Fighting my wife to abandon the Crate after 2 years - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: Does Over Crating Cause Anxiety?
Yes 5 41.67%
No 7 58.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Fighting my wife to abandon the Crate after 2 years

Our German Shepherd Male, Troy will turn 2 years old in April. We have been crating him overnight, and several hours a day -to which I am opposed. The reason my wife insists he be in the crate is a self-fulfilling prophecy in my opinion: When he gets out of the crate, he is bat-**** crazy. Nearly impossible to handle for a while until he calms down. Troy gets plenty of walks and time outside. Just that his in the house hours are predominently crate hours.

Tonight, I dismantled the crate. It is my strong faith, that if he is permitted to be part of the family and have his independence, that he will adjust on his own.

I am I correct that over crating causes behavior problems? I know in my heart that the animal simply needs to grow into social responsibility within the family by being out amongst us during our daily lives. Im tired of having him crated, and tired of the beast that comes out of the crate so tonight I dismantled the crate. My wife is not going to like it. But who is right?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 02:54 AM
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I don't think its a matter of who is right or wrong, but rather how your dog behaves and how much you can trust him out of the crate.
If you know he isn't going to destroy the house when he is left alone then I don't see any reason to crate him.
Some people still like to use the crate so that the dogs continue to like it and can be easily shut away when needed.
We stopped using the crate when our guy was nearing 1yr old - I felt the crate had fulfilled its purpose and we didn't need it any more.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 02:55 AM
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Me and my wife are in a similar situation. But I am on the opposite side. We actually have 2 dogs both 9 months old 1 gsd 1 husky both listen very well when supervised. At the moment they are both crated for the most part. 2 hour outside play and 3 1on1 sessions for training. Are separated when unsupervised, but use the restroom and run the yard together. Some nights they both run around the house with out supervision. My wife wants to let them run around the house for the most part. I am aposed simply because they both have a liking to wood. They have there own room but everything wood is blocked doors are removed. After the fact that doors were chewed on. Moldings were ripped off the wall. The gsd even managed to rip the outlet cover of the wall. She believes they can adjust if givin the chance. I am not 100 % sure. None of this occurs when we are with them it is all when they know we aren't watching. She thinks it's cruel that they are kept in the crates I think it's responsible. Because above all I have to think about there safety. I would rather them be in a crate for the most part rather than them chewing on random objects they can get a hold of. Even with toys and chew bones in the room they will still get into objects. The wall molding happened when my wife insisted they sleep with her when I was working late. She woke at 5am to find the molding ripped from the wall like 8 ft of molding gone. I too am interested in this topic and would love to hear some input as well.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HERNAMEISRUKA View Post
Me and my wife are in a similar situation. But I am on the opposite side. We actually have 2 dogs both 9 months old 1 gsd 1 husky both listen very well when supervised. At the moment they are both crated for the most part. 2 hour outside play and 3 1on1 sessions for training. Are separated when unsupervised, but use the restroom and run the yard together. Some nights they both run around the house with out supervision. My wife wants to let them run around the house for the most part. I am aposed simply because they both have a liking to wood. They have there own room but everything wood is blocked doors are removed. After the fact that doors were chewed on. Moldings were ripped off the wall. The gsd even managed to rip the outlet cover of the wall. She believes they can adjust if givin the chance. I am not 100 % sure. None of this occurs when we are with them it is all when they know we aren't watching. She thinks it's cruel that they are kept in the crates I think it's responsible. Because above all I have to think about there safety. I would rather them be in a crate for the most part rather than them chewing on random objects they can get a hold of. Even with toys and chew bones in the room they will still get into objects. The wall molding happened when my wife insisted they sleep with her when I was working late. She woke at 5am to find the molding ripped from the wall like 8 ft of molding gone. I too am interested in this topic and would love to hear some input as well.

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I didn't mean with out


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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 03:44 AM
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I got my GSD when he was 2,5 months old. First week was sleeping in the crate. Since than is trusted, free and allowed to sleep whenever he wants. No problems with him.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 04:32 AM
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I didn't vote because 1) y'all shouldn't be arguing over the dog 2) I don't know your dog. so my answer is Maybe.

I have two huge crates in our bedroom. We leave both doors open. If we have to lock our dogs away, for instance when a plumber came over who insisted on it, they were not weirded out. My dogs have shown me that they aren't going to eat furniture (thank you bitter apple) or destroy each other. But I supervise them most of the day. While they were learning house rules they were restricted to the same room I was in so that if they made a bad choice I could correct it. My dogs get a couple of long walks a day, weather permitting. They do mind games if weather is nasty..and it has to be really nasty to not take their walks. Even with that, they do get pretty excited when I come home. That is partly our fault because my hubby loves the exuberance. If your dog throw a HappyHappyHappy party when he is let out of his crate make sure you aren't rewarding it with a lot of attention.

So you may not want to go cold turkey on the crate. Your dog might get longer and longer periods out and about. Being locked away out of your wife's hair all day isn't a good thing but folding up the crate and not using it at all might not be a good idea, either.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 05:32 AM
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I didn't vote either because it depends on the dog. My puppy is ten months old. He stopped sleeping in the crate at 4 months old, but he's also not a destructive chewer. I don't crate my dog when I am home (unless I'm cleaning and need him off the floors while I mop, etc.). He's only crated when I leave the house, which is when I'm at work or have to run errands. I don't fully trust him, at his age, to be left alone while I'm gone. I probably will wait until he's a year and a half to two years before I try it. It's what I did with my other dogs and it worked well. Most of my dogs I crated at night and while I was gone until about 6 months old. Then I would leave them out in my bedroom overnight. By two years, most were out of their crates all the time. I still keep my crates up because all my dogs loved them...and there were instances when I needed to put them in it (cleaning, company, cable guy comes over, etc.). It also helped to keep them used to the crate if I needed to board them, take them to the groomers, or travel with them.

Is there a reason why you were/are crating him while you're home? If he's destructive still, I understand why he would be crated when no one is home. I found GSDs are usually fairly clingy - they want to be where you are. So it's fairly easy to supervise them, and give a "NO" if they try to something they shouldn't...especially at 2 years old.
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Last edited by IllinoisNative; 01-25-2018 at 05:37 AM.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 08:05 AM
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I stop crating my dogs after they are potty-trained and out of the chewing phase, usually around a year. I don't stop all at once though, I phase out the crate. I'll leave the pup out when I go somewhere nearby, like the local grocery store. If all is well when I get home, I'll leave the dog out again for the next quick trip, and gradually start extending the time the dog is free. If there are setbacks, I know I'm giving too much freedom too soon, and I slow things down for a while.
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Last edited by sebrench; 01-25-2018 at 08:15 AM.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 08:12 AM
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My crate weaning goes like this basically:

-if they are making good choices with adult supervision we consider. If they are making bad choices with adult supervision no way. So, how long since a potty issue, chewing something illegal ,ECT

If they behave like I want them to when I am around I will start gradually giving freedom and see what happens.

Leave alone or let sleep gated in the bedroom with closets closed

then closets open

then no more baby gate

If they make a bad decision alone then I know it was too much freedom too soon. This happened when my girl pulled some moving boxes out from under my bed and started shredding them while I was asleep. She went back to sleeping in the crate for awhile.

My boy was sleeping in bed with us around 10 or 11 months and never did anything naughty overnight.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 08:15 AM
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Yes I have done the same similar sebrench and cowboys girl mentioned. Luna is crated when she is heat and Im not home.


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Last edited by Jenny720; 01-25-2018 at 08:17 AM.
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