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Old 24.01.2011, 15:14
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Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Hello fellow Dog owners,

We are considering buying a Dog, either a Cocker Spaniel / Chihuahua / Pug.

I love Dogs and would welcome it into my home but the problem I have is that we live in an apartment with no access to a garden. So obviously there is the big issue of toilet needs. To wake up every morning faced with cleaning up dog mess is just unbearable, however, a friend has told me that it's possible to buy a crate/cage/Dog pen that the Dog can sleep in during the night thereby limiting the scope of Dog mess to this area only.

I wonder is it cruel to keep a dog like this? If we take a Pug as an example, they mostly sleep anyway, so if I made it sleep in a cage for the night would it make much of a difference? Obviously I would clean it up everyday.

Your balanced and informed opinions are appreciated
Thanks
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Old 24.01.2011, 15:25
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

I don't know if this is a serious question, but I would suggest you get ready for the flak which will doubtless come your way from dog-lovers.

A crate, which I had never heard of until I joined the Forum, seems to be used sometimes for a dog to have its own place in the flat and where it can be left if the owners are out for a while.

However, as far as I know, dogs do not like to soil their own 'patch' certainly not their sleeping area. There are dogs which will not even 'go' in their own garden but wait until they are taken for a walk to a 'neutral' place. Most owners get up and take their dogs out for a decent walk fairly early in the morning if they do not have a garden - some do it anyway as the dog needs the exercise. I'll leave the rest to our doggie experts who will doubtless be here soon.
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Old 24.01.2011, 15:26
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

I am sorry but to me having a dog is about making your pet's quality of life the best you can make it and with that, comesthe responsibility of taking your dog out to do it's business.
Would you like to wake up to a pile in your bed?
Also Pugs do not sleep all day..
Yes, you love dogs so why not consider walking friends dogs instead.
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Old 24.01.2011, 15:58
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Hi Climber,

A dog crate is not a bad idea. Although I think you misunderstood the use of it. The dog crate is a good method to properly train your dog not to go to the toilet indoors, but it is not intended for him to actually pee in it. That is against his instinct and is not at all healthy for him. If the crate is the dog's bed, it is a his instinct not to soil it, therefore helping the training period. Leaving him free in the apartment will be very tempting for him to find a corner to pee in.

For example, I got my puppy at 11 weeks old and we got him used to sleeping in a crate at night. The crate was a place that was comfortable and safe (never dirty). The first couple nights I woke up in the middle of the night to take him outside to pee and again early in the morning when I woke up. Then after a few days, I waited for him to whine before taking him out right away, and after about a week, he slept through the night (about 7-8 hours). Avoiding any mistakes is the best way to move forward in the training.

Slowly, we moved the crate further and further away from our bed to teach him to sleep alone. It was not because we didn't want him next to us, but rather because as a puppy he had separation anxiety and it helped him learn to be alone during the night.

With close supervision during the day and lots of trips outside, the puppy learned very fast not to pee indoors. At 3 months, he was already housebroken although would sometimes whine at night to go out. By 4 months old, he was completely housebroken and was allowed free roam of the apartment as he wished.

You might have to wake up more often in the middle of the night until he sleeps through. If you'd rather not, then you could also have a closed pen (like a baby play pen) where his bed is in one corner and some newspaper/puppy-pads in the other corner. He will generally go to this specific area to pee rather than in his bed. Although I recommend the effort of waking up because it will teach him much faster that peeing indoors is not allowed.

Since we live on the 4th floor, we sometimes used a designated peeing place on our balcony (outdoors), such as on newspaper, pee pad, or fake dog grass patch. I would not recommend ever leaving those indoors or they will learn that it is ok to pee inside. That helped for the middle of night pee breaks. I always placed him in it and praised him when he peed. Teaching him the word for peeing is also quite useful to teach where it is appropriate to pee and where not.

In brief, allowing the puppy to pee in his bed will likely make it very difficult to properly train him when he's older. It is not uncommon to have adult dogs who are still not housebroken.

I hope this information is useful to you. I wish you have lots of fun with your new puppy. The first few months are a lot of work, but it pays off to have a well trained puppy

Keep us updated on your decision. PM me if you have any question.

