Why Confining a Dog to a Crate Is Wrong - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Why Confining a Dog to a Crate Is Wrong

Author:

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Would you incarcerate other members of your family in a cage?

Would you incarcerate other members of your family in a cage?

I hate my dog so I have decided to confine her. I will not leave her outside during the day. I will not subject her to fresh breezes, the birds singing in the trees, the cats running through my yard, or force her to hear the sounds of kids playing on the beach.

Several dog experts have determined that my dog would be much happier locked away in a cage during the day. They tell me it is natural for dogs to spend their time in a den and thus she will feel safe if I allow her no freedom. The crate will be just big enough for her to turn around, but not so large that she is able to get up and defecate or urinate if she needs to.

They think that my dog will be much better off inside my house, locked away in a crate.

Having a wire door shut in your face is not pleasant, despite what you may have been told.

Having a wire door shut in your face is not pleasant, despite what you may have been told.

Dogs Are Not Den Animals, and Crates Are Not Natural

When dogs are feral, the only time they use a den is when they are raising their puppies. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, in The Hidden Life of Dogs, recounts the digging of a den by her dogs. This is not normal behavior. She had recently moved to a new state, the dogs were confined for the first time, and there were several other changes in the household. The dogs were upset and were hiding like newborn puppies.

Why do experts recommend using crates? Maybe it is because of the people that are too lazy to own a dog. Crates are convenient but not a natural thing that all dogs accept.

Yes, most dogs can be convinced that it is okay to be confined to a crate. There are crate companies that now sell crates to look like furniture, and of course they tell you that it is okay to lock up your puppy as soon as company comes over. Why bother with training? Just put the dog away and eliminate the issue.

After a while they will give up on complaining and not even beg to be let out. That allows the people that confine their dogs to think they are doing okay.

Most humans in prisons also go back to their cell when they are told.

What was the crime?

What was the crime?

Are Crates Better Than The Outdoors?

There are a lot of people on the internet who claim to be experts. They recommend that all dogs be crated when the owner is out of the house.

Locking your friend away may keep her from chewing on your new shoes and prevent her from urinating on your carpet, but so does training, picking up after yourself, or leaving her outside.

The majority of people in the US now who think it is wrong to leave a dog outside during the day. Those not able to afford doggie daycare, also the majority, are told that it is all right to incarcerate a dog in a crate during the day. It is not all right.

This breed has been staked out for thousands of years. Is a crate a natural alternative?

This breed has been staked out for thousands of years. Is a crate a natural alternative?

Actually I do not hate my dog. I used a crate to potty train her when she was seven weeks old, but as soon as she realized that the house was not to be used as her bathroom, I tossed the crate in the trash.

(It was just a cardboard box, so I just added it to my compost heap. If you want to potty train your puppy using a crate, use a cardboard box and get it done in five days. You will not be tempted to keep it in the garage and use it again.)

I am also not going to condemn everyone that uses a crate in all situations. That is wrong. A crate with an open door can be a safe place to sleep, and if your dog does not have a table to lie under when the company comes over, an open crate is an alternative.

A crate with a closed door can be a safe way to move a dog.

If you lock the cage and confine a dog inside the house when you go to work or entertain, however, it is not correct. Your dog does not deserve this sort of treatment.

Please think before you accept the advice out there.

It may be wrong.

More Resources About Crates and Dogs

  • Keep Your Dog Outside
    Use common sense. Some dogs can do great outside, but you need to choose the right breed. If your dog is going to be outside, do you know what you need to provide?
  • How To Housetrain A Puppy In 5 Days
    Simple and cheap method to potty train your puppy, with tips on how to spend each day.
Should this dog be locked away in a crate?

Should this dog be locked away in a crate?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Comments

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 25, 2020:

rude "dogs are not humans" person: yes, I did delete your comment since you added that last bit.

No, dogs are not den animals. You are abusing your dog.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 25, 2020:

Hey "Dogs are not humans"--dogs are not rocks either. Unless you think you have bought a rock and want to treat it that way, grow up and treat the dogs it should be treated. You are an irresponsible person to abuse this animal and think it is okay.

No, dogs are not den animals.

Dogs are not humans! on July 25, 2020:

Im only a teenager and my mom finally got us a puppy, who’s responsibility falls to me. I love my puppy more than anything and we treat him very well so he warmed up to all of us in less than 24 hours. Anytime he wants out of the crate we let him out, give him what he wants, and eventually either he will go back in himself or we will put him there, sometimes we even leave the door open if we know he might want again soon, and we don’t leave him in there longer than his naps (which last 45 mins to 2.5 hours, with the exceptions of nights which he sleeps through). But dogs actually are den animals. My new puppy walked right into his DOG crate the first day and cozied up in his DOG bed with his DOG toys no training needed. Because he is a DOG not a human, not a “baby” not a “kid” he’s a dog. And I hate to break it to yall, but dogs ARE NOT babies. Dogs don’t want to drink from a bottle, they don’t want to watch Mickey Mouse, they don’t play pretend, and they don’t need a blanket to sleep. Babys are not covered in fur, they do not chase squirrels, and they do not want to dig holes, and they do not play tug of war all the time. Granted, there are some similarities between baby’s and dogs, but lots of obvious differences that make babies, babies and dogs, dogs. When he isn’t following me around or playing with my younger siblings, my dog gets tired and retreats to his crate, when he is ready he will let us know when he wants out. Vets who STUDY pets FOR A LIVING reccomend crate training, so your dumbass probably saw one article and decided your dog “doesn’t deserve that.” Even in your poll you make crating seem like a punishment. If you are so afraid to give your puppy anything that might be mildly uncomfortable for them at first, raising a dog is not for you, you should get a plant instead. What you guys don’t understand is that when u don’t provide a crate to your dog, you aren’t giving him a save place that he can go when he is tired or wants a break/alone time. Your dog does get tired of you, sorry to break it too you. He won’t want to spend every waking moment with you (though it seems like it I know), eventually he will need a break. Crates keep puppies safe and out of trouble, and just because a bunch of uneducated adults feel bad for it, doesn’t mean it is wrong. Instead of comparing it to putting your baby in a cage, compare it to putting your baby in their crib. If you feel so horrible for giving your dog any sort of stucture, you are probably the type to baby your kids into brats. If you want to compare you dogs to your kids, at least do it right. Don’t get me wrong, crate training IS NOT leaving the dog in the crate for over 6 hours (unless he’s sleeping through the night) it is NOT throwing him in the crate as punishment, EVER, (if puppies do something “bad” do not punish them, only praise what is good, what you should do if your dog gets into trouble is [at a normal volume] say “no” and redirect them do something else.) If you associate the crate with punishment your dog will hate it and hate being inside it. Crate training is also NOT putting him in the crate when he wants to play or needs something else. If you are doing any of these things, you aren’t crate training, you are abusing. For everyone saying crate training is “lazy” it is not, doing it wrong is lazy. Just because we are raised and see movies and media that makes cadges look like traps, doesn’t mean they have to be traps if you use them correctly. The crates are not punishments or cadges for when you don’t feel like dealing with your dog. That is obviously wrong. But they are a safe place for your dog, that he hangs out in or sleeps in when he wants or gets tired, that he knows he can leave whenever he needs. So everyone, unless you have a real reason not to crate your dog (abused, old, whatever) grow up and crate your dog, for everyone’s benefit.

