weekend dilemma - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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weekend dilemma

Greta is eight months old. She has a lot of energy and is a handful, which was expected. My husband and I have been asked to drive to Houston to pick up some hurricane Harvey dogs for the shelter. Husband readily committed and since he is laid off work, it makes sense. I would like to go, except for Greta. She is not trustworthy yet in the house and would have to be in her crate, I fear, for long periods of time. We will be gone a little less than 48 hours. Our neighbor will come in and care for our dogs. We are hoping he can just stay at our house while we are gone, but that is not confirmed. He did say if he can't stay there at night, he will make a point to come over for long periods of time to get Greta out of her crate and play with her. Does anyone think Greta will be ok? Or should I refuse to go? Husband has tried to find someone else to drive with him and has been unsuccessful. It is about a 15 hour drive each way, so it is essential that he have a partner driver.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 10:01 AM
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I'm sure you're going to have people say she won't be fine, but the truth is - if your neighbor will keep the commitments to let her out regularly for decent play sessions she will be fine. This is why we crate train dogs to begin with. It's not to contain them for no reason or be cruel, but to prepare them to be OK without us for lengthy periods when life happens. If she's getting let out regularly and gets a solid 1-3 hours of play total each day she'll be perfectly fine for 48 hours. People are going to tell you to board her instead, but she'd get less than that and STILL be in a kennel. However if your neighbor cannot let her our REGULARLY (at least every 4-8 hours or so through the day) it can be a problem for sure.

They'll also tell you that if you can't leave her free in the house you've failed as a trainer. But the fact is, anyone that does that is a bad owner. Any number of things can happen to them when they're unattended and free roaming at home. I trust Minka 100% but having had a dog trip and actually break a bone getting off the bed in the past while we were present no less, it's not worth it to me. I realize many don't allow their dogs on furniture and will say that makes it safe, but even so things can happen. Anyone that will berate you for this is either openly lying to virtue signal or has simply not owned enough dogs to know better. Yes, 99 times out of 100 things will be fine but eventually people WILL hit that 100th time and I'd never want that to hit when I'm away and can't tend to the dog quickly. It's 100% sure, 100 times out of 100 that they'll be safe in their crate if they're crate trained to begin with.

If your neighbor means it and she's already used to her crate, she'll be fine. However for a dog that's NOT crate trained, absolutely 48 hours is a problem. Assuming she's fine in her crate though, don't feel guilty and don't let anyone else make you feel that way because they're ignorant about dog ownership.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:07 AM
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I think that's up to you - you know your dog.

But honestly, if I had to do that with my dog and I couldn't leave her at her regular boarding kennel/daycare with 24 hour staff, I would just not go. My own dog comes first, full stop. I do rescue work as well, but my first responsibility is to my own dog and her safety and wellbeing.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NerdicEclipse View Post
They'll also tell you that if you can't leave her free in the house you've failed as a trainer. But the fact is, anyone that does that is a bad owner. Any number of things can happen to them when they're unattended and free roaming at home. I trust Minka 100% but having had a dog trip and actually break a bone getting off the bed in the past while we were present no less, it's not worth it to me. I realize many don't allow their dogs on furniture and will say that makes it safe, but even so things can happen. Anyone that will berate you for this is either openly lying to virtue signal or has simply not owned enough dogs to know better. Yes, 99 times out of 100 things will be fine but eventually people WILL hit that 100th time and I'd never want that to hit when I'm away and can't tend to the dog quickly. It's 100% sure, 100 times out of 100 that they'll be safe in their crate if they're crate trained to begin with.
Who, exactly, is the "they" you are referring to? I don't think I've ever seen a single person on this forum say that if your dog can't free roam in the house you've failed as a trainer. That simply isn't true at all. The best trainers in the world use kennels all the time. It is, after all, usually safer and easier.

I also disagree with you saying that anyone that doesn't use a kennel is a bad owner. That is also not true. There are some dogs that absolutely cannot be kenneled. Some dogs, despite the owner's best efforts, continue to eliminate in the crate. Some dogs absolutely hate the crate, at no fault of the owner. Perhaps the dog was a rescue, and the damage has been done. The dog cannot safely be crated. I had one of those dogs. If he was crated, he would bend the crate door enough that there was a small hole and squeeze his way out. That is a surefire way to get your dog strangled. I have seen it multiple times. Also, if I used a plastic kennel, he would eat right through the plastic -- not safe. Your statement that 100% of the time kennels are safe is not even slightly true. Sorry.


To the actual OP:
I would probably not go. I'm sure it could be done just fine if your neighbor really can help out that much, but I would rather not put that stress on my dog. I know people that do it all the time, and everything is just fine in the end, but I think it would stress me out more than the dog!

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Last edited by Pytheis; 09-28-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all comments. Greta is used to spending time in her crate. I do trust my neighbor to do what he says he will. I think I will go since it is less than two days. We have always used pet sitters, so she hasn't gotten used to being boarded, although I have planned to get her used to it, just in case we need to ever. It will be nice when she can be loose in the house like our other dogs.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 12:07 PM
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If you trust your neighbor and you think Greta is good to go, that's what matters. Otherwise I'd see if your daughter was able to come down and stay with her?

But we do the same thing as your neighbor is doing, for my husband's best friend's dog. They do prefer to leave the dog with someone, but if they can't, we live close by and just run over 4-5 times per day and walk her or spend time with her. The difference being that this dog is older, while Greta is still a puppy, but some dogs are just fine with that kind of arrangement.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 12:54 PM
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Who, exactly, is the "they" you are referring to? I don't think I've ever seen a single person on this forum say that if your dog can't free roam in the house you've failed as a trainer. That simply isn't true at all. The best trainers in the world use kennels all the time. It is, after all, usually safer and easier.

