Isn't Stuffing Your Dog in a Crate for Hours on End Cruel?

When it comes to leaving dogs (esp. puppies) alone all day, everyone recommends shoving them in crates. How can that be right? Don’t they need to run around the house, exercise, eat, and eliminate? They’re all alone in a dark, tiny crate for hours while you’re at work. I just don’t understand why it’s so necessary to subject dogs to this. I close the bathroom and bedroom doors, and keep any paper materials or anything that can be torn up, away. Every time I tried to put my dog in a crate, just to try it, she cried and yelped. I tried leaving her in there for two hours, thinking she’d calm down, but she just cried herself silly for those two hours. Please tell me why it’s the norm to put a dog in a crate for hours and hours.

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22 Responses to “Isn't Stuffing Your Dog in a Crate for Hours on End Cruel?”

  1. ibbibud says:

    Crates were designed by people who researched dog behavior to be used as an aid/tool in achieving a happy, healthy dog. In the hands of people, even a dog dish can be used cruelly. In a natural state, a dog seeks out a den for its own. A mother dog teaches her pups through the use of a den, and we can then enhance that natural instinct to our pet’s benefit. Crates can be fantastic things that keep dogs out of the pound. I lent a small kennel to my neighbor who was taking his Yorkie to the Humane Society. He believed crates were cruel, but could not take the Yorkie’s pottying, barking, excitability. I asked him to try the kennel and told him how to use it properly. He returned the kennel 2 days later. As my loans usually never came back I asked what went wrong/ did he want to try a different size?? He said they absolutely loved it, the dog was happy and he bought himself one, so didn’t need mine any more. Another case: We have a farm where I do natural animal behavior research. A dog has lived here for 11 years on her own terms. For 10 of those years, she did not ask to be in the house. She chose for herself a den she made in the hay and a small, enclosed duck house. She often invited other animals to live with her in her dens. We have many kennels around the farm and they are all occupied by various cats, [or my pug when she can access them]. Nobody’s doing any stuffing. They hole up for hours on end. This year, the dog asked to come inside. She then chose the pug’s crate for her den. It is a wire type, covered in a blanket and bedded in down pillows. She can barely fit, but wedges herself in and sighs…. Are our own apartments and houses not also dens??? Some of us like tiny ones, some spacious ones, but how different are they really from a crate? I personally learned about crates many years ago when I had a terribly anxious Sheltie. He was a basket case of nerves, even to the extent of colitis. A kennel was recommended by a fellow Sheltie owner and it was a miracle for this little guy. He needed an enclosed kennel that was small in relation to his size, but it was the only place he wasn’t consumed by nerves. After a few days of short sessions in it to get him used to how it worked, he used it any time his nerves got to him. He liked it in the bedroom closet and it did not have a door after the first few times. He used it for 12 years. He was never stuffed in it, he stuffed himself into it. And one little Sheltie preferred a mansion. Her crate was open wire, had a "suite" with a bed area, food area and potty place. It was where she was happiest when she wasn’t hanging with me. I did not work when I got her, but then life forced changes and I had to work and leave her home for hours by herself. She never seemed unhappy with the arrangement as it was, but sure hated a tiny, dark kennel!! Most vocally. Your dog might have just not liked the type of crate you used, or the size- it didn’t appeal to her as a den.
    For those who can’t see leaving a dog home alone for hours, getting them into doggy day care or hiring a sitter are also good options if you just can’t take the thought of a den.

  2. mycowsaysmooo says:

    no the crate is bad get her a big cage where she’ll feel at home. or keep her in an extra bedroom close the door and make her feel at home there.

