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What are you're opinions of dog runs?

2265 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  CAB
Hi guys, I know that when I get my pup, which will be raised for schutzhund, the sport not the dog lol, I will need to keep it separated from the other 2 PET dogs. I've been told that a dog run will keep the pup safe, and and keep her away from the other dogs whilst she is young.

Do you think this is cruel because my parents can't imagine having a 'cage' in the back garden that the dog is locked up in while i'm not home.
At what age do you think she can start being with the other dogs unsupervised, provided there is no tention between them?

I plan to have the run for when I'm out and a crate for when the family and other dogs are inside the house so she can feel part of the family without bonding and risking getting dominated by the older dogs.

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Why do you have to separate the new dog?
Because I don't want it becoming too attached to the other dogs in the houshold. I've been told this is a must when raising a working dog.
Hmmm, by who? Most people I know that do Schutzhund have multiple dogs. Sometimes they are all SchH dogs, sometimes just one is and the others are pets or do other things.... I've never heard of confining a SchH dog. I HAVE heard of keeping an LGD away from the family, but that's a totally different breed of dog and line of work...

Dogs are pack animals, and GSDs are especially attached to their "person" or family. I really don't see any reason to keep a puppy out in a dog run, just because it's a sport dog.
I think when they get to a certain age such as a year then it will be fine because she will have bonded to me but I don't think leaving her for long periods of time playing and socialising with the other dogs will be a good idea?
I've heard people say that they like keeping working or Schutzhund dogs kenneled all the time that they aren't working because then they work better when they're allowed out. For me, even if that were true, it defeats the purpose of having the dog unless you see the dog as a piece of sporting equipment. If you're doing your job as a trainer and a leader, she will work for you, no matter who else she plays with and sees during the course of her day.

I think there are quite a few people on this board who compete very successfully in Schutzhund with dogs that live as family members - inside with them, with the other dogs.

As far as bonding, your dog will bond with you if you work with her. training is a WONDERFUL way to bond. She will bond to you if you work with her even if she lives day in and day out with 10 other dogs. The only time I think that's even an issue is when you're trying to raise littermates together. Then, occasionally, you can get problems with them bonding to each other and ignoring the person, but even THEN, it's fixable and not absolute.

Socializing her with other dogs is an important and healthy part of her development. By keeping her isolated you are cruising for a dog that fears or is aggressive to other dogs. I don't think that's going to be an asset in Schutzhund or anywhere else. Dogs are pack animals, being with their pack is normal and good.

ETA: Just wanted to add - by a year of age, she will have missed out on some really important socialization and skill building with other dogs. Waiting to socialize her with them until then will not make her more confident or dominant, only more afraid and unsure.
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Originally Posted By: Craig88I don't think leaving her for long periods of time playing and socialising with the other dogs will be a good idea?
And why is that?? Im not getting your whole plan for the dog, I understand this dog will be for a sport but why do you feel the need to keep them seperated. Then you say, after the dog bonds with you and gets used to a rutine your plan is then to keep him outside because of the sport???

Like was said before, you dont have to seperate the dogs because one is used for a sport, whats your thinking there. Are you thinking he will become aggresive twards the other dogs because of his training???
I think Craig means that the dog will only be in the dog run when he is away at work. I don't see any problems with that, especially during the puppy stage, where you don't want the puppy to bond more closely with the other dogs than with Craig.

I don't think that the puppy will be living in the run 24/7, am I right? If it were me, I would think this a good compromise. If Craig wants to raise the pup for Schutzhund, then Craig will need to be the main handler, trainer and limit handling/training by others (some is okay, but most of it should be from Craig).

Nothing cruel about this, as long as the dog gets plenty of time with Craig, plenty of socialization, plenty of play and excersice, and plenty of training in amounts appropriate for his age and development level. Some interaction with the other dogs is important for appropriate socialization and development, and I'm sure puppy will have the opportunity to do so.

My dog usually has the run of the house during the day, but because I'll be bringing a Schutzhund Puppy (the kind that Chris Wild breeds
) home soon, I have started to crate her more so that she will be used to her new schedule with the puppy here. Just as Craig is saying, I don't want the puppy to feel dominated by Keeta, and I don't want him to bond to her too much. So when the puppy has free time, Keeta will be crated, or kept in another room. Now, after 3 years of having the run of the house, I find that crating her has created a more compliant dog, more focused in training, more reliable dog! Subtle differences, she was already pretty good in those respects, but we know our dogs, and I have noticed the changes. So I would even go as far as to say that not only is crating harmless, but actually good for a dog.

The outside run is a good idea, but I'm not sure at what age your puppy would be old enough to be left alone all day. I know it isn't an issue of being let out to potty, but I'm wondering about feeding schedule, feeling involved with others, not feeling abandoned, etc. Are your parents home during the day? Will they respect your wishes, or will they decide on their own that you are being abusive and let your puppy out to play with the other dogs?

Lies is right that belonging to a pack is very important, and as my puppy matures, dogs will be together more, but I feel that I will need to be in full control of his environment during his first year, and that will involve a lot of one-on-one.

Edited to add: One-on-one mentioned above will involve a ton of socializing with other people and other dogs. Didn't want to give the impression that I'm advocating isolating the puppy for the first year.
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Originally Posted By: Craig88I think when they get to a certain age such as a year then it will be fine because she will have bonded to me but I don't think leaving her for long periods of time playing and socialising with the other dogs will be a good idea?
I guess I don't see why not....why have a dog then? I guess if she is dog aggressive she would need to be kenneled, but you wouldn't know that right away and would hopefully prevent that with early training and socialization. My sport dog is always with my "pet" dog and yet are bond is very strong, so strong our herding instructor tole me she is TOO obedience and her bond is TOO strong. My dogs are together all the time and I never limit their play. Actually, Kenya was much happier AFTER we got our other dog (who is more of a pet). She gets more exercise playing with another dog than she can get going walking/running with humans and she has become more open and tolerant of other dogs.

I don't think have an outdoor run is bad, I just don't see the point of buying a new puppy only to keep it out in a kennel...
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I am with Lucia, I also understood that the OP plans to let the dog in a run when she/he is not at home and there to supervise the interaction with the rest of the family, humans and canines. When you raise a SchH dog you want him to believe he is the most important thing in the world, the greatest dog ever born. But the other two adult dogs will put him on his place, more violently or more subtle but it is indeed very important to make sure that no one can bully him.

I have a kennel and a crate too. I used to do what is your current plan, to use the crate when I'm home and the kennel when I am not or for the sleep hours. Now Diabla is potty trained (and I don't have more dogs either) the crate is in the car and I take her to work with me but in the mornings I leave her in her kennel because I'm studying now and I'm sure she prefers to be in a 4x3 m. safe part of the yard than in a 400 sized vari-kennel while I'm in classes. It doesn't mean she still not spend more of her awake time with me, probably more than the average family dog anyway.
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Craig, you are doing great at asking questions and finding yourself a course of action. I remember from other posts that a lot of people you talk to are telling you to raise your puppy a certain way. It is great that you come on here to get some feedback on that, and of course, you will get a wide variety of answers and opinions here also.

What I would suggest is not to get too hung up on the "right" way of doing things, but follow your gut feeling about what you feel will be right for your puppy and for you. The others are correct that many people successfully raise Schutzhund puppies in multi-dog, multi-people households and do not have any bonding/trainnig issues, while others feel that keeping the dogs - other people apart is better. Get a lot of different opionions, ask for people's personal experiences, and decide for yourself what you think works best considering your personality and ownership style.

What I have gathered from your posts so far is that you are very open to learning, so no doubt you will be successful with your puppy regardless of how you choose to raise him.
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Lucia, I agree with your posts and also use crating, gating, and kenneling in different situations, I just don't want the OP to feel like a sport dog HAS to be kenneled b/c interacting with other dogs would somehow affect its ability to train and compete. I don't believe that to be true. I think crates and kennels/runs are very valuable, but it totally depends on the situation (maybe the dogs don't get alone, maybe the dog needs a bigger space than a crate while the owner is at work, maybe one dog needs to learn to "settle" while the others are being worked, using a crate for potty-training, etc...).

IMO, if a dog has weaker nerves and lacks confidence because of the interaction of other dogs in the home than I would question whether that dog is appropriate for sport/work. Also, the "alpha" dog isn't always the best suited for that type of work. My alpha won't be doing SchH beyond the BH because she just doesn't have the right amount of confidence and fighting drives to enjoy the sport, but she is definitely the dominant one over my other dog and the other dogs in her play groups.
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I have quite a few friends that compete in schutzhund and french ring and they have muliti dogs and different breeds and none of them is caged or kenneled unless not home. if you want you can PM me and I can give you 2 email address' of people that do this, one does it for fun and the other is very into it all her dogs compete
This is my point too. If he wants to know if it's okay to kennel the puppy during the day while he's at work, rather than leave her unsupervised with the other dog, then yes, definitely! I would never advocate leaving a puppy unsupervised and honestly, don't really like to leave dogs alone together period, too much risk of an accident or problem. I'm a huge fan of crates and supervision etc. etc. That would be true irrespective of his desire to do schutzhund or anything else.

I guess what I heard from his post, and maybe I came to that because I've heard it mentioned a lot in SAR and also by some Schutzhund people is that you need to keep the dog kenneled pretty much all the time except when it's working. There's a whole school of thought of people who think that's the way to do things and I really really don't agree with that.

That, to me, is having a dog as a piece of sporting equipment, and I think that's wrong. Dogs are living creatures and they want to spend time with their family. They are not going to not bond with their handler just because they're around other dogs. Dogs interact with each other in a different way than the do with people anyway. No matter how much my dogs play with each other, bond with each other, have a good time together, every one of them and every foster sees me as something special.

I'm looking at getting another SAR dog soon and that dog will be crated and carefully supervised at all times. She will not be left unattended with other dogs nor will they be permitted to whoop up on her or damage her confidence. However, she'll be a part of the pack. There will be special things only for SAR - she won't have access to her reward (toy or tug) except while she's working etc. But she'll live indoors. She'll sleep in a crate in our bedroom. If I'm in the living room watching television and the other dogs are there, she'll be there too. For me, that's what having a dog is about.
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Thought I'd add my 2 cents, since Heidi's run has a new use as of today.

Heidi has never been crazy about being in the run; she'd rather be with me. Her run (about 13' x 8') has become our deer-proof mini-garden. Since the deer destroy so much that is planted, the kennel has become the perfect garden...and I'm sure Heidi is very happy about that!

As for your question...sorry, I'm not of more help.
I do not do schutzhund, just obedience training, but an outside run is a great idea.

Not 24/7, but certainly when you are not there to supervise, etc.

Lots of socialization with a new pup. Training is secondary at this stage.

Not sure about the bonding thing. I have had littermates, and my dogs are definitely bonded more to me than their littermates. Babs and Jenna shared a kennel for their first year without a problem.
Originally Posted By: Craig88Hi guys, I know that when I get my pup, which will be raised for schutzhund, the sport not the dog lol,
I almost missed It!!
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We have a 10-' by 10' pen from Tractor Supply that we use for Radar when we are going to be gone and don't want to leave him in a crate for too long. We put down sand, then concrete pavers and it also has the shade cover that we bought for it. It also has a nice dog house. I feed him in it often with the door open and I notice he now goes in there for shade by his own choice. I like it bacause it's safe and he will go to the restroom in it if I am away from home for more than a few hours. I would hate for him to hold it all day in a crate. I do think its good to limit the amount of time your pups spend with other pets when you are bonding with him. I know of lots of people that let their pets spend too much time in a pen and not enough with the family and being socailized. It's a balance!
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Yeah, I hadn't read the other thread yet and I was like

Having just read the train wreck taking place on the other thread it's all clear - good one!
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Thanks a lot for the opinions and advice.

I initially thought that my new pup would have to be crated or just separated from the other 2 dogs for the few hours while i'm at varsity but that would be quite a logistical nightmare and I wouldn't trust the maid with making sure they stay apart. The dog run seems like the best idea because the dog will have some space, sun, shelter and room to go to the toilet. I'm definitly not buying a piece of equipment but at the same time I don't want to raise it like we've raised all our other PETS. As I said the run will be the place where he is when i'm not at home and I don't want to trust her interacting with my other dogs or guests that I can't supervise.

Ideally I would like to get to the point when she's completely bonded to me, I think around a year, and I can let her be with the other dogs provided i'm sure there is no risk. I will socialise her extensively in high public dense areas as well as puppy classes so she wont be come dog agressive. I just don't want her becoming best mates with the rest of the dogs in the house. My rottweiler who was raised with the other older dog enjoys romping around the garden more with her than with me. I want my dog to be neutral to other dogs but not interested in them.

Castlemaid: I think I might have to lock the dog in the run just in case my mother has a sudden feeling a guilt and lets it free... This is my main issue; my parents, especially my mother, can't stand the prong collar and thinks the dog run is cruel and inhumane as we've always let the dogs have the full run of the property...
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