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  1. #1
    Road Dawg

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    Default What if I skip the crate?

    Hello! I brought home my first Great Pyrenees puppy Monday after years of Aussie ownership, and we are totally in love with our Maximus, who is 12 weeks old, and the breed in general. Obviously, the new puppy experience with a GP is completely unlike the Aussie puppy experience. He has pretty much potty trained himself, he sleeps through the night, he settles easily indoors, he's not really scared of anything, and he is never as dedicated to any unwanted behavior (like eating shoes or chewing on the dresser) as my aussie puppies always seemed to be.

    Of course, everyone seems to suggest crates for all dogs, and all my aussies and my one standard poodle have had crates. My current Aussie, age 5, adores her crate. But is it completely insane to just skip the crate? In about a month, Maximus will need to spend 2-4 hours a day alone in the house. He has no desire for a den, he has no separation anxiety, he has only had 2 pee accidents in the house all week.

    We did a trial run of our first plan last night, which was to put a dog gate across the hallway, giving him a bathroom, hallway and laundry room while we were away, since he is not reliable yet at failing to eat furniture and electronics. We came home to find him in the living room on his dog bed, he hadn't made any messes but he didn't like being confined and so he jumped. So we are thinking we could put 2 dog gates on top of one another or close him into the laundry room where the Aussie is in her crate.

    Are we insane? Has anyone else successfully raised an indoor puppy without a crate? Suggestions for success? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mom to the Max View Post
    Of course, everyone seems to suggest crates
    Congrats on new puppy! But we need pics!!!

    I am totally in the everyone camp. Max is still very young and his personality is still developing. I would not be willing to take a risk of him injuring himself. To me crate training is critical for every dog. Situations can arise that a crate becomes a lifesaver. My Ren is our 4th pyr. All except the first one were crate trained. We learned the hard way with the first one how important crate training

  3. #3
    Road Dawg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    Congrats on new puppy! But we need pics!!!

    I am totally in the everyone camp. Max is still very young and his personality is still developing. I would not be willing to take a risk of him injuring himself. To me crate training is critical for every dog. Situations can arise that a crate becomes a lifesaver. My Ren is our 4th pyr. All except the first one were crate trained. We learned the hard way with the first one how important crate training
    What were the issues with not crate training? What size crate do you use? We have a large one available, but that's about right for him now at 12 weeks! We think he will be about 110 pounds full grown.
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  4. #4
    Young Dawg (Member) Meatball Murphy's Avatar

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    Hi, I'm new here but not new to dogs and crate training.
    There are too many reason to list of things that can happen.
    I have a 5 month old male go, he also was super mellow and trustworthy until....He wasn't lol. Although way less mischievous than other breeds definitely not perfect.
    For my pup I found the wire XL with adjustable sizing works for Murphy. He did not like the plastic sided one for sure.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Welcome Mom to the Max...and your handsome boy as well!!! (thanks for the photos!)

    Max has only been with you for a short time...I would try to crate train him, for the reasons Jewel stated, and also for incidents where he will have to be in his crate (at the vets office for one) If your gut tells you he might do better being confined, then I would make his area as escape proof as possible....as you said 2 gates...however, as he grows, he will figure out that he can use his weight to knock those gates down...they can be exceptionally clever sometimes!

    We have had Aussies & Pyr's together for the past 35+ years...and, yes...they are totally different! But so is each dog....we never crated our first Pyr girl, and she was never a roamer....but she was the exception!

    Looking forward to more photos & stories as Max grows with your family

    Nancy & Rudy

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  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mom to the Max View Post
    What were the issues with not crate training?
    My own experience...

    My first pyr was not crate trained. I had the same mentality that because she was laid back, entirely trustworthy not to destroy things that crate was just not necessary. At age 8, she had emergency surgery. They had her in a crate post-op to observe her to make sure she was stable before releasing her. She was a total mess stressed out by being in a crate. It broke my heart.

    A few years ago we were at my sister's in Houston for Thanksgiving. We had those two in my avatar pic at the time. Sister's in-laws came over with their female beagle. Turned out that beagle was poorly socialized and attacked my female pyr. My Bijou was very well socialized but if challenged by another female, she did not back down. The little dog realized very quickly that the big dog wasn't backing down and started screaming bloody murder. That only got Bijou more riled up. Couldn't ask the old folks to turn around and take their dog home. Luckily I always had the crates in my SUV and the so my two big dogs got crated while the little evil beagle went around begging food from everyone.