  3. pitbullmommie122106 says:

    It is cruel IF you leave your pup in the crate for hours on end, you are right about that. It IS NOT cruel to leave you dog in a crate for a few hours though. Dogs are den animals and once they get use to their crate it is a safe place for them to go, its their very own place. From what you just posted, it sounds like your dog doesnt like its crate because you havent let your pup get use to it. Just like ALOT of things, it takes a little while! There is absolutly NOTHING cruel about putting a dog in its crate for a few hours if you arent going to be home! My dogs are not in their crates very much at all! I work from home so my babies are almost always with me! We do leave our dogs in their crates if we go somewhere though (out to eat, a movie.. etc.). They also sleep in their crates at night. They are NEVER in their crates for longer than mabey 3 or 4 hours besides at night. It took a while for them to get use to their crates.. the first few times we put them in there they would cry and cry and cry, but they got use to it after a while and now they LOVE their crates! If one of my dogs disappears the first place I check are their crate! They will go take a nap in their crate or just go sit in there sometimes. Thats their den, their home and they love it. Anytime we are about to put them in their crates, we make sure they have gone potty and we take them for a nice walk and play with them for a while. That way they are nice and tired when they go to their crates. All we have to say is "go to your crate" or "go to your room" and they RUN to their crates and sit their wagging their tails untill we open the crate door for them (that is if its closed, its normally open for them though). Their crates are close to each other so that they dont feel alone and we give them each a few toys, we turn off the bedroom light, but we leave the bathroom light and the closet lights on for them and we turn the tv on so they can watch the animals and animal planet. We think of our dogs as our children! We love them to death and would do anything for them! We saved Brooklyn (our 1 year old male) from a life of hell and we saved Destinys (our 5 month old female) life! We would NEVER do anything mean or cruel to them! We would never abuse or neglect them! My husband and I are the kind of people that will call animals services if we see a dog tied to a tree or if we see that a dog is left outside and never given any attention! My husband and I are the kind of people that would take in a dog off of the streets or take a dog from someone that cant take proper care of them (thats how we got Brooklyn and Destiny). I hate telling my dogs no if they want people food, I would NEVER EVER do anything at all to hurt my babies! They mean the world to me and it is very upseting that people like you want to tell me that people like me they are cruel because we put our dogs in their crates, which they love, for a few hours for their own saftey!?!?!!! Our dogs have always slept in their crates at night, but we use to just doggy proof the house, close all of the bedroom and bathroom doors and let them stay in the main part of the house. My dogs have very bad seperation anxiety and even after we doggy proofed the house we would come home and the house would be a wreck!!! They chewed up the rug under our dining room table so we got a new one and they did it again!! They got on our glass top kitchen table and tiped the glass and it fell onto the ground and broke!! They got the cushions off of one of the sofas and dug through that little piece of material that cover the springs and Destiny (about 10 weeks old at the time) got stuck in the sofa!! They knocked our brand new tv off of the tv stand (its flat screen so its very easy to knock over and if Brooklyn hears a dog bark on tv he jumps up on the tv because he wants to play with the dog)!! And they even tried to dig through the front door! There are certain things that you just cannot doggy proof! And some dogs get bad anxiety and act out when they are left alone. Brooklyn and Destiny NEVER act like that when we are home, they have both been properly raised, trained and socialized. They are very obedient, happy, healthy dogs! They LOVE adults, children and other animals (well, there are some animals that they dont like, but for the most part they love everyone and everything!). We take them on 3 walks a day, take them to parks whenever we can, we take them to the beach once or twice a week, they go on trips with us.. anywhere they can go we bring them! They are all around wonderful dogs, but they act out when we are gone because they have anxiety. That is a pretty common thing with dogs (especially with the three "pit bull" breeds, they get very attached to their owners very quickly and they hate being alone! They need alot of extra love and attention). We talked to the vet about it, we could drug them up (give them this stuff thats like doggy valium) so they would sleep, but we would NEVER do that to our pups! The only other option we have is to put them in their crates! They feel safe in their crates, they normally just chew on their toys and sleep! We do not leave them in a tiny crate in the dark! They have plenty of room (not too much, its like a den) to stand up and move around, they have 2 lights on, the tv on, they are close to each other and they are only ever in there for a few hours! So to answer your questions, yes it can be cruel, if the dog is in the crate for over 6 or so hours everyday, doesnt have any room to stand up and turn around and is locked up in the dark! What the majoirty of dog owners that use crates do is NOT CRUEL!!! It is not cruel in any way at all if you let the pup out to go potty, play with your pup and make sure it gets plenty of exercise, leave a few lights on and mabey even a tv, give them a few toys and make sure they arent in their crates too long!!! Dont judge people when you have no idea what their reasons are! We put our pups in their crates for their own safety and comfort just like most people do. Mabey you should be a little more open minded and less judgemental! We LOVE are dogs and we are very, very, very proud to be their guardians! We already saved them once, we do everything for them and would do anything for them in a heart beat! Besides my husband, my dogs are the loves of my life, they are my children, my babaies and I would never do anything bad to them or let anything bad happen to them!!!!!!!!

