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Little Bo Boop

Crating questions

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I think that crate *training* is a benefit for all dogs and owners, for the many reasons mentioned. The frequent or periodic *use* of the crate is optional for an individual dog's/owner's situation. But it's strictly a personal choice whether or not to crate-train or use crates, IMO.

 

We were totally against "caging" our dogs but when we adopted Megan already crate-trained, and saw how beneficial it was for her and for us, we were converted. We feed in the crates (solves lots of potential issues in that department) and use them on an "as needed" basis. The dogs often choose to go in them on their own, just to take a quiet nap.

 

As for travel, after hearing a number of "horror stories" about dogs falling out of vehicles, being lost after vehicular accidents, or having to be destroyed to allow emergency workers access to injured people in the vehicle, we got dog seatbelt harnesses. When we hit that big whitetail doe at 70mph in heavy traffic on the interstate, our seatbelts and airbag protected my daughter and myself, and the dogs' seatbelt harnesses kept them safe, calm, and restrained.

 

Depending on our trip, we use the seatbelt harnesses and/or crates when the dogs are in the Subaru Outback wagon with us. They are secure and I have peace of mind. I realize that not all vehicles are configured for transporting multiple dogs in crates/harnesses, but when we got our vehicles, we made a point to buy ones that would work for "the whole family", including the dogs and what we perceive as their safety requirements.

 

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the benefit of crate-training for a dog-owning family that becomes involved in an emergency, where crating might be a necessity for transport and/or for the dog to be able to be relocated to temporary, emergency shelter. Along with everything else occuring, for a dog that isn't accustomed to a crate, I could see a huge amount of unnecessary stress compounding the situation.

 

Our dogs are a mix of their inherent natures and what we teach/train them. A very active breed like the Border Collie, crate-trained in a consistent and fair manner, can adjust very contentedly to a routine that includes reasonable crating, in my rather limited experience.

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Little Bo Boop,

Well, now I'm coming back in late, but I wanted to answer your question. When I said I don't leave my dogs in the yard unattended, I meant that they aren't left out in the yard when I am *not home.* I don't have to be out in the yard with them, but there's no way I'd let them stay in the yard all day while I am at work. Besides the "find your own entertainment" issues (which could include harrassing the sheep or chickens) I just am not comfortable thinking of them alone and accessible to anyone. I live in a rural area, and my yard is actually well shielded by trees and shrubs, with no close neighbors, and yet it still amazes me the number of people who *have* noticed my dogs when they are out in the yard. People have seen me working them, too, and have stopped by to ask about them. I'll never forget my sister having the AC guy come by her house in northeastern NC and ask if her dog was a kerry blue terrier (it was) and then just days later the dog disappeared. Coincidence? I don't know, but I'm not taking any chances that way.

 

Regarding letting a bunch of dogs ride loose in a vehicle, before I had a bunch of dogs, I had a Honda Civic and a Toyota p/u. I could actually fit 5 or 6 dogs in the Civic, some riding in seats and some on the floorboards, but I just decided that it would be safer for them (and me) in the case of an accident if they were contained in crates. While I hope to NEVER have an accident, I put in a lot of miles every year going to sheepdog trials and the like (my 2005 van has nearly 40k on it and I bought it a year ago in February) and at some point the odds will catch up with you. So crating in the vehicle (that's why I have a van--ugh!) is a requirement for me.

 

As for a crated dog escaping a fire, well, we all take chances. I was married to a fireman, and believe me, most animals (and humans) panic in fires and won't necessarily go for the escape route even if there is one handy. I'm not knocking the idea of hoping that a dog door will allow dogs/cats to save themselves, but I don't think I'd count on that or use that as a reason for not crating if crating keeps the dog safe from other more immediate hazards. At any rate, I don't use a/c and if the dogs really wanted out, they could certainly go through a screen (something else for me to worry about :rolleyes: ).

 

Personally I don't think a crate should be used as a substitute for interacting with your dog (as in stick it in the crate so it doesn't bother you--the exception being pups who can often benefit from time out in a crate), but I do find them handy for all the reasons I outlined in my first post.

 

FWIW, my pup sleeps on the bed with me, mainly because she's crated while I'm at work (as I explained she's in the van here at work) and I didn't want to shove her in a crate at night too. Used sensibly crates can be a good thing. I don't think any of my dogs have suffered from crate training, and they spend most of their time out, but if I need to crate them for some reason, I can do so without any issues. And at least a couple of them willingly go hang out in their crates (dogs *like* dens after all). On the latter, I have two that if I try to tie them out at trials because I think they'll be cooler and have more stretching out space will still do everything they can to get into a crate and stay there with the door wide open!