    A few weeks ago my husband brought home a female pyr he found while out for his morning walk. Our current teenager pyr Ren is extremely sweet so he was ok with her being in his house. But she wasn't as comfortable and growled and snapped at him several times inside the house. We had leave for work but it wasn't safe to just leave her in the house with Ren as we didn't want her to attack him. We couldn't leave her out in the yard as it was too hot. So I put her in Ren's crate. She went in and was perfectly fine in the crate - clearly she was crate trained. Thank goodness for that. Otherwise we'd be forced to drop her off at the Humane Society which would have been a lot more stressful for her. She stayed at our home with the a/c and safe while we posted her on Nextdoor hoping her family would see her there. Happily her family responded by lunch time and she went home.

    All these incidences are not normal everyday happenings. But the crate played an important role in each incident!

    For a 110 lb dog, you would need a no less than a 48" size wire crate. I don't know about the sizes of the plastic airline crates as I don't use those.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Welcome to the Forum!

    If Max is willing to be crate trained, then I see no reason not to. My Sebastian flat-out refused to be crate trained or confined to the bathroom when he was a puppy. I tried everything I could think of, and failed miserably. For the first 6 months or so, I essentially had to take him with me wherever I went, or find a babysitter for him.

    If I could go back in time and try to crate train him again, I would in a heartbeat. Sure, he is fine being left at home alone, but there are times when it would be very helpful to crate him. He also injured his knee recently, and while I am trying to avoid surgery if at all possible, there is a chance he might need it. I donít know how I would keep him quiet during a months-long recovery period. I am admittedly not doing a great job of keeping him quiet right now.

    Chester, my other dog, is crate trained, and for him, the crate has been a literal lifesaver. He developed severe Separation Anxiety about a year and a half ago, and would have been a danger to himself and to Sebastian if I hadnít had the ability to crate him. From what I have experienced and read from others who have dealt with SA, it can develop and/or worsen at any time.

    Chester came to me with some mild resource guarding tendencies, as well. Feeding him and giving him all long-lasting treats and chews in his crate has helped him feel much more secure around Sebastian in the presence of resources.

    I bought Sebastian the Midwest Giant Dog Crate when he was about 6 months old. It was a glorified toy box for a little over a year, and I ended up donating it to his rescue.

    https://www.chewy.com/midwest-soluti...arge/dp/102275
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Welcome! I have to agree with the others in favor of crate training. My dogs are working dogs but I crate train every pup after one of my adult dogs broke a leg and had to be confined for weeks. He handled being indoors and confined just fine but I know this would not be the case for every dog. It is literally a lifesaver if you end up going through a destructive phase. Some dogs do and some don't. You just won't want to find out the hard way! My current 9 month old is not reliable alone inside at all but her 3 year old sister has been fine since she was about 5 months old. Just very individual. I also got the XXL crate that SM linked. They have all loved it. When they were puppies, I would cover the crate with a sheet or blanket to make it more cave-like when they were sleeping and then pull back the cover when they were awake and having a chew toy, etc. Worked really well for us.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Zech's Mom's Avatar

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    Welcome Max & Mom, I have NEVER crate trained a dog - but from some of these posts I can see it would be useful... My dogs are with me 24/7 they go to work, home, vacay, everything with us, and that being said My Zech had free range of the pet proof house from day 1.. about 6.5 weeks.
    We have 1 room gated off that has the "dangerous" stuff in. AT work he has his bed for his space and is amazing but until he was about 4 months we tethered him to a safe area at work if customers came in or we were moving production boxes around ( we have an embroidery shop)

    He also had 24 hr supervision and teaching. He is amazingly respectful of our things and It really has worked well but we had 7 months in our lives of NEVER leaving him alone no eating out together or non dog friendly events - then we started to leave him for a bit at a time and now at just over a year, we can leave him for 3-4 hours free in the house with no issues.
    As active as he is I would LOVE to be able to crate him if he needed to heal or stay quiet but at this point that would be the stressor for him I am sure.

    If I have to advise on this I'd say If you can't be with him 24/7 in this period, then your sanity is going to be happier if he can be crated; you can't think of everything if you're not there... Beautiful Boy and Pictures! CHEERS

  10. #10
    Road Dawg

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    Crate is ordered, arrives Thursday. Max will not be home alone much, but in mid July, he will need to spend up to 2 hours a couple of days a week. And by mid-August, he may need to be alone 2 hours for 3 days a week. We tried a dog gate in the hall for a test trip...found Max cheerfully lying on his dog bed in the living room. So then we tried 2 stacked dog gates, Max instantly and calmly began chewing the wooden bottom support to make himself an opening. Glad he doesn't seem to have separation anxiety (or any anxiety, he is SO calm about life), but he's clearly got a mind of his own and we need to make sure he's safe. I still expect he will be free to roam the house once he's older.

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