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philly172 posted 11/17/2013 16:08 PM

Dog owners, lovers or just plain anyone.. I need advice, suggestions...I'm considering getting Leia our 3YO a new dog cage .. She is currently in a medium-large crate.. I have NEVER liked it as I am opposed to crates but we got it for free & Leia is RARELY (& I mean rarely.. like once a month as I am battling social anxiety disorder) put in the crate.. It's only if we're going to be gone somewhere for an extended period of time (over 3 hours) I think (note the word THINK) is it adequate for her size.. she can stand in it, turn around etc.. but I just feel it is too 'closed'.. I've been thinking of getting her a metal cage.. larger than the crate.. it will allow her to look around while we're gone.. now Leia is the first dog we've ever 'put away' when we go somewhere so this is all new to me.. WHfeels since Leia is so good that she can have free roam of the house but I just don't like it when it's for a long time (over 2 hours)

soo.. do I keep the crate or get her a cage?? Again.. we don't leave her very often .. but I want her to be comfortable when we are gone.. I also think a part (albeit small part) of the reason I have the social anxiety disorder is over leaving her in that crate but I am more uncomfortable letting her have free roam of the house.. I worry not so much what she can get in to but her trying to get out of the house to find me & getting hurt..

Oh gosh, I sound so neurotic!!

Bigger posted 11/17/2013 19:15 PM

I just got a black lab puppy and immediately crate trained him.
He LOVES his crate and happily spends all night in it. With a chew-machine like a lab puppy it’s impossible to leave him to roam the house over the day or night. So he spends 6-8 hours overnight in the crate and then periods of 2-4 hours some days (if everyone is at work or school). Over the day he often returns to the crate for a nap. I would guess he spends an average of 10 hours total with the crate closed and an additional 3-4 with the crate open every day – voluntarily.
We never place him in the crate, never force him and NEVER use it to punish him. Grandkids have a clear message to leave him in peace in the crate. It’s his haven.

Most crate and cage manufacturers list the breeds and the suggested sizes. Generally the dogs don’t want too much space but need to be able to curl up and be comfy.
I did look into a cage but was told that the dogs don’t get the same “den” feeling in a cage. That the chances were I would have to cover it with a blanket for the puppy to feel safe in the cage as opposed to feeling… well… caged.

Mousse242 posted 11/17/2013 19:31 PM

As long as they can stand and turn around it's a good size. Anything larger and they may potty in it. My dogs love their crate even though they don't get put in it. They go in it to sleep or chill. It's their safe place.

GabyBaby posted 11/17/2013 19:37 PM

As long as they can stand and turn around it's a good size. Anything larger and they may potty in it.
FWIW, all three of our dogs are crate trained. Only one sleeps in a crate overnight. During the day while we're at work, we close the bedroom/bathroom doors and the dogs are allowed to roam the hallways and downstairs freely.
Generally, they're only left alone for a few hours at a time, but if we're to be away for more than 4 hours, they are all crated.
Bored dogs get into trouble.

purplejacket4 posted 11/18/2013 17:36 PM

You CAN leave a lab puppy uncrated but be prepared to deal with the damage. I took a 40K loss on my house due to dog damage in a poor market.

Luckily that dog has matured and we are successfully crating the two new pups. We try to make four hours the max time in the crate by having someone come home for lunch.

Your size sounds fine but a wire cage may be more comfortable for the dog.

[This message edited by purplejacket4 at 5:36 PM, November 18th (Monday)]

metamorphisis posted 11/18/2013 18:16 PM

We have the extra large crate with a divider. Also for a lab puppy here. I'll chime in with the others. You don't want to leave a lab puppy unattended. Heck, you don't want to to turn your back on a lab puppy. They'll chew through drywall.. ask me how I know .
I suggest you do some reading on the ideas behind crate training so you can feel more comfortable with it. Rest assured I have a pup who is loved beyond all reason and who is also crate trained. He does not cry, bark or whine in his crate. We started it on day one, and he will crate himself when he wants quiet time or a nap. If he's ready for bed, he goes and sits in front of it and whines. It's his safe place. He sleeps from about 10 to 7 in the crate, though this weekend I had to get him up at 9 .
We'll use the crate to go to the bank or grocery store etc. Never more than a few hours. It's safety for him, and it keeps me able to live my life and get things done. Nobody is upset or harmed in the process.

