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Crating dogs instead of training

Posted by handymac (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 23, 07 at 8:54

I have a bit of heartburn with people who crate dogs instead of training them. I have two large dogs---Shepherd mix and Lab mix---who are guard dogs as well as family pets.
The Shepherd mix was a crate dog---every time he misbehaved, he was crated. Result? He had no manners at all---so out of control the local police were trying to get him declared a public hazard in order to have him destroyed.

Now, he is free ranging in the house or yard---crate is gone. Both dogs have their rules---do not go in the kitchen when cooking is being done, do not get in certain chairs, leave the new inside birds alone(A new rule---both love to chase outside birds).

Went to eldest son/DIL's house for Turkey Day---they have a Golden and a cocker mix---both dogs stayed on their beds on the far side of the dining/living room during the meal. DIL fosters dogs on a regular basis---and very seldom crates them.

Now, when raising a pup----especially Lab mix pups---who LOVE to chew---we do use two rooms for times when we have to be gone and leave the pup/other dog alone. We always keep two dogs----dogs are pack animals and one dog cannot be a pack.

I tried getting a dog(Lab/chow mix) from a prison rehab program----that dog was so used to crates/cells/confinement he could not be controlled off leash even in the house. I spent four months trying----never had a failure even close to that one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Hey Handy :)
If a crate is used properly it is a good training tool. But it should never be used for punishment. It needs to be a save place for the dog, a shelter he will run to when he is afraid, a cozy place to sleep, a place to go when the owners have to leave for short periods of time. It really helps when house breaking your dog. The first thing one must do though is make the crate a place the dog wants to go.
It is his sanctuary. If it is used for any other means that is wrong!!

MBG


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I don't understand crate training unless you need to give the dog a place to go potty if you're out for long periods of time.

Otherwise, why not just skip to going potty outside? I did that with my dog and we had no problems and she took to it very quickly.

And, to a not so smart dog, wouldn't going to the bathroom inside be a little confusing?


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Minna, it should never be used for a potty...it is like a den. Dogs generally do not eliminate in their dens.

MBG

Here is a link that might be useful: Crating Your Dog


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

My dogs are highly trained AND crate trained - the two are not mutually exclusive. Crates are not to take the place of training and they are not giant litter boxes.

Crates are a safe place to contain a dog when an owner cannot be with the dog. When I am not home, dogs are crated for their comfort and protection. Foster dogs are also fed in their crates to prevent resource guarding. When I am home, the doors are propped open because most of the dogs prefer to nap and snack in their crates even when other options are available.

Crates are an excellent management and training tool. Unfortunately, like any tool, they can be misused by the ill-informed.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Crating dogs IS a means of training them. I use a crate to train my dogs. You should never use a crate as punishment. Crate training is one of the best ways to confine a puppy so that they do not get into trouble when you are not around, and one of the best ways to housebreak a dog/puppy. Eventually, the dog will go into the crate willingly - but not if it is used as punishment.

Dogs are den animals, and therefore they actually like to be surrounded by the walls of a crate.

As for going "potty" in crates - that is not what it is for. The crate should not be too big...it should be just big enough to fit the dog's bed. A dog will not go to the bathroom where it sleeps. So if you don't have extra room in the crate for it to go "potty", then it won't go "potty". If you have a crate that is big enough for the dog to litter in one spot and sleep in another spot, put a board inside it to divide it in half. I can housebreak a dog in a matter of DAYS. All you do is crate the dog when you are not supervising it, then when you let him/her out be sure to take him/her straight outside - that way the dog will never have a chance to go to the bathroom IN the house. You then praise the dog and give it a treat. It will soon learn that it is supposed to go to the bathroom OUTSIDE. If the dog ever has an accident inside, NEVER stick it's nose in it - that doesn't work. Instead, give a stern and low-pitched "NO" when this happens. However, if you don't catch the dog in action, it will have already forgotten what it did within seconds, so if you yell at him, he will have no idea what you are yelling about!


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Crating is training.

By the same logic you're using, you would also have a problem with people confining their dogs to a bedroom, to a house, to a city block, the list goes on. Yet you dont.

