd of April and still goes in his crate while we are home to "chill" from time to time on his own. We leave the door open and keep it "furnished" with fine linens[:p], which he gratefully chews from time to time. With a simple "Marley, crate" command he drags his butt from the couch to his den with no remorse and receives a treat for doing so. We are currently tempting fate by leaving him in areas of our home with his crate open while we are gone for short periods of time(1-3 hrs) with mixed results. See pics in our gallery for evidence. Hope this long-winded "guide to crate-training" provides help to those interested. Any questions, feel free to ask. Have fun!

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My La-chon was a year and a half when I got her. She use to sleep with me at night and I would find messes in the living room all the time in the morning. Or when I would get home from work. I was getting really really frustrated with her. I ended up seeking help from a dog trainer. One of the mistakes I was doing was letting the dog sleep with me at night. He told me that dogs need to know where their place is in the "pack". You should be the alpha "dog". He said something along that, letting your dog sleep in your bed reinforces that he or she is ruler of the pack. He told me to crate her a night. Dogs don't like messing where they sleep. I went out and bought a crate, I put her bed in it left the door open. Threw some treats in the crate so she would learn that the crate wasn't a bad place. Mind you the first night was not easy. Sadie cried all night. It was heart breaking and I really wanted to take her out. But I stood my ground. She settled down eventually. She doesn't mind her crate. It's like her "room". It solved my problem. I don't crate her when I'm gone anymore. But she doesn't sleep in our bed (Mat). I do have a mat beside my bed, one in the living room as well. At night she sleeps either in the living room or in our bedroom. I let her on the bed once in a while, but when I tell her to get off, she gets off. I'll be getting my Cavachon in May. I plan on crate training her right from the begining. I don't think I would have been able to break Sadie of her habbits had I not crated her. And the funny thing is, even though I don't find it mean at all, I still call it her "cage". lol
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Our two Chipoos who are both almost three years old already have been crate trained since they were puppies. They both sleep in the bed with us at night and we have not had any problems with this. They are both indoor potty trained to a WizDog and get up in the middle of the night to go potty if necessary and come back to bed. They no longer have to go in a crate when we leave as we have dedicated a portion of our Utility room to them. They have their beds, toys, potty and water. It works very well. Sometimes they are left to run free if we are only leaving for a short period of time. Our newest addition, Lance our 9 month old German Shepherd mix is also being crate trained. He goes in his crate when we have to leave and some other times throughout the day. The amount of time he is in the crate when we are home is basically down to nothing. When we first got him he had to spend more time in there while we were acclimating him to the other two dogs. They didn't always get along at first so by putting him in there for a couple time-outs throughtout the day, not because he was in trouble but because Lacey and Logan needed some time to reclaim their house and he needed some sleep as he was just like a child and would not take a nap if other things were going on he thought he might miss, we were able to work with them all and now they basically get along great. He loves his crate. We have one in the living room where he goes when we are gone and one in the bedroom for at night. All we have to say is 'Lance Hut' (my husband came up with calling it a hut and I thought it was cute) and he goes right in and gets a treat. He will go in there by himself sometimes during the day and sleep. We are even leaving him out at night sometimes now and he still goes in the crate by the bed to sleep even know the door stays open. If done right crate training is good for you and the dog. [b]** Remember to take the dog's collar off when putting them in a crate. Our vet told us that they have had some cases of dog being strangled or hurt by getting their collar caught in the crate. [/b]