 

You're right, though, it's not worth fighting over. Perhaps we can all learn from the "other point of view," huh?

 

J.

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I think it's interesting how different BCs respond differently to crates, and our varied responses as BC owners to our views of crates.

 

I, for one, think that personally where I live, there is a greater chance that my BC will (1) dig a hole out of the backyard, (2) chase the schoolkids (we live right next to an elementary school, (3) torment every squirrel/chipmunk/groundhog in the neighborhood... than there would be a chance of the house burning down in flames while he was in the crate.

 

Therefore, we crate him. (He's 2 years old). Interestingly, he doesn't go stir-crazy in the crate. He thinks of it as his cozy den, a personal space that he can go to lie down and get away from the hustle and bustle of our crazy home (a large German Shepherd and 4 cats). When we are home, we leave the crate door open and find that we've made it so comfortable that all six animals "fight" to occupy the space (toys and pillows and carpeting) that the BC is upset that his crate is being occupied.

 

WHen we go to work, if the crate door is in the closed position, he'll whine and paw at the door to get in. He thinks it's a special privilege to get to enjoy the den that the other 4 cats and 1 dog do not get!

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Oh you are totally right:) I'm on several horse boards, and you can well imagine the diff. in opinions that go on with the training of horses, yikes. My contention is, as long as you're not abusing,injuring etc...the animal, whatever works for you is the "right way" to do it.

 

That's terrible that your sister lost her dog :rolleyes: although I fell fairly safe with my guys in the back yard, we have a hot wire across the top of the fence, great vigilant neighbors, plus our back yard is kind of secluded,I do work the dogs in the front pasture, and a lot of folks stop and watch us work. So it has kind of been in the back of my mind lately, someone could possibly get it in their mind to snatch one of the kiddos. I do work out of the house though,so I'm at home 90% of the time.

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The first training clinic I went to, when we broke for lunch, being served at the house, I realized no one was taking their dogs. They were either tied to fences or crated. Now Jackson had not been taught to be tied with me gone(I have since fixed that! LOL) and I didn't have a crate, and I couldn't leave him in the truck. So this feller seeing my dilema said he could double up his dogs and I could use one of his. I was kinda nervous since Jackson had never been in a crate. He went in with no prob. I was gone about 20 min. and when I came back, he was just lying there quiet as could be waiting for me.

 

So, I don't think crates are bad at all when used properly. And I can see where the benefits would be. But I just feel like this is working for us, and when and if the time comes that it don't I know I will not have a prob converting to crates. I don't think it is really anything that amounts to much more than what we are comfortable with. The dogs just go along for the ride.

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Right now my dog is on strict crate rest for a knee injury. Thank god he was crate trained right from the start! He loves his crate and goes right into it as soon as I give the command. Once he is all healed up he'll have free run of the house again.

 

BTW, my crates are out all the time and frequently I find the dogs just hanging out in them.

Jennifer

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brighid was in a crate up till about 7 months old, then i started letting her stay out. till a month ago after she suddenly took it upon herself to strip the comfy chair of its leather covering :eek:

she is now back in the crate when left alone for more than half an hour. little new pup (now called squirrel) is in a crate whenever we cannot watch her. at the moment we are at work all day but my partner is able to come home at 10 am and 1 pm then we finish at 4.30pm so its not too bad. there have been the odd occasions pre ickle pupper when we have not been able to get back and they have been left all day, that was when brighid was free and the chair got nailed.

i dont feel badly about it now as when i was very down with depression i was not around or with it much for my dogs for a time and brighid would settle in her crate even when not shut in, even if i was there.(i felt awful about it at the time, but then i felt awful about everything at the time) she will not eat anywhere but her crate and if anything startles her she will go there immediatley and check it out from in her crate.

tikki has never had a crate, but boy do i wish i knew about it when he was a puppy!

the only i would say about crates in a negative way is,

1.) take the dogs collar off when in the crate, brighid got snagged as she was going in once when i forgot to remove her collar, gods know what would have happened if i had not been there.

2.) i wish the crates where prettier.

on the upside,

1.) my dogs love their crates.

2.)you know nothing will have been destroyed upon your return.

3.) if you take one end off 2 crates and both ends off another one, you can clip them together to make a huuuuuuuggggggggeeeeeeee crate for your bunnies to live in :rolleyes:

4.)you can use them to rear abandoned jackdaws in.

