A Very Controversial Topic....

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by Elana P, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    I am about to rock the boat here folks, and stick my neck out, and I'm sure the poop will hit the fan when I'm through, but here goes....


    I can hear the snarls now, and see the hackles rising, lol.

    Let me start with a question to the Membership.
    Do you like your bed?
    I know I do. I love LOVE my bed. It is warm and comfortable, and at night, I can't wait for my head to hit my soft pillow, and to snuggle into the comfort of my blankets and sink into dream land....

    However... and yes, there is always a HOWEVER.....
    Would I like it as much, if my bed was placed into a 6x6x4 box, where I would have to sleep at night, and spend most of my daylight hours locked up into??? Can't get out, can't move around much really, can't go to the bathroom when I have to go, have nothing to see, nothing to do, no mental stimulation, no exercise, nothing to do but sleep....

    Ah-ha, some teeth are starting to show, as lips curl up....

    Now folks, we have all been to the Zoo at some time or another in our lives, yes? Now I am of an older vintage, and still remember days when animals were kept in cages, not spacious natural enclosures like now days.

    I clearly remember watching two wolves in a cage when I was a child. It was a fair sized cage by the standards of the day, with a den like enclosure in the back. They had food and water, an area to poop and pee, and each other for companionship, so being den oriented, social creatures, they had all their needs covered, right?

    Do you think they were curled up in their den blissfully sleeping?
    The answer is no.
    Watching their unhappiness, made me sad even as a small child.

    So here we are with our beloved companion doggies. We feed them, take them to the Vet, take them for occasional walks, buy them toys and treats, play with them when we feel like it, groom them, and love them.....

    And yet, on a daily basis many of us allow them even less freedom and space than those two wolves had all those many years ago.
    We expect them to sleep peacefully locked up in their crates all night long. We take them out in the morning, feed and water them, maybe walk them, or let them out into the yard for a few minutes, then back into the crate they go, for 5, 8, sometimes 10 hours or longer.
    We justify it, by saying that dogs, are 'den oriented animals', and that they 'like their crates' (just like we like our beds). I wonder if whoever came up with that saying, would enjoy such a caged existance himself (?)

    If we heard of any other creature being kept like this, what would we call it?
    As animal lovers, would we not be up at arms, crying for justice for the poor creatures.... ?

    OK..... now let the poop hit the fan!!!!!o_O But think about my words, before you pick up the first handfull and take aim.
  2. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Crates are a great tool. I do feel bad for dogs that get crated for long hours.
  3. PippatheMastiff

    PippatheMastiff Active Member

    I cannot imagine crating an adult dog. I use it for pups only when I'm not home, and no more than 4 hours at a time, and only to keep them safe. If I had to work every day, I would either come home mid day to let them out or pay someone to do it. Im with you Elana. I'm getting a puppy soon and although Pippa was exceptional about not eating socks or swallowing toys, etc, I don't know if I will be that lucky this time. Going through house to make it puppy safe is so important! And so is training and tons of attention.

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  4. dpenning

    dpenning Well-Known Member

    The scenario you describe they just shouldn't have a dog. Period. IMO crates are great short term training tools. No dog should be crated 8 hours a day five days a week for life. But that's just me.

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  5. kingmark

    kingmark Active Member

    I would never in anyway crate my dog!
  6. Hiraeth

    Hiraeth Active Member

    I think crates are a good training tool for puppies for limited periods of time a day. I also think every dog should be crate trained. What happens if they need to spend a night at the vet for an illness and because they aren't crate trained, they freak out all night and negatively impact their recovery?

    I let my dogs roam the house as soon as I think they're capable of doing so without harming themselves or my belongings. Titan had free roam from 10 months old.

    Zephyr, on the other hand, may never be able to be left uncrated. I left him for 5 minutes in my room one time and he chewed a hole through my dry wall. So, my "justification" (if I really have to justify my choices about my dogs to other dog owners), is that leaving Zeph uncrated is unsafe for his health because of the indigestible things he would likely eat, which would cause obstructions and the need for surgery.