Last edited by Longbyt; 24.01.2011 at 16:04. Reason: Sorry had to edit wine to whine or we'll have dozens of posts laughing about it. Hope you don't mind too much.
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Old 24.01.2011, 15:59
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

I am pretty certain there must be some patch of grass where your dog can relieve it self before nighttime..... they are very well able to contain their bladders and bowel movements over night, if properly housetrained and NOT ILL...( that's another story ) and of course given enough opportunites to relieve themselves ( our dog does her last wee around 10pm and then the next day around 7a.m and during the day she also gets several opportunities and two looonnnngg walks)

I think to put a dog over night in a crate is very cruel ....but this is just my opinion...our dog never sleeps at the same place during the night...she starts of sleeping with one of my girls.( she is allowed on their beds) ..moves over to the other girls' room, then to the living room and so on and so forth......and i think she likes it that way....
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Old 24.01.2011, 16:00
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

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Hello fellow Dog owners,

We are considering buying a Dog, either a Cocker Spaniel / Chihuahua / Pug.

I love Dogs and would welcome it into my home but the problem I have is that we live in an apartment with no access to a garden. So obviously there is the big issue of toilet needs. To wake up every morning faced with cleaning up dog mess is just unbearable, however, a friend has told me that it's possible to buy a crate/cage/Dog pen that the Dog can sleep in during the night thereby limiting the scope of Dog mess to this area only.

I wonder is it cruel to keep a dog like this? If we take a Pug as an example, they mostly sleep anyway, so if I made it sleep in a cage for the night would it make much of a difference? Obviously I would clean it up everyday.

Your balanced and informed opinions are appreciated
Thanks
Hi Climber,

In situations like this, researching the selection of the cage is critical.

Firstly I would recommend taking approximately a week or so off work and purchase a cage that would suit an 80-90kg Dog.

Inform your family that you intend to research how this may suit the dogs living environment and ask them to observe you as you yourself will indeed be sleeping in this cage.

Reducing further variables from the experimant, I suggest you employ some other people who don't speak your language to look after you who are unable to recognise your plea's for release, and will also be disgusted at the mess and stench you make.

Your family will notice the negative response of your 'captueres' towards your aggressive change in behaviour, ultimately blaming you for their own distress.

Repeat the experiment until you find a cage that suits.


Alternatively there is:
a) spending time to 'train' the dog
b) taking the dog outside prior to bed
c) recognising that perhaps now is not the best time to actually own a dog.
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Old 24.01.2011, 16:06
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Both of my dogs have "crates" that they like to sleep in during the day amongst other sleep spots throughout the day.
One of the dogs sleeps in the "crate" every night unless I allow her into the bed. She knows where to go at bedtime.

I let them out last thing at night and that normally keeps them until moring. If they need to go during the night they let me know and I let them out. If they are trained then they won't mess in the house. Not often anyway.
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Old 24.01.2011, 16:10
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Please don't take this personally and feel free to call me nuts, but I personally think house-breaking a dog is darn near priority one. It's a magical process whereby you teach your beloved pooch to let you know when it needs to go and then you, the responsible owner, react by taking it out for a pee/poop/proper walk. If you are not up for taking your dog out several times everday, rain or shine....GET A CAT!

Please before buying or ADOPTING a dog, get a few books about puppies and dog training. It will hopefully help you pick the right dog and train it in a manner that makes for a happy hund as well as a happy master.

Oh, and please don't get one of the above mentioned dogs and let it come to the conclusion that it is above you in the pack, thus turning into one of the "ankle-biting yappers" we all love to hate. I BEG OF YOU!!!!!!!!
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Old 24.01.2011, 16:16
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

I have a terrier and I dont have access to a garden. He goes out for a walk once a day and two other toilet breaks as I dont want him doing it in the house.

Crate training is not cruel if applied correctly. The main objective of a crate is to create a "safe haven" for the dog. It is a place where they go when they want a quiet place away from the activity of the family as well as to teach them to control their bladder whilst you are out (as dogs do not excrete where they sleep) and prevent destruction of your favourite shoes. Having said that, the dog should never be left in the crate for more than 4 hours max - shorter if its a puppy.

Putting your dog in a crate all through the night is not ok especially if you have a puppy. If your newborn cant hold his wee, dont expect the puppy to do so, as well.

When I was crate/house training my puppy, I had to bring it out every 2-3 hours (yeap, even in the dead of the night) regardless of whether he wanted to do it or not. He soon learnt that if he did it in the correct spot, he will earn a treat. If he doesnt do it, well nothing happens and we go back into the house.