We have crate trained Boshka from the night we brought him home at 8 weeks. He started in the lounge with the door open and lots of patting to reassure him.I closed the door when I went to bed and he woke at 3am and I toileted him on paper.Thats the only time he has woken at night.After a week I moved him to the kitchen area and finally to the laundry. I still put him to sleep in his crate for a couple of hours each afternoon. He loves his bed and takes himself to bed during the day if I am out.I also have the exercise pen that clips onto his crate.This can also be used on its own as a circular pen and opens out to a fence.I use this a lot to confine him when I leave him on his own or at friends places, as he slides under pool fences, gates etc! I travel quite a bit and the crate goes into the back of my wagon and into the laundry or verandah whenever we sleep over.I wash his bedding and bed toys frequently and put lavender oil in the rinse water so that its always smells fresh.(very important when travelling or at friends places. Bosh never soils his bed, and doesnt have food in there apart from an occasional tiny treat.Its really helped me to establish that I am the alpha dog and that his crate is where he sleeps and rests. I cant thank my big sister enough for the suggestion that I use a crate. Its worth it!
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Has anyone had any luck crate training an older large dog? We kept a puppy from my daughters golden retriever before we realized Charlie was mixed w/ a great pyrenees and not a lab. He's a beautiful dog, but I struggle to maintain control of him. My daughter moved to an apartment and I'm up in the air whether to keep him or find him a home. He turned a yr old at the end of march. He's a good dog but chews and knocks over the grkids. He judt wants to play but doesn't realize how big he truly is. Any suggestions where to start. He hasn't had a lot of training. He was litterbox trained as a puppy,so he tries to use the cat box if we don't take him out in time. We tried keeping him in over the winter, but he tore up a lot and peed everywhere, so he has resided in the barn since. Id like to make him a service dog for my grson who has asthma. Any suggestions?
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There are lots of great suggestions for crate training your puppy in the many posted replies. I strongly believe if it is taught right your dog will actually like their crate or as I would say their own private space. We trained our dog when we first brought her home, she was 7 weeks old. We have never used the crate for disciplining or to punishing our dog. She is now 2 years old and we let her roam the house if we are going out. We have had no problems or surprises. Our dog still to this day loves her crate. We keep it in our kitchen. We have a rule the crate is her den and when she is in the den it means hands off. No putting your hands in the crate or pulling her out. Her crate or den as we call it, is her space and we respect this. Her den does not have a door, it used to when she was a puppy. Often now she will go into her den to sleep or just lay in there. Sometimes when we go out we will put a treat in her den and she will go in after the treat lay down and sleep in there and often will still be there when we get home. She always goes to her den without us asking when we are having a meal. She was taught to go to the den during mealtime usually with a special toy or treat because begging at the table is not acceptable in our home. Sometimes when I am in the kitchen cooking she will sit in her den to be out of the way and just watch what I am doing. We also use her den for when we go to Supperdog or Agility Dog Shows. It can be a long day so she will go into her den when she is not in the ring were it is totally safe to have a rest, or if I need to do something and she cannot come with me she will go in her den and wait until I return. The crate we have for shows does have a door, and it is not the hard surface type, it is canvass, you can open up all 4 sides so she can see out, or close it up on all four side or whatever combination you want so she can have it private. I would not recommend the canvass type to crate training but it is wonderful once they are crate trained and very easy to take along as it totally folds up. 
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When we first rescued Sugar, our Schnairdale about 25 lbs, we got her a crate. We wanted her to have a space of her own where she could always feel safe. Prior to Sugar, we had a Cocker Spaniel named Max for 14 years. We did not crate train him. He never messed in the house, day or night. Nor did he destroy  anything when left alone. As he got older and developed aging problems, he became insecure when we left him. Hindsight told us that if we had crate trained him, both Max and us would have felt better about leaving him, even if it was only for an hour or so. That experience told us to make the better choice when we adopted Sugar. She loves her 'bed', as we call it. She sleeps in there at night. We only shut the door when we leave the house for longer than an hour. She is frightened of fireworks and thunder and will choose to go in the crate when the noise begins.We have had Sugar for over 4 years now and all of us are pleased with her being crate trained.
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Way to go! I was told by a dog trainer and judge that crate training sure helps a dog if they are feeling unsafe or afraid, they can go to their crate/den and feel safe. A crate should never be used for punishment. I believe a dog should have a place in your home that is totally their space and in our home that just happens to be the crate or as we call it her den.

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