Crating = Abuse on April 06, 2020:

Crate Training so lazy and cruel to any dog. They wonder why their dogs have anxiety and behavioral issues when they're trapped for over 6 hours in box. Maybe don't own a dog if you don't know how to train it.

Belinda on November 16, 2019:

Just read one of the responses below saying they crate their dogs when guests come over so that the children won't annoy or tease the dog. How about putting those useless spoilt brats in a cage instead and let the dog run free? Crating is for ppl who want to put zero effort into training their dogs and who give them zero exercise. A properly trained and exercised dog will not destroy your house. Use baby gates to confine them to the kitchen or wherever initially if you have to but crating is absolutely horrifying and a pathetic excuse for pure uselessness and laziness of owners.

Terrence on September 23, 2019:

People who justify caging animals, especially for long hours, don't seem to comprehend that they shouldn't have pets. Maybe they feel entitled, because "everyone else has one, my kid gets one too". Exercise some restraint. If you'd leave your child in a cage for 4-9 hours while you're so busy at work making more money to buy your required crap and gadgets, you'd ignore your child as well. Grow up, grow a set, and look hard in the mirror. You don't need a kid any more than you need a pet or another handbag or car. Gluttons.

Shirley L on May 08, 2019:

I have a 6 month old miniature American shepherd and he loves the crate, I

Wish I could post a picture or him in the cage.

When we got him, he used to destroy anything in the house, he still does, we paid $2800 in obedience training and he does everything we ask but the destructive part is a biological part of the breed, if I

Don’t close the crate he would destroy everything so for him the crate is not an option is a most.

We do have a back yard but he cannot stay outside all day because the alligators will get him, so I lock him when I go out sometimes 5 hours(not every day) but he still a happy puppy and I don’t believe he is traumatized.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 05, 2019:

Theodora, no, you are wrong, and I hope you go sit in your crate all day and think about the things you say. (Lock yourself up in there instead of abusing your dog!)

Tosha on February 16, 2019:

I couldn't do it. I have 2 dogs. They are left free in their home or outside if it is good weather. We crated one of them for one day and the whole day at work, I couldn't stop thinking about her being locked in the cage. Yes, at first they destroyed some things. They peed and pooped everywhere. I learned quickly not to leave things out. I put a gate in the areas i don't want them to go in and they have never jumped the gate. They rarely have accidents in the house anymore. One sleeps with me and one sleeps on the couch. I can't imagine leaving them in a cage while we are at work.

Smash951 on February 06, 2019:

Also, people confuse what they think is their dog's love for the cage with what is more than likely a canine stockholm syndrome for it. If a dog is actually a "den animal" then why do people have to train it to accept their new "den?" Because they aren't den animals and even if they were, real dens don't have latches. The only thing close to a cage I've ever used was a giant round playpen type thing (was huge like 6 feet around) to keep my new foster puppy in occassionally so my other big dogs wouldn't be too rough with her after she had her eyeball removed. I tore it down and gave it away right when i no llonger needed it.

Your dog does not love his cage. Don't be an asshole

:( on January 23, 2019:

You made some good points in your article, but this is a very one-sided attitude. My dog is just under a year old and is crate trained. We put him there to sleep at night and when we leave to run errands simply because he’s curious and likes to get into the trash and on the counters.

Besides bed time, he hardly ever is locked in there and spends most of the day with me - the crate is HIS spot. He can go there for quiet time.

It keeps him out of trouble and it keeps our apartment from getting destroyed. This is what my parents have done with their dogs: they crate at night and after 2-3 years, the dog has calmed down and can be trusted to sleep wherever without getting into trouble.

I agree that dogs should not be crated all day everyday in the same way they shouldn’t be tethered or locked outdoors, but assuming people who use crates for their benefits of keeping the pet safe is such a disappointing way to judge dog owners who are trying their best to learn how to keep their pets safe and out of trouble

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 11, 2019:

A. Barrett- sorry you are not intelligent enough to understand sarcasm. You know that they have therapists to help people like you work on your problems.

A. Barrett on January 07, 2019:

For all who lock their dogs up for hours at a time, I think we should put those people in crates for the same amount of time. Hope you don't need to use a bathroom....

PS:

To: Ihatemydog: get a therapist and some medication. Mom or Dad treated you something awful. I TRULY feel sorry for you. :(......

Sandy on December 05, 2018:

I rescued a dog that was badly abused, she started every night on my bed and ended up either under the bed or behind the nightstand. I finally brock down and bought a crate and covered it next to my bed. Every night we start on the bed and then she jumps down and runs to the crate (her bed, den) where she feels safe. As much as I dislike crates sometimes there is a real need for them. O' she paws the door until she gets it closed.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 21, 2018:

Thanks for that great comment, Katie. You have a lucky dog. I do not feel that a few hours a week are so bad; the problem is that so many people hear the advice on crating and then abuse it by leaving the dog in all day, and then at night when sleeping. Poor dogs!

