removing the crate at night? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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removing the crate at night?

So, this will be my second question today.... yesh, I seem to be full of them! Anyways...

So, for the first 2-3 months we've had Foxy we have crated her at night, just to help her calm down and realize that it's time to go to sleep. However, I don't really like crating a dog if I don't have to. I would much prefer that she be able to walk around the house at night, get a drink of water (no food, it's usually gone by then anyways)...ect...ect. Well, when I first started to try to remove the crate, she would chase our two cats (14yo DSH and 6yo DSH/Ocicat mix), try to get into the cat box (put up a gate to keep her from getting in there), and left a litle "present" for us to find in the morning in the spare bedroom.

I don't know if it's just anxiety from her part or if I'm just not working her enough. She gets walked daily in the afternoon/evening. Taken to training classes every friday (petsmart, beginner and then going on to advanced), trained daily on sit, stay, lay (down), come, watch (focus), leave it, take it, and a few other commands). Given 2 Kongs in the evening so she can work out extra energy. I just can't figure out it. Any advice is welcome! Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:31 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

Your dog isn't ready to be left loose at night. Crating is much better than waking up to a mess or find the dog got into something dangerous and got hurt.

Elaine and the herd
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:40 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

How old is Foxy? She doesn't sound ready to me. She still seems a bit nervous/anxious around the cats, and really can't be trusted yet. As Elaine said, you really want to wait until she is trustworthy, or you may wake up to a lot more than a little present

I've been letting my puppy stay out of her crate at night for several weeks. She has had no problem. No accidents, or chewing anything inappropriate. I keep her in the bedroom though, so she does not have access to the rest of the house yet, or who knows what she would do!

~Stephanie

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: removing the crate at night?

She just turned 1yo... got her from a shelter 2-3 months ago.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:46 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

I have one young dog that is ready to sleep without a crate (although we use a baby gate so that he stays in the bedroom). I have another dog that is 1.5 years old that sleeps in a crate because sometimes -- rarely, but sometimes -- she gets into stuff if she knows there is no one there to supervise. I can't risk that. One electrical cord is all she needs to kill herself.

The younger dog sleeps on his bed at the foot of our bed mostly, but we leave his crate door open, and some nights, he goes into the crate and sleeps there. He likes his little den. Often during the day, both dogs will go into their crates (either the ones in the bedroom or the ones in the living room) and snooze outside the puppy's normal nap time. They feel safe and secure in there (and I have a strict "don't bother your sibling when they're in their crate" rule).

Many humans have an idea that crating a dog isn't fair or is somehow detrimental to her. I find the exact opposite is true. My dogs seem to appreciate being able to go to the one place where it's comfortable, secure and den-like. If your dog is getting into mischeif, as the others say, you have an obligation (IMO) to keep her safe anyhow.

If you think your dog needs water, you can provide water in the crate (I use these http://www.activedogs.com/2%20Qrt.%2...0Bucket.html). Most of my dogs used crates (with their doors left open) all their lives. They liked having their own little bedroom.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 03:47 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

I keep a baby gate on my bedroom door. Shadow (my 2 yr old GSD), sleeps in a dog bed next to my bed.

That way he is not crated, but does not have the whole house to roam. When I did not gate the bedroom, I think he was 8 months, he chewed up a $600 chair, learn the hardway, that's me.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: removing the crate at night?

I don't mind her having a crate to use, but it being locked up at night is what bothers me. I've had Collie's, Border Collies, lab's, Afghanhounds, and a number of other dogs in the past (with dad) and never had this problem. Just seemes odd.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 04:16 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

Yes but we're talking about a german shepherd. She's also a rescue who's been with you for a few short months. She still doesn't know exactly what's expected of her. If she's behind your bedroom door - or a gate - she's less likely to cause problems out of the crate.

My Otto has been with me since 8 weeks, he's been out of his crate since 9 months old. Still, when it's nighttime, he's in my room behind the door. When I go out, he's in the kitchen. It's not that I don't trust him, I do trust him for a few minutes at a time alone in the house, but he's a 16 month old german shepherd, so smart it makes him crazy and who knows what he's going to do. I don't need to come home to find he's eaten the couch.

Morgan was rescued when she was 6 months old. After a few months, I tried to let her earn my trust by leaving her in the kitchen one sunday for a few hours. Came home to find she'd redecorated the place with hostess donuts and made papermache out of the sunday paper. She ate the phone, took a cassette out of the player, pulled out the tape and stuck it in all over her papermache, ripped tiles off the floor - it was so bad I had to repaint the kitchen and install a new floor. After that one, she was in her crate when I wasn't watching her!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: removing the crate at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SunCzarinaYes but we're talking about a german shepherd. She's also a rescue who's been with you for a few short months. She still doesn't know exactly what's expected of her. If she's behind your bedroom door - or a gate - she's less likely to cause problems out of the crate.

My Otto has been with me since 8 weeks, he's been out of his crate since 9 months old. Still, when it's nighttime, he's in my room behind the door. When I go out, he's in the kitchen. It's not that I don't trust him, I do trust him for a few minutes at a time alone in the house, but he's a 16 month old german shepherd, so smart it makes him crazy and who knows what he's going to do. I don't need to come home to find he's eaten the couch.

Morgan was rescued when she was 6 months old. After a few months, I tried to let her earn my trust by leaving her in the kitchen one sunday for a few hours. Came home to find she'd redecorated the place with hostess donuts and made papermache out of the sunday paper. She ate the phone, took a cassette out of the player, pulled out the tape and stuck it in all over her papermache, ripped tiles off the floor - it was so bad I had to repaint the kitchen and install a new floor. After that one, she was in her crate when I wasn't watching her!
Thanks for putting it into perspective. This is the first GSD i've owned and I know that they are high energy dog with a rather active mind (though sometimes she makes me wonder. lol). it's a new learning experience for me, as well as for her. Guess i'll just give it a bit longer. Thanks for the responses guys and gals!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2009, 05:09 PM
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Re: removing the crate at night?

Nadi is a rescue and the first time I left her (with Zisso who is very well behaved) she freaked out...turned on the porch light(accidentally I am sure) as she ripped the curtain down, cleaned out the cats dish, and chewed the plastic dish up, tore up a roll of TP as they could get into the bathroom....can't remember what else she did that day, all in a matter of an hour! I thought she had seperation anxiety...turned out she was not used to being left indoors. She was supposedly crate trained and really wasn't-she howled and barked all the time I would be gone if left crated. Now if I have to be gone they are both in a secure outdoor kennel/run. The worst that happens is they dig holes, but can't dig out or jump out. In the 1 in a million chance that they did manage to get out of it, the yard is fenced, and I pray every day they stay safe where I leave them.

Nadia - GSD -DOB 12-29-07
Zisso - GSD- DOB 9-16-07
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Zisso is my heart~Nadia is my Love~My kitties bring me everything in between~Together they bring me Joy!
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