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I was raised with many dogs and my parents never crated them. Now I have Molly who was sleeping in a play pen but now shes jumping out of it.. I haven't bought a crate yet. I am home all day every day and when I do rarely go out she is confined to the kitchen/living room where everything is baby proofed and she hasn't chewed anything.. Id say I have left for approx 5 hours once.

Well I go back to work September 4th and my husband wont always be home and I was thinking of getting a crate.. thinking of crate training her.. My parents dont like the idea of them being "trapped" Its kind of odd for me just because Ive never seen it done before..

I was just wondering your thoughts on this.

Also, I want to buy one but I'm not sure exactly what to get. There are SO MANY options. Shes 20 lbs at 16 weeks and the vet says approx 50 in the end. I want one with a door that opens on both ends.. is that possible? What do you put in the crate for them to lay on? I'm concerned that when I work and am gone longer hours she may go to the bathroom in it and then be stuck with it until I get home..

Thanks for all your feedback with my questions! This group has been extremely helpful!
 

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I'm probably in the minority here, but I've never crated a dog. Like you, I always had dogs growing up and my parents didn't crate them. When I got a puppy of my own I made the decision to not crate if possible. At first I attempted to keep her in one area with baby gates, but even at 12 weeks and 17 pounds she soared over them like the flying doodle that she is.

I don't know if we were insanely lucky or if I have a particularly brilliant dog (I like to think both), but we haven't had many problems. She took very quickly to housebreaking, although I was able to come home on my lunch break to take care of her. There was a phase where she would get into a plant we had, but after getting scolded a couple times she figured out to leave it alone.

If you decide not to crate your dog, my only advice is to understand that you might have some problems in the beginning. Your biggest priority has to be her safety. A dog can become extremely sick and may need surgery if they ingest couch cushion or something like that.

My opinion is to try it out if that's what you want to do and she if it'll work. If it isn't you can always crate her while she's a puppy and then wean her off it as she gets older.

Good Luck!

Katie
 

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we crated our last 2 labs when we were at work for the first 2 yrs then we left them roam of most of the house - doggie door to outside fenced yard

Annabelle aka Miss Priss - did Not like kennels - put her in, latch the door and she'd poo immediately, we tried everything, finally said not worth it and closed all doors left her have run of kitchen/din rm and outside via dog door to locked, fenced yard - she's done great
 

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My dogs have never been crated, but with Fred, my partner was working at home when we got him, and when we got our second, he was able to bring her to work with him--so we never had to leave either alone for more than 2 or 3 hours. When we were all outof the house, we babygated off the kitchen. I have also been very lucky that neither of my dogs are heavy chewers or interested in chewing the furniture or walls. I think I am very lucky for that, given some of the stories on this forum. Now both dogs have the run of the house when nobody is home. The downside to that is we have to keep the house very dogproofed --we have nothing but the newspaper on the coffee table, all the garbage cans have lids, and anything chewable, such as new shoes, remote controls, toothpaste, glasses, pencils, pens, food, etc. is put away. Another downside is that there are times when we would like Fred to be confined--such as when my partner's 92 year old mother visits--and if we try to close him in the bedroom he can let himself out. In hindsight, I would have gotten him used to being confined in the bedroom when he was a puppy. Not crating was an option that worked for my family, but I do know dogs (my neighbors) that are crated, and they really are not at all unhappy in their crates.
 

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We never crated Dexter and he always was fine. However now that we have Kirby I kinda wish we had crate trained Dexter. Kirby is so good about going in his crate. We put Dex in the basement while we had some alone time with Kirby last night and Dex barked and barked for a good 10 min before he finally gave up and calmed down.

Since your puppy is young, I would give crating a try. Some dogs just freak out totally and crating is not for them, but everyone says it's a den to them and will actually make them feel safe, and not "trapped" in a cage.
 

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Crating in the beginning is more for the safety of the puppy and your house. Making sure you can trust them not to destroy things some get bored easy and your house becomes their entertainment. :oops: I never in the past years ago crate trained, with Gracie and Johnson I decided to and now their crate doors stay open all the time they come and go in and out of them as they please, they love their crates it gives them a sense of security like when there little and dogs are pack animals and love their dens. It is not a mean as most think of as long as they are not crated for hours upon hours and never let out.
 

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crates are dens and dogs can really love them! All my dogs are crate trained from puppyhood, but no one sleeps in a crate now. Its such a great idea to be able to use one if needed to confine a sick dog or to transport or whatever may be needed. If you havent crate trained before you may want to try an xpen (its a wire panelled pen sold at the pet store.) There is no top though so it may not work for you! Another option could be just confining to a petsafe room (laundry, bath or guest) and put a crate in there with the door open and maybe a tshirt of yours on the ground and a few stuffed animals or other safe toys your baby has. Start a little at a time so you dont come home to ripped drywall or a scratched door! Sometimes doggys that have never been confined aren't real sure what to do :) They sell soft sided crates (one door) that are very in expensive and me be a good way to see how your doggy likes it before investing in an expensive hardsided crate. I find the feed stores tend to have good prices on large and xtra large crates. Keep us posted on how it goes!!
 

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I must agree GracieLou. It is a haven for them. And out of trouble. Especially when they are young. I put Marley in his crate the first day we had him after he flopped from exhaustion of playing. No resistance at that point in time. That is all he needed. He spent alot of time in it when resting as a young puppy. Now as he grows older(16 weeks), he spends little time there when we are home, preferring to be close to us. We have a crate in the bedroom to, where he sleeps. Last weekend my wife was out of town so I thought I'd try and let him sleep in the bedroom out of the crate. I set up a big pillow bed for him and laid down next to him. We relaxed for a while, me petting him, telling what a good boy we was and sleeping out of the crate was gonna be so cool. Well as we dozed off and I removed my hand from him he decided that was enough and got up and went into the crate. I decided to resume the test another time and shut the door and jumped in bed. Not really sure what the future will bring..in or out, when left alone. One hand says safer for him and our belongings, other says if he prefers out and proves he won't harm anything, he will roam unattended. Maybe he will make that choice for us.

This pic was when he is almost 2 months old, shortly after we got him enjoying the crate life. Now he is 16 weeks old and just over 30 lbs.
 

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We don't crate Cinnamon now, but I did when she was a small pup. She never did like the crate but until I could trust her not to get into any thing, that's where she was when we weren't home. She was house trained at an early age, but the chewing was bad and I didn't want to take the chance of her hurting herself or destroying an heirloom.
 

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I did try crate training Tegan in the beginning but she peed in her crate about once or twice a week so I ended up having to wash the dog, wash the crate and it was quite traumatic for her and more work for me. In the end I decided to give up and we switched to a play pen, which worked much better. She could see what was going on around her but she whined quite a lot wanting to come out. The hardest thing for me was ignoring her when she whined. By about 6 months old we decided to try her loose in the house, I'm home all day anyway so it was no big deal.

Letting Tegan have the run of the house is working out fine, she seems very content now and probably sleeps more than when she was crated or in a play pen because when I'm sitting at the computer or working in the kitchen, etc. she finds a spot close to me and lays down and sleeps.

We even go out for several hours on weekends or evenings and leave her with the run of the house and there are no accidents and nothing is chewed that shouldn't be when we get home.
 
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