Not sure what advice I can give. Your dog sounds like a herding breed, with way too much energy for an apartment. He is fortunate in that you sacrifice so that he can go to doggy day care.

Katie on September 21, 2018:

Hello!

Loved the article and completely agree with this! I learned very early on with my pup that leaving him out to be free range in the home is not an option. He tore up an entire room and ruined a mattress. But more importantly, he got into drawers an closets somehow where he could have eaten things that would have harmed him. As I live in a large apartment without a backyard for him to wonder, I adjusted to his level of energy by sending him to doggy daycare (also people need to do more research on doggy daycare, I live well under minimum wage (less than 20,000 a year) and have made room in the budget for doggy daycare) a reputable one where he could safely play off some of his energy and I could go to my 8-5 job. I think for the most part, people need to adjust there lives to fit a dogs, not the other way around.

But i do have to say, a crate is sometimes necessary. I just mentioned how my dog is destructive and does not have a safe outdoor space. So when I go out to get groceries or the occasionally 3 hour tops outing for just my fun, he HAS to be in a crate. That being said, the crate is three times the size recommended for his body size and filled with toys, treats, water and a nice plushy blanket. I do feel bad for leaving him in a crate but its typically no more than 5 hours spread out throughout the week. My only other option would be not to have a dog at all or to find a different. But honestly I find that stupid, my dog absolutely loves his life. He smiles and wags his tail every minute of the day he's awake (except for bath time). I did not know about his destructive behavior when left alone before adopting him, and that was never going to be an excuse to return him. As I said before, an owner has to adjust to her dogs life style, not the other way around. So what I'm trying to get at is that I truly agree with many of the points you made in the article, but for some dogs crating for short periods of time may be necessary for their safety.

If you have any advice about how else to keep my dog safe while I'm out of the house, please let me know. But keep in mind that I tried almost everything (doggy proofing a room, puzzle toys to keep him destracted, etc.).

Thank you for the wonderful article!

The Logician from now on on September 16, 2018:

Dr.Mark, I have long followed your articles and have to say some of the best reading I have seen on dog breeds and care! You are awesome.

And the points you’ve made here are excellent. It is a shame how little people know about training their dogs. If you watch a few episodes of Caesar Milan it is immediately obvious that the problems he encounters are really due to the dog’s owner treating the dogs as if they were humans. They aren’t and they don’t respond to “training” like a human might expect. So the problem really isn’t with crating your dog which you even say can be useful but it has to be done right and not used in a way to abuse the dog. I have had and bred many different dogs and early on I found the best thing was to get puppies used to a crate using a method like Caesar recommends

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/lifecycle/puppi...

And I found that crate use was invaluable while training a pup as it often takes time to train the dog to not destroy things, house break, etc. and my dogs loved it as a place to go to, not any different than laying on a dog bed if you don’t want them on furniture. If I had company with little children I didn’t want playing with the dog (children can be mean to a puppy or an adult dog which could snap back) I’d crate him until company left especially if the dog wasn’t fully trained to be around children. I had 4 children of my own and their friends over all the time. When I had maids come in to clean or workers in the house I could crate the dog because the dog was happily trained to use the crate and I didn’t want to risk coming home and having a dishonest worker claim they were bit by my dog just because it was a pitbull or a German Shepherd. I could crate the dog if I had guests who were afraid of dogs. And you know every dog can have a temperament about things and people. Your dog can be trained to accept guests in your house yet that one person in a hundred walks in the door and for no apparent reason your dog doesn’t like the way she/he smells.

While I agree with you that indiscriminate dog crating when the dog has not been trained to like and accept the crate can be cruel there are plenty of good caring reasons to crate your dog, for the right reasons, and it can only be an advantage to the dog and the owner if he is taught at an early age to accept the crate whether you use it or not. I have had a dog that was so smart she was a perfect angel when a person was present with her in the home, totally well behaved yet when left alone occasionally would become mischievous jumping on tables or chewing things or once even killing a kitten whose mother it normally slept with. I think it had something to do with a hormonal change in the dog but crating her when we had to go out seemed to be the solution, and she loved it, often when we’d come home and let her out to do her business she’d come back in the house and run right into her crate - it was her space, she had her blanket and chew toys and was quite happy.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 16, 2018:

Ihatemydog--Zero freedom? With that kind of attitude, you really should not own a dog.

Ihatemydog on September 15, 2018:

My dog will get zero freedom until he has earned my trust that he's not going to destroy the house. That's never going to happen, and thus he will earn no freedom.

Patty on September 02, 2018:

I agree! This crate trend is so annoying. I have never used a crate, and I believe it makes it more difficult to house train a dog. My 17 year old dog passed away six months ago. The only time I ever saw her seek out a dark secluded "den" type space was the week before she passed. When she was healthy, she wanted her freedom and I gave her the run of the house. She did well with this set up and I would never "crate" a dog. I think it's ridiculous and an easy out for lazy people.

future4podencos on August 07, 2018:

Hi,

i am swiss , in europe we consider crating except for medical reasons animal cruelty.

this article gives me hope that maybe some people will be reasonable american adopters for our hounds. we live with 15 spanish galgos and podencos and a few small rescues. and not one single dog is created. the big ones are separated from the minis, there is a doggy door for all of them and they use it when we are gone. and if one peed, well we clean it, thats it.

if peoble are too lazy to educate their dogs, than they might as well get a stuffed toy with batteries. so when requested they move and when not , they switch them off.

But crating them when ever they are "uncomfortable" for the owner is completely wrong.

all these so called dog trainers who charge loads of money to just tell everybody to lock away their dogs. crates are big business for them

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 24, 2018:

Nique, it is not elitist, it is about caring about your dog. If you cannot afford training, get up off of the couch and learn to do it yourself.

Stop locking your dog up in a cage. She does not deserve that treatment.

Nique on July 24, 2018:

Its an elitist attitude to think the bond and love for a dog should only be shared by those who can afford to take off work for a week. Or can pay for expensive training. There are many reasons for crating and surely not to imprison. Anyone of you can take my. 8 yo foster chi with incontinence and leave him alone while you go to work. Not every dog can be that on command dog and training doesnt always work. So please stop judging people without knowing the situation.