A limited area / play pen for the dog is good if you are going out in the day and dont want your dog roaming around the house. Just beware that some dogs are escape artists A crate will serve the same purpose. Do a search on the net for crate training - there are lots of good resources out there and hopefully it will debunk some of your concerns that it is a cruel thing. It is not - they love it. My dog is now house trained but I still leave the crate out and I usually find him there sleeping for most of the afternoons. He however wants to sleep with us in the night on another bed in my room. It was also great when we moved house. He was terribly anxious when he first arrived at our new place and went straight into the crate when I placed it down and ignored all the activity around him after.

PS: a pug DOES NOT sleep all day or night by the way. I strongly suggest you read up more and alter your expectations with regards to toilet training an animal as well as the different breeds of dogs.

Here are some photos of my littler critter and his beloved crate:

1. When my dog was 6 months old


2. Him sleeping through the noise of the hoover - even without his bedding which were in the wash!!



3. First day in his new home

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Last edited by summerrain; 24.01.2011 at 16:30.
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Old 24.01.2011, 16:20
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

I'm not sure you are ready for a dog yet. Its seems to be best if you do more research before you embark on this path.
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Old 24.01.2011, 17:11
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Climber, you have been given excellent advice - please take heed of what the folks here are saying.

Your post suggests to me that you do not have much experience with dogs, or dog training - I would strongly suggest that before you go any further you should take the theory course of the SKN - this is mandatory for all first time dog owners under the TSchV, so why not get it out of the way now?

The course is designed to get potential dog owners thinking about their responsibilities, about what it means to have a dog, and to spark some soul searching. For instance:

Are you really ready to bring a dog into your life right now? Do you have the time (a puppy requires that you are home almost 24/7 for many months), is your housing adequate, do you have permission from your landlord, are your neighbors amenable, do you have adequate holiday care arranged, do you have the financial wherewithal to care for a dog, are all family members prepared for the changes a dog will bring to the home, do you understand federal and cantonal dog control laws, etc.?

I would suggest that you sign up for the class, and then ask the trainer exactly what you have asked here.

It's not easy to keep dogs here in Switzerland - dog ownership is a huge responsibility, one you must be prepared to shoulder for the next 10-15 years, come what may. A dog changes your life.

My dogs are the best thing in my life - couldn't imagine being without them. But one must go into dog ownership with eyes wide open - and even then be prepared to roll with the punches.

Best of luck to you as you prepare - but take that first step, and sign up for the SKN before going further.



(As others have said, you have completely misunderstood the function of a crate. So how do you you deal with house training a dog while living in an flat? You get up out of bed at 2am, put on your coat and boots, and go outside with your dog. And then again at 5am, 7am, 10am, every few hours. Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night... )


ETA: I've posted this link before, but it's worth repeating here:

This is a good article by Dr Sophia Yin on house training, including the use of a crate, and basic training with a puppy (applies to older dogs as well). The article illustrates the level of comittment necessary when bringing a new dog into your home. Would you be able to do this, given your housing set-up at present?

http://drsophiayin.com/docs/articles...earns2Earn.pdf

.

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.01.2011 at 17:23.
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Old 24.01.2011, 17:27
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Indeed to follow on the whole crate and correct use, you are missing the meaning and method of using a crate technique with your dog.

Firstly, avoid a cocker spaniel. These dogs have energy. And then energy. And then more energy. You need to consider what behaviour the breed you desire has before committing to owning the dog.

I've owned dogs in apartments and houses and they don't tend to soil their area - but do need to go at certain times. My dog actually only needs to go 4 times #1 and 2 times #2 per day and I know when.....this is what YOU need to know as an owner. He has never soiled at night or during the day in the house - so with your commitment (and this is the key word), your dog could be the same.

Crating the dog will, in your model, fail. You lock them in at night so there is no soiling and you can guarantee your dog will be unhappy - but he or she will not soil their sleeping area.

You need to spend time to walk your dog. You need to invest in the dog and the dog will return that investment with love and respect.

If you use a crate, your goal is for the dog to go into the crate itself. Only then you know you've succeeded.

Training the dog needs your involvement and you can invest in some pads upon which your dog will go as he or she gets used to a new home and life.

Simply put, crating the dog so it lives in its own shit is a failure on your behalf - but I am not criticising you as you are asking for advice and therefore want to do your best.

FWIW, I will be looking at a rescue dog this weekend and, if he comes home with us at some point, I will be taking 2-3 weeks at home to begin the training (obedience and house training). My dog is from the same pound and is a dream.....there's no reason why the next one should not be

Like everything in life, you get out what you put in. The only time I've ever been worried about a dog at night was a 16-year-old puppy about whom I worried in case she did not awaken the next morning.

