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Thread: Not Using a Crate

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    Potty Trainer monkey10262's Avatar
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    Default Not Using a Crate

    Hey guys! I'm picking my puppy in a few days and I would really like to do this without a crate. The breeder is sending a porter so I have one available if I change my mind. Although I don't know how long he'll fit in it. What I plan to do is keep a journal for the first day or two so I can learn his schedule. I have a big basket I'm going to put a blanket in and keep right by my bed for him to sleep in and I have a one year old who still wakes up twice a night to eat so those middle of the night potty breaks won't be any trouble! lol
    My question is for when I have to leave the house, mainly for Church and to go grocery shopping. I think I'll probably put him in my son's playpen. I'll get a waterproof cover and put a sheet on the bottom. Or I could always put him in the kitchen.. Anyways, should I put paper or puppy pads down? Will this just teach him that it's okay to potty in the house? Am I crazy for wanting to do this without a crate?

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    its not that your crazy, its just that its so much easier with a crate. it will take way more than 1 or 2 days for a puppy to learn the family schedule.

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    Potty Trainer monkey10262's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    I meant for me to learn his schedule- to help me know how long he has to go after he eats, after he wakes up from a nap, etc.. Just so I would have a better guide as to how often to take him out.

    Know what I mean? I don't know how to explain that any better :p

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    Well, I do know what you mean, but I think you have it backwards….the puppy needs you to tell him when he will go out and do his business and when to eat. You're in charge the sooner he gets used to your schedule the sooner he will know what to do to become part of the family and in your pack.

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    I see you're from Pittsburgh! I lived there for many years while i was in grad school, met my husband there…i miss that city!

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    Potty Trainer monkey10262's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    I guess I have a problem with that. I feel like I'm having another baby! lol And yeah, I'm about 5 minutes away from Cal U. I'm not in the city often at all, but it is beautiful! My first real outing after my son was born was to the Museum and it was amazing! There had to be at least five floors!

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    congrats on both babies others will be around to give advice, and don't be shy, we all ask questions

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    use a crate it will be way easier. the puppy will get to know the crate as it's sanctuary. good luck and congrats on the new addition

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    Quote Originally Posted by monkey10262 View Post
    I feel like I'm having another baby! lol
    Oh. you have no idea how accurate that prediction will be

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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    Honestly...puppyhood is the biggest time to use a crate/kennel. It allows them to have a secure place (you'll notice if you leave the kennel door open they will voluntarily go in it from time to time) and really aids in potty training. I'd worry that without a kennel you will find things chewed up or pottied on during the night or while you're out. Having small children myself I will also say that it's beneficially because they can eat in their kennel as well therefore avoiding little ones from eating the dog food or playing in the water dish. (Being a stay at home mom...I can tell you that can get old fairly quickly believe me.) When your puppy is a bit older that would be a great time to transition and no longer use a crate. For instance...our 7 Mth old bulldog is house trained. He no longer has accidents in his kennel and goes to the door when he wants to be let out or back in. But he does still chew occasionally....like our ac thermostat wire outside, the molding on the wall or my youngest son'a toys. (You'll be surprised what they can get into when they're teething!) Once all that settles down, or when you feel comfortable, there's no reason why you couldn't transition her from a crate. But if you really feel strongly about not crating her, then go for it. I just know personally it's a lot easier especially with children too!

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    Rescue Volunteer dieMuttivonBifi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    We also didn't crate our boy. He used his crate for a good 3 days. His jaw got stuck on the crate's door so out the crate went. BUT that being said I am a big advocate of crating as it helps in housebreaking, helps in separation anxiety, helps keeping your furniture and your puppy safe, and helps maintain your sanity when your away--amongst many other advantages of crating.

    We put a section of our livingroom to be his little space. We put his crate in it too. When we put the crate out, his little enclosed area in the livingroom served as his crate, he slept there, took his naps there, ate there, he stayed there unsupervised, it was his safe area. But he came to us already 90% house trained and already knows the word "no". He also wasn't and still isn't a chewer of furnitures and wires so that arrangement worked for us. He used that enclosed area till he was 6 months old. He still goes to that area of our livingroom to take his naps. My baby boy at 9 mos. old now has the free rein of the house but when we're gone the livingroom door is closed (we also make sure that there are nothing he could get into like food lying around or small potential hazardous things that he might get curious of and eat before leaving the house).

    I would crate him as all puppies are notorious for chewing and eating anything and everything in sight. If you see he is not a muncher of all things dangerous, inedible, choke potential stuff then maybe you can do what i did. Just make sure to puppy proof the area where you would want him to stay and also the rest of the house .

    Goodluck to you and your family! Enjoy puppyhood while it lasts! It's the most fleeting moment of a dogs life. And enjoy your new baby!!! I'm excited for you!

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    Rescue Volunteer cefe13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not Using a Crate

    Castor (ten months old) has never been in a crate. When we first got him, he slept just as you say, in a basket with blankets next to my bed. After a few months, we moved the basket, so now it (well, no, a bigger one!) sits outside of our bedroom.

    We kept a journal during the first weeks or so, and indeed, getting a puppy is very much like having a baby. You need to get to know each other and you need to foster the little one into a routine that works for everyone in the house. At first, we took Castor out every hour and then, every two hours, etc. We have wooden floors and took away all carpets but didn't move anything else. After a while, as he grew taller and we saw that he showed in interest in some objects, we moved them - very much like child-proofing your house as the kid starts to move around. We picked him up in mid-June, and I think we were able to put the carpets back by mid-August or so.

    We housetrained Castor over the summer, partly during holiday time and I was also at home a lot as I often work from home. Therefore, we didn't leave him alone at all during the first month and then we trained him very gradually, leaving him for just a few minutes at first. Knock on wood, we have had no problems leaving him. We still close the bathroom and bedroom doors and we block the sofa off by placing the back cushions on top of the seating cushions (as he would otherwise climb up), but apart from that Castor has access to the whole flat. Often he will just go to his bed and sleep (we can tell as it's warm when we return). During his first eight months with us, he has nibbled on one piece of furniture and he has chewed on one book, so this dog really hasn't been a big chewer. Dogs probably differ, though, and you will need to watch him closely to see his interests, but as far as crating is concerned, I'm quite convinced it is not needed in most cases. As it's against the law where I live it's not even anything we considered. Here, some people put up gates to some rooms or fence off parts of the house when the dog is alone.

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