    That being said, Zephyr's crate is 12' long, 4' high and 4' wide. It's not some tiny cage that he can barely turn around in. He also actively chooses to lay in there when I leave the door open (as does Titan).

    Just like *literally any other training tool on the planet*, crates can be great if used properly, and can be abusive if put into the wrong hands and used the wrong way.
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  7. cj-sharpy

    cj-sharpy Member

    We got one for Toby as his peeing was starting to rot the woodwork in the kitchen.
    He loves it.
    It's his space (kids are not allowed to touch it or put hands in or talk to the dog when he's in there) it's covered, and it's in a warm place. He can watch the world go by and come out when he wants.
    The door is only shut at night or when we pop out and frankly I have a hard time getting him out of it.
    It's the only place he will settle when there's fire works or the bin men are outside.

    I was dead against crates, I used to call them cages, but I like them now and would almost certainly crate train any new pup that came along.

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  8. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    I love crates. My little dog will pee and poop in the house out of anxiety when we are gone. Crating him solves the problem. Who wants a dog peeing and pooping in the house???
  9. MastiffMillie

    MastiffMillie Member

    We use a crate but not when the dog is adult. However, I know people with adult dogs who have had to crate for destructive reasons. Millie (5 months) is crated. My husband and I work full time and I pay for her to be let out half way through the day, every day, and her 'sitter' takes her out for a half hour walk with 6 other dogs. She posts pics and videos on FB daily and millie looks like she's having a whale of a time. When I get home and open the crate, she doesn't rush out. In fact, there have been times I've had to tempt her out; she comes out stretching and yawning.
    When we're at home she's not crated apart from overnight.

    The crate has been a wonderful toilet training tool.

    Having said all that, I look forward to that stage where I can leave her in the house uncrated although I will still pay someone to either walk her or visit her, depending on whether I've managed to take her out before work. She's not been a destructive dog thus far so I hope it won't be too long.

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  10. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    What you describe above is abuse and is not what I would say is normal use for a crate by any dog owner I ever ever encountered. Using any tool to the extreme can become abuse. I've also seen what the lack of training with crates can do to a poor dog. I've gone into the back of vet clinics with Kryten more than once because he refused to go back with a tech to get him settled before a procedure and seen the poor terrified panicked dog that was stressing out not only themselves but also the staff and the other animals. No one will ever be able to convince me that those owners didn't fail their dog. Thankfully I did crate train when they were puppies so that even though it can be months or years between crating Kryten (and Jiggers) will walk into the crate when told to. In my opinion crate training is simply the responsible thing to do even if you choose not to use one.
  11. kingmark

    kingmark Active Member

    I dont get it , so i who did never crate a dog nor would i have failed with my dog??
  12. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    The way those dogs were panicking was avoidable. If the owners had taught their dog that being in a crate was something safe and they could relax and wait calmly when inside, chances are the stress those dogs were under would be greatly reduced. I do know not all dogs can be safely crated but I also believe that many that freak out it's because the owners never taught them that crates can be good.
    In my opinion owners have the responsibility to do everything they can to reduce the stress that human life can possibily place on another species. The unfortunate possibility is that any dog may have an emergency or an illness that requires a vet stay, which in most cases requires being crated. Why should a dog be forced to endure the added stress of an unknown confinement along with the stress of an unusual enviroment and people when it can be avoided by taking the time to train that a crate can be good.
    I have no doubt that those who don't crate train also feel that what they are doing is the best for their dog but after seeing those dogs panicking and knowing how simple it was for me to prevent that stress in my dogs I do see it as a failure.
    I accept that there are those who will never crate train for whatever reason and all I can do there is hope that those dogs never need to be confined or accept crating naturally as the alternative is heartwrenching to witness.

