How long is too long in a crate?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Max's Dad, May 19, 2008.

  1. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    I have a welsh corgi puppy that is 3 months old. I've only had him for a week, and have been diligently working on housetraining. I take him out every hour on the hour for potty time, and feed him twice a day, once at about 5:30am, once at 3-4pm. This whole week he's progressed very well, to going potty almost on command now.

    I've been using a crate to help me potty train him. He spends maybe 30 minutes out of every hour in his crate. If he's sleeping, I let him sleep. If he wakes up, I take him out to go potty then come in for play time or back in the crate - depending on whether or not I'm going to be in the same room. He seeps in my bedroom on the open floor with papers down for potty, since I don't trust he can hold his potty in the crate all night yet.

    My mom insists that I'm being mean to him by keeping him in his crate "the whole day" (all told, it adds up to about 6 hours in the crate each day) and tells me I shouldn't be using the crate unless I'm out of the room. Am I keeping him crated for too long?

    Until he's fully housetrained I don't want to let him out for free roam of the house all the time. Whenever mom's home, and she insists on him being out, he has accidents in the house. When she's at work, and I can stick to my plan, he never has an accident.

    -Tim
     
  2. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,761
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Not enough.
    Location:
    Wales
    Depends who you ask - we all have very different opinions on it.

    Can I ask why you don't have him out the crate even when you're in the room with him?

    Where does he sleep at night? Is he in the crate 6 hours during the day and through the night too?

    e needs to be out of the crate I think. You don't need to let him roam free round the house, but I think time out of a crate is vital. If you're in the room with him, you still stick to the plan - take him out every 30 mins, wait out there with him till he goes (even if it takes another 30 mins.

    What is he learning if when your mum lets him out he's still going?

    He's not getting a consistant lesson, and sounds like it's not sinking in.

    You need to find a common ground or the poor pup will just be confused.

    I vote, more time out of crate and YOU take the repsonibility to make sure he doesn't have an accident.
     
  3. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    If we're both in the same room together, and he's in his crate, it's by his own choosing 90% of the time. He'll go grab a toy in there and crawl in and lie down. I shut the crate door when I leave the room. I'll also put him in his crate if I'm going out of the house, or when/if I take a nap (which is rare these days).

    He sleeps in my room at night, on the floor, not in a crate. There are papers down in case he needs to go potty at night. The 6 hours in the crate is the total time he's in his crate all day. Like I said, 30 minutes out of each hour - or less if we're on the floor romping or outside for a walk - and I'm up for about 12 hours each day. There are many times when he's not in his crate at all during the day; the 6 hours is the maximum total time he's in there.

    When my mom insists on him being out, the accidents happen when I'm not in the room, and she leaves him unsupervised. If he has an accident, she'll just tell me he had one, and that I need to clean it up - she doesn't correct him when he's making the accident. If I'm in the room, I DO take responsibility and correct him when he's having an accident. It's not like I'm expecting anyone else to.

    I think you may have the wrong idea about how I'm using the crate. It's not like I'm locking him in there and sitting in the room, just using it for convenience so I don't have to watch him. He's only in there when I'm out of the room, out of the house, or he's napping (which, like I said, he does of his own accord).

    Sorry if my post was confusing. Hopefully this will clear things up.

    -Tim.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,761
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Not enough.
    Location:
    Wales
    Yeah, I was asking because I wasn't sure exactly what you meant.

    I'm not a big crate advocate, many are.

    Seems to me that you have the right idea - use it as a training tool. As he gets older, personally, I'd begin to cut down the crate time all together (mine became a fancy table after so long, and has been packed away since she became trustworthy at about 6 months ish).

    I am in the UK, and you won't find many people who use them round the clock, or later in life. Like I say, there are different opinions, but that is mine.

    When you say you correct him - what do you mean? A quick 'No' is all that is needed, and take them straight outside, and LOTS of praise.

    You don't want to intimidate or scare him, or some pups will learn not to go in front of you.
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've never crate trained , but wonder why he's in the crate when you're there . I think that basically your Mom is right . You need more one and one with your pup . It's great that he enjoys it at night , but during the day , he needs out .
     
  6. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    If I ever catch him in the act I give him a stern "NO" and if he doesn't stop, I clap my hands once to distract him, then rush him outside.

    I don't plan on the crate being a lifetime thing. Just to last me long enough for him to be trustworthy in the house. Our other dog before Max was never crated, but then he came to us at a year old and was already housebroken.

    -Tim
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The clap , " No " and outside should be one movement ....many don't stop .
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I think you're doing fine. It sounds like the puppy is choosing to go into the crate, why fight against that?? I think that if he chooses to go into the crate and you leave the door open, you shouldn't count that as "crate time." It might be nicer if he stayed with you when you leave the room, but realistically I do understand that it's much more convenient to just lock the door. And that's fine, I think, at least you're not leaving him unsupervised!

    And don't worry about fading out the crate so you never have to use it anymore, many dogs do like their crates and they are useful for dogs later in life. If your dog ever needs surgery or has to stay still for long periods of time, there's nothing better than a crate (and believe me, that is NOT the time to try to teach him to like a crate!). If you ever travel with your dog, or do competitive dog sports, you'll be happy to have a crate.
     
  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with what people are saying, have him out as much as you can. I also wanted to mention that if you catch him you can stop him by tucking his tail up against his belly and picking him up to rush outside.
     
  10. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    I wish I could tuck his tail against his belly, but AKC standards require that Pembroke Welsh Corgis have their tails docked. So poor Max only has a tiny stub for a tail - it won't even reach his belly.