What you really have a problem with, and rightfully so, is neglect. You don't leave a dog crated all day and then all night and never any social interaction etc. Just the same as you would not leave a puppy alone in the house without being confined in a crate because there are too many hazards and the risk for developing bad habits is high. That is also neglect.

Now I predict that in keeping with your rabble rousing tradition, you will come back and say "but of course I didn't mean a puppy". That is precisely what that other poster from the pet forum was saying though. Give the puppies instructions in plain english and go head to the office. I do suspect that other poster who shall remain nameless uses fear and physical contact as part of training.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

It has been a long time since anyone has called me a rabble rouser----brings back fond memories of my dissolute youth.

I suppose crate training has a purpose and works in some instances. I have raised many pups---seven or eight---and a couple of older dogs without ever using a crate.

I weaned the Rott. mix I rescued out of the crate he was dependent on---it was being used more for the convienience of the former owner than for the comfort of the dog.

I feel many people use a crate for convienience moreso than comfort.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

"I feel many people use a crate for convienience moreso than comfort."

Maybe people you know...but most people I have discussed it with do it for the DOG not for themselves.
MBG


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Well handymac, instead of the crate, what were the dogs contained in? A house? A fenced area? A kennel?


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

House and fenced yard----same as my kids.;)

I always say I raise my kids like I raise my dogs----simply because I raised dogs before I raised kids----but the methods I use are similar----rules, corrections, and love.

I did, on occasion, spank my sons----but never spanked a dog.

So, I guess now I am to be villified for mistreating both dogs and children. The results are the same----kids are good adults and the dogs are good dogs.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

At least I know my dogs are not human and I raise my children differently than my dogs...because they think very differently! They learn in a different way. Human and dog instincts are VERY different.

I don't get how you raise sentient and non-sentient beings in the same fashion...
One can reason and learn the other is incapable...
Right Handy??
;^)

MBG


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

So you're confining your dogs to a house and fenced yard?
Isn't that the same as confining them to a crate?

Dogs don't know about cages and circus animals. The crate to them is just another room in the house.

Puppies will not learn potty training from living in the yard. In fact they may never be housetrained if they live in the yard.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Do I write English?????

Quote------I always say I raise my kids like I raise my dogs----simply because I raised dogs before I raised kids----but the methods I use are similar----rules, corrections, and love. Unquote.

People learn by example and repetition of desired behavior.
So do dogs--in the wild or in the home.

People learn by example.
So do dogs--in the wild or in the home.

People have rules of behavior to follow.
So do dogs, etc.

People respond to honesty, love, and rewards.
So do dogs!!!!!!!!!

Now, your comment about instincts and thinking processes being different between humans and dogs is EXACTLY CORRECT!!!!!!!!!!!

That is why I do not try to teach dogs to talk---or my sons to not bark at neighborhood cats.

But, the correction of bad behavior is greatly different. Dogs need to be corrected as the bad behavior starts---it does no good to make a correction three hours later. Kids can remember the bad behavior and be corrected days later.

So, the best procedure is to treat dogs like other dogs would treat them---and treat kids to show them how to become responsible adults.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Handy, your posts are full of contradictory statements. Sorry. I know what you are *trying* to say. But you seem to have to be right above reason.

MBG


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I, too, am extremely lost when I read your statements, Handy. You seem to try and prove multiple points by going round and round in circles, and you never really get to any point. What IS your point??

You also contradict yourself quite often, like in your other recent post where you talk about not comparing dogs to humans and that dogs aren't sentient and have no cognitive abilities - but then in a past post you stated that your son's dog is so close to being human and is very cognizant without even being taught! These 2 posts couldn't be more contradictory.

It seems that you just like to argue, and the "point" you were initially trying to make gets lost very quickly with you - because like MBG said, your need to be "right" is more important than your desire to "reason". If you have a point, then great - let's debate. But it seems like you just like to hear yourself rant, and this is why you seem to always be the one on the other side of every "debate". Maybe you are just trying to find any post where you can sneak in some bragging about your vast knowledge of animals and the fact that you rescued unruly dogs - here's a pat on the back.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I spemt several years as an instructor in the Army and in adult education. The first and most lasting truth nI learned was most people hear/comprehend not what the speaker/writer says, but what the listener/reader wishes the speaker/writer meant.

