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Hello all,

New dog mom here, I work full time and I recently adopted a 2 year old dog who is crate and potty trained. She is crated for about 9-10 hours during the day, is this cruel? Am I causing her harm by doing this? Before I leave her the kids and I spend 2 hours with her. We feed her in the AM, giver her potty breaks and play with her. She never refuses going in the crate as long as she has treats and her toys. Once we get home we take her out to potty feed her dinner and play with her some more. She sleeps in her crate for 8 hrs. The reason I don't let her out unsupervised is because she's only been with us for 8 days and I'm a little scared she might hurt herself. Any thoughts?
 

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You'll probably get alot of differing opinions on this one. To me 9-10 hrs is pushing it......but if the dog seems ok with it.........
You've only had her 8 days, so a crate would be in order anyway for awhile.
I do away with the crate once I can trust my dogs in my home, but until then mine would be crated for 8 hrs with a lunchtime bathroom break ( talking dogs less than a year old )
Even being in a house all day is still somewhat like a giant crate when you think about it. They have alittle more room to stretch their legs, but still probably not doing a whole lot they wouldnt be doing in a crate ie- laying around waiting on you to get home lol. Your dog will probably make it obvious if its too much crate time.
 

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Every dog is different, but for ours, 2 minutes in her crate was way too much. She hated her crate, but when we first adopted her we really couldn't trust her with the run of the house. We then confined her to the kitchen and family room when we had to leave her, and she did fine. After only a few weeks, we tried letting her have the run of the house, in our case a fairly large tri-level, which she loved and did not get into trouble. She has had full run of the house ever since, and has never done anything that would cause us to not completely trust her. As I said all dogs are different, but that was our experience.
 

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In my opinion, that's too long. No more that 4 hours during the day and, no more than 8 hours at night in a crate.

I understand you work, you have to keep her safe until she proves trustworthy but, that can be done by confining her to one room, the kitchen or a large bathroom would work well. Alternately, hire a dog walker to come and take her for a walk or, play with her for an hour midday.
 

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The ASPCA recommends no more than 6 hours.

There are some good alternatives;

- dog walker.
- Exercise pen
- Dog proofed room which is just a room with nothing dangerous in it.

Also, did you know that dogs take a long time to settle in? It will take a few months before you see the true dog come out of it's shell.
 

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When I first got my now two-year-old GSD mix, I was worried about the same thing. I was working long night shifts and worried about leaving her out with my other dogs. Instead of a crate, I made her comfortable in my small bathroom with her bed, a toy, some water, and a puppy pad, and made sure there wasn't anything she could get into. It worked out pretty well. Of course, it was overnight, so I'm sure she just slept peacefully the whole time. :)
 

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We all know that it is not good but as what you've said she's not feeling something bad or no issues about leaving her in crate as long as there are toys. Do you know someone that could walk with her? There are lot of activities that could be done in 9 hours.
 

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When we first got our dog we were told to leave the house for a little bit at a time to see what she does. So I left for 15 minutes, then longer to see what she does in our absence. The shelter lent us a crate, a heavy duty crate at that. She somehow broke out. She must have freaked out and she somehow bent the actual metal. I zip tied it. She broke out again and tried it one last time, and she broke out again. That crate went back to the shelter and she was fine.

I think crates are a safe haven for some dogs. Hopefully you can leave the dog out and leave the crate door open so he/she can go in or out at he/she pleases.

I’m glad our pup doesn’t need the crate. It’s not pretty to look at and takes up space.
 

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Our dog turned 1 in April and there is no way we'd leave her loose in the house even at this point. She actually has two crates...a plastic one upstairs (sleeps in there) and a metal one in the garage. When we are going to be gone longer periods of time, like 3+ hours, I attach an exercise pen to it. That way she can move around, stretch, etc. if she feels like it. I'd definitely recommend looking into one if you are worried about her being confined for longer periods of time.
 

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You’re probably not going to like what I have to say but right now my thoughts are for that poor dog who is confined for 18 hours a day in a crate not much bigger than he is. 10 hours all day +8 hours sleeping time is way way too long for a dog to be crated. My question to you would be if you are away from home that long and need to crate this dog why do you even have a dog? How does he relieve himself when he’s in a crate for 10 hours a day? Re-think why you have this poor dog... please.
 

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I agree with LV Gloria. 9-10 hours in a crate is a seriously long time..and then 8 hours more at night... I don't see how people think this is okay. Have you checked to see about a doggy daycare? The one near me is only 11.00/day and they get plenty of socialization and activity and their own space if they want to rest. To be the best pet parent you can be, think of what she really needs to be happy.
 

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RIGHT ON, Gloria!!!

Crating your dog is outrageous! I've had dogs all my life and never ONCE crated any of them! And they all have been great family members.

It shows you are an incompetent owner. Take a class in dog training. Dogs are more sensitive than you realize. Treat your dog as you would want to be treated. Don't destroy your relationship with him/her.
 

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@Palapaguy

Crating is not outrageous. I'm glad you've not had a seriously injured dog on crate rest or had to fly them cargo. Those two things are very stressful and having a dog that is crate trained makes them and prolonged vet visits and day care much less stressful for dog and owner.

Crating does not involve sticking a dog in a box. Well done crate training creates positive and safe associations with the crate.

Having a crate in the house also provides a dog with a safe space and another way to communicate to their people that they are tired or not okay with something. My sensitive dog whines and curls up in the spot her crate was when it's not available.

Like other training tools i.e. leashes, how you use it and appropriate fitting to size can make the difference between good handling and cruelty.
 

