crate, pen, loose....? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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crate, pen, loose....?

Ruckus (thats what we decided to name him) will be coming home one week from today. And I have some deciding to do!

He is papper trained and is used to being indoors all day and outside in a pen at night. I am unsure what exctally I will do with him while we are working and sleeping?

I have a pen outside. Its a large pen, and its actually very nice BUT it is a dirt floor. and since its down hill rain tends to get in it. So could fix the pen where the rain couldnt get in it easily, but i could put some wood over the dirt floors. but i would much rather him be inside all the time.

I know about crate training, but isnt six hours a long time for a dog to be in a crate? Since I have the rabbits that run lose often my room is rabbit proof, therefor puppy proof. I have a studio aparment that is one big room and i cant think of anything he could get into. Perhaps he will be just fine not in a crate and having the run on the apartment.

there is a very big possiblity that he will be coming to work with me. so that means he would only be alone when i go out shopping etc, and that is very rare that no one would be home.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 12:33 PM
 
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I think it depends on the individual dog's personality.

We crate trained Ein when he was a tiny puppy (we got him at 10 weeks, if I remember correctly) to help housebreak him. We didn't want him going potty in the bed or on the floor, so at night or when we were gone, we would crate him. He always hated the crate, so once he was potty trained, we would leave him out if we would only be gone for short periods (like it we were just going to the store or something), but crated him if we would be gone for a longer time. We very quickly learned that Ein was naturally a very good boy. He knew what was his and what was not. We had an occaisonal sock get misinterrpreted as a toy, but he never chewed on furniture, shoes, etc. When we learned that we could trust him to be loose, we started keeping him out a little longer and a little longer, until he had free run of the house 24/7. Occaisonally we will crate him if he is VERY bad, but that is incredibly rare.

When we got Tucker, we left him out when we were home, including at night because he was already housebroken and wanted to sleep in the bed, but crated him when we were gone because we didn't know if we could trust him the way we trusted Ein. At first he hated it (but we adopted him from a large "crate" at Animal Control, so I can understand not liking it), but eventually he came to love it and started going in his crate for naps, etc. One day when I was running late, I forgot to put him in his crate before I left, and nothing happened. So we stopped crating him. He still used it of his own free will from time to time, until we started using it for Sebastian. Sometimes he starts to take his biscuit or rawhide and head to crate. Stops, stares and looks to say "Darn it, I forgot I can't get in."

If the dog is used to being in a pen, he may prefer the "comfort" of a crate. Or he may prefer to be out. If the house is already puppy proofed, then I personally would keep him out just because I would feel like he could get more exercise and have more space to sleep and play. But if he seems to prefer having a place of his very own, or if you want to outside potty train him instead of just paper training, then I'd crate him.

I love his name, btw.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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i dont see a problem with just keeping him paper trained. its ideal for upstairs apartments, and in our situation where no one will be home for six hours to let him go potty.
and when we move he wont really have a yard to potty in
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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He's not too big either, which helps. I can see a sheltie or corgi or yorkie or other smaller dog being paper trained, but I can't see a collie or a lab staying paper trained. Tucker is a lab mix and is smaller than a full blooded lab, but he potties so much at one time that I can't picture him paper trained.

Personally, I couldn't do it, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. With as much as I HATE HATE HATE having to clean Sebastian's litter box, I can't see myself wanted to clean up messy paper either. I'm just one of those weak-stomached people that doesn't want to mess with poo, know what I mean?

Keep in mind you're talking to someone who almost threw up when they baby sat a 9 month old girl w/ diahreah, passes out when she gets blood drawn and feels very sick or sometimes passes out just thinking about bloody injuries and other gross things. I've always been sqeemish around bodily functions. In an emergency, the adreneline rush keeps me alert and able to treat whoever is hurt. But as soon as the adrenaline is gone, I'm passed out or feeling like I'm going to.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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I may get a crate anyway like you said, for security. I dont get him for another week and I already have his food bowls, toys, and dog bed in place. Just quietly waiting!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:19 PM
Leo
 
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My vote is crate!!!! keep him in the house and let him have run of the fenced in area when you are outside to supervise him. Run of the house is a disaster waiting to happen to the tune of several thousands of dollars in ruined stuff from puppy chewing (I let mine have run of the house when we first had them and they did thousands of dollars in damage from chewing) Buy a crate you will be so happy you did especially if you plan on showing him, he will have to get used to being crated. Typically they don't let dogs run around freely at most dog shows. What happens if you need to run out to get something to eat? Thinking ahead to that type of situation I'm sure you will choose to crate .

I would attempt to house train him... a dog can easily hold it for over 6 hours at a time.... My dogs have gone as many as 8 hours at a time when I worked and were fine.. they are crate trained and none of them will go to the bathroom in the crate when we leave them for a few hours at a time .. at 6 months old your puppy should be able to hold it for 7 hours in a crate. Make sure if he isn't crate trained yet to only give him enough room to turn around and lay down in so he can't go on one side and lay down on the other.