  4. Ann S says:

    Yes, to leave a dog caged for hours is very cruel !! Crate training is meant to be a safe place. If done right they do like being in them.
    When l to have to leave my dogs. They are free in the house. I put down a few pads, just in case.
    I have come home to find them sleeping in their crates and potty pads not used and they have not gone in the house

    My dogs sleep in their closed crates at night and they walk right in. I started this when they were pups to be sure they would wake me, when they needed to go out. They always sleep thru the night and want out in the morning
    Dogs won’t potty where they sleep, unless they don’t have a choice.
    If your dog is a puppy, It would be a good idea to confine her to one room and keep trying to get her used to the crate so she likes her crate.

  5. pebblesqt says:

    no you should never just leave them in thier create. Thats mean. If its an older dog thats house trained i believe that they dont need the create anymore. But if its a destuctive dog that tears up your stuff while your gone then maybe putting her in a create would be best for her safety. Now leaving her in the for 8 hours thats wrong,need to come home or have on of your friends come over let her out she will cry when you put her in the cage she wants you. I dont think its all that bad to leave them in there creates just not hours on end!Your doing it for her safety.
    my puppy now is 8 weeks old he goes in there to sleep i leave it open and when he wants to nap he goes in there, he has his toys in there but at night the door is closed. I never punish my puppy with the cage he might fear it, i want my dog to feel that its his own space if he wants to sleep or play.Also when we go on long car rides he will lay with me for a lil bit then go back to his cage he feels comfy in there.I dont think its cruel if they are trained to like thier cages and not left in there for hours.

  6. nellana says:

    I have two dogs in the house with me just now. Both are in their cages, fast asleep, happy as larry……with the doors open!! They *love* their cages. They have their own beds, their own toys, their own bones. They were cage trained as pups…….one is now 11, the other is 4. I didn’t put them in those cages, they just go there. They’re fed in there. They go outside whenever……they are exercised every day. But as youngsters I would close the doors, so that when I went shopping <or whatever> they wouldn’t destroy my house. I didn’t have to worry about mess, or a pup chewing through a wire which might result in pain to the dog. I have the radio on all day. All in all, they are spoilt! So…..puleaaaase don’t say that I am cruel to my dogs!!!!!!! It’s the people who let their dogs run around the house all day, and *then* have the audacity to tell the dog off for "inappropriate" behaviour, such as tearing up the furniture, dirtying on the carpet, even fighting with each other. My dogs *never* get into trouble, because I simply say "Bed" and in they go. When I come home, they get outside. What’s the big sodding deal? And where do you get the idea that crates are dark and tiny?? Mine aren’t!! My dogs have plenty of room to stand up, stretch, turn around, and they are right beside the patio door, so can watch the world if they want to. You obviously have no idea how to crate train a dog, nor have any idea how safe they feel in there….or you wouldn’t have shoved your pup in there for two hours without finding out first how you should acclimatise your pup to *her* safe place.

    For Patricia. I exercise and train my dogs every day. One of them is fed three meals a day. We have outside dogs, and inside dogs, and guess what? The outside dogs are doing the same thing as the inside dogs right now…….fast asleep, quite happy. Stop judging people by your own preconceived ideas.

    Lycurgus <whoever>:- If I cared more about my stuff than my dogs, then right now my blinds wouldn’t need renewed from the old rescue we had who dropped rubber balls on them, and ruined them. I don’t give a toss about my "stuff"….my house is covered in dog hairs, and toys all over the place. If I cared more about my "stuff" I wouldn’t have two hairy sodding dogs in it!!! (They are not caged all day!)