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There's a bit difference in mentality between the US and other countries when it comes to crating, honestly.


Crate training has made housebreaking my dogs 100 times easier. You just KNOW that they won't have an opportunity to pee or poop in the house while they're in there, and that you will have a great opportunity to teach them as soon as they get out of it and you take them outside.


Other than that, typically my dogs stopped being crated during the day by 1... but I'm rarely gone longer than 3 hours anyway. If I had to be away 10 hours a day, and didn't trust my dog in the house, I'd gate off a hallway or something and leave my dog there instead - it's a very long time for a dog to be stuck in a box.
 

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Chas I would NEVER fly a dog cargo, the incompetent airlines have neglected way you can also accomplish with leavingtoo many dogs who've wound up found dead on arrival, young active perfectly healthy ones. So that's inexcusable.
G5
Anything you can accomplish with crating a dog you can also accomplish by leaving it in it's own dogproofed room. A well known vet behaviorist came to see me to evaluate my dog's behavior to help me with severe separation anxiety when he was frantic and destroying my apartment. The behaviorist was concerned that the hallway area I was leaving him in was too small for him, which was a small room big enough to hold his crate and food and water bowls and space for him to stand and lay down outside the crate. It's the only area in my new apartment without any windows and he was breaking through windows trying to escape and go after me.
It's not good for their muscles, ligaments or skeletons to be cramped in a crate all day. My dog was petrified of crates and broke out of one at his last home. Wouldn't even go near one when I got him. Now he goes in and hangs out in there but I never lock him in as he gets stressed locked in. I only have locked him in briefly if repairmen have come over for quick things and were afraid or allergic. Long repairs I take him out or keep him right with me.
 

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I consider crates to be sort of a necessary evil. I dont like the "idea" of crating a dog, but I feel like its necessary for alot of dogs, and most puppies. I personally dont see a whole heck of alot of difference between crating and having a dog loose in a part of the house, or being locked in a bathroom or kitchen or some such while the humans are away. For most intents and purposes, its still being crated just in a larger area. I've totally gone over to crating for puppies. Training in general goes much better using a crate ( less chance for the dog to practice bad behaviors ) and its absolutely great for potty training. Even when I worked from home I still crated my pup when I wasnt actively engaged with her. As for crating at night- I still wouldnt have a problem with it. My dog lays on his bed at night and is not allowed to roam about. He is trained to stay his butt on his bed. He doesnt have any more space than he would in a crate. I dont crate at night because he's trained to stay put. That was mostly accomplished by having him in a crate as a pup, at night the crate was put in the spot his future bed would go. We built a habit in him that at bedtime he settles down in that one spot. Yeah theres a line, like with anything, that can be crossed and too much is too much. I see it at work all the time. If your dog is trying to destroy his crate or using the bathroom in it, or going neurotic from over crating then something needs to change. But for those that are totally against crates, get a high drive puppy like a german shepherd, you'll see the value of the crate real quick. You cant watch a puppy every second, and for pups like gsds, if your not watching them and they're allowed to roam the house free......it would be like having a little fuzzy whirlwind of destruction running loose. The one I have now was opening cabinet doors at 12 weeks. He could open the front door by 6 months. A crate was a must for him. We had an ex pen for when he was small, but it didnt last long. You cant contain a determined puppy in an ex pen. Lock him in bathroom or laundry room? How is that any better than a crate? They can just get used to using the bathroom in the house that way. In a perfect world we wouldnt need crates, or leashes, or collars, or fences or anything else like that- but none of our dogs are perfect, none of our training skills are etc. That being said, I use the crate as a training and safety tool, and once my pups are trustworthy in my home I dont crate anymore. But some dogs for various reasons will never be trustworthy in the home. So crate it is. Like so many other things, a necessary evil.
JM2C
 

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I consider crates to be sort of a necessary evil. ... But some dogs for various reasons will never be trustworthy in the home. So crate it is. Like so many other things, a necessary evil.
JM2C
A necessary evil?! That's a copout for poor (or disinterested) owner behavior. Just try to imagine the stress THIS dog was under!

This news article reinforced my belief: Problems involving dogs are most often caused by their humans.
 

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My dog took 4 cargo flights transferring country and was reported to be calm and a joy to work with. We'd put in 6 months of noise while in the crate training. She slept. I would have rehomed her if she showed significant distress at crate training because I wouldn't put her through something she couldn't cope with.

The 10 days of kennel quarantine was much more stressful.

What would you have had me do when I moved country? Rehome her? Then I'd be called a lazy, uncommitted owner and cause her the same relocation stress without the pack that she got to come home to.

As for being cramped. What kind of a monster do you think I am? Her crate is huge, set to international flight standards for all companions.

The way she was trained she chose the crate, we had the livingroom ex-penned so she could play and at around 8 months she'd go into the crate open doored and not come out the entire time we were away from the house.

Would I love it if all rentals and holiday houses came with dog friendly rooms? Yes.

Would I love it if my dog didn't have to be kenneled at day care or the vet? Yes.

Would I have preferred to take my dog in cabin? Yes.

As these things aren't really available to me I do what I can with training and conditioning to make my dog's life easier given the challenges she will face.

The only place Echo's crate door is closed these days is in holiday rentals at night.

My sister has a dog I wouldn't crate train due to her high anxiety levels and previous mistreatment in a dog run, her life is more restricted and scarier for it. She can't even stay in the recovery pen at the vet, we are lucky we have a fear free clinic willing to have her tag along to chores.
 
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