Comments on How Long Is Too Long to Crate a Dog?

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Leela   Revere, Massachusetts

1/10/2015 8:55:55 AM

Please don't crate him all day. My boyfriend and I had a dog that was crate trained for night sleeping. We split up and he took the dog. He started to crate him most of the day as he was out a lot. He also slept in the crate. I don't think at the time he thought he was being cruel. He thought the crate offered safety for our dog. But he was just in there too much. My sweet dog became anxious and aggressive. He realized that he didn't have time for the dog, but because of the change in the dog, nobody wanted him. He was going to put him down. I happened to run into him and asked if I could please have him back. I work full time. I actually took a vacation to see how he would be outside of the crate all day. He did great and I decided not to use the crate anymore. My dog sleeps on the couch and has never torn the couch up. I did put up a child gate to keep him out of a room with breakable items. But, he pretty much sleeps for the day. As far as his temperament- It has taken so many hours of training, and a lot of love, but, he is getting better, although he will probably never be the same. I am not against crating either. I just think there is a responsible way to use them. Instead of making my dog feel safe and using it as a training tool, it became a prison.

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Regina   Lynn haven, Florida

12/5/2014 6:16:33 AM

My husband and I are getting a divorce and we have a chiweenie, my husband says he can't take care of him ( though) he is completely retired I work full time from 8:30 to 4:00 and don't want to give up my dog. My question is , is that to long for him to be in his crate? We crate him when we go out other then that he has the run of the house. He still has accidents on the carpet sometimes also.

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Karen   Honolulu, Hawaii

2/17/2014 7:35:09 PM

My cocker has been free to roam the house for 18 years. Now she has dementia and paces all the time in circles. Her eyesight is bad, so she has been banging into things, and developed a hematoma. We ordered a helmet for her. We also got a child's playpen with netting so that she won't hurt her head. But with her weak hind legs, she'll lose balance and can't get up, and is in distress often, yelping and crying. But we can't let her roam free since the helmet comes off at times. The vet has suggested crating her when we're not home. That would be 8 hours every week day.

She eats well and drinks water and passes urine and stool. She fights to get up every time she's down. So we have decided to care for her and not put her down. Any insight would be heartfelt.

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Sam   Murfreesboro, Tennessee

11/21/2013 1:09:09 AM

I took some family pets in two dogs because my mother was wanting to move and couldnt take the dogs. I had to crate them for over 2 years but it wasn't good for them but I really had no other choice as I worked 10 to 13 hour days too much time for dogs to be alone in the house free roaming. So when she moved back and got a house even though it breaks my heart to let them go I moved them back in with her because now they have a back yard. But I advise a crate thats 3X larger than the required weight for room, absorbent dog liners as well, the large metal crates are the best you can line paper on the bottom like a bird cage if you do not like crating them all the time Bobbie put them in a dog room wash room or kitchen a place with no carpet and put up baby doors.

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Trina   east hampton, New York

6/6/2013 7:22:02 AM

We adopted a 1 year old terrier mix, who "came" crate-trained and housebroken. She is adorable. After tons of research and going to doggie training school, we find that she is happy to sleep overnight in her crate (she's 12lbs; the crate is for a 75 lb. dog so it has tons of room for her to stand, sleep on her pillow, drink water, and walk around), as well as for periods of time when we go out to dinner or work. Usually, hubby comes home mid-day to take her our for a short walk and keep him company for a few hours. Eventually we think she'll have the "run" of the spare bedroom where her crate is, but we also have a 17 lb 9 year old cat, and although they get along, we were warned NOT to leave them alone together. So, for now, this solution works well. Doggie plays with her toys in her crate, naps, and goes in by herself without a problem. As others have said here, it depends.


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Rob   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

4/15/2013 11:45:30 AM

It sounds like your boyfriend just doesn't care to have your dogs around, if I might be so frank. Anyone with a heart or conscience doesn't try and confine dogs to single room. The fact that he insisted on crating them immediately, instead of working to train them to be a part of your family, might indicate a lack of interest in having dogs on his part. Ask him to help you train them so they're able to be around the family more. Training is essential. Leaving them in a room with their crate is not training, it's more like punishment. Dogs are "people" lovers and will always want to be around and please their owners. Shutting them off on a room is doing more damage than good. If I were you, I'd have a talk with that boyfriend of yours! :) Working together, you should be able to integrate them into your family without too many hiccups.

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bobbie   youngstown, Ohio

12/12/2012 8:59:11 AM

I have two older dogs, They are indoor paper trained, I recently moved in with my boyfriend who insisted upon crating them. They suffer seperation anxitys and I want to crate them at night and when we aren't home allowing them the freedom to be in the room with the crate and the living room when we are home,. I think this is the proper way to not stress them out and for them to adjust. My boyfriend however seems to think they need to be in the room with their crate more then out with the family (Which is not the family room or living room but a guest room with their food and water and crates). My dogs are 8 and 10, since we have crated them they have tried breaking out of the crate and dug up carpet, as well as scratched the door when they are in their room with the crate, it's a constant fight in the house and I believe my dogs deserve to be out and free not only allowed out for an hr at a time then back in their room the rest of the time. Any suggestions for a happy medium would be much appreciated.