ETA) I am not sure I understand the difference between cage/crate as it's being used in this thread. Ours is a large thick wire cage. My 16 year old can sit up straight in it. Yes she's tried. He gets upset and makes her get out .

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:20 PM, November 18th (Monday)]

tushnurse posted 11/18/2013 19:03 PM

Dogs generally like crates. That's why they are so readily used. They are a den animal and if given the option most will find a space where they are closed in and small space like under a bed. As long as the dog can get up and turn around its fine.

I have a lab who is coming up on her 5th birthday. She still gets crated most days. She is generally a good girl but she has a urinary leakage issue and won't stay off the couch. So she goes to her crate when we are about to leave for work.

I had a Dane that never got used to crates and was the alpha of her litter. She was just closed up in a bathroom until she got older. She was too lazy to do anything bad, other than counter surfing for food.

philly172 posted 11/18/2013 20:17 PM

ETA) I am not sure I understand the difference between cage/crate as it's being used in this thread. Ours is a large thick wire cage. My 16 year old can sit up straight in it. Yes she's tried. He gets upset and makes her get out

Will respond more later.. been a crazy couple of days here.. but I wanted to clarify

The difference i'm talking about is we have a plastic box looking crate with air holes in it & I was thinking more of getting a metal cage type crate..

but as most of you pointed out, if she doesn't have an issue going in there (& she really doesn't).. we don't leave her alone often but she goes in willingly.. it might be best to NOT upset what she is used to.. I just don't like that 'box' feeling & think a cage type crate would 'feel' better to her..

I will be back to respond more probably tomorrow.. been dealing with WH disability company all day & am frazzled..

metamorphisis posted 11/18/2013 21:23 PM

Oh ok.. I think of those as a travel crate? I got one for Charlie Brown for the long trips in the car to the cottage. He squealed like he was being tortured and I had him out of it and moved into the back seat with him before we got 3 blocks from the house . I do cover his big metal crate at night with blankets and (oh my god you are going to laugh) put on my sleep sound machine with ocean sounds . It worked to help him fall asleep the first night and it stuck .

Mousse242 posted 11/18/2013 21:45 PM

I've used both the open wire and the closed in kind. The ones they tend to like most have been the closed in kind. Many people who use the wire ones will put a towel or blanket over them to make them more den-like.

deeplysad posted 11/18/2013 22:07 PM

My dogs have never liked the wire type - they like the actual crates because it's more natural to what they would seek out for sleeping in.

It's their den or cave and they feel safe dogs love their crates. I have six dogs and everyone knows which crate is theirs.

tushnurse posted 11/19/2013 13:33 PM

Yup My Lucy's Crate is the typical travel crate, she can see out the front door, and there are metal vents on the top few inches so she can look out the sides to see the world around her. They do prefer to be closed in, as long as they can see some. We frequently turn her crate so she can see out the window, and watch the woods. But now that she is older, I think she spend most ofher day sleeping.

philly172 posted 11/19/2013 17:08 PM

Thanks everyone.. Leia is the first dog I/we've ever had that was put in a crate when we leave.. All of my/our others dogs g\had free roam of the house & we came home many times to garbage upturned, shoes eaten ( mainly as a puppy) so crating is VERY new to me & in the 3 years (today, actually) that we've had her Leia has been a super good dog... she NEVER chewed anything except for her used Kleenex fetish as puppy, was house trained within 2 weeks of getting her.. I am still amazed at how good she is..

There have been times we haven't locked the crate correctly or WH has left her roam free & she has done NOTHING!!! We came home to find her laying by the front door but I still worry that she will try to escape to find me (she's my Velcro dog) so I like the crate idea while we're gone & I don't think she minds it.. she takes her stuffed seal in there & I think goes to sleep.. I have the crate in my bedroom & I leave the TV on for her ( Nah, she's not spoiled much )

Thanks again for the reassurance that the crate is okay..

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