When you move you will have to take him for daily walks to go potty

Good Luck!!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Leo, thank you so much for the insite! My sister in law was just offering to give us a crate too, so i will take her up on her offer. but its a big crate, housed her adult lab! will that be too big? either way it will do for a couple of weeks when i can get him something better.

on tuesdays and thursdays he will be crated four hours, the rest of the week it will have to be six, but like i said, he may be going to work with me, so he would only be in the crate when we are sleeping, however i would love for him to sleep with us.

so you think i should ditch the paper training? I wonder how to go about training him to potty outdoors after he has been using a paper for six months.

i didnt know dogs could hold their potty that long. thanks alot for your help leo

this is my first dog and i feel like such a noob, even though i care for and show train collies.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:34 PM
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Potty training-
I would get a book from the library about potty training a dog.... yes, I think you can teach him to be house trained My bigger dogs weren't 100% until about 9 months of age.... I can't imagine using pee pads with a dog that big, I think it would be a huge mess. So yes for a dog that size I would try to ditch the pee pads or paper training... a good way to start this would be by putting the paper right by the door for a week then move the paper to right outside the door... you will have to watch him to make sure he doesn't go in the house but it will be well worth it to have a house trained dog... it will be a pain at first, but after a while you will be so thankful that you put in the time to properly train him where he can and can't go.

A good rule of thumb for puppies is 1 hour plusfor every month old they are up to 8 hours (so your puppy is 6 months he should be able to hold it 6 hours) ... most dogs need to go out by the 8 hour mark some can hold it longer some hold it a little less.


The crate-
Wash the crate in bleach and let it air out for a few days before putting your puppy in it.... was this from her deceased dog, if so did it die from parvo? If not you should be A ok to use it for your puppy.
(sorry if that sounds grim there was no other way to put it)
That size crate should be fine ... find some way to make a divider to make the area smaller (I actually think they sell these at petsmart or you could make some other type of metal divider by using the material that nic cubes are made of (those things everyone uses to make cages for their rabbits)) ... eventually he will enjoy the extra room, but until he is house trained you will want to have the area only big enough for him to turn around and lay down in it might seem small to you but seriously only give him that much room.
Be sure to leave him a with stuffed KONG (or 2 or 3) to keep him busy during the day Shelties are smart dogs than need something to do during the day (most herding breeds do) or you could develop behavior issues.

Hope this helps you please post pics once you get him... I bet you are so excited. I'm glad to hear you are considering keeping him in the house and in a crate it really is the safest thing for him.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 05:42 PM
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I am all for crate training.If done right,the dog will learn the crate is not a bad place,but a place of comfort.

The dogs at the office are crated during the night and it is about 10-12 hours.We do shifts to take them out,play with them and feed them and whatnot 4 times a day...8 or 9am,12pm,5pm and 9pm.Plus on the days the office is open to the public,the dogs get to run around the "play room".They do fine from about 10:30pm or so after the "bedtime" shift is done,up till about 8am or 9am when the next volunteers come in.I normally do the bedtime shifts.

When I have foster dogs,they get to hang out with us all day...but during the night or if we go out and no one is home,they are crated.This way they cannot get into any trouble.






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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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no her dog didnt die, they just dont crate him anymore.

i am feeling better about the crate training now.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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I agree with Leo (Ally) & everyone who says crate is the best. My boy loves his crate & is fine in it for long periods of time. Make sure the puppy has a comfy place to sleep in the crate & a few toys.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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We've always crated our dogs for the first year. After that, we would let them alone to run the house for slowing increasing amounts of time. Eventually, they didn't need to be crated anymore. Kali will be 6 in November. She hasn't used a crate since she was a year old, yet to this day, if you turn off the living room lights and tell her to go to bed, she hops off the couch and walks around to the side where the crate would have been and then just stands there staring...Her crate is of course gone, but she definetly remembers it as her place to "go to bed" from 5 years ago! Of course, her bed is our bed now, but she'll still look for the crate
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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thats wonderful to know. i will not lie, at first i thought that was a mean thing to do, but it makes perfect since to me now.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratty_ratkins
thats wonderful to know. i will not lie, at first i thought that was a mean thing to do, but it makes perfect since to me now.
Yeah,many people think this way until they understand it better!




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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 09:49 PM
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A lot of dogs get attached to their crate and come to think of it as their own personal den/safe haven .... if I tell my guys to go to their room, they will run into their crate because they love it and know of it as their safe place... Gunner and Ed are almost 6 and we could let them have run of the house (they do at night) but they feel more secure in there when we go away... we have a water bottle hanging on the side of the cage (a super big rodent water bottle) so they always have access to water. I can not imagine them not having their own space... it is great for them to go in and to get away from the kids (who know they aren't allowed in there) and a lot of times during the day I will find them sleeping in there with the door open.

Crates are very friendly places that should never be used as punishment... they are in no way cruel and is actually one of the best aides in house training a dog.
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