The second is that many people refuse to participate in a debate, rather they cling to their own beliefs in spite of the subject.

I'm not upset, you are all caring people. But I can see my points are missing the mark. So be it.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

There was another thread you started "dogs as tools" or something to that effect where I couldn't understand if you were debating with me or agreeing with me. It seemed like you started out to argue then you started agreeing with me.

I neither understand what you say nor what you mean.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I must be doing it wrong my dog loves his crate. When we got him from the shelter they said he prefered the crate. He gets really concerned when I take out all the fluffy blankets and wash them.

I moved it to a different location once and he sat in it for an hour just to make sure it was still usable I guess. When I leave (even if others are here) he runs in his crate and barks until we shut the door. He can open it himself.

I guess to him it is like his room, a safe place that he really likes. We keep the travel crate in the living room and he prefers to lay in it to sitting on the sofa.

When my 9 year old daughter was in the hospital it came in handy because we stayed at a hotel nearby with the dog for a week. The rule at the hotel was if you leave your dog it must be crated (for the cleaning personel safety). He was fine, it worked great. Better than kenneling him for a week. A crate can be a positive for an animal. He didn't even bark. The cleaning lady said every other dog barks at her relentlessly but he was happy to be left alone and completely calm and silent.

Also when we have lots of people and children over he stays in his crate (or in a back pack on me or a family member) because he is a Maltese and kids can sometimes be rough. He is more than happy to be in there.

He is house broken. He has had obedience training. He just really likes his crate.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Well, I'm new here and I'm not going to argue with anyone, but I sure would like to put in my two cents. I want to share mainly because it will give me a chance to get this off my chest!
I also have always known crates to be used as part of training a dog. A crate is a dog's cave/den. We used crates when training our three rescue dogs and they are now stashed away, folded up and out of my way. One of the little dogs probably would have been happier if I left out his crate, but we just do not have any extra room in our tiny home.
Reading the instructions that come with the crate make it very easy, even if one does not read a bunch of training books. The instructions state a few things:
Never use the crate as punishment
Never force the dog into the crate
Never leave the dog in so long that they have to use it as a bathroom
and
Use the crate for emergencies, such as easy and safe transportation inside a vehicle or if emergency crews need to enter the house.
We don't use the crates in the car, we use seat-belt harnesses.
I wanted to post those few tips because I don't think everyone knows just how good crates can be for a dog. Our dogs would go into their crates to nap or to just hang out while chewing a bully stick.
This is what has been bothering me:
Our friends have come to use their crate as a box to keep their dog locked up in each and every single work day. Yes, Monday through Friday, 7:00AM through 7:00PM and sometimes longer, that poor beast is locked inside that crate. Alone in the house, it is dark, what the heck?
We know this is wrong, we know they know, but we have not found a way to tell them. They are good people and we know that they did not plan on things turning out this way, but there was a baby and then they were both back at work and they never had the time to properly train their dog not to chew. So, to keep her from eating and shredding them out of house and home, they crate her.
My boyfriend and I are beside ourselves and are full of confusion. Do we just tell them that they are leaving her in too long? Do we ask them if they are going to bother teaching their dog not to chew so she can live like a normal dog? Or do we say something closer to reality such as, do you really have time for and room for your dog in your busy lives? Because, frankly, isn't that the real question here? If she is trained not to chew and they do stop crating her, she will still be spending her days all alone in the house with nothing for a dog to do.
I'm just not sure how to approach them. We have talked about it, my boyfriend and I, and we just don't know if it is our place to step in and alert them to what torture they are providing for their dog.
I know there might be some responses saying "rescue that dog from them" and "just tell them" but I am hoping there will also be some details, such as a way of broaching the subject without it just being us against them or us being right and them being wrong. We all see things differently and I know that we really see things differently when it comes to raising dogs, but I think I am right!!
That dog needs to be exercised, cared for, something other than 12 to 14 or even 15 hours in a crate!!!
We go over to their house every chance we get and let that dog out. Tonight, she is here in our home, waiting for her people to come back. Gee, so far, had I not let her out of her crate, she would have been in there for 14 hours straight. That is 14 hours of no water, no company, no activity, no bathroom breaks, no nothin'.
Help me out here, tell me I am not a nosy neighbor, tell me I should just go talk to them and not fear insulting them. Part of my concern is that they know that they are not treating their dog right and that they will feel awful, like sh*t and embarrassed for having treated her this way...but, I think I just need to take that step and not worry about hurting their feelings.
Go ahead, I'd really like to hear your responses!!
Thanks,
J.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

