crate or pen ?

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crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 14:10

a question- I know there are arguments for and against crates and I appreciate not every one likes using them , I have always used crates with other dogs with no issues, but Buddy who is now 6 months old seems as if he is becoming a little unhappy in the crate during the day - night time is fine he goes in and I cover it up and within minutes he is snoring until we wake him in the morning

During the last few days he has destroyed his bed in the crate during the day - he is only in it for a maximum of 3 -4 hours , I have no choice but to contain him somehow as I have no room I can puppy proof , as my house is open planned completely ( No doors ) - I have noticed he starts to cry a little and has started digging at his bed which has progressed to chewing so much so he has a blanket and that's all in there instead of a bed,

- so, what do people think of having a crate upstairs with us at night and getting a pen with a bed of some sort downstairs for during the day - my friend lent me one when I first got him but he cried when we put him in as he had been used to the security of a crate with his siblings, I think he found the pace a bit daunting , but I wonder now if he would settle better now in it if he could move about and have his Kong and a toy etc to play with if he wakes up ..

the only thing I ma not sure about is the fact I couldn't cover it and he is used to being covered when in the crate , - but again that may be what is causing the issues during the day - he may hear noises and not be able to see what they are

- should I try the change straight away to an uncovered pen , or should I uncover the crate during the day and cover it at night until he gets used to it ?

I want to do the best for buddy , and also want to stop him being destructive so I can eventually get rid of the crate altogether - I know its an age thing too but just wondered if a change would help him - any advice ?
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by JStaff on Thu Sep 17 2015, 14:25

I'm not a fan of crates myself and also live in an open space. We used a pen for Suki and simply expanded the space gradually as she got older and was able to handle the freedom. I think this makes them more comfortable when left alone. I think that if I were confined to a small area I would also become frustrated and act out.

At 6 months he should be able to handle the freedom but you may want to puppy proof the area or start with a smaller space and work up from there.


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 14:38

the pen my friend lent me is quite a large space but not massive - she used it for her staffy when it was a pup- - I ma just not sure how to move the transition from a smaller space covered to a larger open space - as I will not be about during the day I don't want him to bark or cry and work himself up in the pen - but if I use it when I am there he will create any way as he does now because he knows there is someone in the house .. any transition tips ?
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by JStaff on Thu Sep 17 2015, 14:43

You could do the transition similar to dealing with separation anxiety. Start off with 5 minutes and build up slowly from there. I think you will find that he takes to the new freedom quickly though and it shouldn't be a problem.

Exercising him right before you leave will often make things easier.


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Rachel33 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 14:44

I do have a crate, but Bug has only ever been in it for short periods (and by short I'm talking 30 minutes maximum) when I was socialising her with visitors and it wasn't safe to let her loose. People are generally 50/50 for/against them. For short periods when you can't supervise your dog when toilet training etc I don't mind them, but not for confining when left for hours at a time. I would go for the puppy pen if it were me, or do you still have door ways (without the doors?) where you could fix a baby gate? Our house is open plan too, but we've seperated fosters (for feeding etc) with gates well.


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 15:25

Buddy is always walked before crated even in the rain I walk him he actually quite likes the rain - odd dog! - I only crate because I have too - wish I had a room I could put him in instead but have to work with what I have .I have no door ways at all unfortunately- I am planning to move his crate upstairs of a night, waiting for daughter to go uni so I can put it in her doorway- and then put a stair gate at top of stairs and leave the crate open of a night so he can wander about if he needs to bet he finds my bed but...- that is the only place I can contain him outside of a crate or pen. not ideal during the day
I am going to over the next few days leave his crate uncovered during the day and also put him in it whilst I am around the weekend for short periods of time so he gets used to being awake and see what is going on - then I am going to borrow my friends pen and do the same with that and see if he is ok during the day - as you say he is older now so hopefully the space will be fine - I will give him a frozen kong to take his mind off of where he is , and see how we go - from there - will also give me a space to use as time out .
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Mia05 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 16:11

Is there anyway someone can sit with buddy while you are away? Even if its a family friend thats the only other solution apart from leaving the crate door open and his crate uncovered i think buddy would escape the pen as it isnt sturdy as such and not really overly high try mental simulation after his walk. This will tire him a while as well as a walk too.


