What is the longest you should leave your dog in a crate? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-11-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
KalamazooMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kalamazoo, naturally!
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we adopted our dog he was already crate trained and seems to do fine in the crate while we're gone. Days when I am gone at work he is in there about 8-9 hours. But there will be some days when I will be needing to do something after work and am thinking I need to get someone to let him out to pee and run around. So what would be the absolute limit you would allow your dog to be in a crate?
KalamazooMom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-11-2010, 02:16 PM
A&A
 
A&A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
The woman at the shelter really talked me into crates. She said they're very den-like and dogs love them. She told me it would be much more humane to leave my dog in a crate than outside while I work. She said that I could actually leave her in there for 23 hours (!) at a time if I had to. I've never left her in there that long, of course, but she has been in there for 10 hours before.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
A&A is online now  
Old 03-11-2010, 02:22 PM
 
subtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You will get a million opinoins... what I have always told clients (and other pros in my area will say also) is that 5 hours is a max before a break is needed. Think of it is a coach seat on an international flight!

-Mollie
subtle is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 02:41 PM
 
SophieAnn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
10 hours was the max for us - that's a full work day and stopping for a couple errands on the way home.

8-9 hours in the crate was pretty typical, once they were able to hold it for that long. Until they were truly out of the chewing-things-out-of-boredom phase, we really had no other alternative. Before the age of 2 both my dogs have been mature enough to be trustworthy loose in the house while we're at work.

dog2.gifcrochetsmilie.gif Lovin' my sweetheart, pregnant with #1 (EDD Feb.2013) stork-suprise.gif

SophieAnn is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Ola_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would say 8-10 hours is fine, with a potty break and plenty of exercise before and after. I agree with you that if you need to run an errand after work, you (or someone else for you) should take the dog out for a potty and ideally a short play/walk. That's what I do even though my dogs aren't crated anymore.
Ola_ is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 04:14 PM
 
greenmagick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Personally I feel more than 8 hours is too much if its an everyday thing....I have left my older dog alone for 10-12 but he was loose in the house and it was very rare. Now, if there is a break in the middle thats different.

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

greenmagick is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 07:13 PM
 
rhiOrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 4,164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also think it depends on what you do with the dog at night. If you're gone for 10-12 hours, then you come home, dog is out for a couple of hours, and then is crated for another 8-9 hours while you sleep, that seems like too much. And I don't think I'd do 10-12 hours in a crate in the first place except for if something came up.

Basically, my day-to-day limit would be much shorter than my extenuating circumstances limit.

Hippie sympathizer and mom to L, 4.8.10.
Pet-mom to Squirt with FLUTD & Maya the deaf wonder dog .
rhiOrion is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 07:40 PM
 
greenmagick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 2,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A lot also had to do with the age and breed of dog....for example it is not a good idea to crate a giant breed for long periods as with the accelerated growth they need to stretch and walk around more, etc.

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

greenmagick is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 07:50 PM
 
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: With Vin Diesel ;) YUMMMM
Posts: 14,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I cant imagine holding my water for more than 8 hours and I wouldnt ask my dog to do it either.

For me the most I am willing to let my Boxer stay is 8 hours without a potty break.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

MCatLvrMom2A&X is offline  
Old 03-11-2010, 08:28 PM
 
lifeguard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Coyote Rock Farm
Posts: 6,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We try really, really hard to not leave our pups for more than 8 hours. As pp said if at night they are also crated that's an awful lot of the day spent cooped up. And when we do get close to 8 hours the poor little one is just frantic to get outside.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

lifeguard is offline  
Old 03-20-2010, 07:36 PM
A&A
 
A&A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I also wanted to say that my dog seems to like it when I leave the radio on for her when she is in her crate and we're gone.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
A&A is online now  
Old 03-21-2010, 04:26 PM
 
SquishyKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, to put things in perspective, it's illegal here in germany to leave your dog in a crate for more than 2 hours.

We don't crate our dogs at all. They get a long, long walk before we go to work (yes, we get up at 5 am to walk them) and they have the backyard with a sizeable dog house.

