when to stop crating

bikegirlFebruary 11, 2010

my dog is now 2 years old. This is the first dog I have ever crated so I am not sure when and if to stop. I feel bad because she is in there while I am at work, but if I walk outside (for example - to get the mail) when I come in, she has gone in her crate all on her own. Whenever i am getting ready to go out, she gets in while I put my shoes on. She doesn't seem to mind being in there, its her "bedroom". So should I leave well enough alone ?

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I have crates all over the house, and the dogs still use them even thought they've all been house savvy for a long time. It's a safe quiet place. The doors just stay open all the time. If you want to give your dog more freedom when you're at work, just start by leaving her out for a few hours while you do errands on a week-end. Then build up gradually to a full day out. Chances are she'll spend most of her time in the crate anyway. It's her bedroom :) And an important benefit of allowing her to continue using the crate is that she'll feel more comfortable if she needs to spend time at the vet or a boarding facility or if you travel with her.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 3:47PM
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I think you should let things stay as they are. Your dog had come to recognize her crate as a place of safety and security in the house. This is a good thing, as Cynthia says, because in the event she needs to be crated someplace else, she will be comfortable with it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Molly is the first dog I ever crated. The crate is now not needed, but I leave it with the door open as she often rests there.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:05PM
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I would just leave the crate door open, as others have said. She'll likely hang out there most of the day, or she may decide your bed is nice too :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Whenever I adopt a new dog, it spends at least several weeks in a crate overnight with the door shut until I feel I can trust him/her; and always leave the door open during the day when I'm present. But it never fails that I have to chase my older dogs out of the crate, because they all begin to fight over who gets to sleep in it! If I had more room, I would probably leave one or two out 24/7.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 11:29PM
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if you find it an annoyance to have the crate around, you could get rid of it. But honestly, they will find another "crate" if it's no longer there. Like Handymac said, when I stopped crating, Rusty and Mocha would retreat to theirs' because they liked it.

Now that I don't have crates in my den, whenever it thunderstorms, Rusty retreats under my desk and he DOES NOT fit. LOL

Remove crate at your own gamble

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 3:26AM
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We stopped crating when our lab was 12 weeks old and had no problem roaming the house at night. The only reason we crated her was to make house breaking easier. We are home with her daily though but could trust her to have the run of the house even when we went shopping or out to dinner. We just lengthened the times away with each trip to the place where she is fine for 8 hours occasionally in the day time.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:10AM
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The crate is your dog's comfort spot. After my dogs are fully potty trained and passed any chewing phases, I just stop closing the door. The crate is still there, for them to use as they please. Most of my dogs will still go in their crates to nap. I toss their toys into their crates when picking up clutter.

If your dog ever needs to have surgery or has an injury that requires keeping them from running or jumping, you will be glad that you still have the crate.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 11:10AM
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