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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Crate train? Or NO?

HI... our breeder does not recommend crate training. Anyone not crate train? And if so would you recommend? Any tips?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexO View Post
HI... our breeder does not recommend crate training. Anyone not crate train? And if so would you recommend? Any tips?

Thanks!
Welcome to Havanese Forum.

What do you mean by "crate training?" It means different things to different people. Give us a bit more information.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi! Thank you. The breeder just had the pup sleeping in a room no crate, do I not use a crate at night either? Or can I use one of those playpens? I am assuming this would just be at bedtime. And then once it's comfortable can we move the pup to a different spot in our home and it just sleeps in it's bed?

Last edited by AlexO; 07-02-2020 at 05:36 PM.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 05:42 PM
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I successfully potty trained Molly, and the dog I had before her, using a crate. I have a crate in the main living area and one in my upstairs bedroom. After she was reliably trained the crates remained, with their doors open. She loves her crate and goes in and out of it all day by herself. Having a dog that will use a crate also comes in handy if you are traveling or having someone else watch your dog. The crate is a great safe space to confine your puppy if needed. If you potty train using another method you can still train them to accept confinement in a crate.



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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 06:20 PM
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Okay, here is my opinion and there will be a lot of differing opinions, it just depends on your individual circumstances. Owners on this list will require that their dog:
sleep in a crate or pen at night usually in the same bedroom (I'm one of those),
some let them sleep on the bed with them,
and some will let them sleep anywhere they want to in the house.

If you acquire a puppy, it is often more advantageous to have them crate or pen trained to facilitate house breaking. Otherwise if you give them the run of the house as a puppy you will most likely find a mess everywhere and anywhere in the house either day or night. In my opinion it is much more difficult to housebreak a dog without a crate or a pen. If you acquire an older dog that is already house broken, it doesn't matter as much.

I require that my Ricky sleep in a crate in our bedroom at night. I want to hear if he has any problems (sick, bathroom, disturbance outside, etc.) at night so I can assist him. I don't want him sleeping just anywhere in the bedroom because if I need to get up in the middle of the night, I don't want to run the risk of stepping on him in the dark. Ricky's crate is his castle. He loves his crate. I always give him a bedtime "cookie" (slice of dehydrated banana - Ricky says gracias to his tia @krandall ) and he goes charging into his crate to get his treat. During the day we let him lounge anywhere he wants to in the house, but mostly it is the same room I'm in. He does have a "daybed" in our lounge room that he frequently uses to relax and snooze in. He rarely uses his crate during the day. His crate allows me to cover it with a light blanket at night (birdcage style) during the winter to keep him out of cold drafts at floor level. We don't leave our heat on at night and the interior can get down into the low 50's at night. He gets up on a winter morning all toasty warm.

Some people allow their dog to sleep on the bed with them. Occasionally we allow Ricky to do that with us when visiting family, but we don't sleep as soundly and neither does Ricky. We do have a second fabric collapsible crate we take with us when we travel.

So it really depends on what your goals and objectives are. But it is easier to relax crate rules with a dog later on than to try to crate train them later on. I know I wouldn't purchase a dog from a breeder that didn't begin to crate train from the beginning. I wonder why your breeder doesn't recommend crate training. I would certainly have a discussion with them about that.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 08:41 PM
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We tried, lol. Whatever you do, ensure you keep them contained to a small space for potty training. We had two exercise pens with crates inside, and potty trays. Now, downstairs he quickly learned to climb on top of the crate and jump out of the ex pen. Upstairs, by the time he could hold it through the night he ended up sleeping in our bed. So much for that lol. We then tried the crate again and he liked it till he caught his foot in one of the bars. Currently, we have a gated off area for him if we ever all leave the house again without him (since COVID he’s come everywhere, and if not an older kid is usually home). He’s 18 months and if I can’t watch him I contain him with me to my office. This is only because he still chews small items and gets into trouble. He’s fully potty trained though
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 09:50 PM
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We intended to crate train and didn’t really understand the alternatives. Once we knew that we could achieve the same goals with an ex-pen, that’s what we did.

Crate training is a great option, though. If I had to guess, I would suggest the breeder is concerned about a Havanese puppy being in a crate for long stretches, especially because it takes longer for small dogs to become potty trained. But there are definitely responsible ways to do this.