J. I know exactly what you mean. I have at least one neighbor who does this too, and my petsitter has told me that quite a few folks do this. They keep their dogs crated 8+ hours a day. Every work day. I know people will chime in and say they have no choice because they work. But in the crate for that amount of time? What's the point of having a dog? I find this horrible and sad.

Maybe bring up to your friends the possibility of hiring a service that walks the dogs each day. Or ask why the dog needs to be crated instead of having the run of the house or at least one room, with chew toys and water. Just bringing it up might help your friends discuss better options.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Thanks for that, Gina. I think it would not have upset me as much if it had been 8 hours...I might even have been able to tolerate 10, but it is 12 hours and sometimes much more. Sigh, you are right, just bringing it up will get the conversation started and give me a chance to express my concerns. She is a dog, not a crate liner!
Thank you for your input!
J.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Those examp;es illustrate my point---I rescued a Rott. mix who would head for his crate every time I corrected him. Crate training has it's place---crate prison does not.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

J,
I really feel for your situation. It would drive me absolutely crazy too. I know you want to approach these people the right way, and I think that Gina had a great idea for a converstation starter. Once the conversation gets going, you will know what to say. Just make sure you aren't in "attack mode" (as hard as that may be!), because that will just put your neighbors/friends on the defensive. Try to sound like you are understanding to their situation, and offer some alternatives to what they are doing. Maybe they just need to be educated.

Good luck,
Gabi


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I certainly don't think its appropriate for people to crate a dog all day long. However, sometimes I get the impression from these posts that even leaving the dog home alone is just as bad as being crated. Its okay for people to work for living and have a dog, as long as they provide the provide the proper exercise and stimulation, appropriate for their dog.

I think you are already doing what you should be doing for your neighbors dog. "We go over to their house every chance we get and let that dog out. Tonight, she is here in our home, waiting for her people to come back." That is great that you can help your friends out and their dog like that.

I might offer references for a pet walker to stop by during the day. And I would continue to take the dog out as you have been. But If I valued the friendship, I probably would look at the dog and decide if something needs to be changed.

Has their dog been exhibiting behavior problems from all the crate time? Some dogs just sleep all day when master's away and may not be that traumatized... Some dogs might prefer a bad routine than no routine. Other dogs will have problems. How is their dog doing with their routine?


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I can only add one thing to the necessity of having a crate trained dog.

Should your dog ever require a surgery (TPLO for instance requires up to 8 weeks of total confinement) the crate is a godsend. If your dog requires a hospital stay even for one night it is much less stressful for a crate trained animal than one who always roamed free.

I have had all kinds of dogs. Some loved their crate so much it had to be accessible at all times. Some didn't care much for it. But ALL my dogs have to be willing to tolerate it.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

jclepine, Do you have the time to train the dog? Just having it spend more and more time at your house until you finally just ask them if you can keep the dog permanently may be an answer. I know you did not say that you WANT the dog, but sometimes we just end up with dogs because it was meant to be.

Be happy they allow you to go get the dog. Some people are so much in denial that they say "no, the dog's alright," when you offer to let it out.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

It isn't the CRATE, that is just a room to the dogs. They don't know about circus animals in cages and all of that so the image of being surrounded by bars or wire isn't the same for them as it is for us. It's about being alone and being bored.

Like JPW said, it doesn't matter if they are in a crate or in the house, being alone with no mental stimulation is the issue.

I know the topic is different, it's talking about people confining their dogs instead of teaching them house manners. But the crate is part of training to have house manners. Freedom to roam about the house is a privilege that must be earned.

