If you are referring to keeping a dog in a crate for a few weeks while it is houstrained, I think it is fine.
If you are referring to locking a dog up in a cage because you are too lazy to train it not to eat your shoes or lie on your furniture, I think it is disgusting. There are things more cruel, like dog fighting and puppy mills, but then again they use crates too, dont they?
I am sick of all these "experts" telling all the novice dog owners how natural it is for a dog to be locked up in a cage for 8 hours. It is not natural. Dogs only use a den for whelping, not for confining themselves. If you cannot train your dog to be a member of your household, and only want a toy that you can show off for a few minutes when he is out of the crate, do not get a dog.
For those people who tell me that their dog loves the crate: Yes, some dogs do, and some human prisoners love the prison cell since it makes them feel secure. If you have made your dog so neurotic that he likes to be in a cage you need to evaluate the care you are providing.
Agreed! The only good crate(outside of housetraining) in my opinion is one with no door that the dog gets to choose when they get in and out of.
I agree too. A crate should only be used to contain your dog for a little while when someone comes by or for his safety. Preferably, it should not have a door.
Actually canines are naturally den-dwelling creatures, so the idea that they enjoy being in a crate isn't a symptom of neurosis or anything like that. The crate serves as a den; a place to relax, etc. Kind of like how people enjoy their bedrooms.
Two points, Brandi-First, it does not serve as a den if you put a door on it. It serves as a prison. Second, feral dogs do not use dens. I know this personally. They use it only to whelp.
"Wild" vs "feral" is a different debate; they aren't interchangeable. Using dens/small spaces is a relic prior to domestication. You shouldn't lock a dog up, but the point is that it's not "neurotic" or cruelty to have a dog that enjoys their crate.
If the dog has to be locked up when company comes over, he does not voluntarily use his crate, even when provided with a blanket, toys, etc. It is a form of incarceration. Yes, I am aware feral and wild are not the same.
I'm with Dr Mark on this one:) He wrote a nice hub about this not too long. As much as us humans love our bedrooms, your perspective would totally change if you were locked there and isolated from companionship. That's why I use only open crates.
It's the same idea of being in your room as a kid while your parents had company over. Spending 30 minutes in a crate every once in a while isn't cruelty and it isn't damaging a dog's psyche.
Did your parents put you in your room and lock the door so you couldnt get out? Oh, Brandi, I am so sorry.
If adult company was over, I was supposed to stay in my room. As your dog isn't afraid of their crate and you aren't forcing them to stay in it for long periods of time with no interaction, using a crate isn't cruel. Like putting a baby in a playpen.
If you want to see neurotic dogs, again, visit an animal shelter. There you may even witness stereotypical behavior, which there is a video of in my dog hub. I consider such behavior to be maladaptive and highly unlike that of dogs who use crates.
I used to resist the idea of a crate. However, we "rescued" a dog from a shelter and previously bought a crate. The dog loves it. We have never put to door on it though, so she comes and goes as she pleases. It serves the purpose of giving her a place of her own, her own space.
Yes, that serves the purpose of honing a dog's den instincts!
I agree! It definitely gives the dog their own space. My friend has a dachshund and she's super protective over her crate. She doesn't like anyone messing with it or other dogs getting in it.
As a cat person, I feel bad for the dog....because my cats go everywhere.... and just sleep in one corner or another. But I can understand that the crate can be a safe place for the dog. I have a kind of igloos for my cats and they go there by themselves sometimes; so I suppose it's a safe place for them.
Crate training dogs is just fine. We rescued a dog when he was little and used the crate to help potty-train him as well as to help him get used to his surroundings, etc. He absolutely loved his crate so much that, when we eventually had to get rid of it, he moped for weeks until we bought him a new one.
Most dogs like to have a little safe place that's completely "theirs". That's what the crate is to our dog. It's his own private space where he can go and relax. He naps in it, he just relaxes in it, or if he's being particularly pouty because he got in trouble/didn't get his way, he'll go sulk in it. I think having a crate as a dog's personal space is a great idea, it gives them a place to retreat to if they're feeling stressed or just want some alone time.
We also put our dog in his crate if we have a bunch of company over, because he can be overly excitable and he just doesn't like some people. We do have the door on it and we do shut him in during those times, but he has his favorite blanket and his favorite toys in the crate (we always keep crates a size or two bigger than what is recommended, so he has plenty of room) and he's just fine by himself.
Crates are good training tools and they can be a great refuge for your dog, but I would never recommend leaving a dog locked up in a crate all day or using it as punishment of any sort. Our dog loves his crate because we taught him it's a good, safe place to go. If you use it as punishment, they'll only ever fear/hate it and that will just make things all the worse for both you and the dog.
It depends on the definition of Crate Training. I think to train a dog to sleep in a crate is fine but too often people use it to "store" the dog because the dog gets inconvenient.
We have a rescue shepherd that was kept in her crate so long she developed huge sores on her feet from stress licking. She's got a great home now with us.
Yes, it has it's place but can too often be abused by owners who do not take the time to train or think of what the dog needs.
The crate for my dog was a valuable resource when we adopted her as an adult. It seemed to curb the self-destructive behaviors that she arrived with (chewing walls, cords, separation anxiety). I theorize that some animals might experience more anxiety/stress if their territory is your entire house, but dogs, like humans are individuals and some may not tolerate crate training, which is fine. Many people stress about what is natural or unnatural for dogs, but I can't emphasize enough that most modern pet keeping standards are highly unnatural for dogs. I've never seen wolves or feral dogs guiding pack members with leashes, or living in houses. In addition, their dried diets are boring and non-enriching. How do we determine if we are doing harm?
I've actually committed a lot of thoughts to this subject for both wild and domesticated animals and I already have a lot of writing in the works about confinement. A series of adaptations are necessary for animals living below the means of their natural territory size, and pretty much every captive animal does.
In the wild, animals must patrol large territories out of necessity, and for some animals, these attributes are stitched into their brain. Many wild animals significant drives that motivates them to perform behaviors within the confines of their enclosures and that often leads to issues with stereotyping.
Dogs however, have a lot of plasticity in their mental behavior, hence why they are popular, adaptable pets. They can probably adapt to the demands of the household, and reasonable crate training, without compromising their welfare. Dogs have drives too, but it's unlikely that any of them can be satisfied if they are still confined to a backyard or home. There is still no stimulus in an empty home and owners leaving is a far more significant, and relevant issue with pet dogs regardless of where they are.
This is just a personal opinion based off of my experiences with pet keeping. People are especially attune to the needs of dogs and can hopefully determine if their dog is suffering psychologically from this form of confinement. Many people have emotional reasons for not favoring this form of confinement, and that's OK too. There's probably more than one way to raise dogs.
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