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Old 12-06-2013, 11:05 AM
Opal Opal is offline
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Angry Crate Rant!

I realize I have a strong opinion on this subject. Please know, I'm a really nice person. I try not to be judgmental and though this may come across as a bit obnoxious - I really don't have anything against people who use crates. They're one of the nicer pieces of dog training equipment. I understand that and usually, I pick my battles with a bit more discretion. I'm sure most of the people who will read this are loving, knowledgeable dog owners and this certainly does not apply to anyone who has carefully considered the consequences of their actions. This is more or less, addressing inexperienced trainers, giving bad advice to new pet owners, who are inclined to take things a bit more literal then they ought to. I've been seeing a lot of neglected dogs lately, who ended up that way as a result of their well meaning owners - just trying to train their dogs. It's sad in my opinion and so:


This is the 3rd day of NO crate time whatsoever, for 14 week old Sophie. Crates can very quickly become a crutch. It's easier to put your puppy out of sight and mind, then it is to deal with puppy behavior. Over using a crate not only robs your puppy of quality learning experiences, it can impede muscle and joint development and contribute to neurotic, self-harming behaviours, like lick granuloumas, compulsive digging (ripping nails off), spinning..etc..

As someone with a strong background in training dogs the WRONG way, the crate regime has been pretty heavily conditioned in me and so, one of the last "tools", that has stuck around since I've crossed over. I'm proud to say,I've broken free. NO MORE UNNECESSARY CRATE TIME.

Now I don't think crates are inherently evil, aversive tools. I do think there's a time and a place for crates. It's not that you use them,it's how you use them and why you're using them. I think a crate is a very appropriate tool for keeping young, or "unhouseworthy" dogs safe, when you're out of the house. I believe it's helpful in house training. But if your puppy has NO manners (because it's always in a crate), isn't housetrained AT ALL, unless it's immediately released outdoors (after being crated for hours) and is either too fat or too thin (because it has no opportunity to develop muscle tone, what with being locked in the crate all the time, and such) AND YOU HAVE BEEN CRATING IT FOR HOURS each day since you got it 4 months ago. Perhaps, maybe...just maybe, you're doing something wrong.

If you're using a crate correctly and properly caring for your little one, your puppy should be spending LESS and LESS time in the crate everyday - not more.

I speak from experience here; it's not nice for anyone involved if your dog "has" to be on lockdown in a little box most of the day, because the trainer involved is too incompetent to work through basic husbandry issues.

We need to start a campaign, bring awareness to what's happening out there. How many dogs will endure sensory deprivation, atrophy of muscle tissue and weak, soft pads this year as a result of over-crating? How many dogs will suffer at the hands of another ignorant, unskilled trainer? Or a pet owner, who's taking advice from such a person?


Obviously this post is directed to people who are using crates excessively, or are housing their animals in veri kennels. NOT everyone who uses crates is the boogeyman! I use crates! My friends use crates!

I just got all worked up today. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:55 PM
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shadowfacedanes shadowfacedanes is offline
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If you're using a crate correctly and properly caring for your little one, your puppy should be spending LESS and LESS time in the crate everyday - not more.

I speak from experience here; it's not nice for anyone involved if your dog "has" to be on lockdown in a little box most of the day
Owning two dogs that both have some degree of dog aggression, crates ARE an every day tool in my home. I would never leave my abpt uncrated, for her safety as well as the safety of my other dog.

Not only are crates in place, but also doors, when I am not there to supervise them. It's not about lockdown, it's about not coming home to injured or dead dogs.

I think I get what you're trying to say in your rant, but you're also targeting a large group of people who do use crates as an every day essential in keeping their dogs safe. It doesn't even have anything to do with training or behavior. It's about management and safety.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:28 PM
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MericoX MericoX is offline
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^Agreed. Mine are crated for their own, and each other's safety. And so I don't kill them when I come home to the mess they've made.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:30 PM
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Yup, I love my crates. I mean, as long as she gets out of her crate for 15-20 minutes every day, Siri is fine. I don't see what the big deal is.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfacedanes View Post
I think I get what you're trying to say in your rant, but you're also targeting a large group of people who do use crates as an every day essential in keeping their dogs safe. It doesn't even have anything to do with training or behavior. It's about management and safety.
Or to keep your dog from knocking up your bitch who happens to be his half-sister.