Pamela.sa@outlook.com on July 21, 2018:

It is just wrong !the dogs want maybe to stretch has back problems , or any kind of suffering you don’t know , it’s wrong to put him into a crate especially for that long it’s a dog not a rabbit please people from America wake up and look to Europe we do this right ! I’ve never seen a crate in Germany since I came

To America for vacation please put him not into that you may say no he likes that or nooo it’s comfortable but please we all know the truth it’s a dog he wants to run he wants to sniff he want freedom as much as we do ! Have a heart and please do what is right amen

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 28, 2018:

Loubella, I am not sure where crating started, but people in the US do use the system to abuse. Dogs are so much happier in a yard, as you describe in Australia. My dogs have the same system, out all day and the in all night.

Loubella on June 27, 2018:

Is this an American thing? I live in Australia and had never seen this before watching American reality TV shows where some of the people caged their dogs. We keep dogs in the back yard during the day when at work or in the laundry or contained room. Then at night they are inside with the family.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 19, 2018:

Varsitybeach, I am glad you feel it is okay to lock your kids in a crate. My dogs are trained. Too bad you do not bother and just shove them in a crate. Do YOU live in the real world?

Varsitybeach on May 19, 2018:

So I can leave my dog in the garden....it will have either been stolen or will have died from heat exhaustion or extreme cold. Let it free in the house and it will be dead from eating live wires. Or chewing somethjngbit shouldn’t. Clear up after oneself? Do you live in the real world? People have to rush around at times. Juggling many responsibilities at once so not always possible.

At night I’ll let it sleep where it wants and then if it gets up and I get up to toilet or sort kids etc it will likely get trodden on them hurt animal and large vet bill. I’ll put it in a crate...it’s not a punishment. It’s safe. And also regarding your picture of a child in a crate...people use playpens and cots to keep small children safe.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 16, 2018:

Karen, she sounds like a lucky little puppy! Thanks for those comments about the forum. Some days I spend a lot of hours trying to help people on there so it is nice to know that someone benefits.

Karen Hanzel on April 15, 2018:

Dr. Mark--

I feel so relieved after reading your article about crates. I searched the net for reassurance and was happy to stumble into your article. Your observations and philosophy have really freed me up to do what I thought was intuitively correct for my German Wired-haired pup here in South Dakota.

We transitioned her out of the crate 3 nights ago to sleep on a doggy bed. She had our bedroom, hall, and access to the living room--no problems.

Our next step is to slowly but surely give her this same area when we are out and about.

Also, I just joined Hub Pages as a result of the "civilized" conversations held in this forum. I learned a great deal from you and your readers even when there were debates.

You are like a host of a great cocktail party.

Many Thanks,

Karen

Rebecca Long from somewhere in the appalachian foothills on February 21, 2018:

Know people who crate. It always bothers me. I have never crated. I couldn't bear the thought. I'm glad to hear from a vet on this.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 14, 2018:

Ruth, your dog does not love her crate. You are trying to justify your actions and your frightened dog is retreating to the crate to escape. I hope you are able to sleep at night.

sarah on September 24, 2017:

we dont crate our dog. instead we have a separate room to keep her in, along with the cat.

Jaymie on August 23, 2017:

Just want to say not all situations are the same and not all dogs do better outside a crate. I have a 4 yr old springer spaniel who is the LOVE of my life - he's like a child to me. The first year we had him we did crate him (5 ish hrs during the day as we had him in daycare and a petsitter come to the condo) as we lived in a condo and were nervous he would do damage. We moved into a house and tried to leave him out PLENTY of times, we have done the whole walking in and out, not making a dig deal of leaving, leaving for 10 min and going up in time, coming home on my lunch, etc. and he was NEVER happy. He would cry and howl at the door the entire time so much that he fractured his jaw and we needed to take him to the vet. The day we put him back into his crate - he slept peacefully all day. I felt SO guilty knowing he had to be crated but in the end it's what made him happier. No one except me as his Mom, knows what's better for him. I don't think it's fair that people AUTOMATICALLY think that people who crate don't love their pets.

Sue Sowden on August 07, 2017:

Crates used properly are great way of giving a dog it's own space. Dogs aren't supposed to be locked in them all day everyday.

Jeremiah on June 23, 2017:

God, I'm so glad I came across this. We had a lot of advice to do the whole crate thing, and it just bothers my sense of needing to be a friend, leader, and caregiver to the dog....so much. It bothers me so much. I was surprised at how many people do this, and how casual they all were in recommending it so strongly. Oh, how the world so dearly loves a cage.

simplehappylife on March 05, 2017:

I have an American Staffordshire Terrier, chiweenie, and chihuahua. I couldn't imagine locking them in a small metal jail all day. We're fortunate enough to have our own house where we installed a large dog door and a small cat door (for the tiny ones) in the back storm door to the fenced in backyard. They have full freedom to come and go every day, all day (and night) whether we are home or not. Super happy pups :)

I'm very Thankful we can offer this for them, I understand how hard it is when you don't have the ability to do this. Baby gates work great if you absolutely must confine your dog into a certain area (definitely not an area that is tiny like a crate though (I don't care how "big" your crate is).

Great article :)

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 21, 2016:

I think there is a bumper sticker like that: WWBBD?

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on September 20, 2016:

I wouldn't put family members in a crate but I also wouldn't have them spayed or neutered. What would Bob Barker do?

Snakesmum on September 18, 2016:

Interesting article. Although I don't have dogs, I do have a cat, and would never think of confining her in a crate, except when visiting the vet or taking her to the boarding cattery. Animals should always have as much freedom as is viable.