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Thu Sep 17 2015, 16:24

no there isn't any one - its not as bad as it sound to be fair - my husband is a postman so is up at 4.30-5.00 every morning and lets buddy out in the garden for a wee and plays with hi until I come down at 5.30 I then take him either iover the park on along line or for a good half hour walk - he then comes back and eats- when he feels like ( another story0 and then we play, sit together until 7.45 when I go for work - I then go home at 12.00 and walk him again and play for an hour - then I go back to work but my husband is normally home at 2.00 3.30 latest he lets him out and feeds him and then when I am home at 5.00 I take him for a long walk again and then he is out of the crate all night playing with us running around the garden etc - and he goes to bed about ten .it is only the morning that is the longest period of confinement - I will try the pen whilst I am in - I will go upstairs - of he gets out and finds me I know not to use it - will buy a bigger crate and go from there- - the pen my friend has is quite sturdy - the link for one similar is below...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bunny-Business-Rabbit-Enclosure-Gunmetal/dp/B00HYYPD66/ref=sr_1_3?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1442503424&sr=1-3&keywords=indoor+dog+pen
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by LizP on Thu Sep 17 2015, 18:00

Could you put the crate in the pen, with the crate door open, so he can transition himself?


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 08:52

hi liz- going to try that but I think the crate might be a little big to fit in the pen - I may have to invest in a larger pen then it will fit but will try him first in her pen to gauge his reaction to the change
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by LizP on Fri Sep 18 2015, 08:57

What about constructing the pen using the crate as one side of it, so the edges of the pen start from either side of the crate door?


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 09:31

don't think her pen will let me do that will have to have a look but if he doesn't settle in hers I will have a look and see if I can get one that I can incorporate the crate in somehow- bit trial and error at the minute - I am expecting him to be a little unsettled over the next week or so as my daughter is leaving to go uni- he dotes on her and she is quite often about when we are out so all our routines will now change, to make sure Buddy is not left for long periods and doesn't stress too much about my daughter lots of new games and experiences to be planned for him in the next few weeks to keep him occupied
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Mia05 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 10:48

Gradually decrease the interation with your daughter as well carol this will help too


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 11:05

she has been trying over the past week not to be so involved with him but so hard for her she loves him to bits she only coming home from uni to see Buddy ! She is there today with him as I am not able to get home to him today - then she is off tomorrow .. we all miss her that's for sure
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Mia05 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 11:07

Bet you will all miss her .


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 11:27

we will - that's for sure .. glad i have little Buddy to take my mind off her Big Grin
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Mia05 on Fri Sep 18 2015, 12:14

Theyre great company our dogs and can be a strength at times mias helped me a lot through the years


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Mon Sep 28 2015, 13:24

well - 4th bed in two weeks - he is still in his crate .. at night no issues at all .. just during the day was in the afternoons after I walked him lunchtimes but today his bed didn't make it to lunchtime... I really do not know what to do for the best I am not sure if it is just him changing and becoming bored in the crate ... he goes absolutely mad when I go home I am scared he will hurt himself zooming around .. it is odd because he has had the same routine since he was 10 weeks old .. I am still thinking about the pen but not sure if he could get out of it .. the link was in a previous post to show what its like - is it natural puppy stuff with staffys - or will he be like this forever .. catch 22 cant let him out of crate till he stops chewing but now I think he is chewing because he is in the crate !! help....
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by funkyrimpler on Mon Sep 28 2015, 15:52

why not clip a pen to the crate? I do this when i leave Spike. He pretty much has most of the kitchen to himself but can't destroy anything. Overnight i make the pen smaller, purely so that i contain any poo and piddle...although he hasn't gone to the toilet overnight for almost a week.
I attach the pen to the crate with a couple of dog clips (the sort that attach a lead to a collar).
Also, some of the pens are very tall, made specifically for bigger dogs...you could always buy one of those....I also leave Spud lots of different textured toys to keep himself amused...you can also invest in some of those dog puzzles too,
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Mon Sep 28 2015, 16:21