I don't get the american love for crates, it blows my mind that people think it's ok to lock a creature in a box for 8+ hours a day, and I hate that trainers and vets in the states push it so much.
SquishyKitty is offline  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:01 PM
 
RockStarMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with SquishyKitty. I just got my neighbors kicked out for leaving their dogs cooped up all day--the dogs would be freaking out ALL day but of course the owners had no idea and didn't believe me I guess when I complained to them.
I think it becomes cruel if it's beyond the point that they might have to use the bathroom. Getting a baby gate and keeping them in the kitchen, or even just having them outside are much more humane alternatives for daytime.
RockStarMom is offline  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:47 PM
 
SoulCakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like any other method of constraint, crates can be used wisely or abused. In an ideal world, we could let our dogs have free run of the house and they wouldn't chew or pee anywhere. Most of us live in places we either have no yard at all or where it would be irresponsible to leave the dog outside (because the dog can scale the fence, there's heavy traffic nearby, or because of the risk of theft or injury), so most of us don't have that option. Crates are useful, then, when leaving the dog alone in the house poses a threat to the dog (eating things: choking hazard, stomach hazard, and can be toxic), not to mention our stuff. Many adult dogs can be left with free roam of the house with no problem. Many other adult dogs and puppies cannot.

Crates aren't limited to America, either. I've recently moved from the states to the UK and find they're just as widespread here. Myself, I've only used crates with my last two dogs and they've completely changed our lives - the dogs are calmer, settle more easily than the ones who aren't crate-trained, and were housebroken more quickly. The dog mind reacts well to crates and, when used in moderation, provides them with a sense of comfort. Our newest puppy already climbs in his crate periodically throughout the day because it's his favorite place to rest. It's like a security blanket.

That said, I don't think it's ideal to leave a dog in a crate for more than a five-hour stretch during the day. If a housebroken dog can be trusted not to gnaw on everything in sight, he should be allowed to roam the house. If he isn't to that point yet, it would be a good idea to get a dog-walker to visit in the middle of the day, so he can stretch his legs and use the outdoor facilities. Eight hours in a crate isn't just a strain on the bladder and bowels, but is extremely boring... it's hard on the dog's psyche.

But, we don't live in an ideal world. Get a dog-walker, and you'll know you're doing the right thing by your pet.
SoulCakes is offline  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:59 PM
 
Tjej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a beautiful place
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On a regular basis my answer is different, but as a "the longest" answer, I think that 12-13 hours is my max. We have ended up doing that once or twice when we had some special circumstances and the dogs were fine.

My thing would be that I think it would be terribly mean to do it longer than the dog can hold it. Dogs do not like to soil their crates, and it would be very hard on them to be put in that situation.

Tjej
Tjej is offline  
Old 03-28-2010, 03:03 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We only use a crate at night, and we wait 'til the last possible moment to put him in it & get him out of it ASAP in the morning -- he's usually in it no more than 6-8 hours. During the day if we need him contained, he stays in the bathroom, which is (weirdly, considering our house size) pretty big. I didn't want to use the crate at all but we had to get him out of the bedroom at night after DS was born & it was the only way he'd stay calm. I don't really feel dogs should be crated during the day, especially on a daily basis, and wouldn't do it more than 8 hours (and that's only if they're not in the crate at night too). I think dog-proofing a room in the apartment/house might be a better alternative, and if the dog frantically needs to do his duty when you get home, you might want to consider letting him out during your lunch break (I did this every day when my dog was a puppy) or hiring someone to take him out for a break mid-day, though once they're older they may be fine going all day without a duty break.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
Old 03-28-2010, 03:49 PM
 
betsyj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Nine hours max. If I had errands to do I came home first and let my dog out first. Inconvenient but really IMO the only fair thing to do.
betsyj is offline  
Old 03-28-2010, 03:49 PM
A&A
 
A&A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockStarMom View Post
or even just having them outside are much more humane alternatives for daytime.
My current dog gets EXTREMELY antsy outside by herself (she's fine outside when we're also outside.) Even a little bit of wind bothers her. If we leave her outside, she's a NERVOUS WRECK by the time we get home (even though she has a nice yard to play in and a nice doghouse.) But if we leave her in the crate, she's really content and happy when we get home, especially if we've left the radio on. She apparently likes the safety of the crate. (And she was a stray shelter dog, so I have no idea what she had to endure previously).