5.)you can put an extra one in the car to put all the meat you just bought for the dogs and know the little darlings cant help themselves when you are not looking!

6.) you can take poorly lambs to the vet in the back of your sisters posh car without worry!

i cannot imagine dog keeping without crates now!

(though most of that is irrelevant, i thought i would share anyway!)

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Originally posted by jvw:

BTW, my crates are out all the time and frequently I find the dogs just hanging out in them.

I need to close up the crates when not in use because the boy dogs get into arguments about who is "allowed" to use them. :rolleyes:

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I have to close Rivens cage when not in use as well. Rohan thinks its one huge litter box or something.

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Hey Donna,

I had forgotten all about the usefulness of crates for carting sheep around. Thanks for the reminder! They also work well for securing hens and chicks.

 

Oh, and at least here in the US, you *can* buy rather attractive rattan crates (rattan/wicker over wire) that look much nicer with most people's decor than do the plastic or plain wire crates. I doubt they would work for dogs inclined to chew though....

 

J.

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I had forgotten all about the usefulness of crates for carting sheep around.
And Ducks.

 

And Groceries.

 

And the occasional husban... er... I mean cat. Yeah, cat.

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Just jumping in here with my 2 cents.

 

Currently my 3 dogs (ages 9, 8 & 3) along with my 2 cats have the run of the house while I?m gone. Each dog does have an open door crate in the house. I seldom put them *officially* in them although both Oscar & Annie jump in theirs in the morning to get their I?m-leaving-the-house treat. At night one of my cats named VIK ? stands for Very Important Kitty, which he thinks he is! :D - finds Oscar?s crate comfy.

 

I do crate train my puppies and continue to crate them as they grow until I think they can be safely left loose in the house. That means no housebreaking accidents, no destructive chewing or other young dog misbehavings.

 

I have a SUV (bought for hauling dogs & the camper) that has crates for Jill & Annie and a dog barrier which keeps Oscar out of the front seats. The dogs and I travel A LOT and I view these crates & barrier as seat belts ? they are there to help keep the dogs safe. In my younger days I did have a dog riding loose fall out of my car window while I was driving. It was my sister?s yorkie I was babysitting!!! :eek: Luckily she wasn?t hurt and the story had a good ending.

 

As to dogs in crates & fires ? I lost a dog in a house fire. She was loose in the house and they found her body under my bed. Would she have gone outside to save herself if I had a dog door or tried to find a place where she felt safe, such as under the bed? Like horses that run back into a burning barn because the barn is their safe place, I bet my dog would have still been found under the bed. :rolleyes:

 

Sorry, on to something more pleasant?

 

I?ve been teaching pet obedience to the public for over 20 years and always advocated crate training especially for puppies. At first my students looked at me in horror but as time has gone by the general public in this area has gotten more savvy about the values of crates. Like anything else crates can be misused, but most dogs look at their crates as their dens ? their safe, quiet place.

 

I live on a farm ? mile from the main road with no close neighbors. No fenced yard. I never leave my dogs out that I can?t quickly get outside to check on them. Guess it just paranoia from living here in the northeast, but there have been too many stories of dognapping, children that tease dogs, or nasty people that just like to harm a living creature. My dogs are very good about staying by the house but I also don?t want my dogs roaming causing problems with the neighbors I do have.

 

My 2 cents became a dollar! Sorry!

 

Different strokes for different folks (boy, doesn?t that date me?!? ). To crate or not to crate... as long as our dogs remain safe ? that?s all that matters!

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little bo boop, jackdaws are small crows with a grey nape and blue eyes. they are often found as fledglings looking pretty sorry for themselves. normally the parents still attend to them but where i work there are alot of machines/pipework outside and they get trapped or run the risk of being washed away so i get to help them (the grand total of 2 so far!). on the upside being crows they tend to be easy to rear up and release back into the wild.

this was my last one, riley.

(sorry about the bad picture!)

2004_0620pikkies0001.jpg

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Scampi is in his crate every night for housetraining, and its open for him to use during the day if he wants, no pressure though.

 

I only ever put him in there if I pop out for a bit in the day, no longer than an hour though.

 

He has no complaints

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Ahhhh, Donna he is too cute and how nice of you to rescue them I always thought it was rather difficult to rescue young birds, but looks like you're doing a bang up job! That bird looks a bit like a Starling, are they similar?