I always leave buddy loads of toys and a kong - today the toys were half destroyed but kong always survives.. I am really not sure about the pen - he goes crazy when we come home and the crate ends up in the middle of the room , I am not sure giving him space to have a run up will be a good idea once he gets out once he will do it again and again - he jumps high - have put his name down for beginners agility ( no jumping involved until over a year old ) I think he has too much energy that he wakes up and no one is in and he starts to chew through boredom - over the weekend he has longer walks on a long line and there is always a lot more play and he is always fine in the crate because he is tired , during the week the walks are shorter as I have to get to work and its so dark where I am that I cant walk in the fields alone not safe.. going to have to rethink the walk situation I think he needs to run about a bit more so he stays asleep longer .
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by funkyrimpler on Mon Sep 28 2015, 21:18

does he get much exercise?
My Spike is very exuberant/high energy (even his KC name is 'Too Hot To Handle'!), but giving him a few walks calms him down.
Like you, i intend to get him into canine sports..
They say that a puppy should only be walked for 5 minutes per month in age, but this just simply isn't enough for him.
I mentioned it to the vets at the puppy class and she said that's a very rough guide. She could see how energy my lad was and said as long as he doesn't get over exerted he would be okay for up to an hour..just don't run him hard...
I took her advice, and played it by ear...he still has bags of energy around the house and always wants to play, but any potentially destructive behaviour, and in particular, puppy biting REALLY calmed down...
I bet you wish your place wasn't open plan now?? Crying or Very sad
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Tue Sep 29 2015, 08:05

he gets 45 mins to an hour every morning this includes running in the park on a long line..then home for half hours play with his tuggy toys before I go work , then I walk him for half an hour lunchtime and again 10 -15 mins play - then my hubby in about 3 and he walks him for a good 45 mins on the long line in the park and I spend my evenings playing with him after dinner he is getting better with the puppy biting and leaves the cat when told a lot quicker than before - I think he sleeps when I leave in the morning and when he wakes and cries and no one comes he gets bored .. I don't think a pen will work because he is a jumper ... but I think I may get a larger crate so I can put more toys in and he will have some room to throw them around and jump about a bit... and yes you are right when I had a dopey lazy greyhound open plan was perfect now... if only I had a door Smile
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by funkyrimpler on Tue Sep 29 2015, 08:32

yeah, maybe a XL crate is the only answer..that said i have seen some pens designed for very large breeds (Foundies etc) that have very tall sides...The only option might be to make a Mission Impossible doggy agility course all round the house to keep him occupied!
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Tue Sep 29 2015, 09:34

ha ha he uses my sofa and chairs as an assault course already and anyone who is on them at the time.. I will look at the larger pens .. and see what sizes are available compared to the large crate we will see what happens today going to go home half hour earlier and see if that helps him..
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by lexii on Tue Sep 29 2015, 13:15

Keep the night time routine, but make a pen around the crate for the day. Have you ever tried her just out of the crate in the day? Im afraid dogs are so pampered these days thy won't sit alone. I dont know if it the owners fears or the dogs but either way it needs nipped in the bud. All dogs should b able to be left alone for however long needed (i can leave mine alone all day and they will still be in their bed and the house will still be standing) the way i did it was just throwing them in the deep and and just leaving them lol dont go back until they are not yapping not that mine ever yapped..
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Tue Sep 29 2015, 14:58

