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Is 4.5 months too early to get rid of crate?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Julia Stehney, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. Julia Stehney

    Julia Stehney New Member Registered

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    Hi guys,


    I’m after some puppy advice. We’ve been trialing leaving our 4.5 month GSD, Cali, out of her crate when we leave the house. She’s done brilliant and has gone up to 3 hours without an accident or chewing the house down. We decided we wanted to put the Christmas tree where Cali’s crate is, but couldn’t figure out where to move her crate to - her crate is massive and everywhere else we could put it would be a huge eye sore, but we don’t want to get a smaller crate that she will just grow out of. We decided we’d get rid of the crate and try leaving her out at night and give her most of the downstairs (carpeted living room excluded). It’s been 3 nights and she seems to be doing fine. She has weed on the puppy pads we put by the door every night (despite us coming down in the middle of the night to let her out) but hasn’t weed anywhere else or chewed anything! She flits between the couch (which we’ve covered in puppy pads and then covered in dog blankets) and her dog bed. She was Weeing in her crate a few nights a week anyways, so I don’t think shes weeing because she doesn’t have her crate anymore. My question is - everything I read seems to say crate training your puppy is absolutely necessary and you shouldn’t get rid of their crate until they’re almost 2 years old. Is this right? Is 4.5 months too early to leave her out? She is completely crate trained - didn’t cry when put in, slept silently, etc. But because she’s such a well behaved pup, we wanted to give her some freedom. No point being locked up if you’re not causing any trouble. Are there any things I haven’t thought about here? In trying to do good, am I actually causing harm, or am I just overthinking things? Help!


    Sincerely,

    Cali’s Mom
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I didn't use a crate with my dog, and crates have only become popular in recent years. They can be useful in certain situations, and for some dogs, but there is absolutely no reason to use one if - well - there isn't a reason!

    Crates are actually illegal in Sweden and Finland, so anyone who says they're essential hasn't done their homework.
     
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  3. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I recommend crates if people ask, but I've never used one with any of my own dogs because they've been super easy. However, there are a couple of considerations for you as your pup is not yet house-trained. They often go back in development, whether due to teething, about to come into season, or normal puppyhood which means they regress from time to time. Also there is usually a second chewing stage. So with your pup, I'd not be in too much of a hurry. When she is properly house-trained, you could think again. Many people leave the crate as a permanent piece of furniture for the dog to go in and out as it pleases, but this can be tricky in a small house.

    It really is not the end of the world if you don't have the ideal Christmas tree location for one year. Your pup is much more important. Sometimes we get so 'wrapped up' in Christmas that we can't see the 'wood for the trees' sorry not had my coffee yet :)
     
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  4. abbfabbgroomingscissors

    abbfabbgroomingscissors New Member Registered

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    I think you should get rid of the crate, if the dog is fine with new people coming at home. I never used it, and I don't find it necessary. Completely depends on your dog's behavior, if you think she is ready, get rid of the crate!
     
  5. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    I am not a lover of crates/cages for dogs. The crates are a modern convenience, too many are used for long periods both at night time and day time. I wonder how we ever managed before:rolleyes:. Dogs are not designed to live in cages.

    I agree that they have their uses but for short periods only to be fair to the animal!

    Puppies should not be taken away from their mothers and siblings and shoved into a cage and then expected to be happy!:mad:
    If people want a caged animal I think they should get themselves a rabbit or guinea pig.

    If you are happy that your puppy can be trusted, and you are prepared to clear up behind your growing "monsters" mistakes whatever they may be, (which is all part of owning a puppy) then as suggested I would get rid of the crate:rolleyes:.
    .
     
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  6. Julia Stehney

    Julia Stehney New Member Registered

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    I actually have read that about it being illegal there! Like you say - why use one if there’s no reason? I was just worried because online people say you shouldn’t get rid of them because it’s their “den” and their “safespace” but adult dogs don’t have crates and they’re just fine, so I don’t see why puppies need dens! Thanks for your reply!
     
