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A Dog Crate Is a Cage Is a Prison

What if, at your local pet-supply store, you could purchase a dog-training tool that would make your dog weaker, klutzier, and less intelligent? And what if this tool increased your dog’s frustration and fearfulness about the world and made him or her less likely to bond with you? Would you buy it? Of course not! Yet, millions of these “tools” are sold every year to unsuspecting American dog lovers who want the absolute best for their dogs. The tool is a “crate,” which is just a euphemism for a cage. In fact, dog crates are substantially smaller than the cages that are used to house dogs in laboratories.

Dogs Hate Crates: How Abusive Crate Training Hurts Dogs, Families & Society is a new book by Ray and Emma Lincoln in which they discuss in detail the detrimental effects of crating on dogs’ well-being as well as on American society. They explain how the crating trend got started, what continues to fuel it, why it’s so harmful, what can be done about it, and what the alternatives to crating are. The authors are experienced dog trainers and behavior specialists who found that they were spending much of their training time trying to undo hundreds of psychological and behavioral symptoms caused by crating. These specific symptoms and their connection to classic studies on the effects of isolation and excessive confinement are thoroughly analyzed.

Shockingly, it is now commonplace for people who use crates to keep their dogs in them for upwards of 18 hours per day, according to the authors. Often dog owners fail to keep track of the total number of hours during which their dog is crated, but the hours add up: nine hours while the owner is at work (including a commute), another eight hours at night, any hours during which no one is home in the evening and on the weekend, and any time that company comes over or the dog is simply “underfoot.”

Pro-crate advocates will say, “Yes, but a crate is just like a cozy den.” Well, the truth is that dogs, wolves, and other wild canids are not true “den animals” in the sense that they don’t naturally spend much time in a den. Wolves use a den for only eight weeks, right after their pups are born. Afterward, the den is abandoned. And since dens don’t come with a locked door, there is no true scientific comparison between crates and dens.

Other promoters of crating will say, “But my dog loves his crate!” This statement defies logic and is not based in science. There is no animal on Earth who “loves” to be caged. However, dogs do love people and will tolerate almost anything that their guardians force them to endure, including being locked up. According to experts quoted in the book, dogs who appear to “love” their crate because they keep running back to it even when given their freedom are often really exhibiting a lack of self-confidence or even fearfulness toward the outside world brought on by the extreme confinement and isolation of a crate. Tragically, these dogs are better able to bond with their crate than with their human companions!

In truth, crating is an inadequate substitute for comprehensive dog training used by trainers who lack competence and wish to increase their client base rather than taking the time needed to tailor the training to busy families and solve individual dog problems. At best, crating only postpones the day when real training will have to take place because dogs simply can’t learn how to interact with the world while in isolation. At worst, crating makes behavior training, including house training, more difficult, often creating serious and sometimes even dangerous behavior problems.

But trainers aren’t the only ones who profit from crates. There is a lot of money to be made from crates in the dog industry, not just from the crates themselves, but also from all the peripheral industries, such as products and services meant to cure behavior problems as well as medications and supplements for dogs who have not learned to cope with the world because of crating. If crating were widely denounced as unacceptable and if, because of that, fewer people decided to adopt or buy dogs, realizing that the only way they could manage to have a dog would be to warehouse him or her in a crate much of the time, many dog-related industries would shrink. It’s no wonder that most dog-related professionals have jumped on the crating bandwagon!

In Dogs Hate Crates, Ray and Emma Lincoln ask all the tough questions, such as “Is it ethical to send a dog home with a family if the only way they feel they can keep him is to crate him?” and they provide the reader with comprehensive and well-thought-out answers as well as training strategies to empower families and enhance the dog-human bond. This book contains case studies that will move you to tears, but it also clearly lays out the problems with and the solution to excessive crating. Finally! A book to lead the charge against a practice that has tormented and harmed millions of dogs and brought unhappiness, guilt, stress, and confusion to millions of people who want what’s best for their dogs.

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Want to learn more on crating? Check out our article “Animal Rights Uncompromised: Crating Dogs and Puppies,” and be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions section, “What’s Wrong With Crating?

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  • Cockney on says:

    We do not put our puppy into his crate, however, he goes in it whenever he wants without us ever teaching him to. That is where he likes to take naps despite not having his bed nor any of his toys in it. Simply one blanket. He’s never ever in it for 20, 10, or even 6 hours at a time but he will voluntarily spend 2 hours in it for a nap on any given day. And there is nothing wrong with him. He is he best dog we have ever had. There are always exceptions to every proverbial rule.

  • Ben says:

    Thank you for this. I got my little puppy a gate to keep her away from my kitties upstairs and now she can roam the indoors freely during the day without being cooped up in a cage. Thanks for speaking reality.

