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Why Confining a Dog to a Crate Is Wrong

Updated on April 1, 2017
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. 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? | Source

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. | Source

Crates Are Not Natural

Dogs are not den animals, 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 go back to the cell when told, too.

What was the crime?
What was the crime? | Source

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? | Source

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 5 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.

Do you incarcerate your dog in a crate during the day?

See results
Should this dog be locked away in a crate?
Should this dog be locked away in a crate? | Source

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    • simplehappylife profile image

      SA 7 weeks ago from Earth

      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 :)

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 7 months ago from The Beach of Brazil

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

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 months ago from Ohio, USA

      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 profile image

      Jean DAndrea 7 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      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.

    • profile image

      Dejan 2 years ago

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      nicomp really 2 years ago from Ohio, USA

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      nicomp really 2 years ago from Ohio, USA

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

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      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.

    • profile image

      Minka bug 2 years ago

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

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

      javascript:hpLoadLink('article',3991140, '', '')...

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

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

      javascript:hpLoadLink('article',3991140, '', '')...

      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.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      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

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 4 years ago from Indiana

      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!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

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

    • mypetfinderph profile image

      Jef 4 years ago from Philippines

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

    • mypetfinderph profile image

      Jef 4 years ago from Philippines

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

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.)

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      That sounds like an Amish philosophy question.

      The answer: Suspenders, I guess.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      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 profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      How do they hold their pants up?

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Where would you put the belt?

      Maybe it's a Black Collar.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

      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

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      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 profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      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 profile image

      Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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?

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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).

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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 profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      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.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      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.

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      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      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.

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      nicomp really 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I love your dog.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      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!

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      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      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.

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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      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!

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      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      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.

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      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      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.

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      Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

      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.

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