    All of this has made me think: how does a dog learn not to go potty in the house while crate trained, as opposed to leaving them supervised and out of the crate and correcting any accidents?

    -Tim
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    19,779
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    8 dogs and 6 horses.
    Location:
    Ontario
    Home Page:
    Dogs learn ubstrate preferences. So every time a pup goes outside, that reinforces going outside. Every time they go inside, caught or not, it reinforces going inside.

    This is why crate training works well. If he likes his crate and is going in happily and is getting enough time out to be socialized, I wouldn't worry. Some dogs are very happy chewing on things in their 'den'. Some are less happy. I have one JRT that is very happy to spend time crated, and dashes to her crate and wiggles to see if she is getting something, if not she just curls up and hides in her 'den'.
     
  12. Great post Dekka.

    Dogs also learn rapidly to repeat what works for them. (visualize the dog silently staring and drooling while you eat). Make outdoor pottying work REALLY WELL for your puppy, and he will quickly learn to eliminate outdoors to get a cookie.

    Putting elimination functions on a voice command not only helps puppies learn to go when you ask, it's also DARN handy when traveling, or in bad weather, to be able to tell your dog WHY we are outside right now.

    Do this by standing nearby and repeating your command word as the puppy is urinating or defecating. DO NOT say the word UNLESS they are eliminating. In a couple of weeks, the puppy will have learned what the words mean by hearing you say them while he is doing it, and then having the food reward immediately after.

    I see no issue with how you are using the crate, I raise puppies in a very similar manner.
     
  13. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Midwest
    I don't think you're misusing the crate, i've had dogs in there much longer than that as young pups. The key is to make any time out of that crate valuable and a learning experience. wise use of time out of the crate is more important than just time out of the crate.

    I agree with Dekka and Redyre about learning inside and outside. Good luck
     
  14. Buddy'sParents

    Buddy'sParents *Finding My Inner Fila*

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think you're right on track. :) Dekka and Red had some great points. :)
     
  15. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    He's young...if it's his choosing, then fine. Try and play WITH him, though. If he grabs a toy, try toss it for him, teach him "sit" or other tricks. He may like more outside exercise time but:

    He's a young puppy and does need naptimes as well. He can be in his crate when you can't watch him or go out. That's perfectly fine. If you come inside from a long walk and he goes in his crate to sleep while you're in the room, that's fine as well.

    If it seems right for you and him, if training is going well, if he's happy and you're bonding well, then I'd say it's fine.
     
  16. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    13,667
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Dog Trainer CPDT-KA
    Location:
    Fredericksburg
    Sounds to me like you're doing everything fine for the most part. God job. Puppies sure are a lot of fun. Definitely agree with Grammy about the NO *clap* and outside needing to be one swift movement. When he goes wee outside do you make a huge deal about it? Make him going outside a celebration and give him lots and lots of praise.

    Spend more one on one time with him. Training, playing, etc...

    You said you put papers down at night since you can't trust that he wont go potty. In my experience with housetraining... any kinds of pads on the floor are a no-no. I personally think that it can prolong the housetraining experience... you might try getting up once or twice in the middle of the night to take him out to wee at least until he can hold it. Yes it sucks to climb out of that warm bed, but puppies can't always hold it for quite so long.
     
  17. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    My mom and I talked more about it today, thanks to everyone's responses here, and we're on the same page now about potty training him.

    Whenever he goes potty outside, whatever kind it is, there's always a big hubbub about it. I get down to my knees and he runs to me, jumping on my lap and smothering me with kisses, like he's saying "Look what I did daddy!"

    I've been thinking about taking up the papers downstairs at least, so he doesn't have the option of going inside when he's downstairs. The problem with taking up the papers in my bedroom is that I take sedatives at night, and can't be reliable about waking up to an alarm. There were countless days, when I used to work full-time, that I'd sleep through my alarm entirely. He hasn't gone in my room in a few days now, so I think he's getting the idea all on his own.

    Thanks for all the replies. It's helped ease my mind and give me new ideas about this whole potty training thing.

    -Tim
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  18. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,903
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 puppers & 40+ Betta Splendens Fish
    Location:
    Northern California
    It sounds like you're doing GREAT with Max! ; ) No need to worry.

    6 hours per day in a crate is completely fine, as long as there are breaks in between. The general rule of thumb is... I believe... 1 hour per month. So 3-4 hours should be the maximum amount of time he spends in the crate without a potty break.

    Corgis are very clever dogs. It didn't take long at all for my Corgi mix to catch on to potty training. I think the key is doing everything you can to prevent any accidents. I'm not totally sure of when Fozzie became officially house-trained, because I was a freak about taking him out and making sure he never had the opportunity to have an accident inside. He only had 2, and those were within the first week. Corgis are also piggy extraordinares, so a cookie for pottying outside can go a long way. Fozzie became so excited to get his cookie that he would go potty, get his cookie... then pop a squat and pretend to pee, and look at me like, "cookie, pls?" teehee.

    Welcome to Chaz, btw! I just saw the picture you posted in your introduction... OMG... Corgi puppy tummies are my weakness. >_< I need more Max pictures, ASAP!
     
  19. Max's Dad

    Max's Dad New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Newport News, VA
    I hadn't started giving Max treats for potty until this morning. I'm just lazy I guess. But when he got the treat this morning, you could tell he was blazed about it, he started jumping around and tossing his leash in the air.

    I'll take some more pictures of him and start a new thread. Let's just see if he's camera shy or not, as I've only taken one of him, and it was while he was sleeping.

    -Tim
     
  20. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    17,761
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Not enough.
    Location:
    Wales
    Yes, puppy pictures are mandatory on joining this forum.

    Didn't you read the small print?
     

Share This Page