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05/07/2010

What To Do With The Dog Crate?

When we got Spangler we quickly saw the advantages of crate-training him. He's very much into everything and being a lab, he loves to chew. Now that he is even bigger (60 pounds +) he can reach the coffee table standing on all four legs and can reach the entire counter area by getting on his back two legs.

Moral of this story? He cannot be trusted in the house unsupervised.

We're lucky in that I work from home, so Spangler is only crated when we're gone (he can't be in the backyard since he has fallen into the pool THREE times. He still hasn't figured out how to get out on his own so once pool season comes, we'll teach him how) or at night time. It's worked out really well and he even knows what "go to bed" means. He'll put himself in his crate (mostly) every time.

I've read online where some people don't agree with this training technique, but Spangler loves his crate. He'll put himself to bed in the evenings when he's tired, or go take some of his afternoon naps in his crate--sleeping with the door wide open. 

It's his safe place; his own little bedroom.

One of the challenges of having a bigger dog though, is that you need to have a bigger crate. And when you're trying to create a nice look to your home, a big dog crate stuck in the middle of your living room can ruin it.

This is What We Have Now

A huge crate that you see as soon as you walk in. It's in front of the focal point of the room, the fireplace.

DSC_1115

It's been there for . . . over three months. (Wait, we've only had Spangler for three months? I seriously feel like we've had him a year.)

I've started to look into a couple other options, especially since the crate that we have is not really our crate (thanks Jace and Randy!). We do need to give back the crate at some point soon and I want to make sure the one we are buying has a more permanent home.

Our Options Include:

One . . . The Wooden Side Table AND Dog Crate

Pros: It looks nice

Cons: Expensive! Also, it may work for a little dog, but even a huge wooden crate as a side table will look very much out of place.


Two . . . The Metal and Faux Rattan Crate

Pros:It looks nice. It's large enough to hold Spangler. Not as expensive as a wood crate.

Cons:Spangler is a chewer and if we got this, it would only take one time of him being bored to start to destroy it.


Three . . . The Nicer Metal, Wood and Faux Rattan Crate

Pros:It looks nice. It's also plenty large enough for Spangler.

Cons: Expensive as well. It also is a potential chewing nightmare.


I think the biggest thing that will drive our decision is the maturity of a certain dog who, at this moment, is still very much a puppy. We may have to continue down the path of "durability" more than "appearance," which will make my living room still look very much Spangler-oriented.

If we put him in a fancy wood or faux rattan dog bed, we will likely come home to something worse than this:

Spangler-in-his-crate

A side story . . . We got home from church last Sunday and saw the above. It was cute, in a not-cute-at-the-time way, because when we come home Spangler is obviously excited to see us and ready to be let out of his crate. He knows that in order to be let out, he has to be quiet and sitting. He was trying to act as though he did not have his bed in a million pieces with a chunk hanging out of his mouth. In his mind at this moment, he was being quiet and good!

Comments

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When you get the downstairs bathroom finished that could become his "room". You can just put the dog/baby gate over the doorway so as to not completely shut him in a black hole. I agree with you on those crates...they are very nice but look like prime chew toys. Also, don't worry about the crate. You can keep it as long as you need.

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