    Rhonda:- I can assure you that my dogs spirits are not broken! And I’m not talking hogwash when I say my dogs like their cages. Why would they *choose* to go into a cage with an open door, when they can lie anywhere? Stop telling people that myself and others who cage train are literally cruel…..I, for one, resent it. I spend my life training and looking after my dogs….and I have rescued and rehomed dogs….I really do get really angry with people like you.

  7. fishboy says:

    its not cruel unless the crate is way under sized for the dog get it a mid sized cage for a small dog and a large cage for a big dog not crates cages crates are covered completely and cage are just like a bird cage but bigger

  8. sal_ff says:

    I used to think it to be cruel but now I am thankful for it. Its a slow process to get them adjusted to the crate. BUT it does become their home and they do like it. Like several have stated above… dogs are den animals. They like the enclosed space to curl up in.

  9. Pamela G says:

    I have a 3 year old Chocolate Lab. When he was a puppy and chewing on everything in sight we would put him in his crate (we call it his room) when we left the house. After he grew up we started leaving him out and about. He started eating EVERYTHING in sight. When we left the house we had to put couch cushions, rugs, all decorations, everything in the bedroom and shut the door. Well one time we got home and he had eaten all of the cords off the back of the TV. We talked to the vet and he said that Mello had severe seperation anxiety and to put him back in his cage. Now at 3 years old he sits at the top of the basement steps when he knows we are leaving and he heads down and right into his cage when we start to head towards him. We give him a treat and he lays down and eats it as we shut the door.
    It really depends on the dog but mine is much happier in his room and even goes in there when we are home.

  10. karen l says:

    My ex has a German Shepard that lives in a crate. Im sure he gets exercise like once a day but the look in the dogs eyes is just not right. I will not be surprised at all when my ex calls me from the E.R. because the dog went crazy and attacked him.

  11. sillybuttmunky says:

    My dogs loved their crates. It was their private sanctuary. When I worked 9 hours a day, they willingly stayed in their crate and slept all day. They had plenty of chew toys to kee them busy when they were awake. Enough room to get up, stretch and circle.

    My friend chose not to use a crate and let his dogs have run of the house. He found they did the same as my dogs. Slept all day, streched and chewed their toys.

    Dogs naturally live in dens. Small enclosed space that is safe and secure and when they leave is to hunt, eliminate and maybe walk around a bit to find another place to lay down.

  12. patricia v says:

    I am sorry. It’s just cruel. Dont do it. People that put their pets inside cranes have no time or patience to go over simple steps and habits that can show your pet how to be "at home" at home. And if you dont have the patience for that =, then you dont have the patience for a pet at all!. People think pets are cute and all, but they need atention, training, companionship and love. If you are not going to provide that, then don’t have a pet at all. Is that simple!!!!

  13. agilebxr says:

    Dogs are den animals, mine often go into their crate for a rest when we are home and they are loose with us. It is like you having you r own room — that is theirs. Your puppy spends a lot of the day sleeping anyway.

    They are much safer in their crate than loose — what if your pup chewed an electrical wire? ate a pair of panty hose? pulled up the carpet? peeled the wall paper? ate the mouse to your computer? turned on the water in the bathtub? jumped thru a window to go visit somone outside?or figured out how to open doors? These are all things puppies in our classes have actually done. Some puppies were fine, a couple were not .

  14. lycurgus_the_lawgiver says:

    Because people care more about their stuff than they do about their dogs. It’s cool to say you have a dog, but it’s work to keep a dog. People just want to say they have a dog. If the dog is left out she may make a mess or break some of the peoples stuff. This can’t be accepted so they put the dog in a crate. These are the people who should not have dogs. Imagine how they treat their children!?!

  15. droopydog says:

    Wife and I both work, caged trained all our dogs, the dogs would often go in the cages on their own when we were at home and they could go anywhere.
    The dogs were all normal, well adjusted, friendly dogs that we could take anywhere without any problems.
    So this harmed the dogs in what way, exactly?