Whether you choose a crate or ex-pen setup, or something else, the concept is really the same. They
do better with a smaller space to be successful in potty training, not free in the house.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 09:54 PM
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Oh, and ours sleeps in our bed. Or on the floor in our room if he gets hot.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 12:50 AM
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So much of this depends on your own viewpoint and circumstances. Personally, I would and will always crate train any dog I have. Even if they don't end up using it much, I would still crate train. My reasons:
1) as a puppy it's easier to confine (though, yes you can do it with an expen too) - for potty training, short time-outs, AND for their safety.
2) safety - whether it's a crate, expen, a specific room in the house, I believe in confining a dog when you're out of the house for several reasons (i) their safety - they can't tear things up, swallow things they shouldn't, get tangled in/ caught in things, etc. if they're confined (ii) if there's a fire or someone breaks in (or just opens the door without remembering the dog might be right there) you have a better chance of them NOT running out/ getting lost (and in case of a fire, you know exactly where in the house to find them)
3) Feeding - especially if you have multiples OR if they're messy eaters - Perry eats in his crate sometimes, especially in the morning when I go to work and when we're in the US (there are 2 other dogs in the house there) - so that I can do other things while he eats -- yes, you could do the same with an expen.
4) if they will ever have to go to the vet for an overnight, you have a dog that is used to a crate and having to be in a crate isn't one more thing to cause stress in an already stressful event
5) if you have guests who are afraid/ allergic/ or just things going on at home, it's good to have a space where the dog can be calm and quiet (and better to crate train BEFORE you need it than wait til they're older and realize you need it)
6) if you travel (or plan to) - better to have a crate they can stay in in a hotel room (or worst case scenario if they have to travel in the hold of a plane - you may never plan that, but sometimes things happen - like the current COVID situation, some airlines are not allowing pets in cabin though it seems they're returning to that) - especially if your pup ends up being a chewer or has anxiety, it's better to have a crate where you can leave them in a hotel room instead of worrying if they will cause damage (and hurt themselves) OR that the housekeeping staff will ignore the "do not disturb" sign that you put on the door (or that you forgot to put on the door) and opens the door, letting a scared dog run out in a strange city. Same thing on travel - what if you're visiting friends/ relatives and they're not as enthusiastic about puppy running around, chewing on things, etc. especially when they're / you're not home. better to have an option to keep them in their crate.

I'm sure there are a few more reasons, but those are the main ones. Overall I think it's good to have options, even if you ultimately decide not to use them, especially for safety.

Perry sleeps in his crate at night (for the same reason as Ricky and Popi - for us Perry is a restless sleeper and none of us would get a good night sleep if he was out) and stays in his crate when we have to leave the house. That usually isn't for more than a couple of hours. If we had to leave him alone for longer periods regularly, I would consider either a bigger expen OR a small room in the house where we could remove most things (or I'd get a bigger crate to give him more room). He doesn't love his expen, but because he eats in it he's good with it, especially when we're on a schedule. He's less happy with it but goes in and curls up, when it's off his scheduled time.

Just a side note on anxiety/ leaving them out - all dogs are different. My last dog (a dalmatian) would get MORE anxious if I left her out in the house or yard when I was out of the house than she would if I left her in her crate (it was her safe space and she'd curl up and relax there).

Last edited by Melissa Brill; 07-03-2020 at 12:52 AM.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 12:58 PM
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I think that NOT crate training ANY dog does a disservice to that dog. Sooner or later, that dog is going to have to be crated, most likely at the vet, when they don’t feel well and are scared already. In the case of our Havanese, they also often get crated when thy go for grooming. And EVERY dog should be constrained in some way in the car. The safest way is usually a solid crate attached firmly to the car.

If your dog hasn’t learned to look at a crate as a cozy, safe “haven”, the crate is only going to add to their distress in an otherwise stressful time. It is SOOOO easy to teach a young puppy to love their crate. I just don’t see a single reason not to give them that gift.

Can people abuse crating? Sure. But I would assume that anyone who is asking this question isn’t someone who would do that. My dogs ALWAYS ride in their crates in the car. They ALWAYS eat in their crates. At night, two of them sleep in their crates (their choice) while one sleeps on the bed with us. (her choice). I guess I’m kind of glad they don’t ALL want to sleep with us, but if they did? Hey, we’d make it work! LOL! In the morning, after they go out to pee, they all come up on the bed for a cuddle. They all also cuddle on the bed BEFORE lights-out while we read. ALL of mine were crated at night until they were at least 2 years old and I was SURE they could be trusted not to pee on the bed... EVER!!! Panda truly surprised us last winter. She had a tummy bug and that poor cutie got out of bed and ran and thre up in the litter box over and over all night! No one taught her that... How could you? But she had just figured out that this was NOT something she wanted in the bed!

When we travel (and we almost always take our dogs with us) our dogs are perfect hotel guests, because theyare well-behaved and happy in their crates. We can go out to dinner, and not worry about them barking or hotel staff inadvertently letting them out of the room. We always make sure that hotel staff does know when we are going out, so that if there were an emergency, they could get them out of the room! It is not safe to leave your dogs loose in a hotel room if you have to leave the room for some reason! The same is true if you ever plan to vacation with your dog. A rental vacation house may welcome well-behaved pets. In most cases, it is taking chances leaving that pet loose and unsupervised if you go off on a family adventure. Make sure your dog is happy in his crate so you can leave him for a few hours!

Oh, and even at home. My dogs are 11, 5 and 4 years old. They are all well behaved and completely potty trained. But dogs will be dogs. Things can happen. I feel MUCH safer having them confined. As adults, they are gated in my office when we are out of the house. But that is WAY too much room for “creativity” for a puppy. I chose an ex-pen for that sort of medium-term confinement for mine as puppies. But some puppies climb out of ex-pens, so a crate then becomes the only safe option.

Finally, if you ever have any interest in doing training classes with your dog (which I would highly recommend... it’s great fun for you AND your dog!) it is very common to need to have to crate your dog or have him sit quietly on a mat at your feet when it is not your turn. If he does not have one of these behaviors, you are going to be “managing” your dog rather than learning and enjoying your class.

So, I see ansolutely NO reason not to crate train, and SQO many reasons TO crate train. To say “don’t crate train” because some people abuse it is similar to saying “don’t use a leash” because MANY people abuse those! In fact, I’d be willing to wager that more dogs are abused daily with leashes than with crates.


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