Dejan on February 23, 2015:

I had the same problem with my dog. When I bohgurt her home I wanted to make her feel welcome so I gave her lots of attention. She is very sweet and when I am home she is very well behaved. She started freaking out when we left or came back. I found an article that explains this behavior and a solution. When our pets get used to all that attention and we are suddenly gone, it makes it difficult for them. The article suggests not making a big deal of coming or going, and even doing practices where you put on your coat, grab your keys, and turn right back around and come in so the dog stops associating it with something negative. It recommends crate training so that when you are gone, your dog doesn't feel responsible for the whole house. Naturally they like having a crate anyways because pack animals in the wild have dens, and a crate is the equivalent. Since I started this training with my dog she has become better. It isn't something that is going to change overnight, but over just a few days I have seen a difference. If this doesn't help, then a veterinarian may be able to prescribe some anti-anxiety for a short period while your dog adjusts to his/her new home.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 09, 2014:

No, I do not think it is even abuse to put your dog in a crate for a trip to the vet. I do think it is abuse to lock your dog in a cage for hours and hours, just because you need to be away.

If you told me you locked your daughter into a small restrictive seat when you went to work, I would say that is child abuse.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on September 09, 2014:

I belt my kid into a child seat when I drive to the mall. Is that child abuse? It's smaller than a crate. And more restrictive.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 09, 2014:

Wow, nicomp, not even Mitt Romney could get a crate like that on the top of his car.

Good question though. What is small enough, or big enough not to be abuse?

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on September 09, 2014:

What if the crate is, like, 20 feet X 20 feet X 20 feet? Is that still abuse?

Anne Gillingham from Los Angeles, CA on September 09, 2014:

Minka, I am not the author of the article but I am adding to the discussion here ...

If I were to use a crate (and I do) it is NOT to make the dog feel comfortable or safe. That is just people selling crap as caviar, trying to push this crate thing. Frankly I don't buy this "safe" argument, because we are discussing dogs, not human toddlers. Dogs, if given the choice, would wander in a pack, all day long, over a multi-mile range. They would forage, scavenge and hunt for food, and sleep under some kind of brush or bush, or enclosure ... to protect them from the elements and larger predators such as bears, more than from bad vibes or negative feelings.

I use a crate for two little dogs to sleep in. They beg and plead to come into the house. But the problem is, they don't really want to hang out in the crate. That crate is a "consolation prize." I make it as comfortable as I can within my means. But I lock the door. Why? Because frankly one of the little dogs would rather sit on our sofas and wipe his face and saliva all over them, and mark every corner bookshelf with urine. (he doesn't do this when he is supervised though). The other would rather chase cats and if he had to go, he would probably drop trowel on the carpets if he thought he could get away with it. And both would rather graze in the kitchen, and tear open bags of food and dumpster dive.

They are dogs. And sure .... if I had ONE dog, and a lot of resources to dedicate to training him, perhaps and that is a major "perhaps" he could handle unlimited in house privileges, when he turns 2. But not the one who habitually marks. I can't break him of that habit. I found him as a sexually in-tact, mature dog. This is not my doing. If I had my way, he would have been fixed before he picked up the habit of lifting his leg.

And I have two other dogs. A boxer and a rotterman. And if I leave as much as a towel in the yard, it is shredded to tatters. So no on the in-house thing, unless I am willing to come home to something that looks like a landfill more than a house. We had a crate that we used for them, and the boxer chewed the bars up so bad that they got bent and out of alignment. She was not feeling "safe" there at all.

I have overnighted the big dogs in the crate when we were visiting my sister in law, in a rural area. Her yard has no fence and we have to protect them from coyotes. I say "no" to tethering the dogs overnight, let alone with coyotes in the midst.

So that is the "real" answer to the question.

And as for the little dogs, people can call me a lazy dog owner for not training them, but seriously we have been working on this stuff for a year and a half now, and they can come in the house, but not unsupervised. Hell to the no. I have been training them.

So as much as we would like to think that dogs are these angelic creatures who should be able to roam about the house much like your husband or wife can, it sure seems like a minority of dogs can handle this many privileges.

A crate with an open door is also a good "bed" situation, like the author suggested. That can be the dog's "place" where he can hang out and go, if he gets too wound up. And if need be, you have the benefit of being able to shut it, and turn out the light if he gets too wound up. But that is not really what he seems to be talking about in this article.

In sum: people use crates because they either live in an apartment or a house without a yard, or they have a yard but they are led to believe that it is cruel to leave the dog in the yard. Or they live in a coyote-infested area, and it is the only thing they can afford. Building a 10 foot fence is not cheap. They want the benefit of canine companionship, but they don't have the time, energy and money to dedicate to endless hours of training, so that they can leave the dog home alone, with free access to the house.

Minka bug on September 08, 2014:

If the crate makes a dog feel comfortable/safe, WHY would a person have to close the damn door [of the crate]?!? I have no reservations against having a crate in the home to be used as a bed...BUT...if a dog really wanted to be in there, you would NOT have to shut the door! Plus, we are responsible for securing safe and comfortable shelter for our animal companions...if you say you shut the crate door to provide a fully enclosed space (isn't that what a house is????) ...that dog must not feel safe in the home. If your home is not also the dogs home, no dogs should live in your home.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 15, 2014:

Thanks for that comment, Annie. I like your attitude on crates, which is the way it should be.

https://hubpages.com/animals/How-to-Manage-Obnoxio...

I train my puppies using a cardboard box, and then dump it a few days later when the training is over. It is the same concept, and when they are adults they can find the spot they like best in my house.

Thanks for commenting.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 15, 2014:

Thanks for that comment, Annie. I like your attitude on crates, which is the way it should be.

https://hubpages.com/animals/How-to-Manage-Obnoxio...

I train my puppies using a cardboard box, and then dump it a few days later when the training is over. It is the same concept, and when they are adults they can find the spot they like best in my house.

Thanks for commenting.

Anne Gillingham from Los Angeles, CA on August 14, 2014:

Thank you.

For cryin' out loud --- somebody FINALLY said something about this.

First of all, this 'den' thing is something of a fabrication.

Secondly ... no on locking them up f0r hours on end. Just no.

Dogs don't belong in cages.

We use a crate but when the dogs want out, they go out.

The crate is an excellent training tool, and it is good to have them crate trained in case you need to evacuate. It is also good as a temporary place, if you can't supervise a particularly young dog.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 17, 2013:

Thanks Audrey. That is where a crate belongs. I have taken a lot of flak over this "bad advice" so it is good to hear from someone else who understands that the crate belongs outside and the happy dog inside!