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Ryan   Houston, Texas

12/5/2012 12:49:18 PM

The key to having any dog is proper training. Everyone works for a living and not everyone has the luxury of working from home. And yet, others still manage to have dogs without living in a barn. The key is crate training through the puppy stages then, as your dog matures give them some freedom and house train them. My first thought was the same. Am i being cruel for crating my dog? No, as long as they have some freedom throughout the day once you get home and that you allow them to have there freedom once the understand your house is not a chew toy.

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Jessval   Ottawa, ON

11/5/2012 8:59:23 AM

I am going to have to disagree, I have three boston terrier's, age 1, 2, and 4. I believe larger dogs calm a lot faster and can be left freely in the house earlier but certain breeds tend to have more stress when left alone and need to be crated until about 2 years of age. My oldest does not need to be crated and doesn't do much when left alone in the house. My 2 year old has vision issues and prefers to be in his crate, I think he just feels more secure with his son (3rd puppy is his son), they are crated in a very large crate while I am at work, I get home at 3 pm and then they have free range of the house until morning. All three of them have great personalities and are very well balanced dogs. To me I feel comfortable knowing they cannot get into anything that could be dangerous to them while I am not home, another advantage is if god forbid something happened and the house caught fire, i would feel better knowing they are in their crates then hiding under something and not being able to locate them to get them out. I think crating is a personal choice depending on the breed and personality of your dog, as long as you aren't crating day and night and also not a super long day. Crating them together seems to be a good thing for them too. The great thing is my fiance and I work different shifts and a few days a week he only starts at 1, so dogs only go in from 1 until 3 pm.

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Chick9   CMCH, NJ

9/4/2012 7:44:08 AM

I am thinking of buying a lab, but I work and can't stand the idea of leaving him in a crate all day long. I am willing to build a 10x10 kennel or even a 8x12 enclosed kennel for him, but some people tell me it would be cruel to leave him there all day. I need some advice. I have a nice house and I can't have him alone roaming around all day.


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Cooper's Mom   Mississauga, ON

7/7/2012 1:17:26 PM

I waited until I took retirement to get my first dog precisely because I did not want to crate a dog all day. I am fortunate now to be at home, retired, and I got my first dog. I use his crate at night at the advice of our trainer and only if I am going out for a few hours. Outside of that I think it is cruel to put them in a crate all day. Doggy daycare and/or a walker is FAR more humane. Just my opinion.

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Margaret   Ledyard, CT

5/12/2012 7:23:14 AM

I'm a petsitter, and I can tell you first hand what damage it does to a dog to have him crated all day. I have recently made it a policy to NOT accept jobs with caged dogs. It is so bad for them, both physically and psychologically. I just found this book: "Caged Love: Suburban Dogs and the Crate Training Conspiracy" on Amazon. If you have any doubts, read this. I can see caging a puppy who is not YET trained, but there is no reason he can't be trained. Some of my clients who are "house proud" and don't want the dogs to run free have their kitchen gated, so the dogs can at least roam free in one room. Also, if you're gone for long periods of time during the day, get a dog walker or pet sitter to come by and take him for a walk (we're not that expensive!!).

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Lisa   NYC, NY

4/27/2012 10:03:27 AM

for Laura, Hartford, CT -- this is very disturbing on a few
1)why do your roommates have 11 dogs?!?!? I hope you have 8 roommates otherwise this is considered hoarding especially since they are crate ALL day
2) Why are you not reporting this to animal control. I know your post is from last year but if you still know that it's going on, PLEASE call someone to assist with the helpless dogs!!

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Siegfried   Norfolk, VA

2/17/2012 7:41:22 PM

My new neighbour owns a young doberman. The dog gets walked between around 9:30 and 10:30 for about 30 minutes at night and again early in the morning, then back in the crate.In addition the owner tells people to not look in it's eyes, but his instead.He acts like he wants me to be afraid of the dog. He does not discourage it to growl at people. He gives himself the permission to uninvited hugs and invasion of people's space telling the dog, when it growls:" see, it's a friend". The people are too scared to rid themselves of the unwelcome embrace out of fear that the dog will react. On the other hand he makes it lay down, holds his mouth shut to show off his "total controll" over the dog. Do you think this is the right way to teach a dog? Or is the Doberman going to snap one day, since Dobermen are so athletic and need so much exercise and because of it's "training"?