If you're trying to figure out if your dogs are bored or lonely think about what you do each day for your own mental stimulation... work, chat on g-web, hobbies, etc... How much social intereaction do you have with other humans? Ok now compare that to your pets. While they can't be expected to do nearly as much as a human, try to imagine sleeping or doing nothing for the vast majority of the day.

You can crate your dogs without a lot of resistance if your dogs are set up on a regular play/eat schedule and are given exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. It can be brief. If you have to be gone for work for long hours have someone come in to play with or walk the dogs and give a kong or similar toy afterwards.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

"Like JPW said, it doesn't matter if they are in a crate or in the house, being alone with no mental stimulation is the issue."

Wait a minute. I hope you are referring to the MANY hours that this person leaves their dog alone (12 hours). If you are talking about the normal 8 hour work day (and then commute time), then I completely disagree.

I need to make a living, and so do most people. I would love to get a play pal for my dog, but I've tried bringing other dogs to live at my apartment (dogs that I've rescued off the street), and my dog became severely depressed every single time (so I had to find other homes for them). She LIKES to be alone. She naps and does whatever she does, but I'll tell you this much...she is one HAPPY dog! Everyone that knows me tells me that if there was such a thing as reincarnation, they would want to come back as my dog!

I think dogs like to spend most of their day sleeping...well, at least mine does! And she doesn't need constant mental stimulation. Maybe it depends on the breed though. I have a VERY mellow labrador retriever...I'm sure a border collie would not be happy in my environment. One has to be responsible enough to get a breed that fits their lifestyle.

Don't get me wrong, my dog gets PLENTY of stimulation. I spend the weekends taking her swimming (when it's warmer out) and taking her hiking and taking her camping and taking her to the park....but I think most dogs are quite content with being alone for the "workday".


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

Gabro, your post is exactly what I was eluding to at the end of my last post. It depends upon the dog.

Some dogs are completely happy with their owners routine... and unless the dog is having problems, then I wouldn't interject my opinions on to my neighbor's dog.

Recently, I have has some health issues where I cannot walk my dogs as much as we usually do. They seem to be adjusting okay. I get the no walk stare from the dogs...but they haven't been exhibiting any stressed out behavior from lack of stimulation. If they do, I probably will hire someone to do walkies, until I can do it myself.

My dogs are crate trained... they love their crates. In addition to post-surgery confinement, crate training makes traveling easier too.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I don't see crate training as a bad thing at all! My dog loves his crate. If he's tired, he goes right to his crate and goes to sleep. His crate is his "bedroom." If people don't constantly punish their dogs by tossing them in the crates when they're bad, the dogs won't hate them. If they use the crate as the dogs "personal space" the dogs will love them and happily go in voluntarily if they feel like it. A lot of people, rather than training their dogs, will sooner toss them in the crates as a punishment for being bad. Read any training book that exists, and talk to any trainer out there and they will tell you that you should never use a crate as punishment. Crate training is great if it is done right and not abused.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

well if you think crating a dog for 12 hours is bad (and I whole heartedly agree) then listen to this. I have a neighbor with three dogs. When they go out of town two of them get crated and the other is confined to the bedroom where the crates are located. And I mean for DAYS! She will ask me to go over and feed them, usually four times a day or so. I try to let the dogs run and play and I spend time with them as much as I can. BUT, I have 3 kids, a husband, a large dog and two cats and I can't spend as much time over there as I would like to. Also, her dogs are not trained at all and have to be on a leash or I will spend hours having to chase them all over the neighborhood. Two of the dogs are labs (the younger of which gets crated) and the other is a chihuaha mix mutt who also gets crated. I have seen my other neighbor, who sometimes shares this dog sitting responsibility with me, trying to walk the older lab to get him exercised. The younger lab is completely unmanageable. She once yanked our 16 year old neighbor down the hill through piles of dog feces. This woman is a good friend of mine and works hard and is currently going through a divorce. What can I do?