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  13. kingmark

    kingmark Active Member

    That all can be true ,but there could be multiple other reasons why these dogs behaved like that. As you said all is in owners hands and that is true dogs dont have anyone but us, so i would never leave a dog crated even at the vet. God forgive me that some bad things never happen so my dog must stay over night but if that has to happen then i would never leave her alone at the vet not even out of the crate and if needs i would sleep there with her or treat her at home there are ways. Mine is simple i did never left my dog with someone i dont know or even half know or even full know not for a minute so there are different opinions.
  14. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    My daughter works at a busy emergency vet clinic. They all very much appreciate the dogs that are crate trained. Kingmark, if your dog were admitted to the hospital and required a stay, she would be crated for her own safety and you would not be allowed to stay in the back with her. There are other dogs in critical condition and the area where the animals are kept is not the place for an owner. If you refused to allow her to be crated, they would be forced to tell you that she couldn't stay as they are much too busy saving lives to watch an uncrated dog or have an owner under foot.
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  15. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    I see nothing wrong with crating a dog if it's what you need to do , as long as it's done responsibly , and not excessively ......I wouldn't go so far as to thinking if you don't crate train your dog , "you've failed your dog" , you fail your dog if you don't raise a well adjusted , trusting dog ... I have two crates , one is very old and been used less than a handful of times for an injured dog , or to separate a pup . the other is 3-4yrs old and still in the box ....... I've never crate trained a dog , most of the dogs I've had have never been in a crate .... they don't freak out no matter what's done with them as long as it's done properly , I assume it needs done properly , because I wouldn't allow anyone to do anything improperly and freak them out . whenever one needed crated I just put them in a crate without any practice , and the vets do also , my vets actually use pens for my dogs not crates ..... I've had more dogs than I could remember stay at the vets , never heard of one being a problem for them to keep it , and I know my vets extremely well , I've actually heard the opposite on every dog they've ever kept for me , they consistently tell me what wonderful dogs they are ....... also never had a problem with the vet or a tech taking one back , or bringing one out ......... i'm sure they see their share of poorly raised neurotic dogs , I just never raised a neurotic dog ..... my dogs are pretty calm and trusting ..... they love going anywhere , even the vets , they totally trust me ........... having a crate for your dog to sleep in is a great idea for most any dog owner , especially new dog owners ....... I too take exception to the "you failed your dog" , cause by that criteria I've failed a whole lot of them
  16. Wilsy

    Wilsy Member

    My view is that a crate is a training tool just like a prong collar, harness, whistle etc. Not every training tool works for every dog and a crate is no different.

    My dog has never been crated and that was my choice. He isn't destructive or unhappy when left in the house and doesn't eat things he shouldn't. He also stayed at in a crate at the vets when he had a knee joint operation without issue. Maybe he was too drugged up to care that he was in a crate or maybe he was balanced enough to accept it.

    Leaving a dog alone in a crate all day every day, denying it activity, exercise, attention, training and affection is in my view abuse. Choosing to use a crate because it works for and benefits a dog could well be one of the best training decisions an owner could make.
  17. Jeremyd1960

    Jeremyd1960 Member

    We foster and use the crate to help with toilet training, that said the pups also get fed in the crate so it's a bit ice place for them. All my dogs go in lie in the crate of their own accord.

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  18. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

  19. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I have crates up for my dogs for their entire lives. All three of them love to sleep in their houses, choosing them over the couch most times. I also heavily utilized crates when I fostered. They were imperative for the safety of all the dogs.
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  20. fila4me

    fila4me Active Member

    I love my crates! My girls have to be crated when company comes over, when a repair man comes, when one of my nurses come over, when the kids have friends over, when I go out and anytime they want to. When I ahowed , they had to be crated at the hotel if we left, on the show site while I was in the ring with another dog, when they traveled overseas for world shows.
    Being in rescue also, crates help save lives every day.

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