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Old 05-19-2008, 03:43 PM
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Question How long is too long in a crate?

I have a welsh corgi puppy that is 3 months old. I've only had him for a week, and have been diligently working on housetraining. I take him out every hour on the hour for potty time, and feed him twice a day, once at about 5:30am, once at 3-4pm. This whole week he's progressed very well, to going potty almost on command now.

I've been using a crate to help me potty train him. He spends maybe 30 minutes out of every hour in his crate. If he's sleeping, I let him sleep. If he wakes up, I take him out to go potty then come in for play time or back in the crate - depending on whether or not I'm going to be in the same room. He seeps in my bedroom on the open floor with papers down for potty, since I don't trust he can hold his potty in the crate all night yet.

My mom insists that I'm being mean to him by keeping him in his crate "the whole day" (all told, it adds up to about 6 hours in the crate each day) and tells me I shouldn't be using the crate unless I'm out of the room. Am I keeping him crated for too long?

Until he's fully housetrained I don't want to let him out for free roam of the house all the time. Whenever mom's home, and she insists on him being out, he has accidents in the house. When she's at work, and I can stick to my plan, he never has an accident.

-Tim
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:57 PM
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Depends who you ask - we all have very different opinions on it.

Can I ask why you don't have him out the crate even when you're in the room with him?

Where does he sleep at night? Is he in the crate 6 hours during the day and through the night too?

e needs to be out of the crate I think. You don't need to let him roam free round the house, but I think time out of a crate is vital. If you're in the room with him, you still stick to the plan - take him out every 30 mins, wait out there with him till he goes (even if it takes another 30 mins.

What is he learning if when your mum lets him out he's still going?

He's not getting a consistant lesson, and sounds like it's not sinking in.

You need to find a common ground or the poor pup will just be confused.

I vote, more time out of crate and YOU take the repsonibility to make sure he doesn't have an accident.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:30 PM
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If we're both in the same room together, and he's in his crate, it's by his own choosing 90% of the time. He'll go grab a toy in there and crawl in and lie down. I shut the crate door when I leave the room. I'll also put him in his crate if I'm going out of the house, or when/if I take a nap (which is rare these days).

He sleeps in my room at night, on the floor, not in a crate. There are papers down in case he needs to go potty at night. The 6 hours in the crate is the total time he's in his crate all day. Like I said, 30 minutes out of each hour - or less if we're on the floor romping or outside for a walk - and I'm up for about 12 hours each day. There are many times when he's not in his crate at all during the day; the 6 hours is the maximum total time he's in there.

When my mom insists on him being out, the accidents happen when I'm not in the room, and she leaves him unsupervised. If he has an accident, she'll just tell me he had one, and that I need to clean it up - she doesn't correct him when he's making the accident. If I'm in the room, I DO take responsibility and correct him when he's having an accident. It's not like I'm expecting anyone else to.

I think you may have the wrong idea about how I'm using the crate. It's not like I'm locking him in there and sitting in the room, just using it for convenience so I don't have to watch him. He's only in there when I'm out of the room, out of the house, or he's napping (which, like I said, he does of his own accord).

Sorry if my post was confusing. Hopefully this will clear things up.

-Tim.

Last edited by Max's Dad; 05-19-2008 at 04:32 PM. Reason: I can't spell
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:43 PM
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Yeah, I was asking because I wasn't sure exactly what you meant.

I'm not a big crate advocate, many are.

Seems to me that you have the right idea - use it as a training tool. As he gets older, personally, I'd begin to cut down the crate time all together (mine became a fancy table after so long, and has been packed away since she became trustworthy at about 6 months ish).

I am in the UK, and you won't find many people who use them round the clock, or later in life. Like I say, there are different opinions, but that is mine.

When you say you correct him - what do you mean? A quick 'No' is all that is needed, and take them straight outside, and LOTS of praise.

You don't want to intimidate or scare him, or some pups will learn not to go in front of you.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:18 PM
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I've never crate trained , but wonder why he's in the crate when you're there . I think that basically your Mom is right . You need more one and one with your pup . It's great that he enjoys it at night , but during the day , he needs out .
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:29 PM
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If I ever catch him in the act I give him a stern "NO" and if he doesn't stop, I clap my hands once to distract him, then rush him outside.

I don't plan on the crate being a lifetime thing. Just to last me long enough for him to be trustworthy in the house. Our other dog before Max was never crated, but then he came to us at a year old and was already housebroken.

-Tim
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:35 PM
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The clap , " No " and outside should be one movement ....many don't stop .
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:52 PM
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I think you're doing fine. It sounds like the puppy is choosing to go into the crate, why fight against that?? I think that if he chooses to go into the crate and you leave the door open, you shouldn't count that as "crate time." It might be nicer if he stayed with you when you leave the room, but realistically I do understand that it's much more convenient to just lock the door. And that's fine, I think, at least you're not leaving him unsupervised!

And don't worry about fading out the crate so you never have to use it anymore, many dogs do like their crates and they are useful for dogs later in life. If your dog ever needs surgery or has to stay still for long periods of time, there's nothing better than a crate (and believe me, that is NOT the time to try to teach him to like a crate!). If you ever travel with your dog, or do competitive dog sports, you'll be happy to have a crate.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:01 PM
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I agree with what people are saying, have him out as much as you can. I also wanted to mention that if you catch him you can stop him by tucking his tail up against his belly and picking him up to rush outside.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:20 AM
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I wish I could tuck his tail against his belly, but AKC standards require that Pembroke Welsh Corgis have their tails docked. So poor Max only has a tiny stub for a tail - it won't even reach his belly.

All of this has made me think: how does a dog learn not to go potty in the house while crate trained, as opposed to leaving them supervised and out of the crate and correcting any accidents?

-Tim
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