Audrey Howitt from California on January 17, 2013:

When we first got our puppy 10 years ago, the trainer at that time told us to crate her during the day. We tried it, she hated it--so the crate went outside--and Sasha is a happy dog--inside

Melanie Casey from Indiana on January 03, 2013:

We used the crate method on our dog when she was a puppy and we were at work to house train. She learned pretty quickly that way!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 03, 2013:

I agree on the housetraining, but as soon as my dog was finished with that she was also finished with the crate.

Jef from Philippines on January 03, 2013:

Yes that's what I actually meant. The door should be left open or else she might just feel like a caged animal. The crate should just be like her home/bed with proper matting, bedding, etc.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 03, 2013:

mypetfinderph, are you talking about housetraining? I agree that the crate is good for housetraining, when a puppy is very young, but when the puppy is older the owner should not lock the dog away just to keep their house pristine. In my opinion that is the incorrect use of a crate.

As far as rest goes, it should be with the door open.

Jef from Philippines on January 03, 2013:

Crating is a good way to train dogs. There should be a time for playing and a time for rest...

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 02, 2013:

Hi Michelle, I do not want to be the type of person who says "only I am right", but...only I am right! Seriously, I agree on the "moving safely" comment, but not at all on "reminded of their limits".

There are far too many people telling novice dog owners it is natural and it ends up being used for punishment, not as a safe place to sleep (with the door open). I certainly do not think a dog is better off being locked up instead of let out on a leash, despite the prevailing philosophy at this time.

Thanks for your interesting comment. I hope you and your Westie have a great new year. (I love your new avatar, by the way.)

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 02, 2013:

That sounds like an Amish philosophy question.

The answer: Suspenders, I guess.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 02, 2013:

Mark, I believe it's a "depends on the situation" thing. We might need one to move the dog safely, or give it a place that it can call it's home. But as long as it's not used for random punishment (say just putting the dog there because it barks) I believe it is good to have one around as animals do need to be reminded of their limits. All in all, have one, but appropriate use is essential.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on January 02, 2013:

How do they hold their pants up?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 02, 2013:

Well, nicomp, I think I was mistaken-it is not karate the dogs are good at, but Pai The Lam Kung Fu. (Dog Style, of course. Some Pit Bulls have been known to use Drunken Monkey.) I think that is a good thing because Kung Fu practitioners do not wear belts.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on January 01, 2013:

Where would you put the belt?

Maybe it's a Black Collar.

Melissa A Smith from New York on January 01, 2013:

Well here's the issue with that; crate training is the alteration of behavior like anything else. How do we determine that the training remedy you suggest, which still isn't natural, isn't psychologically damaging to them as well? How do we determine if anything is psychologically damaging? So much behavior and techniques of modern dog keeping are nothing like feral dogs or wolves in the 'wild'. Many people criticize Caesar Millan for these very reasons, citing that his training techniques are not natural, wolves are submissive in the wild voluntarily. I did try to emphasize that point in my dog hub. When people start to speculate like that all animal captivity gets called into question. Whose to say that the wild isn't psychologically damaging? Wild animals have no choices either. What if people say dogs accept leashes like prisoners are led around with guns? Although I think many prisoners re-commit crimes because that's what they enjoy doing, not because they like prison. The 'crate training' for them has been ineffective. It's quite sad actually. I can assure one thing, dogs that live in animal shelters certainly don't like it. Those dogs go nuts whenever someone enters, and I don't think they will have any desire to return once adopted.

Well it is a complex subject indeed. Thanks

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

The college fund would probably be a good idea but there are several dog breeds adept at karate and I have been told they do not need many lessons to get up to black belt. Veterinary orthodontists are the next wave. Might be one of those California things though.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on January 01, 2013:

I wouldn't incarcerate any other 'family member' in a crate, nor would I send my dog to karate lessons or buy it braces or start a college fund for it.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Hi Bob! I cannot tell you the number of questions I have answered on Yahoo (people in the US) about leaving their dogs in the crate 6 hours, 8 hours, or 10 hours. That is no kind of a life for a dog. If the owner cannot afford day care and does not have a yard, would the dog be better off not living in that home? There are dogs that are so damaged that they think it is normal, but is it?

I agree this is not something that should be legislated. Dog owners should do the right thing. The right thing is not the same for everyone, but at least they should realize that the "wolf experts" are not the people that should be telling them what to do with their dogs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Moonlake, I really feel sorry that your dog feels the need to be confined in a crate. It is not natural, and who knows if it is some sort of psychological trauma that he suffered before you even got him? I agree that it is better off for him than being sent to a shelter and euthanized, but all the things you mentioned (not begging, not asking to come in, afraid of loud noises) indicate some sort of trauma.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Actually Melissa the way to set up the experiment, in my opinion, would be to measure two puppies from the same litter, treating one normally and subjecting the other to a crate experience. Can you really say that your dog is not psychologically damaged from all the time he already spends in that crate, and finds it more comforting than being outside? To refer to the humans again: is that not one of the reasons recidivism is so high among chronic offenders in prison? They want to go "home", a place where they can feel safe.

Maybe your dog only feels safe in a crate by now, but if you were to take two puppies that had not yet been damaged, would the one undergoing the crate experience not suffer more?

I think the cats are just put into large rooms for PR reasons. Herp dealers in Florida do the same thing. Psychologically healthy dogs can also be treated this way, (put into large rooms) such at dog day care centers.

Your statement about "the den instict of dogs" is part of the whole problem, in my opinion. People have been saying this for so long that most people believe it. I live around feral dogs, and have done so in several areas (here and in North Africa). Dogs do not have a den instinct.

You always have a lot of great comments, even when we disagree.

Bob Bamberg on January 01, 2013:

I think there are regional differences that influence such matters as crate use. In my area an unattended dog left out in the yard all day is often considered neglected. It's one of the more common complaints fielded by Animal Control Officers.

In dealing with pet owners over the years, it seems to me that crate use is most often at it's highest during puppyhood. The number of people who confine their dogs to a crate all day is pretty small relative to the number of people who own crates. That practice is frowned upon and openly criticized around here, too.

As some of the commenters have pointed out, dogs are often free to use their crates at their pleasure...as a place to escape the every day pressures of pethood.