  16. kj says:

    According to trainers and breeders, crate training is actually beneficial for the dog. Dogs are pack animals, and they look to you as ‘leader of the pack’. When their leader is absent, they are at loose ends. This is where the crate supposedly comes in handy. It makes them feel ‘secure’ while you are away. When you are home, she wants to be near you, not in a crate where she can’t get to you. When you are away it’s different. Discuss this with a trainer, they can give you pointers on how to crate train properly.

  17. spadezgurl22 says:

    some puppies adapt differently. i wouldnt say "shoving your dog" in a great idea. But my sisters pmeranian loves his crate. Its his little home. When she says kennel up, he runs all happily into his crate bc he knows its bed time. Sometimes dogs who are small esp need to know that they have a space reserved for them in the big world of humans. They feel safe and secure and know that noone will bother them when they need their down time. my dog on the other hand is like yours who refuses to go in a crate. some adapt differently. sometimes puppies go crazy and need alittle "time out" like kids from wrecking, destroying and going to the bathroom all over ur house. weigh out the pros and cons of crating.

  18. It's Just My Opinion says:

    Crate training our dogs has saved our sanity! I don’t have to sit at work all day wondering if my house will be fine while I am gone. Dogs actually LIKE having a crate, it becomes home to them. Most dogs who are properly crate trained will go to their crate when sleepy, scared, or just want to feel like they are "home". We don’t "shove" our dogs in crates, we acclimate them to the crate slowly. Also, you have to put them in there with the door open and let them get used to being in there, before just closing them in there for a couple of hours. Also, if you put them in the crate and then left for a couple hours, I bet it would be different than if you were standing over her watching her in the crate. Our dogs yelp when we get home to be let out of the crate, and yelp during the evening if we put them away in the crate and then stay up to watch a movie or something, but when we are not home, they don’t make a sound. Crate training is not cruel, it’s actually loving, giving them a home where they feel comfortable.

  19. CAROLINE M says:

    you should onli put dogs that chew alot in crates and try putting a teddy to comfort her/him in the cage, or mabe even a piece ov clothing with your scent on it so the dog still has your smell and knows that you are coming back that worked for my dog good luck !!

  20. KitKat says:

    Crates are not for keeping an animal in all day and nobody should have an animal if it is left home all day. Crates are designed to simulate a den and used for housebreaking. My dogs love to be in their crates…but then again, they are free to come out.

  21. Rhonda W says:

    Its cruel very cruel and the bs people say about how the dog loves it is hogwash. My daughters boyfriend had a great dane and kept it in a cage while he went to work, i told him pay someone to come home and let it out to go to the bathroom. The cage is good for the people not for the dog. If you cannot be a good loving owner dont get a dog. Imagine being stuffed in a cage all day eight nine hours. Imagine how it would feel if you got pain? Imagine the helplessness and the breaking of the spirit. Cruelty totally. So I am with you 100% its wrong and people should not do it!

  22. Little J says:

    Back then my mama put her dogs in the crate when they’d go out of the house cuz of house alarm … Today mama has 1 dog and hes in the crate most of the time and I’ve told her to leave her dog outside when they’re home … She does nowdays and puts her dog in the crate at night and when they go out cuz of the house alarm … Shes afraid to leave her dog outside when they’re out of the house … I understand that …

    I told mama that I would not do that to my dog when I have a place of my own and I would not put my dog in a crate! … My mama still says get a crate and train your dog in the crate! I’ve had my dog for 5 years now and shes free around the apartment with bedroom doors and bathroom doors closed all becuz I feel she needs to walk around and be able to chase the cat all day when we’re at work … Now my hubby has transferred closer to home and is able to go home everyday for lunch to let her outside to go potty … I do wish I did train my dog to use paper back then when we both had to work all day and not go on the carpet … (Thank God for shampoo vaccum) … If we’re going to be out more than 6 hours, I give a key to my brother in law to go by the house and take care of my dog for us which is wonderful …

    I still don’t believe in crate! I think if you’re very patience with your dog to roam around the house all day of course with doors closed where you don’t want your dog to go in and use the paper I feel thats great! …