She is five months and I don't plan on giving her run of the house till she is probably 8 months to a year. However, it is something I want to do. I want her to be able to guard the house and know that is her job. I adopted her to be my best friend and protector. How can she protect our home if she is in a crate? I want to know how to make it a safe transition and how to go about doing it. Please dont tell me Im a bad person :( If you could only see my baby while she is in her crate. She hates it and we have been doing it for 3 months. She doesnt cry anymore she just hates it. She is a herding dog. She doesnt belong in a crate while I am at work. Please help
She is only 5 month old..she isn't going to be protecting your house yet. She can only get herself into trouble while you are gone. Crate training, will only help with the potty training. If she has been doing great in the crate as far as not potting in it, then you are doing good for her. If you let her have the run of the house even at 8 months, while you are gone, she will start "going" where ever she wants and you are just setting yourself up for problems.
You didn't like the answers you got before on this, as you said. I don't think you are going to like the answers you get now..it is still the same. After she is trained, then you can let her out more. Let her grow up a little first. She should be out with you when you are home, so that is enough for now.
If you don't want to use the crate, that is your prerogative.
First she is a herding dog not a guard dog-just her bark is what will deter people.
Crate training is great for almost all dogs and especially herders. they can be a little neurotic and getting them used to a crate is a must. You never know what will come up later on in your dogs life. herders,from my experience anyway,like to chew. Not as bad as labs generally but I've lost some good shoes etc and its just generally safer to crate if your not home.
Other than that whats really the question? you seem determined not to crate so you need to completely dog proof the house which is hard. I know of dogs that chewed through bathroom doors and cabinets,ate a thing of tylenol and died.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons -James Thurber
I came across exactly how I didnt mean to. I was told before I got her that she needs a job to do "wether it be protecting you and your home or herding cattle or else she will not be happy." Obviously I do not have any cattle. Therefore I don't want her to feel useless therefore be unhappy. And I have been crating her, and she hates it, as do I. Things are not "going well". I don't think I am wrong for not wanting my dog in a crate for the 8 hours I am at work. I dont think it is wrong to do so, I just know that it is not making my dog happy, and for those of you saying "trust me she will be happier," as the "mother" of my dog I know that is not true. I dont think I should be critisized because I want my dog to have a different lifestyle than in a cage all day. She is already potty trained. She is not a big chewer at all. My QUESTION IS what can I do to "dog proof" the house as you speak. There are tons of people who do not crate their dogs and personally I do not think an Australian Shepherd should be crated. Her temperment is fine. She is not roudy at all. She is quite mellow. I just want to make sure she is safe
I understand how you feel. I refused to leave my dog crated for more that four hours. I had to make arrangements with people to make that happen and it wasn't easy.
However, the crate is essential when it comes to housebreaking. Some dogs take to the crate, and some never do. Even if they despise the crate, it is for their protection (and the protection of your house) that they be crated until fully trained.
I took baby steps when it came to not using the crate. The frist time we didn't put him in the crate, we put him in the bathroom. Once he did fine in there, we moved him to the bedroom. After he did fine in the bedroom, we let him stay in the kitchen. My dog is now eight months old and still doesn't have full run of the house while we are gone, and probably never will.
I don't know if this is something you would want to introduce to your dog gradually. My dog isn't a chewer and doesn't destroy things. I don't know about your dog. If your dog is a chewer then it may be a problem. Perhaps once he is completely housebroken you could invest in a larger crate so he wouldn't feel so confined.
"At least the war on the middle class is going well"
Brittand Dooney, I can see why you don't want to crate your dog for 8 hours every day. Do you have any options, like an outdoor run, or a large pen you can enclose him in?You really can't give him the run of the house because it's just too dangerous. Even if you took everything out of your house, which you obviously can't he could still chew something like the phone cord, baseboards etc. Even if he does'nt chew things now, you'd be surprised at what a bored unattended dog can get into.
Pen, why would you suggest she leave her dog outside in a run while no one is home? It is very dangerous to leave a dog outside while no one is home to supervise. The dog could be stolen, abused, poisoned, get out and get run over, bark too much and anger the neighbors, etc. Do not leave your dog outside while you are away from your house. I think 8 hours is too long for a dog to be crated at one time on a regular basis. I know a lot of people with little dogs like to use x-pens..maybe there is something like this for larger dogs. Or choose a room such as a bathroom or kitchen and close it off. To dog proof would be to make sure their are no exposed wires to chew on, nothing left ont the floor that could be chewed and ruined, nothing left out that could hurt the dog, basically no way your dog can destroy anything or hurt itself.
