I need to purchase a crate for 9 week old puppy we are getting next month. I know the advice is to get an adult size one and put in a divider. I did this with my first lab but I don't recall using the crate for very long and definitely not at all when she was full grown. She hated the crate!! Though it helped with potty training and confining her when she was so little, eventually she was no longer ever in it. I just cannot seem to remember when that was, it was 5 years ago! I don't want to get another big crate, trying to figure out if a crate of "up to 30 lbs" would be suitable?
Does anyone else have a lab who did not use a crate for very long and/or hated their crate? Maybe the new puppy will be better in the crate but we're wimps and will not be able to keep her in there if she whines. Any crate advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
I've raised a multiple puppies over the years. The old method was to confine puppies to a safe room that was completely puppy proofed and then cover the whole place with newspapers(this was before puppy pads). Guess what the pups screamed their heads off being confined! This was how we raised them in the 80's/90's. Crate training offers way too many advantages to not do it! I don't think any dog "hates their crate" they hate being left alone but they need to learn how to be alone which is one of the hardest things to teach that new little cute puppy to do.
My current pup is 11 weeks old and is both vocal and not very good at holding his bladder. The first night he yelped and howled in his crate(which is in my bedroom) for two hours straight. Thankfully that only lasted two days and he got progressively better in the last few weeks. He does still put up a fit when he is crated and I leave the room but he is starting to learn it is quiet time for him. I feed him in his crate and you should see how fast he runs in there when it is time to eat. He doesn't hate the crate he hates being confined and left alone but he's progressively getting better.
Zeke is a huge puppy was 18lbs at 9 weeks and he is currently in a medium sized vari-kennel(which I think goes up to 30-35lbs). He is almost ready to go into a bigger crate but i'm waiting for his potty training to improve he still does wet in his crate from time to time. This is the first pup I've had pee issues with. There have been times he peed outside and 5 minutes later he pees again in his crate! Driving me nuts but again he is progressively getting better.
I actually had to break my older dog of using his crate just a few weeks ago before Zeke arrived because I know I cannot fit two large crates in my bedroom. Takoda who is now 4.5 has been using his crate since he was a pup. In fact he would start out sleeping on his memory foam bed and then in the middle of the night be curled up in the back of his crate. He still loves crates. In fact when I brought in the medium vari-kennel he crawled in it! Was hilarious but he LOVES crates. I played a lot of Susan Garrets "Crate Games" with him when he was a puppy which helped a lot. I plan to do the same with Zeke.
I would try to stick out the crate training it is worth it in the end. I highly recommend using Crate Games as it helps build a love for the crate but also a solid foundation of obedience: https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Garrett.../dp/B0013GJJG6 . The medium sized crate will be fine for the first few months. Usually by 4-5 months they need the larger size. I also have a large wire crate that I use when the pups get a bit bigger for day time crating. I found that it has better air flow and lets them see a lot more around them which helps for the older puppies. I'll likely start using it with Zeke when is 4 -5 months old(when ever his head is big enough to not slip through those wires).
Right now at 11 weeks Zeke is crated no longer then 3 hours at a time. There's been a few nights he's actually slept 4.5 hrs but that was pushing it at his age. Just be patient and wait out the crying it eventually subsides. Reward quiet behavior with random treats (or pieces of puppy kibble), put a sheet over the crate when they get super loud and then remove it when they are quiet. Have a toy or two in the crate and if you can frozen kongs are great for the day time. If you stick it out you'll be able to use the crate the dog's entire life. It will be a quiet place for them to retreat to when their are guests and/or pesky children that are bothering them. It is great for traveling especially when you stay in hotels/motels.
If you can afford it get the medium sized crate and then upgrade to the larger crate in a few months. The dividers for me are just annoying but I know a lot of people use them. You can always donate the smaller crate to a shelter in a few months or keep it if you plan to get another puppy in the next few years. When the pup gets bigger a wire crate and/or exercise pen can be helpful for daytime crating. Crate the dog anytime you cannot supervise 100%. This will keep the puppy safe and your house safe as well. Expect the puppy to cry a lot the first few weeks but IT DOES subside. Build love for the crate by feeding in the crate, giving treats, and doing training in there. Good luck!
Deep Run Traveling "Takoda" (12/05/12)
Deep Run Easygoing Ezekial "Zeke" (04/13/17)
Thank you for your reply! I read it a while ago but got locked out of my acct so just now able to respond. Crate is going well! We have a medium size one and she loves to sleep in it but does not like to be awake in it. Better luck than we had with our first lab! Thanks again!