I do crate my 8-month-old, but do to her recent surgery now she can sleep in my bed. She is crated less, therefore, she is less receptive to the crate. I have to seriously bribe her; she is resistant to entering. However, she is relaxed when I get home. Option one.
The question: When I am away---6 hours is an average--I have three choices: crate, house with limited roaming, large fenced in yard with shade. While I've heard the pros of crates and the den desire, it feels ridiculous to crate a dog with such a safe yard. Can't I get her used to the yard as well? Also she is left in a house with only kitchen and sunroom available. I have left her for up to six hours as well with no damage, or mistakes. Isn't that more "happy"? Basically, with these two other options, the crate feels restrictive. If I don't crate her every day, am I creating a monster, crate-hating lab?
Other notes: she is not particularly destructive (very limited), is walked at least 3 times a day, sometimes up to 4 miles at a clip, is taken to dog free-range parks to swim weekly.
I'm new to labs. We adopted her in May. Thoughts?
IMO crates are a necessity ! Dylan always gets a treat when he goes into the crate and the crate has never been an issue with him !
If your pup is not food driven it could be a problem otherwise, start feeding her in the crate.
How recent was the surgery ? Crate time makes sure that you don't reverse some operations by over exercise.
As you can see, more information required.
Neither of the labs are crated, they dont do anything but lounge when we arent there (ok Jo scruches the rugs up into a nest by the front door waiting for us EVERYTIME), but Emily, our Boston...if we do not crate her, she is destructive and pees on the carpet. I guess it depends on the dog IMHO.
Mom to Indy 6/12/98 to 11/16/11 (always in my heart), and Jobe 8-14-2000 to 6/24/2013 (Working TDI) English Labs, and Annie our Golden Retriever (TDI), and Kodiak (who will one day hopefully be a TDI dog if he doesn't kill me first).
I don't trust fences at all. Dogs decide to dig after a squirrel, or learn to climb, or someone sees the dog and takes it, or the kids next door let it out "to play." So my two are never outside without supervision.
As for the inside options ... "minimal" destruction would be too much for me. We used to have an "aftermath" photos thread LOL. Jake got a frozen kong and went to his crate every time I left until he was almost two. Then he graduated to being baby-gated in a room with nothing he could destroy in it. Now he has full run of the house. Charlotte is going to be a "lifer" in hr crate I think!
Have you tried giving extra special treats for going in the crate?
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
Rudder at 16 months old could be trusted to have run of the house and could have from when she was just a pup - she is one of those that never chewed anything up. As for Scupper, her and her crate are best friends, if it moves, she is trying to chew on it so she can not be trusted. We are currently working on transitioning both of them into the utility room (out of crates) with a 3/4 door during the next month before I go back to teaching. The utility room is Scupper proofed with a twin mattress in it as a bed for the girls.
Show my girls a kong and they are RUNNING to their crates! I have never had a problem with them going into their crates, they associate food with their crates. Rudder will even sleep during the day in hers if the door is left open.
Like TwoBlackLabs, our Molly can be fine in the kitchen/sunroom option---somewhat out & about, but quite restricted. But then will she always resist her crate? Yes I put special treats in her crate--those she loves and they stay there. However, she resists going in. Should I worry about "making" her go in? As I type, she is in her crate. I drove daughter down the street & come home and she does not know I am here. Narry a peep, so she's OK but when in, but again, her resistance is disconcerting & wonder if having options makes the situation worse.
Bauer (18 months old) was always put in his crate at night and when we were gone until he was about 10 months old (and he fought us everytime). He got free-run of the house at night when he was 10 months old, but still went in the crate when we had to leave. When he was about 14 months old we started putting him in the crate, but leaving the door open. It is now his favorite place to be. He goes in it to nap, to get away, etc. We have a blanket draped over it to keep it dark inside. At night, he goes in automatically or when we start getting ready for bed . . . and doesn't come out until we get up (even with the door open). When we are leaving, we tell him to "go to his room", and he goes right in. We leave the door open, but he is always in there when we get home.
I thought he was always going to hate it, but he decided on his own that he liked being in there (I think it was about the same time we covered it with a blanket).
Debi and Bauer
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
I don't see a problem with her resisting going in, as long as once she's in, she's okay. I have to bribe Hoppy with treats to go in his crate, but he's fine once he's in there. Did I create a monster? Did I train him to always get a treat to go in his crate? Maybe, but.....IMO....who cares. Having to give him a treat to get him in his crate is no big deal to me.
As a side note, we have the travel crates that we take to DD events. We always put them side-by-side under the tent. All three dogs...including Hoppy...go in their crates just fine with no treat.
Toby never liked his crate, but I still don't trust him unsupervised all day in the house (he does have free roam at night). However, he's still willing to be crated when necessary so he hasn't become less reluctant to go in one at all since we stopped making him use one daily. Chamois, on the other hand, LOVED her crate and would go in it on her own to take naps. Our solution now is to gate them in "their room" during the day (our downstairs bedroom which has been pup-proofed). When I pull out cookies and tell them to "go to your room", they race downstairs and wait for me just inside the gate.
If you want to give your dog a little more freedom, I'd advise a single room (and not the kitchen if possible, too much tempatation). I would definitely advise STRONGLY AGAINST outside unsupervised. Too much danger of digging out from under - or otherwise breaching - a fence. And if escape occurrs, WAY too many dangers and the possibility of being gone forever. If she's inside and escapes her confined area, at least she'll still be inside the house.
Both boys are crated when we are not home. Limited destruction can lead to serious damage to either belongings or pup. If she is not 100% trustworthy at all times, she should be crated when you are not home.
NEVER leave a dog in a yard unsupervised! Not only can they climb or dig their weay out, there are so many other things that can happen, in addition to the dog being stolen or just let out by some idiot.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy