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Timber has been crated since we got him at 13 weeks....however, he has never slept in the crate at night.
He has a spot next to my side of the bed.

And at almost 9 months, he is still crated during the work day.
On weekends, if we have a short errand, he stays out and is fine.
Don't get me wrong...he takes well to his crate. He will even open the door himself to get in a take a nap :)

My question is....I think I could utilize the crate at other times, but I feel bad putting him in there.
For example....he can be a pain in the butt when I am putting the kids to bed. He has to be on top of me at all times, which makes it hard to quickly move from one room to another settling them into beds. They inevitably ask for a drink which means bedroom to kitchen and back again....all with a 75 pound dog weaving in between my legs!

When and how often do you use your crate? Do you often provide a toy such as a stuffed kong to make it enjoyable?
 

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I always put toys in Frag's crate or expen, and we use it whenever we need some time. He's in it when we're gone and during the night, and also if we have a lot of people over and he's wound up, or after a bath to dry off. Sometimes we also put him in there for a minute if we're packing up the van, etc and can't keep track of him.
 

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I see no problem is putting a dog in their crate to give YOU some peace and quiet. :)

My guys go in their crates at night and if we are going to be gone for more than an hour or so.

Sasha goes in her crate ANYTIME we leave the house as she has shown herself to be untrustworthy. Mauser goes in if we are going to be gone for more than 15 minutes or so - ever since we left him out and he tore up the kitchen floor! :(
 

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When I leave Sinister goes into his crate. We have the largest crate we could find that was plastic. It was made for Great Danes. We give him a "busy bone" or something that can withstand his chewing and keep him busy for a little while. He used to be able to sleep wherever he wanted to but all of a sudden he felt that he hated the way the carpet looked and decided to do some redecorating of his own and ripped it up : ) so sadly he sleeps in his kennel next to my bed. I am probably going to get hardwood flooring in my room so he can sleep wherever he wants again
 

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When we leave the house or while we sleep, Bear is crated. We're still worried what we'll wake up to if he's left out at night. The crate has never been an issue with him. We got his the same day we brought him home. When we're at home, it's left open and when he naps, if he's not at our feet or by the door, he'll go in his crate and lay down. When I take out the trash, he gets crated because he thinks the bag is a pinata and will shred it before I can get it out the door. Silly dog, gotta luv 'em!
 

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Izaac will be one year old this month, and I crate him when I leave the house, or have projects that I'm doing and don't want him involved with. I have tried to just leave him in the kitchen with the baby gates up, but he "counter surfs" and always gets himself in trouble. I think that it's good that we both have our "own space" at times, and I know that it's much safer for him.
 

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We've been using the crate with Sigurd since we got him at 8 weeks. He goes in while we're away from the home more than 10-20 minutes. He also goes in the cage if we have company coming over, we usually leave him in there until the company is settled. We also crate him while we eat (unfortunately, he likes to stare at us hoping we'll give him some). When we first got him, we crated him for about 3 weeks at night time. Now he sleeps on the bed beside me, or on the floor beside me (on his dog bed).
 

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My pup sleeps in her crate at night. I also use it when I'm cooking or cleaning so there won't be any accidents. She has toys in her crate, but always settles down immediately and naps.
 

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Ecco typically sleeps in her crate. She stays outside on the days I am on shift till the rest of the fam. gets home. The crate is really just used for sleeping and longer than 5 mile travel. Occasionally she will be put in her crate during the day if I have to run to the store and the weather is crapy so that I don't have to clean her feet when she gets in. She is not allowed to free roam the house when no one is here. Sometimes if the door is open and she wants to nap she will go in there and lay down on her own.
 

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My question is....I think I could utilize the crate at other times, but I feel bad putting him in there.
For example....he can be a pain in the butt when I am putting the kids to bed. He has to be on top of me at all times, which makes it hard to quickly move from one room to another settling them into beds. They inevitably ask for a drink which means bedroom to kitchen and back again....all with a 75 pound dog weaving in between my legs!
I wouldn't feel bad about crating him, but you could also use the time to work with him on respecting your space a bit more and perhaps giving him a stuffed kong in a particular area of the house (say, the living room - does he have a dogbed in there?) to keep him occupied while you take care of things.

My girls are generally pretty good about staying out of the way, but the BOYS, while respectful and not "dominant" are still working on their personal space (or rather, my personal space). For example, yesterday, while we did about an hour of yardwork, we crated the boys simply so we could walk in and out of the gate without having to keep an eye out for them (they aren't gate runners, but it does require extra attention and opening/closing the gate constantly to get in/out). We also wanted to lay mulch, and they kept getting underfoot, and while I was trying to sweep the patio and get all the dog fur out of the cracks and crevices, they were underfoot. So, into their crates they went, and we got our work done in half the time. :) They did get to go to the park shortly after though for a couple hours, so I suppose it was a tradeoff for finishing early.
 

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Koch is in her crate when we are not home or at night, period.

She goes in there on her own at times during the afternoon too to lay down - all on her own.

She will earn her time out of the crate when we are gone, she is only 15 months old.
 

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We only use the crate when we are going somewhere where we cannot take the dogs, or it's too hot for them to wait in the car. The new pup sleeps in the crate at night but that's it.

As Smith3 said, they will go in on their own to nap on occasion, but with the door open.
 

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I crate mine when sleeping and when gone. if i dont want them under my feet, and i am home, and it's not nasty outside, i put them in the yard ( i have the luxury of a 6' privacy fenced yard) i just recently started letting my 4 yr old female sleep on a dog pillow in livingroom. and when home alone i let her in bedroom on floor. but not usually. she is well housebroken and only has accidents when it is an emergency (hopefully a doggie door will fix that soon). as for the puppy he will be crated every night for at least a year untill he is well housebroken (maybe two years.)

If you start crating at night I'd be prepared for whining and howling, as he is an older dog prepare for multiple nights of this. a radio and blanket cover, and busy bone ( i like rawhide rolls) helps shorten this. put him in earlier at night and he'll stp by the time you are ready for bed. If it causes whining i would do it every night untill he doesnt wine at all for about a week (whines for four nights and then stops, then start 1 week.) I cant figure out how you got him house broken without crate training must've had lots of indoor accidents. Good luck.
 

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Max does wonderful in our home when we are home. He sleeps wherever he wants and has not chewed on a single inappropriate thing in the house since we adopted him.

But when we leave the house, Max goes in the crate. It doesn't matter if we're going to be gone for 15 minutes or two hours. If no one is home, he will go into the kitchen in search of food, even if that means opening up drawers and pulling everything out or jumping up on counters and pulling everything down. But only in the kitchen. He's a perfect gentleman in the rest of our home (except for the occasional nap on the couch.) His stomach just gets the better of him.

Our other dog, Tora (a mixed breed) has free range of the house regardless of whether anyone is home. She's twelve and spends most of her free time napping or gazing out the window.
 
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