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
A&A is online now  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:09 AM
 
samy23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyKitty View Post
Well, to put things in perspective, it's illegal here in germany to leave your dog in a crate for more than 2 hours.

We don't crate our dogs at all. They get a long, long walk before we go to work (yes, we get up at 5 am to walk them) and they have the backyard with a sizeable dog house.

I don't get the american love for crates, it blows my mind that people think it's ok to lock a creature in a box for 8+ hours a day, and I hate that trainers and vets in the states push it so much.
Im so pleased someone said this! I agree 100%! and now I love Germany I'd never crate my dog.

Our dog is allowed to have free run in our home while we are out (except for bedrooms), and is never left alone for more than 4-5 hours at a time maximum, it's usually more like 2-3 hours on her own.

Like pp said, ours too seems to like the tv/radio left on when she's alone in the home. If we leave her for too long, there are signs she was distressed...and I don't blame her, dogs are pack animals.

Mom    wash.gif  bikenew.gifgeek.gifdishes.gif

samy23 is offline  
Old 03-29-2010, 01:17 PM
 
betsyj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would never leave my dog outside all day while I was gone. She could be barking and driving the neighbors crazy. What if someone let her out of the gate? What if she escaped? What if kids were teasing her? What if someone stole her?

A dog is safest inside. A crate is like any other tool. It is not inhumane if used correctly. It can keep a young pup safely contained. The pup can't destroy items or chew on electrical cords. It helps with housebreaking. If your dog ever needs to stay overnight at the vet's s/he will be crated so it is good to be familiar with that.
betsyj is offline  
Old 03-29-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Ola_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
I would never leave my dog outside all day while I was gone. She could be barking and driving the neighbors crazy. What if someone let her out of the gate? What if she escaped? What if kids were teasing her? What if someone stole her?

A dog is safest inside. A crate is like any other tool. It is not inhumane if used correctly. It can keep a young pup safely contained. The pup can't destroy items or chew on electrical cords. It helps with housebreaking. If your dog ever needs to stay overnight at the vet's s/he will be crated so it is good to be familiar with that.
I totally agree with Betsy! Outside is not a safe place to leave a dog at all - too many things can happen. Sure, a crate can be abused, but if used correctly it can be a very good tool to keep your dog safe and comfortable.
Ola_ is offline  
Old 03-29-2010, 01:57 PM
 
sagewinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 2,002
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We use the crate, but most days it's for a few hours. Once a week or so it's for 8. Otherwise I have my mom or someone else stop by, let them out, play with them for a little bit, etc.

One of my dogs will chew anything, but especially loves clothing and books. It isn't safe to leave her with the run of the house. She also has anxiety issues so if she is left outside she will bark non-stop (or she will jump over the fence!). She is safer crated when we go. She also often returns to the crate during the day to take a nap. The dogs are not crated at night, but we use a gate in the hall to keep them in the bedroom part of the house.

DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8  angel1.gif 11/10  angel1.gif 4/11
  adoptionheart-1.gifDD: 3  angel1.gif 8/11

sagewinna is offline  
Old 03-29-2010, 02:12 PM
 
samy23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
I would never leave my dog outside all day while I was gone. She could be barking and driving the neighbors crazy. What if someone let her out of the gate? What if she escaped? What if kids were teasing her? What if someone stole her?
Not sure if this was directed at me, but I wouldn't leave my dog outside all day either, I agree with your points. I did say our dog has free run inside our house while we are out, except for in the bedrooms where we keep the doors closed when we aren't there to prevent her laying on the beds getting hair allover them. She has several large rooms to go in plus a hallway if she chooses, also one of the sofa's is positioned right by a window which she can look out at if she wants, she also loves to lay in the sun over there....then when she gets too hot she will go lay in her dog bed or on the other sofa which is in the shade, she goes where she wants.