I cant leave Buddy out all day because my house is open planned and there are too many things he could hurt himself with if unsupervised electrical cables and all sorts .. he doesn't bark or cry when we are out as I have asked my neighbours who are in all day every day and they say they never hear him. I went home today half hour earlier and he was fine - I think he just needs wearing out a little more during the day - my hubby home now and again he has been fine. the intention when he has stopped the " I want to eat everything" stage is to leave him out of the crate all day and night if he so wishes ..
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by funkyrimpler on Tue Sep 29 2015, 21:27

i really hope things work out for you...i'm sure they will...one never knows what's around the corner when there's a puppy in your life!
When Spuds a little older im deffo getting him into doggy athletics! We went on our 'walk' today up at the nature reserve for almost an hour he was bombing around on the extending lead....the script says he should be worn out after 15 minutes of sedate walking.....i don't think he read that memo!
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by -Ian- on Tue Sep 29 2015, 21:49

This really is a catch 22 situation, I can fully understand where you're coming from. Add in to the mix that he's in teenage phase along with a ton of energy.

Not sure I can offer any advice over what has already been suggested and can vouch for the jumping abilities of Staffies, my Flo easily jumped baby gates. The only other thing I could suggest is to have some sort of pen constructed with a lid on it so he can't jump out but can roam within easily.

Not sure if this is an option but do keep us up to date with what you do.


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Wed Sep 30 2015, 08:02

I will definitely keep you up dated .. wonder how he will be today . we were playing in the park this morning with him on his long line when a very bouncy 8 month old lab off the lead bounded over and jumped all over him . he really didn't like it as he felt a bit threatened and he was a huge pup..- eventually the owner of the lab strolled up and said " he does that to all the dogs sorry" !! Buddy just wanted to pull all the way home to safety didn't want to stay in the park and would not listen to any commands he was focused in getting home as quick as he could ... once we got in he was really agitated three sets of zoomies..panting gasping .. tried to calm him but he wasn't having it, so resorted to crate and kong which seemed to help calm him , but wonder if that has set us up for a bad day .. we will see later, he is at puppy classes tonight so we will see how he is with the dogs there after this morning..
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by Mia05 on Wed Sep 30 2015, 18:18

Hope buddy does well with the puppy classes carol. Through time and as he grows he will find bigger dogs less of a threat and the more socialising the better Smile


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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Thu Oct 01 2015, 08:09

well puppy classes what a disaster! loads of new dogs there must have been 20 in the class - plus 10 watching before they can start - Buddy was not focused at all - would not walk correctly, sit lay or anything was asked to take him out at one point a she was eyeing all the dogs up and causing havoc .. was so embarrassed people were looking at me as if I could not control my dog and why do people like me have staffs.. I have never seen him like this he was great the week before he has been siting and laying since 10 weeks old.- we brought him home and he was chasing the cat trying to nip my husband so put him to bed hoping today would be different but.. walking was a nightmare pulling the whole time then when home absolutely wrecked the garden with zoomies for at least half an hour chairs knocked over plant pots broke.. wouldn't go to the toilet so expecting a nice mess in the crate at lunchtime, not sure what's gotten into him lets hope it passes ...on a positive note he was fine in his crate yesterday no chewing confused
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by lexii on Thu Oct 01 2015, 20:39

Aw thats a shame. Maybe just got too excited. Consistency and maybe up the exercise if he is being even more nutty? Maybe even jsut a brain work out, like a new toy or something. Don't feel bad, we have all been there and trust us when we say it DOES get betterĀ 
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Re: crate or pen ?

Post by smudge95 on Fri Oct 02 2015, 08:01

thanks I know he is just being a puppy and trying it on at times and that it will in time get better - just so frustrating to know how good he can be when he wants to be - its trying to get him to be good when I want him to be that is proving difficult..- there was no mess in the crate yesterday he was a good boy no chewing either - was still a bit naughty last night but manageable - this morning better behaved , but still pulling on walks like mad- almost got him ok and then he saw a cat run and that was it loss of all focus on me and commands didn't even respond to an offer of a treat if he sat.. definitely know that if he was off lead he would have gone.. thank god for long lines - going to be a while before he is let off of his in an open space with distractions that's for sure Smile
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