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Does Over Crating Cause Anxiety?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • No

    Votes: 7 58.3%

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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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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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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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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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*Run the house with our supervision
I didn't mean with out


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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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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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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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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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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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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.
You sleep with closet doors open?? You do know that's where the Boogie Man lives right? What if he gets out?

OP where will the dog sleep at night?

I have a dog who is always crated when I leave. Mostly because I randomly find her standing on ledges or shelves or tables and I fear for her safety when I am gone.
If your dog is going nuts when let out that's a training issue. When I open crate doors my dogs yawn, stretch and sometimes wait a few minutes before exiting. I have had dogs who were crated all their lives and dogs who seldom used the crate beyond house training.
It depends on the dog, the owner and the home.
 

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I am also renting the house we currently stay at. So before leaving here in another year or so I will need to buy doors and fix other things


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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.
This dog is crated during family time at home?
 

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I also did not vote. I don't know the answer to that question. I only know my own experience.

We have used crates for all our pups. We now have one 4 year old and one 7 year old. By 9 months of age, the now 4 year old had learned to open his crate door and would meet us at the door when we returned home. He didn't do any damage to the house or make any mistakes inside. After a few repeats of that behavior, we decided to no longer lock him in his crate. He never was that fond of it, but didn't fight it either, just sort of accepted it reluctantly. He stopped using it altogether, so we eventually took it down.

The 7 year old still has a crate in our bedroom. He loves it. The door is never closed and he almost always sleeps in there, for a part of the night, at least. He will even take naps in his crate during the day. He always has a choice, but just prefers his crate. The younger dog will occasionally go into that crate and sleep, but he would rather sleep his bed on the bedroom floor.

As long as the dog doesn't do any damage, I don't see the need to force them to stay in a crate. To me, it's a training tool, and once the dog has learned what you are trying to teach him, I don't see the need to force that on him. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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Puppies are crated when I can't supervise them directly.

Once I know for sure they can last overnight without an accident, I try leaving them out of the crate, but confined to one room (my study, usually.) And once they are over the vandalism stage, they are usually given free range in the house at night.

I've had some books damaged by them and the wastebasket routinely tipped over and raided, and the corner of a rug chewed and a coffee table ruined and woodwork damaged.

My current younger female is crated at night because she chews on woodwork sometimes, and also thinks it's fun to chase the cat up and down the stairs in the wee hours of the morning... :rolleyes2: Star is old enough to know better, though the cat used to tease her when she slept in her crate at night, and usually I'd be yanked out of my first sleep by the sound of her barreling out of her crate, and chasing him down the hall.

Star was crated as a puppy, and before Eska came along, had her own crate in my bedroom. Every night, after her supper, she would go right to her crate to sleep, and stay there most of the night with the door open. She doesn't have one now, as I really don't have room for two crates in the house, and there certainly isn't room for one in the bedroom.

Ranger was never crated because he was my hearing ear dog, and needed to be able to alert me to strange sounds at night, when I took off my hearing aids. (I can't even hear the smoke alarm without them.) But both my females would go to their crates to relax during the day. I would always leave the doors open for them.

I am in favour of crating if a dog can't be trusted loose in the house. You are the one paying the bills, and damage can be expensive. Eska totally trashed a coffee table that was only 2 years old, and Star ruined a number of rugs by chewing when she was younger, in addition to totally destroying a much-treasured Bible.
 

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How does he behave with your wife? Some dogs are ok with a lot of crate time and get used to a routine. Some dogs don't. But where you could have an even bigger problem is if there's conflict between the dog and your wife. If you're going to demand he be out of the crate against her wishes, you better make sure he behaves with her, not just that he doesn't chew things up.
 

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My guy is 15 months old and is crated all day when we are gone and at night when we are in bed. We tried to leave him out a few months ago at night and I woke up to him speed running around the downstairs and chewing on my daughter's little table and chairs. I feel he is getting closer to being out at night but I still don't trust him when no one would be home during working hours. He gets plenty of exercise but his mind still wanders a bit when he is bored. He is out when we are home and behaves just fine, but when I am not around, he gets a bit frisky. Besides. he loves his kennel. He lays in there even when he has free roam and eats all of his meals in there. The kennel is not a punishment, its his own little personal space where no one bothers him and he eats his food. I think it would only create anxiety if a. It is used a source of punishment or b. He was not properly crate trained.
 

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I was a dog walker for quite a few years, and one of my clients was a pair of husky x malamute crosses. They were "service dogs", but let me tell you, they were not. They were dog aggressive, jumped on people, barked at every moving thing when out of the house, barked nonstop IN the house, could not behave without a serious yank on a prong... You get the picture. Those dogs were literally crated 24/7. They only get out for a two minute potty breaks twice a day, and when I took them for a half hour walk twice a week. I felt so bad for those poor dogs. That is an example of too much crating where the dogs are seriously suffering. It absolutely was causing them anxiety. I don't think your dog is quite at that point, so you can feel good about that. ;)

From your initial post, I got the feeling that he is crated often even while someone is home, and that is because when he isn't in the crate, he gets into trouble and/or has too much energy. I thought you were asking if given the chance, would he learn to be calm in the house and behave well. That is a training issue, and he would absolutely learn if you were willing to teach.

As others have said, if you were asking about leaving him uncrated while no one is home, it depends on the dog. Not only would I worry about the expensive bills to fix furniture and walls, but I would be worried about the expensive vet bills from an intestinal blockage too.
 
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