I also disagree with you saying that anyone that doesn't use a kennel is a bad owner. That is also not true. There are some dogs that absolutely cannot be kenneled. Some dogs, despite the owner's best efforts, continue to eliminate in the crate. Some dogs absolutely hate the crate, at no fault of the owner. Perhaps the dog was a rescue, and the damage has been done. The dog cannot safely be crated. I had one of those dogs. If he was crated, he would bend the crate door enough that there was a small hole and squeeze his way out. That is a surefire way to get your dog strangled. I have seen it multiple times. Also, if I used a plastic kennel, he would eat right through the plastic -- not safe. Your statement that 100% of the time kennels are safe is not even slightly true. Sorry.


To the actual OP:
I would probably not go. I'm sure it could be done just fine if your neighbor really can help out that much, but I would rather not put that stress on my dog. I know people that do it all the time, and everything is just fine in the end, but I think it would stress me out more than the dog!
There have been several on here that have written such. You either have luckily avoided them or are openly being dishonest. I've run into countless posters that berate people for balanced training or using proper gear, berate those that are proponents of crates or those that refuse to allow the dog to run things. If you don't coddle the dog and let it run the show and don't revolve your world around it you're a bad person and are abusive. And of course there are also quite a few that don't do that, absolutely.

At any rate, yes, anyone that doesn't somehow contain their dog or have a safe space from them free of any possible dangers is negligent. The home is a dangerous environment for dogs, especially for lengths of time like 48 hours. Even a well trained dog that ordinarily leaves things alone and doesn't cause mischief. Some dogs can't be crated since they weren't properly introduced and accustomed to it, true. But even in that case, they make kennels pretty strong these days. You don't have to get a wire or plastic crate, you can get a KENNEL that cannot be bent, cannot be chewed and cannot provide any risk to your dog. You can have an outdoor run area where the dog is fully contained. You can even simply keep them in a room without any furniture, without any carpeting or objects that can be destroyed/ingested. Whatever it takes to contain them. But allowing them to free roam a house for days is a recipe for a dead dog.

As I said, and you failed to comprehend, they are 100% safe 100% of the time when the dog is properly introduced, properly trained to use them and in extreme circumstances, when specific equipment is required such as kennels that cannot be bent, chewed, destroyed and are made of solid metal. Not wires or plastic. As I also said and you seem to have missed, I said if this is NOT the case for the OP and their dog is not properly crate trained, they CANNOT be left in the crate that long. So, read it again.

Different strokes for different folks, for some safety is just paramount. Life happens. That's why you start day one with a puppy making the crate a fun place, the best thing on earth and a place they spend the vast majority of their downtime for the first months of their life. Eventually life happens and you NEED it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NerdicEclipse View Post
There have been several on here that have written such. You either have luckily avoided them or are openly being dishonest. I've run into countless posters that berate people for balanced training or using proper gear, berate those that are proponents of crates or those that refuse to allow the dog to run things. If you don't coddle the dog and let it run the show and don't revolve your world around it you're a bad person and are abusive. And of course there are also quite a few that don't do that, absolutely.

At any rate, yes, anyone that doesn't somehow contain their dog or have a safe space from them free of any possible dangers is negligent. The home is a dangerous environment for dogs, especially for lengths of time like 48 hours. Even a well trained dog that ordinarily leaves things alone and doesn't cause mischief. Some dogs can't be crated since they weren't properly introduced and accustomed to it, true. But even in that case, they make kennels pretty strong these days. You don't have to get a wire or plastic crate, you can get a KENNEL that cannot be bent, cannot be chewed and cannot provide any risk to your dog. You can have an outdoor run area where the dog is fully contained. You can even simply keep them in a room without any furniture, without any carpeting or objects that can be destroyed/ingested. Whatever it takes to contain them. But allowing them to free roam a house for days is a recipe for a dead dog.

As I said, and you failed to comprehend, they are 100% safe 100% of the time when the dog is properly introduced, properly trained to use them and in extreme circumstances, when specific equipment is required such as kennels that cannot be bent, chewed, destroyed and are made of solid metal. Not wires or plastic. As I also said and you seem to have missed, I said if this is NOT the case for the OP and their dog is not properly crate trained, they CANNOT be left in the crate that long. So, read it again.

Different strokes for different folks, for some safety is just paramount. Life happens. That's why you start day one with a puppy making the crate a fun place, the best thing on earth and a place they spend the vast majority of their downtime for the first months of their life. Eventually life happens and you NEED it.
I think it's entirely unfair to say that someone is a bad owner if they don't spend literally thousands of dollars to contain a dog in a "safe" way. Even the empty room that you suggested isn't safe, unless you use stainless steel walls because dogs can and DO chew up the drywall. What if said owner doesn't have room for a 4x6 kennel? What if they have no backyard, and don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on a "safe" kennel? Perhaps we should just wrap our dogs in bubble wrap to prevent them from stubbing their toe on the edge of the crate.

We can just agree to disagree, as I had a lot of comments on multiple things you said that were unfair and, frankly, untrue. We could probably argue all day, and it isn't going to get either of us anywhere.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 03:05 PM
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For what it's worth, Bridget, I would never have trusted my dog unattended out of the crate before age two. She just wasn't ready. After her second birthday, we slowly started letting her be alone for short periods of time (ten minutes to walk a block and get coffee) and eventually worked that up to her being uncrated whenever we leave. But at eight months, we couldn't have done that. Maturity was a big factor.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 05:10 PM
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My best friend and her husband went to Washington this summer for 10 days, and I dog/cat sat for them. I drove to her house 4 times a day to take care of them (about 100 miles round trip a day). A GSD and an elderly Bassett. If your neighbor is willing to take care of your dog, then I don’t see what the problem is. Your puppy will be fine!
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