I hope this helps
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Old 24.01.2011, 17:28
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

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... I would suggest you get ready for the flak which will doubtless come your way from dog-lovers... I'll leave the rest to our doggie experts who will doubtless be here soon.
Well don't say I didn't warn you!
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Old 24.01.2011, 17:42
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

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This is a good article by Dr Sophia Yin on house training, including the use of a crate, and basic training with a puppy (applies to older dogs as well). The article illustrates the level of comittment necessary when bringing a new dog into your home. Would you be able to do this, given your housing set-up at present?

http://drsophiayin.com/docs/articles...earns2Earn.pdf

.
climber, this is a great link from melloncollie illustrating the right use of crate and potty training to the T! Its alot of work housetraining a dog but ahh..I do miss those days when my little one was tethered to me on a leash at all times (except when I was in the shower).
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Old 24.01.2011, 17:49
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

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Hello fellow Dog owners,

We are considering buying a Dog, either a Cocker Spaniel / Chihuahua / Pug.

I love Dogs and would welcome it into my home but the problem I have is that we live in an apartment with no access to a garden. So obviously there is the big issue of toilet needs. To wake up every morning faced with cleaning up dog mess is just unbearable, however, a friend has told me that it's possible to buy a crate/cage/Dog pen that the Dog can sleep in during the night thereby limiting the scope of Dog mess to this area only.

I wonder is it cruel to keep a dog like this? If we take a Pug as an example, they mostly sleep anyway, so if I made it sleep in a cage for the night would it make much of a difference? Obviously I would clean it up everyday.

Your balanced and informed opinions are appreciated
Thanks
take the dog out last thing at night and first thing in the morning - problem solved.
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Old 24.01.2011, 18:33
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Just to add to the advice thus far given.
I have a Cocker, bought when 5mths. old (a little late imo), so the initial early puppy training was missed, and there was still a strong bond with the mother - which meant crying/howling in the night for several weeks.

As the crate in question, is obviously primarily meant for safe transportation, it is essential that the dog gets used to using this from an early age (if used for this purpose), so introducing it from the beginning is essential. But it should be seen by it as a safe sleeping area. It should be initially encouraged to go in by itself, and the door should not normally be closed.

What is beneficial, is that during unattended/night times, its area of freedom is controlled (restricted), by using baby stairgates in hallways and/or playpens (or equivalent barriers to block off a small area), and all floor space in this area is covered in newspaper. By confining their wanderings means that you don't have to play follow your nose treasure hunt every morning, and don't have to clear away a whole house worth of newspaper. Unfortunately I didn't adopt this approach, initially, to my cost.

Our dog also continued to do no.2's in the kitchen, well after the point when I considered he was more or less house-trained. After speaking with vet, he believed this was purely because he (the dog) was protesting about someone not coming everytime he howled in the night - cocker's (like most dogs) are very clever -- and Great Escape artists (if Steve McQueen came back as a dog, he'd be a cocker).
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Old 28.01.2011, 10:55
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

We crated our dog since he was 8 weeks old (he is now 8 months) and it is the best thing we could have done for him. We never had any issues with it, he never soils the house and is very happy and content in his crate. When we first brought it home we associated the crate with 'nice things' i.e. we would put his food in his crate, comfort and stroke him, place his toys in there, tell him how good he was when he got in there etc. He now knows that it is his bed and all we all have to say is 'bed time' and he happily trots off to the crate and lies down to go to sleep.

I would recommend the crate to anyone having a puppy, it has certainly worked for us (and attached is a pic of our beautiful boy).
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Old 28.01.2011, 11:26
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

Magrangs,

I don't think anyone is questioning the appropriate use of a crate; many dog owners find them an indispensible part in the training tool-kit - I certainly did.

However, the OP's post suggests a misunderstanding of the purpose of a crate, indeed the implication that it would replace proper house training is what caused concern.

Used properly, creating the atmosphere of a den or a comfort zone for the dog, used for short periods of time - a crate is wonderful, no question. Used incorrectly, as a prison, as a punishment, for long periods - then a crate can be abusive. As can any training tool.

The important thing is to understand the difference.
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Old 28.01.2011, 18:49
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Re: Keeping a dog in a Dog -pen

When we lived in Japan our dogs slepts in crates every night. One of the main reasons was because of earthquakes. In the crates we knew there were safe, and we could find them quickly if we had to.

When we returned home to Switerland we brought the crates with us but we just didn't have the space for them. They were very big. But the dogs were happy in them.
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