I don't know that it's anybody else's call what is "necessary" or "unnecessary" crate time.
And it's definitely talking about a Crate Boogie Man to claim it makes dogs fat or thin and they don't have muscle tone and they have soft paw pads and they'll start spinning and digging obsessively and have no manners and not be potty trained and "endure sensory deprivation" and... yeah.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
Or to keep your dog from knocking up your bitch who happens to be his half-sister.
I don't have siblings, but I do have two intact dogs. Crates and ex pens are awesome tools in terms of responsible ownership, particularly in the cases of dog aggression and multiple intact animals.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:48 PM
Opal Opal is offline
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My post was written relative to puppy raising.
I'm well aware of how important it is to safely contain a dog with behavior issues or concerns, and I would never in a million years advocate that any person keep multiple dogs together, unsupervised. Or leaving a dog with an animal of another species. They ARE animals, after all.
What I take exception to, is when people take perfectly fine puppies and lock them up in a crate for 10+ hours a day in the name of "preventative" training.
Yes, people have jobs and not everyone can use the services of a pet sitter or doggy daycare. For such a person, crating may be one of the safest options available to them and the puppy. But when that person gets home, lets the puppy out for an hour, then shoves it back in the box for 3 more, then lets it out for 30 minutes, goes back in for 2 hours, then let out to pee before bed, "sleeps" in crate for 8 hours, is let out for 1 hour in the morning, then shoved back in until the owner returns on lunch break - now that to me is a pretty awful situation for a little puppy. How can such a puppy develop properly, mentally and physically?


NO puppy should have to be raised inside a crate. I believe the crate is being misrepresented as an important part of puppy rearing, when in reality, it's ONLY a tool and like any other tool, it's only as effective as the person using it. What if we could teach people how to house train their puppies without a crate? And at the same time, teach them how to help their puppy get use to separation and how to appropriately entertain themselves, in a safe puppy-proofed room, or x-penned area?

Really, what is it about plastic crates that dog owners can't seem to find an alternative to? You don't really believe that bit of plastic will actually CONTAIN a dog who doesn't want to be in it, right? So what's the point of them? We condition our dogs to spend so much time in these things, couldn't we as easily spend that time conditioning them to stay in a safe room, or lay on a mat?

Just to clarify, in no way shape or form would I ever champion an ideal over the safety of an animal. My post was written in respect to dogs who have no preexisting behavior concerns, specifically, young puppies who have not yet established a healthy daily routine - and seldom get to, seeing as they live most of their hours in a crate.

Quote:
Not only are crates in place, but also doors, when I am not there to supervise them. It's not about lockdown, it's about not coming home to injured or dead dogs.
I keep my animals in separate rooms. I also use crates and X pens. It all depends on the circumstance. I believe it's very wise to have as many tools available to you at possible.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
Or to keep your dog from knocking up your bitch who happens to be his half-sister.


I don't know that it's anybody else's call what is "necessary" or "unnecessary" crate time.
And it's definitely talking about a Crate Boogie Man to claim it makes dogs fat or thin and they don't have muscle tone and they have soft paw pads and they'll start spinning and digging obsessively and have no manners and not be potty trained and "endure sensory deprivation" and... yeah.

Unfortunately, I see it a lot. Luckily, not usually all in the same dog. But yes, that too has happened.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
Yup, I love my crates. I mean, as long as she gets out of her crate for 15-20 minutes every day, Siri is fine. I don't see what the big deal is.
Lol.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:05 PM
Opal Opal is offline
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I really don't want to come off as unfair.
I KNOW I'm probably preaching to the choir here and that most of you are using crates (imo) appropriately.

Someone mentioned that it isn't really anyones place to decided what is necessary and necessary. YES that is true. But everyone has perspective and to me, that is very valuable, regardless of who or where it is coming from. Always, we can find some insight.

I use crates every day. I will probably always use crates as long as I have dogs - and I will certainly always keep them on hand. It's not that you use them, it's how and why. If you have a REASON (and it isn't just that you could careless about even a small degree of training) to use a crate, then honestly, that is probably good enough for me. It is the people who are only using a crate because someone told them it would make raising a puppy easier and are using it as a crutch, only to blame the dog when it inevitably has issues, THAT is what this post is about. Mindless dependence on a tool at the expense of a young, blameless dog.
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