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I enjoy this site, I've learned alot as I read so many posts. I have a 6 month old German Shepherd. I crate her during the day during work hours. I come home every day to let her out at lunch. She never seems bothered by it. Ive never been a fan of leaving her in a crate. We have long walks in the morning and sometimes when I get home from work. We play ball toys etc as well.Is it ok to leave her crated for so long? We have a big backyard. We spend alot of time playing and being active as much as we can. Any thoughts on the crate would be appreciated.
 

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I feel sorry for dogs crated for more than a short time out of necessity. Crates or cages confine a healthy, athletic
animal , similar to locking you in a small closet all day. My opinion is that it's unhealthy for their mind and body.
I know this is an unpopular opinion but I would not have a large dog that had to be put in a prison cell for so many hours per day.
 

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Crates are NOT similar to putting yourself in a closet, nor is it like "jail". These are human emotions and ideas. Crates are NOT unhealthy.
The crate is a calming place where the dog feels safe and protected. More importantly, the dog is in a place where he won't get into something that could hurt him or damage your house.
To the OP, It sounds like there is not a problem with the dog, so, what are you trying to solve?
 

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Crates can be a useful tool (and for me essential) for training and for keeping a dog safely when you are gone. It is true that many dogs like the den feeling of a crate and will often choose to sleep in their crate over other places. However, it is laughable the concept that a dog loves spending 8+ hours a day confined to a space where it can barely turn around or stand erect. Often owners will then give the dog the luxury of a short walk at the beginning and end of the day (if that) and think this would be enough to tire out and stimulate a large dog that is bred to work. I know of these people and I feel sorry for their dogs.

I understand people have to work, but I think that if you work and keep energetic breeds of dogs, you must commit to A LOT of exercise and training outside of your working hours. It is a huge commitment. It is good that you can at least get home on your lunch breaks and that your girl has taken well to the routine! I don't think all dogs do so well in these situations and can lead to a lot of the behaviors that make people want to then re-home their dogs.

I personally do keep my puppies in their crate a lot for the first 6 to 9 months, for training reasons, I understand a puppy cannot be left alone in the house unattended! But after a certain age if I worked long hours I would prefer to find a larger space such as an empty room, baby gates, pen / kennel or use a dog door to a fenced yard etc. Dogs have a larger need for exercise than people do I believe, and even my lazy self can feel cooped up just being in the house or office all day, let alone a crate. Dogs and people can adapt to all kinds of sub par situations, it does not mean it is ideal and we should not pretend it is. Just my opinion.
 

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I would rather have my dog safe in a crate plenty of room and chew toys and water then dead. Once trusted 100% then can have free range. My boy was 7 mo and free in the house rare but true, never chews anything. The pup will be in the kennel for a lot longer guaranteed, She has more room to room in the kennel then the crate so crate is at night only.
 

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I enjoy this site, I've learned alot as I read so many posts. I have a 6 month old German Shepherd. I crate her during the day during work hours. I come home every day to let her out at lunch. She never seems bothered by it. Ive never been a fan of leaving her in a crate. We have long walks in the morning and sometimes when I get home from work. We play ball toys etc as well.Is it ok to leave her crated for so long? We have a big backyard. We spend alot of time playing and being active as much as we can. Any thoughts on the crate would be appreciated.
As Long as she is getting exercise, love, and access to something to chew or something to keep her busy, I wouldn't worry at all. If she is getting restless or unhappy, then the regimen may have to be changed. Maybe you could consider getting one of those small outdoor eclosures here:
It may be a good option for a small enclosure that can keep her happy.
 

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My 3-year-old GSD is crated for 6-7 hours on my work days; maybe 8 hours on some days. She really doesn't seem to mind; seems like she just sleeps all day, and when I let her out when I get home she's happy to see me but pretty calm about it. Yeah, I hate leaving her for that long but I don't have a choice; she'll get into stuff if I leave her loose in the house. I'm hoping once I get my fence fixed and the weather gets better she can stay in the yard during the day.

I walk her for 25 minutes in the morning (off-leash + fetch), give her a Kong with peanut butter when I leave (and she so loves the Kong that I think she's disappointed on weekends when I DON'T leave for work!). She willingly runs into the crate to get her Kong. Every day. When I get home, we go for a longer walk (45 minutes, again off-leash for part of it, and sometimes she jogs with me). Then she hangs out with me in the evening, maybe we'll do 5-10 minutes of training or playing in the living room with toys. But she seems content to lie down and relax for the rest of the night, around 6:30-7pm.

She seems to prefer her crate to being loose in the house. She is a bit nervy and I do think it calms her down, is her safe space. She goes in there all the time even when I'm home. I struggled with this--and still do, sometimes--but I don't think it is harmful to her, as long as I'm giving her social time and some exercise when I'm home. So yeah, there are days she'll be crated at work for 7 hours, then I get invited to do stuff with friends that evening...and I don't go, or I only go for an hour, because I feel like I need to be home with my dog.

Last night I left the crate door open when I went to bed, just to see how she'd do, and because I've had her for 5 months now and thought it was time to give her some more freedom. But as soon as I got into my bedroom, I hear her pacing around and then she stood outside my bedroom door whining, like "Why didn't you tuck me in?", didn't know what to do with herself. I came back outside, she ran back into her crate, I closed the door, and all was right with the world.
 

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Also I should add that Willow's crate is like...way too big for her. It's a 42-incher, and she's 65 pounds. She can lie on her side with her feet totally stretched out and not touch the edges. She can turn around easily, stretch, stand up straight. I have a smaller crate for when I bring her to work and can let her out periodically. I wouldn't want to keep her all day in something much smaller.
 

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Also I should add that Willow's crate is like...way too big for her. It's a 42-incher, and she's 65 pounds. She can lie on her side with her feet totally stretched out and not touch the edges. She can turn around easily, stretch, stand up straight. I have a smaller crate for when I bring her to work and can let her out periodically. I wouldn't want to keep her all day in something much smaller.
Oh yah, Kias's crate is the largest we could get. It's nice and spacey so he doesn't feel cramped.
 

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Last night I left the crate door open when I went to bed, just to see how she'd do, and because I've had her for 5 months now and thought it was time to give her some more freedom. But as soon as I got into my bedroom, I hear her pacing around and then she stood outside my bedroom door whining, like "Why didn't you tuck me in?", didn't know what to do with herself. I came back outside, she ran back into her crate, I closed the door, and all was right with the world.
Do you think that maybe she was trying to come into your bedroom? While my dog loves her crate as well, she would give that up to be near me while she sleeps.
 

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Do you think that maybe she was trying to come into your bedroom? While my dog loves her crate as well, she would give that up to be near me while she sleeps.
I don't think so. A month or so back I tried to put her in my bedroom to sleep on the floor beside me, and she lay down for maybe 10 minutes and then got up and paced and whined at the door. If the crate were in my room, I think she'd be fine.

Honestly sometimes it hurts my feelings that she loves a) food and b) her crate more than me. :) But to be honest, I've been trying to build independence in her because I have to work, I'm single, and I desperately didn't want her to develop separation anxiety when I got her. The crate was in my bedroom for about a week and then I moved it into the living room.
 
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