Some folks will confine their dogs when company comes, a repairman is in the home, etc. Not everyone has the time necessary to devote to training, but is that a reason to deny someone ownership of a pet?

New age trainers look at the old school folks as knuckle draggers, but the fact is, both forms of science produce desired results. Until animal husbandry evolves to the level of certainty, there will always be more than one way to interpret a situation. Different approaches to the same situation can often produce the same result.

My hunch is that owners who chronically confine their dogs to crates are committing other sins as well; such as inadequate health care, nutrition, exercise or affection and socialization. Pick your poison.

Reasonable people can and will disagree on standards for animal husbandry. There have been attempts to regulate ownership requirements through the legislative process, but that has always shown to be a bucket of worms.

Provocative hub, DrMark, and I'm one who appreciates the opportunity to participate in such an interesting comment stream. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013 to all.

moonlake from America on January 01, 2013:

Yes we do he seems to get nervous if we don't lock the door. Believe me when he goes in his crate it's because he wants to and he's done being part of the family he wants to sleep. He doesn't have to be in his crate at all but that is what he wants. We don't know why, he is a rescue. We got him the day before they were sending him to rescue. They told us we had to take him that day or they would be getting rid of him. We told them we would take him for sure even though we knew nothing about him. We went in a snowstorm to get him. When we got there the crate was there so I think he spent lots of time in it and it became a safe place for him.

He jumps if I get a fly swatter out to kill a fly, he runs and hides. Our old dog use to let us know when the food dish was empty by bringing the bowl to us. This dog won’t even beg for his food. He won’t let us know when he’s ready to come in the house. We have to put a timer on for fear we will forget him in the cold.

I believe in crates I do not believe in leaving a dog in them for hours on end. We don’t do that and never would. I would rather see a dog spend a little time in a crate than to be sent to a shelter and euthanized.

Melissa A Smith from New York on January 01, 2013:

Well, there is a vast difference between a caged pet and a pet living in a human's situation, I think. It also depends on the animal. Animals that are fully caged should have a minimum of space that meets all of their behavioral and psychological needs, at least to an acceptable degree. Felines are different from canines, although I don't profess to knowing much about cats having never owned one or cared for one. I presume they should not be crated. I see that in animal shelters they opt to keep cats in community rooms over confining enclosures. I think cats lead a more free-ranging, less structured existence.

I think the mental state of dogs is different. Crates may be unnatural but their den instinct makes it acceptable for some of them.

Big cats have migratory instincts...let me say this: I don't think adding small amounts of space in most situations increases an animal's welfare. They've done a study on laboratory macaques with different-sized cages, and I think there was little if any differences in observed adverse reactions and biological indicators of stress. I can practically guarantee that if I penned my dog in with the crate she would not be out of the crate, she loves her crate. She defends it vigorously when we move it. If anything, I believe penning her would create confusion and stress. When she's in the crate she knows it's time to calm down and sleep. I don't think a few extra feet of space would increase her welfare as all she can do is meander in that, anyway.

I don't even find it necessary to keep her in a room, I feel like that make things worse. Before I got my dog and had never owned one I never imagined that I would keep one in a crate for so long, but now I think the crate puts things into context in her mind and comforts her. Dogs really do need their own space to return to, I'd imagine even if you don't want to lock them in a crate will be beneficial. One such experiment that can be conducted is a cortisol (stress) assay on dogs left alone in the home and those that are in the crate, that would be interesting.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Thanks for your comments, Melissa. As far as my Tegu is concerned, I do not mind leaving him in a "crate" during the hours when I am away from my house, but I do not think he really notices it. I don't think my dog is that stupid-she would notice.

As far as evidence goes, how would one even set up a double-blind study to evaluate this? We know that puppies raised under conditions of sensory deprivation die easily of contagious diseases, but that is not what most crate users do.

I also realize that I cannot condemn all of the crate users, all of the time. If you are going to have a dog where you live, and you cannot keep him outside because of the homeowners association, and cannot let him move around because of the alarm system, a crate may be one of the only alternatives. But what about a pen? Could she not have the crate, with the door open, and an enclosed area with a wire door? If it were a big cat in a zoo, would there be psychological benefit to keeping it in a large enclosure instead of a small cage?

Melissa A Smith from New York on January 01, 2013:

This hub reminded me of my 'why it's cruel to keep dogs as pets' hub, except this was serious. You've made some comparisons to humans, which is a common argument I face when defending zoos, exotic pets, ect. As a human, I wouldn't want to be locked outside either, especially in the threat of inclement whether. I prefer sitting in this room with my computer.

My dog gets crated whenever we leave the house (not currently, because we aren't living in my house while it gets rebuilt). I don't think my dog's welfare is being enhanced by leaving her out of the crate, my dad is just doing that because there is no fire alarm here and he thinks it's safer. I guess the main reason she must be in the crate is because at my house we have a movement-based alarm situation. Not only does the idea of leaving a dog outside unnerve me, but it's not possible in our neighborhood due to our homeowners association rules. Of course, I wouldn't allow crating if I thought it was cruel.

It simply just doesn't bother me, I'd need to see some evidence that it is harmful, not just speculation. I have found that the crate has enhanced the relations in this household. Her destructive tendencies were more prevalent when we first got her, now they aren't here, whether she's in the crate or not. I think companionship is far more relevant to dogs than room to roam.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Moonlake, I can understand a dog wanting to use the crate as a secure place to sleep, especially if he feels like no one is going to mess with him there, but what I do not agree with is closing the door and keeping the dog from coming out and being a part of the family. When your dog goes back to sleep in the crate in the morning, do you lock him in?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Thanks, nicomp. She appreciates that SOMEONE does.

Lindalou, my problem with crates is that many people will take your argument (that it is safe, that it is secure) and use it to justify leaving the dog locked up all of the time. Going to be away for 10 hours each day? Lock up the dog, it is best for her! That is no sort of a life for a dog, and I am sure your Pit Bull does not use one anymore (at least with the door locked).

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Hi Linda thanks for the comment. I am sure a lot of people in your situation (your Iggy) would keep the dog locked up all the time, just to make things easier. It may be easier sometimes but it is not the humane answer.