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Little Bo Boop,

A jackdaw is Corvus monedula, which means it is a member of the family Corvidae, which includes crows (our regular crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos). Starlings are in the family Sturnidae and are specifically Sturnis vulgaris. So jackdaws and crows are related, but a jackdaw is not related to a starling (at least not at the family level of taxonomic classification--they are all in the order Passeriformes and in the same suborder therein). You may be interested to know that starlings and myna birds are in the same family. I remember reading a book once called Arnie the Darling Starling in which the author had raised a starling that learned to talk, which makes sense if you know they are related to mynas, which also mimic speech. And that's probably more than you wanted to know.

 

I just gotta love my days as a birdwatcher (and college ornithology classes)!

 

J.

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My dogs sleep in crates at night. I use those portable ones, so if we go spend the night at my parents' house, I can take them with me and they still have their own. They run right in and wait for treats at night, tails wagging.

 

The only times my dogs are crated during waking hours is when my husband and I go to dinner & a movie.

 

Tess would probably just hang out by the door waiting for me to come home if it was just her in the house alone. Kipp is one of those dogs, just looking at him, that you know he will destroy everything he can get his teeth on just to entertain himself while you are gone.

 

We also have two cats and the cats and dogs do not get along that well. :rolleyes: One cat teases the dogs horribly and the two dogs will charge madly after her if they think she is doing something she shouldn't (like sitting on the dining room table).

 

I never put my dogs in crates without giving them a significant amount of exercise first, so they are content to hang out with all their chewies and toys. The waking hours crates are HUGE. Each dog has room for at least two more dogs in there. :D

 

I work from home, so they don't often have to be in the crates. I won't go to a barbecue or a picnic or family events if my dogs are not welcome, but they always are. I just let everyone kno that we are a package deal.

 

Allie + Tess & Kipp

http://weebordercollie.com

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LOL Julie that is too funny I knew that Starlings were related to Myna's and I too read Arnie the darling starling and loved it! A very long time ago I might add. As a matter of fact a lot of people despise starlings, but I've always held a soft spot in my heart for them after reading that. Big bird watcher here. As a matter of fact not 10 min. ago I saved a hummingbird from the clutches of my cat :rolleyes: gerrrrr. Talk about cute now. Anyway, I'm working on my second clutch of barn swallows (my very favorite) and the blue birds have just hatched a new batch. We also have Martins, chimmney swifts, and to keep this herding related guess what we had to navigate last night as we were gathering the sheep? A Huge turkey Tom!!!!! He was beautiful, and I couldnt' believe he let us get so close. He actually got in with the sheep, Liz wasn't quite sure what to do on that one LOL.

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with most young birds i would agree that it is very difficult, but with jackdaws they are too easy! the hardest thing is to get the little darlings to bugger off when they are ok!

i wait until the yellow gape on the beak has dissapeared (you can just see it on riley), then start taking them outside on my hand. there is normally a day or 2 of them hopping around being general spanners then picking them up and bringing them inside again, then one day they just up and fly off from you and dont look back.

i really cant say if they make it or not, though they have got used to feeding themselves before they go. there are so many that consider them a pest that i dont call the wildlife rescues anymore as i was once told by someone that most birds are pts :rolleyes:

at least they get a chance here and i put food out for them for a little while, not that they ever come back and eat it!

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I train a puppy class and have been involved with that for many years now. Crate training is always reviewed and shown to the students.

 

My dogs are a great example -

 

Buddy is not crate trained and will rip his paws and nose open trying to get out of a wire crate. If I stake him, he will run in a circle for hours. Many dogs develop OCD when staked - chasing shadows, bugs, their tails.

 

Marzipan we got as a pup and crate trained her from day one. We both work from home and she was kept in an x-pen anyway. She never got the run of the house unless we were playing with her. She slept in a crate in the "shop" with Buddy at night. She is crated in a soft crate during training class and has no problems just hanging out. My students are always impressed with how calm she is and willing to work with me when she gets let out.

 

Marzipan is now just about 3 years old and she is kept in her x-pen in the shop at night. She prefers it - asks to go into the shop and waits by her x-pen door to be let in so she can sleep. DH was against crate training from day one, but he still thanks me for crate training her! She asks to go potty, is very well behaved in the car or any place where we have a crate. He says he will always crate train in the future.

 

Marzipan is noise sensitive, if we let her have the run of the house with a dog door to the fenced back yard and our neighbor decided to bust out a nail gun, we would come home to: A: A frantic dog that has torn apart the house or B: A ripped up yard, a big whole under the fence and one less dog. She would bolt. But in her x-pen, she feels safe. I know this because we live next to a contractor and when he gets to work, she goes to her x-pen and stays there.