On the other hand, my dog loves his crate. He will go and lay in it during the day to nap (we don't make him go in, he just goes in there on his own). He is NEVER sent to his crate as a punishment and has never had an accident in it other than one unfortunate middle of the night vomiting and diarhea incident when he was a puppy and ate something he shouldn't have...boy was that a mess! I am a stay at home mom so he is usually not in his crate for more than a few hours a time. He's my daytime buddy and we spend a lot of time together. Crate training, if done properly, is great for both dogs and their humans.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I think that crate training is very valuable for every dog. At some point they will probably need to travel, or be kenneled at the vets. If the dog isn't used to a crate it will make the whole ordeal even more stressful for them.

I don't think most dogs should be crated all day throughout their life, although it is often needed for puppyhood and adolescence. Both of my dogs were crated while we were at work for a time - now they both have graduated to having the run of the house, but only once I was sure that they would be safe. And yes, they stay at home while we work. Having stayed at home with them I can tell you that they pretty much sleep from 9 to 5, with the occasional bark at the mailman. ;)

Also, her dogs are not trained at all and have to be on a leash or I will spend hours having to chase them all over the neighborhood.
Please don't let them run offleash! The only safe way to exercise them is on leash or in a safely fenced area, no matter how well trained they are, especially when you are close to roads.


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

I agree that crate training is a very good thing when done properly. Like the dog whisperer says, "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners." I agree.

I don't entirely agree w/ what the ppl that JCLE is talking about are doing, however, I have to add that I had a Choc. Lab. & after I got him familiar w/ his crate he enjoyed being in it much more than being loose in the house while I was gone. I only work part time, but sometimes I would have to leave him in his crate from 7 am to noon then again from 1 pm to 4 pm & he was totally content. Again, I only work part time, so this wasn't an every day occurence, but... Sometimes I would leave him loose in the house when I just had to run out for a few minutes & he would go crazy from the time I left until the time I returned, barking & tearing up stuff. That's the thing, I did train him not to chew stuff & he didn't *while I was around*, but as soon as he knew I was gone it was almost like he had seperation anxiety and that being in his crate made him feel safer & more secure. When I would come home when he was crated, he would, 95% of the time, be sleeping and if he wasn't, he would be calmly chewing on a toy or treat. BUT, my dogs do get lots of inside & outside play time, so exercise & interaction was not an issue.

So, like I said, yes, I agree that 12 straight hrs. is not good, but maybe the dog actually would prefer that to being left loose in the house. I have heard of several dogs that have sep. anx. I'm not in anyway trying to take up for them or excuse what they are doing, just trying to get you to see the other side. Believe me, nothing angers me worse than ppl who get dogs & then don't love them like they need to be loved!

Also, to whoever said being left outside doesn't help w/ house training a puppy, I have to disagree. When we got our Choc. Lab. it was warm outside & we knew that he was going to be an inside/outside dog (our other one is too), so when we did have to be gone for a few hrs. & couldn't take him w/ us, we tied him outside w/ my other dog (next to a doghouse of course). I honestly think this got him to pick his "spot" quicker & that's where he wanted to go when he had to & where he went until the day he died. We recently got a new puppy & since it's been so cold here & he's so tiny there's no way I'm going to leave him outside, so he's crated when he can't go w/ us & he has not caught onto training nearly as fast as our lab did, even though I'm training him the exact same way. Yes, I know that each dog is different & each will learn in it's own time, but I truly believe that being outside does help.

Sorry to ramble, just wanted to add my 2 cents. :)


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RE: Crating dogs instead of training

McHudd,
I do agree with you that being outside helps a dog become housebroken faster, just from one experience I had. I have a chocolate lab, and I got her from a breeder that lived on a farm. So she basically had run of the farm when the breeder was outside with the pups, and she was outside most of the time. Well, I was lucky enough that I didn't have to housebreak her. I took her home at 2 months of age, and she never went potty in the house. I was prepared with a new crate and all the knowledge of how to housetrain, but she knew to wait until she was outside! Lucky me!

I have to say though, there is one area I disagree with you...I just don't understand how people can leave their dogs outside unsupervised. That boggles my mind. I can "sort of" understand leaving your dog outside for a couple of hours and peeking on him/her intermittently - but to leave a dog outside and then leave the house?? I just don't get it. That's dangerous for many reasons. They are better off being left in their crate. I'm sure you're doing it because you believe it's better than keeping them locked in their crate, but dogs love being in their crate if you crate-train them correctly.


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