I hear "it makes him feel safe when we lock him up" a lot!

moonlake from America on January 01, 2013:

Our dog loves his crate by 7:00 pm he is ready to go in his crate. He lets us know if he's not ready. He sleeps calm in it and if we get him up to early to go outside he gets back in his crate and sleeps for awhile longer. We tried to let him run in the house at night but it didn't work he got very nervous. If we have company we tell him to kennel up and he goes in the laundry room and lays down on his pillow. Interesting hub voted up.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Central Florida daytimes are a great alternative to being inside all day long, MomsSecret. My dog enjoys my yard during the day but sleeps inside my house at night--I hope she would wake me up for an intruder.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on January 01, 2013:

Dr.Mark,

What was a shame was that I brought Jenny home too soon. Really, I should have waited until the boxers went home. The humane society was o.k. with it, but in my excitement I wanted Jenny free and be home with me. So what do I do? Stick the poor girl in a smaller cage than what she even was in in the humane society. Plus she hardly had time to adjust to the new environment she was brought into. And her temper tantrum really didn't last long. She had to put in her two cents. Well, she still puts in her two cents about anything, but in a delightful way. Anyway, her reactions those first few days were totally my fault and darn if that dog still does love me unconditionally. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be in a wire box either. Thumbs up to all these delightful doggies.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this Victoria. I realize my opinion is just that, an opinion, but I can barely be heard amongst the "dogs are just like wolves" experts out there, so I would like more people to read this and think about the alternative.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Thanks ktrapp obviously not everyone agrees but I do think it is a bit of laziness.

I liked the crate for housetraining, and with my dog it worked great, just like an adult would diaper a little child. Nothing works for everyone, despite what all the experts on the internet will tell you. And as I mentioned in the article, as soon as the housebreaking was finished the crate went to my compost heap.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Hi wetnosedogs I can always tell from your comments how much you love your dogs. It is a shame Jenny acted that way in a crate, but I think I would be the same way if someone locked me up in a little wire box.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 01, 2013:

Thanks, MJennifer, I should have mentioned training for veterinary visits. It really does help. Your sentiment on "why have a dog" is exactly what I feel.

Linda from Texas on January 01, 2013:

If used properly, a crate can be a secure place for a dog. With puppies it can also be a safe place. If you don't have a fenced yard or if you keep the puppy inside, a crate can keep them from chewing on things or getting into something that could hurt them. Yes, you can barricade them in the kitchen, or put them in the bathroom, but in both places there are things that can hurt them and things they can destroy.

When properly crate trained, a crate can be a good place for a dog. If properly trained, a grown dog wont need a crate. :) It all takes time and patience.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on January 01, 2013:

I love your dog.

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on January 01, 2013:

DrMark, I am so glad you wrote this hub. I have friends who crate their dogs all day while they work and it makes me crazy. I also have friends who use the argument that crating makes the dog feel safe. It makes me crazy. Crates, like many other things in life, have become tools for people who want pets without the responsibility of training and the investment of time to properly love them. Good work here!

Lissette from Central Florida on January 01, 2013:

This was perfect for me to read today. I leave my dogs outside all day and I often wondered if I was being not so good to them because of it. They seem to love it. At night, because of the temperature and the breed, I bring them in. They sleep in kennels only because they often get into trouble at night. One hates his kennel and barks a lot so I am trying to figure out something new before I very lovingly and humanely choke him. (I get grouchy without sleep, lol) I'm all talk when it comes to actually choking.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on January 01, 2013:

Oh, I love that last picture! Your title caught my eye, and the content of the hub is awesome. It's great to read from someone knowledgeable that locking a dog in a crate all day where they can barely move is wrong! I've always wondered about that and could never do it to my own dog. Thank you for helping to debunk that "myth"? I appreciated the link to Alexadry's hub, too--read that one, too.

Awesome job. Sharing this one!

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on December 31, 2012:

I had a feeling you were going to publish an article about crates after reading a comment you left on Alexadry's Hub about denning. You were very passionate about your hatred of dogs being confined to crates, as you rightfully should be. It is incarceration and is horrible. My dog does have a crate that we purchased for potty training. It didn't even work for that, but she uses it on her own every now and again with the door open as a comfy bed. Quite frankly I don't understand why anyone uses a crate anyway. When we leave the house our beagle has run of the house. There are a few doors we shut if things are not picked up, but for the most part we pick up everything and make it easy for her to be good. The bathroom isn't an issue because if we leave her for awhile we make sure to take her on a good walk before we leave and when we return. It's easy for her to be good, and honestly I think if a dog owner confines their dog to a crate it's a bit of laziness on their part. If they are going to be gone so long that the dog needs to use the bathroom, then other arrangements should be made.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on December 31, 2012:

I love my dogs. Bella and Roscoe were in a crate for a very short time when I first brought them home. Then when I got Jenny and was taking care of my daughter's boxers too, the crates came back out. One was in the kitchen for the boxers, in case one of them wanted one, which they didn't. I put Jenny in another crate in the living room and she was like a wild animal! She seemed to make herself double in size. It was incredible. And more incredible were the meanest, sharpest teeth she showed off. (Outside all the dogs were fine, but none are outside dogs when left alone) Crates are gone and the dogs are happy with the run of the house. It was my fault when I crated Jenny. I knew I would have the boxers for a few days and the humane society was willing to keep Jenny for me until the boxers went back home. But then I got so excited about Jenny, I wanted her home! I should have been more patient and just let the humane society keep her for a few more days. Really, I love my dogs and the boxers. Just a stupid human that did a stupid human mistake.

Marcy J. Miller from Arizona on December 31, 2012:

I have to agree with you on most points, Dr. Mark. I crate train my dogs when they are puppies for a couple of reasons: housebreaking, for one, and secondly, so that if they are ever in the unfortunate position of being confined at the veterinary clinic for treatment, they don't panic and stress. However, my dogs are never confined except to my own company. I didn't get dogs so I could bring them out at my convenience; I got them because I cherish their company, and love to have them interacting with me at every available moment. There are few places or times in my daily routine when the company of a dog or three doesn't enhance my happiness -- and theirs.