 

House fires? Each neighbor has a key to my house and knows the dogs and loves them. Contractor is always home and he would rush in to get out the dogs. I have their keys and if I had to rush in to grab their frantic cats - oh boy! I bet I wouldn't be able to find them in time. At least my two are in the shop - in their crates and easily found in a pinch.

 

I grew up with dogs that never saw a crate, but now I know that for ME in my house and my dogs - crates work the best. And really, dogs can't tell time. 10 minutes vs. 6 hours? Do they know? I doubt it. My dogs are just as happy to see me 2 hours later or 8 hours later.

 

And in the end, a sick dog or crazy dog can do MUCH more harm to your house running loose than it can in a crate! :rolleyes:

 

Denise

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Marzipan we got as a pup and crate trained her from day one. We both work from home and she was kept in an x-pen anyway. She never got the run of the house unless we were playing with her. She slept in a crate
That is how I raised my two and so they don't know any different. Any dog I get in the future will have to come to us crate trained, since it will sleep in the crate or be confined to one when we are out from day one. Of course, I can only fit two dogs in my car so two is my limit for now (til I get a bigger car :rolleyes: ).

 

When we visit my parents for single-day visits, they have a dog gate and if the dogs drive my mom nuts (usually just Kipp! :D ), she locks them in the bathroom (it's a dog-safe room with a view of the rest of the house) with that. It works great. Kipp knows that confinement = settle down.

 

And in the end, a sick dog or crazy dog can do MUCH more harm to your house running loose than it can in a crate!
I had quite the real-life example of this for my husband about a year ago. Tess came down with something and was throwing up all over the house one day. She turned out to be okay, but dog puke can really STINK and my husband did not appreciate it in his chair. :eek: So I put her in her crate and she was far more comfortable and less stressed with me just changing the towels in there frequently. She had her space to be in and knew she was okay there.

 

Allie + Tess & Kipp

http://weebordercollie.com

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I crate my two Borders, Meg and Ruby, to keep them safe from one of our other dogs. I own two Bouviers as well as the Borders. Finn, the male, loves the Border girls and the three go everywhere together. Jessie, the female Bouv, has mental problems and can not be loose with either Border. She hurt Meg, who has no bite, when we first brought her home. We had Jessie before we got the Borders, and we can't bring ourselves to put her down, so our life is constant musical dogs. It's a hard way to live, but we have gotten used to it. Someone has to be in a crate, outside, or behind a closed door at all times. The Borders are fine with their crates, and Jessie doesn't mind hers. The bottom line is that having Meg and Ruby is worth all the trouble.

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I used crates to train my two when they were pups - crate by the bed at night, so I could take them out on lead when they needed to pee. They share a large wire crate in the station wagon (same as others - keeps them and the car safe). When I'm traveling, at night I put a nice soft bed in their crate, and if it's cold, polar fleece blankets over the crate, and they sleep soundly all night outside motels.

 

I use a collapsible wire crate at obedience/agility trials - usually leave one dog in the car - windows can be down a ways, since the dog is in the crate, and have a collapsible wire crate with a canvas cover, and a nice soft crate mat.

 

Both my dogs will settle more or less happily in any old crate - wire, tent, or plastic. My girl in particular is a real crate fanatic - even if she has the chance to run free with other dogs after a trial, she's just as likely to pop into a crate instead - her choice. (I just have to make sure that the crate she chooses isn't currently occupied by the owner! :rolleyes: )

 

I love that my dogs are happy with crates, even though I don't routinely use them in the house now. It means they are much less stressed any time they do have to be confined.

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We crate train as a puppy. We now understand how much Tess likes to have the crate though. After she came back from Laura's we didn't bring her crate inside (due to various reasons but one being that we are selling the house).

 

After about two weeks, we finally realized that she missed her crate dearly. We brought it inside and she goes right in to nap, get away, relax, etc.

 

Keegan prefers to not be crated; however, he was crate trained. We currently only crate him when we are doing sheep stuff and I don't tie him to a fence. Keegan is able to use a soft sided, mesh crate. Tess tore a hole in the mesh of the other soft sided crate in about 30 seconds...thus Tess uses a metal crate.

 

I currently don't crate them while riding in the car due to lack of room; however, when I get my Outback the first of next year (thanks to seeing how Sue R. travels so comfortably and can go anywhere) my dogs will be crated all the time during travel.

 

To each their own, but I feel that Tess is better off in a crate and Keegan really doesn't need one now.

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