  7. Julia Stehney

    Julia Stehney New Member Registered

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    Thanks for this. She is house trained - I don’t remember the last time she had an accident during the day. It’s just at night she can’t hold her bladder. I’m more than happy cleaning up after her at night as she at least goes to the door, even when we’re mot there and wees on the puppy pads. Makes cleaning up simple. I’m more worried about the threads online saying that it’s bad for a puppy psychologically, as their crate is their “den” and safe space. Part of me is worried that if she doesn’t have that she will feel vulnerable. Other things also suggest you should keep it around for a couple of years in case they ever get ill and need to stay in it for extended periods of time - that way they’ll be used to it already. But i also think adult dogs don’t need “dens” so why do puppies?
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    A lot of adult dogs do have crates, often with the door open the whole time, and a lot of adult dogs do like to have a den. It can be really useful if, for instance, you have rowdy visitors and your dog finds it a bit stressful - if the dog loves their den, they can retreat in there and feel safe (like me as a child retreating to my bedroom when my rowdy cousins came round).

    Of course, a 'safe space' can also be a quiet room, a table with a blanket thrown over to make it feel enclosed, or whatever works for your dog.

    In my case, I bought a crate for my pup, but though I tried to make it into a nice den, gave him treats in there and so on, he'd always come out and settle on the floor instead. He just wasn't into it. And given that a him-sized crate took up a fair amount of floorspace, it didn't seem worth keeping it set up just in case he changed his mind.
     
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  9. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sadly every spaniel I've ever owned has the same safe place- it's called the sofa. :( And if a person happens to be sitting on it, it's called that person.:D
     
  10. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Not a lover of crates either, safe space/dog bed/your bed/sofa area, yes..!
     
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  11. Ksf

    Ksf New Member Registered

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    Hiya,
    I am a lover of the crate, opposite to everyone else haha! Personally I wouldn't get rid of the crate, I think your pup is still so young and has so much to learn that the crate could definitely help with in the future. I feel if you get rid now, later on when you may (or may not) come upon some behavioural issues that the crate could have helped with, you may have to start from scratch from desensitizing her to it and teaching her its actually a wonderful thing and a calm, safe place to call her own!
    However, christmas is a busy time and also hectic especially if there's a big crate in the way! So having it down over the christmas period might be a good idea for you. You can always put it back up after Christmas :)
     
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  12. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have a crate for Folly, it fills a space under a shelf. She has a memory foam mattress with a single bed duvet folded over on top in it. She does go in it especially when I'm in the kitchen, the door is always open, (in fact the door has been removed). So I do not know if it would qualify as a crate or not.
     
  13. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    It sounds like a nice comfy den where there is no locked in confinement, and totally at her choice.:D
     
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  14. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think 'the door always open' is the main point here. I'm sure a spell in Wormwood Scrubs wouldn't be half as bad if they said on arrival: 'oh and of course you're never locked in'.;)
     
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  15. Ksf

    Ksf New Member Registered

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    My dog is 18 months and I shut him in over night and after a walk for a nap to teach him to switch off and has helped massively for me as he is a high energy dog who is still quite young. I am currently starting the process of having the door open but he is not allowed out until I release him, but before, while he was learning and he was young, I would always close it. But I keep the door open the rest of time and he sometimes goes and takes himself in there to relax :)
     
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  16. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don't like crates all my dogs have their own beds or mine!
     
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  17. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    We used to use crate similar way....to 'switch off' pup's hyper activity off....and after few minutes the door would be open again and pup allowed to come and go if it wanted to do so.
    I have placed wooden board on top of our indoor crate and it serves as small 'coffee table' as well :D so it is always there with door open if dogs still feel need for some private space. Most of the time it is sitting there unused for dogs 'needs' but even now as adults, it is a 'safe' place to run into...like when hoover is on :rolleyes:....or if they need to 'hide' some bone or something there :rolleyes: We use crates in a car as any traveling is far too exciting thing to do and we cannot have terriers bouncing all over the place! For their safety as much as ours...
    I'm sure there will come a day in a year or two when the time comes to put the crate away, but because we still have occasional use for it, and now with new pup is due to be 'released' into wider world as well in a near future..ours will stay put for time being. Used correctly crates have their uses...if nothing else, to store some extra dog toys away :rolleyes:
     
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  18. eggs

    eggs New Member Registered

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    We stopped using a crate with our rottie pup when she was 4.5 months old as we were taking the dogs on holiday in a couple of weeks time and wouldn't be able to take the crate as well so wanted her to be used to being 'free range' over night. She had not been peeing during the night for a few weeks prior to that. Turns our she prefers sleeping with our other dog on his bed and certainly does not seem to miss the crate.
     
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