Mom    wash.gif  bikenew.gifgeek.gifdishes.gif

samy23 is offline  
Old 03-31-2010, 03:48 AM
 
shesaidboom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 548
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also agree that there's really no right answer to this. Most people have different opinions on crates and what's okay/not okay with them. We used the crate with my dog as a puppy and after she was over a year old we took the door off and now she uses it on her own. The longest we ever left her in the crate was 5 hours, but it was usually more like 3 at a time (I was at University that was super close to my home so it was easy to come home on my breaks, I know that is not manageable for most people). After a year we left her in a safe room while we were out, and eventually let her have the run of the house except bathrooms/bedrooms when we're out when we realized she wouldn't destroy anything. She often still chooses to sleep in her crate while we're out because I guess she feels comfortable there.

I would not be comfortable with leaving a dog in a crate for more than 5 hours, six at most, at a time, but then there are lots of people who wouldn't be comfortable with letting their dog run the house while they're out. I think the best answer would be what works best for your dog. Smaller dogs usually have to pee more often, some dogs need to be exercised more often, and some dogs really hate being alone for too long.

Nikki crochetsmilie.gif, partner to Jeremy guitar.gif. Baby Joshua Nolan is finally here after a many year struggle with infertility. I blog at www.loliecraft.blogspot.com. dog2.gifcat.gifhamster.jpghamster.jpg

 

shesaidboom is offline  
Old 03-31-2010, 03:49 AM
 
SquishyKitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not saying you HAVE to leave a dog outside as the alternative to a crate, I'm saying why not find a better alternative than shoving your dog inside a box for 8+ hours a day?

We have a yard setup that allows us to leave our dogs out there safely, but if we didn't, we either A) Wouldn't have dogs or B) Would find a solution that works, like doggy day care or a safe room inside the house, if the dogs couldn't be trusted to have free run of the house.
SquishyKitty is offline  
Old 04-01-2010, 01:40 PM
 
gingerstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Room of Requirement
Posts: 1,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a large (70 lb) dog, pretty high energy, and a terrible chewer. (She's not yet 2, I'm hoping she'll yet grow out of this!!) She loves her crate. If I'm up later than usual she will ask to go in her crate at night. She is crated 6 to 10 hours at night, but holding elimination is different when sleeping. I feel guilty if she needs to be crated more than about 5 - 6 hours during the day, and that does not often happen - less than once a week. We try to balance it by getting her a longer walk, or longer playtime (fetch, chasing a JollyBall, etc) and by giving her something special to chew on/play with in her crate during the time we are gone. Our trainer also suggested easy-listening radio playing very quietly while we are gone.

But I don't get the crate backlash. Growing up, our dogs were never crated, but having crate-trained this dog (responsibly) I see that she loves it, asks to go in, and likes going in it for naps even when we are home. But we have made it a safe place for her, and she has never had reason to resent it. Like betsyj said, it is a tool, and like anything else can be misused. What it comes down to is are you treating your pet with respect? Look at your dog's actual needs - elimination and activity - and make sure those are met.

I personally would never leave my dog outside while I was gone.

~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
gingerstar is offline  
Old 04-01-2010, 01:53 PM
 
Tjej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a beautiful place
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DD just reminded me this morning about when our dog was injured/attacked last year, and I realized that we used our crate for a really long time then. Our dog had a plate put in her leg and the vet said to keep her in her crate for two months. Seriously. It was terrible but we only had her out to pee/poop and then back in. And she couldn't walk much to do that either - on a short leash, only walking enough to go.

So that is a really extreme situation, but our dog was crated for 23 hours a day there for a while. We did take her out and hold her a bit in the evenings when the kids were in bed, but she was so uncomfortable and wiggly that we really didn't do it very often. The vet said that if she walked on it she might re-break it.

After the crate it was a month in just one room of our house. With her injury she really wasn't particularly upset about either of the confinements.

Tjej
Tjej is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off