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Grace   St.Paul, VA

2/3/2012 6:05:54 PM

I have a ten week old Shih Tzu that we just got about two weeks ago. We used to keep in our bathroom with a dog bed, toys, his water, and a puppy training pad. He did ok but we decided he couldn't stay in the bathroom any more. Today we bought him a metal crate. What do we need to put in it? We put his favorite dog bed, chew toys, his water bowl, and a folded up training pa in the corner, just in case he has an accident. Should we put a cover over the crate so that he might feel more comforted and secure, we leave the cover up on two sides. I am 12 and I go to school for 7 hours a day. My mom also works at the school, so we can't come home to check on him from around 7:30am to around 3:55. How long is too long to keep a puppy in a crate. We take him outside to use the bathroom at 5:00am, 6:20am, 7:20am, 4:00pm, sometimes at around 6:00pm, 8:00pm, and before he goes to bed at about 9:40pm. We feed him 3 times a day. We take him out to play about 5 times a day, he is usually out 2.5 to 3 hours a day. Do we need to play with him more? He gets a bath every 3 days. Can you please answer some of my questions PLEASE? Thank You very much for your time.

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Sarah   Lake Jackson, TX

1/22/2012 9:22:48 AM

I am single and work 8-10 hours a day. I have a labrador-grayhound mix that is almost a year old. he behaives when I am home, but if I leave him alone out of his crate for even 15 minutes I will come back to disaster, like chewing on the walls. I give him plenty if chew toys and replace them when they are destroyed (usually within a day.) I am considering finding him a home where he will get more attention and won't have to be crated while I am at work. I take him on long walks when I can and let him run around at the park across the street. this dog can go 5 miles running with a bike and he will STIll have
Any advice for what I could do to keep him from dsstroying my apartmant when I'm gone so thay I can keep my baby boy would be very appreciated!!!!!

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Laura   Hartford, CT

6/2/2011 4:02:48 PM

I have roommates with eleven dogs who crate them all 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. this was not my understanding when I moved in. I'm looking for another place and came across this article while looking for CT laws regarding excessive confinement. I am horrified and my heart bleeds for the dogs. They are NOT puppies and the crating is not for housebreaking.

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Emma   Roseland, FL

3/29/2011 11:53:10 AM

Excessive Home Dog Crating is perhaps the biggest abuse of dogs today, and the irony is, usually owners don’t start out wanting to crate their dogs for 8, 10 or even 18 hours per day. More commonly they are told by some trainer or other dog "expert" that crating is the only behavioral solution for problems ranging from housetraining to separation anxiety. But the fact is, too much crate time makes almost every canine problem worse. Compelling scientific research proves, time and time again, that excessive confinement, especially when combined with lack of adequate stimulation in pups' formative weeks, leads to some of the most serious behavior problems and prevents dogs from manifesting as the ideal companions we want. My husband and I have done extensive research for our book "Caged Love: Suburban Dogs and the Crate Training Conspiracy". Our own clinical experience, and much expert data, shows that dogs excessively crated in their families' living rooms can suffer the same kind emotional and behavioral symptoms as puppy mill victims. Without realizing it, owners who crate their dogs or young puppies when they commute to work plus all night have already confined their dogs 18 hours per day. If they crate a few more hours here and there when the dog acts "rowdy", their dog may spend 23 hours in a 24 hour period in a cage where he can hardly move around! Unfortunately crate times like this are not uncommon, even if owners let their dogs outside for 10 minute potty breaks or walk them briefly. Concerned dog owners who go to our Facebook page under "Caged Love: Suburban Dogs and the Crate Training Conspiracy" can check the discussion board to find a full list of 115 symptoms caused by excessive crating copied from the book. The list includes fears, physical symptoms, social difficulties and failure to bond properly with people. Don't be surprised if your dog shows some of the symptoms on the list, because they are especially common in dogs that originally came from pet store/puppy mill environments. When we rehabilitate excessively crated dogs in customers' homes, we slowly integrate them back into the real world teaching them to respond to new stimuli without fear, aggression or overexcitation and to look to their owners for guidance and feedback. Dogs are bred to work beside humans, and it's natural for them to want to support us and be with us in daily life. And many of our customers found that when they tried some of the enjoyable games and bonding activities in our first book, "The Cure for Useless Dog Syndrome" their dogs’ behavior improved. Most owners love their dogs and don't really want to lock them up. So it's a shame when "experts" in the dog industry prescribe caging dogs as a cure-all for our societal malady of too little time. Instead, we need more positive ideas to help dogs and their owners master the challenges of the modern world together...

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d   scotsdale, AZ

3/16/2010 6:27:09 PM

crating an animal is the best thing you can do for
a four hour stretch is plenty. I know people that leave an animal for 8 hours. That is highly unacceptable and they need to ask themselves why they have an animal, and if it is because they love animals, then treat them as tho you love them.

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