When was the last time your dog had an accident (any accident) in the house? If it's been a month or more, then I personally see no reason why you can't 'test the waters' regarding her readiness to roam a portion of the house free.
Start on a weekend, small, in a room she is familiar with, like a bedroom. Pick all loose clothing and items up off the floor, make the bed (if she decides to get up there, so she doesn't leave doghair on the sheets). Tuck cords behind the drawers, walls, etc. Ideally you don't want any cords at all exposed. Close the closet door. Make sure to take her out before hand. Put her on the room, and leave for a short amount of time. Go grocery shopping or something like that. Come home and evaluate how she is doing. If she does fine, keep leaving her alone in the bedroom for longer periods of time. This is why I suggested you start on a weekend, or a day when you are off work, so she isnt' all of a sudden left out and alone for 8+ hours.
When you think she is trustworthy enough to leave the whole working time period, then do so. If she does fine after a month without getting into anything or having accidents, open up the rest of the house to her, but make sure you don't leave the trash out, or food on the counters at all. It's just too tempting for dogs.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Bowen is 7 years old now, and used to be trustworthy, now he has to be shut in our bedroom after he chewed his way through a plastic can of lays stackers. Ridd*ck is a lab, and thus a champion chewer, so can't be left out at all... he chews on woodwork, furniture, etc, so its the crate for him. And it is important to note that he *only* chews on things like this when no one is home... he never bothers anything when we're here, or even attempts to gnaw on things.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 7/10/2007 10:48:58 PM*** Reason: add
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
I can understand not leaving your dog in a crate for 8 hours, but your dog really should be taught to be comfortable in a crate. What happens if your dog gets sick and has to go to the vet? I work at a vet clinic and dogs who are not used to being crated get really stressed out and it is harder for them. Try making the crate a positive place for your dog. Feed the dog in the crate, encourage the dog to go in and then praise, praise praise. Don't immediately shut the door and leave the dog in there. Crates should never be used for punishment. They should be your dog's own little "den"
m13lucky, this is a large breed, as I understand it, or relatively large, a dog who is used to a lot of activity and who needs space and exercise with room to run. You asked why I would suggest a run.I guess I'm under the assumption that this dog owner took the animal's size and breed into considerstion, and does'nt live in an apartment. I don't believe that it was stupid to suggest a run outside, plenty of dogs have them. A little more information about the OP's yard size etc. would be helpful. I don't think crating an Australian Shepherd all day is a wonderful idea, that's just my opinion. BrittandDooney, what are your accomodations like?
Brittand Dooney, are you afraid to leave your dog in her run during the day? Does everyone out there crate their dogs for the day whilst they are at work? I use a crate for toilet training, (you said she's already trained), and various other reasons, but not as the dog's main residence. My dogs would go berserk if I crated them for 8 hours every day.
I may have missed your other post.... but what is your main concern in leaving her out in the house? Is she destructive? Does she get into things? Is she not 100% on housetraining? My dog was never crate trained. Granted, I got her as an adult from a shelter, and she came pre-trained! (yey for older dogs!) BUT... I didn't crate train her.
So... knowing your dog's actions when you are there, what does she do or what will she do if you are gone?
That will help address the issue. Some are really just not smart enough (ie.. interested in) opening the cupboards. Some are digging around, getting into cubpoards, etc... those things are important to know.
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
My concerns are that she will be destructive if no one is home. How can I make her ok with being alone? She ran away from me this morning when it was time to go in her crate. And no.. none of the "You have to show your dog who's boss" crap. She KNOWS. Shes a PUPPY who doesn't want to go in their cause she knows she will be in their forever. I am going to take the helpful advice and try a pen for now. But as I mentioned before I know she will still not be happy and begin to think of the pen in the same way. She feels useless :(
Brittand Dooney, I don't think I mentioned the word 'casino'! I think you're absolutely right to try a bigger pen, and eventually she will get used to being enclosed. She is, after all a puppy. Give her a treat when you put her in the crate or pen, and she'll come around. Pretty soon she'll be old enough to have the run of the place, then it won't bother you, or her so much.
What the dog does need, is a safe, secure area that they can't get into trouble in. Sometimes this is a kitchen, sometimes it is an enclosed doggie pen. It just kinda depends on the dog and the lay of the house.
Think of the safety that a crate provides. It's really like a solitary confinement room. No cords, no windows, no food, no carpet to soil, no things to chew on, no cupboards to open, etc.... So if you want to be sure the dog is safe, try to mimic that environment somewhere.
Knowing your dog is a particularly crafty and smart breed, you need to be sure they can't jump out / over or get into things.
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."