  • Julia says:

    I have a question for the pro-crating readers: If you are right about the necessity of such “training tool,” how can you explain the fact that, until crates became popular a few years ago, normal working people with full-time jobs managed to keep normal, decently-behaved dogs in their homes, which by the way were considerably smaller that new homes built during the last decade or so? I am 34, and I remember that, although no-one used crates, non-crated indoor dogs did not usually cause damage around the house. Their owners walked them and played with them regularly when they were home, and that seemed enough for their pets. I am not a full-blown animal-rights person; however, animals must be allowed species-specific behavior, at least to a not-too-disruptive extent. When I was a kid and a teen, the idea was that pet and owner would have to reach some kind of compromise, as is normal when sharing a dwelling. Now, people seem to wish to train their pets into total submission and obedience, forcing them totally to adapt to their owners’ lifestyle and human needs. About the “denning” argument, if you want to offer your dog a “den”, why not give him a traditional indoor kennel with an open door, or place a snuggly, cozy pet bed in a secluded corner, instead of locking up the dog? If dogs really liked crates so much, there would be no need to lock them up in them. After all, you do not need to shove a lovely bone or a tasty treat inside the mouth of a healthy dog. I am sad to witness today’s fetish for discipline and control, both with children and with animals (neither of which are adult humans, no matter how much we wish for them to behave as if they were such).

  • Percy says:

    Hello from Greece!!
    I just came back to Greece after some years abroad and found out that all of a sudden so many people started using crates for their dogs. Most of them are first time dog owners of course. They simply have no idea of how to properly behave to a dog, and they confine the animal in a cage, pretending they are animal lovers??? I just can’t believe that!! I ve grown up with dogs, my last one lived for 18 years and had never been in a cage, he was the most well behaved dog I ve ever seen with no training at all. At the moment, I just got a beagle puppy, she is quite naughty, but I would never ever think about puttung her in a cage!! I simply try to find the right way to communicate with her and show her the proper behaviour. Putting a dog in a cage means that you have clear communication problems with the animal and you are completely useless as you do not even try to find a way to solve them. There is one simple word for proper training, it starts with a c and it is NOT “crate”. It is simply Communication. If one is unable to find a way to communicate with their dog, they shouldn’t get a dog in the first place.
    This crate trend is absolutely ridiculous and inhumane. Period.

  • DogLover says:

    With all due respect, I really don’t think that crates are all bad for dogs, particularly puppies. The problem is only when the owners leave the dogs for longer than 8 hours, which of course is really bad for the poor dog. When used correctly, crates are a wonderful tool to prevent inquisitive puppies from swallowing things they may somehow find around the house, even after we have removed any items deemed dangerous to the puppy. A way to associate the crate with something positive is 1. Never put the pup in the crate to punish him, 2. Use treats, positive reinforcement and plenty of patience till the puppy is completely comfortable with the crate; don’t just shove the poor thing into the crate and lock him in there without properly introducing him to the crate!! When the puppy is older, you can do away with the crate and get him a nice dog bed or a large fenced-off area when you’re not at home. :)

  • moomin says:

    How nice it is to find some other sensitive souls who are against crate training. My animals are part of my family and I would no more put my dog in a cage than I would my children. You should only have a puppy if you have the time to spend caring for it properly. Would you go out and leave a toddler alone in the house? Your dog needs to be part of the pack and its your pack so include it.

  • africaboy says:

    im australian and I know we don’t do that here, I hate this cage business. you flat burns dog your dog trapped your dog stuck in that prison trap, how you dog peeing? I don’t care they think its there to assist in any way, people go off and forget the animals I don’t believe they remember to take the dog to pee on time do you? my home is beautiful and has delicate African ornaments and I can tell you right now my two little 1 and a half years pups are by my side and when they need toilet they go sctratch on the door and if I didn’t hear that then they have a spot in the laundry to pee and they sleep in the laundry and if we have visitors the stay in the laundry. I have set up toddler gates if they tried hard enough they could open it. My pups are neve closed up in those metal cells, these people just lazy to look after their pets that disgusting go sit in a cage for an hr or more… bout walk your pet everyday. I do I run a business and I sure have time for my fury lil boys who are so happy to great me in my mornings how boutget off that couch fools and walk and exercise your dogs and your fat selves!!

  • Eva says:

    I can’t believe how many people are crate positive.
    It is such a sign of lazines! Crates should be banned because there is a lot of people which lock their dogs for whole days and then shout at them because they peed theirselves.
    I rescued a dog from family which used crate trainging. It ended up that this dog was really petrified of going from one room to another- did crate training took any good for her?!
    It took her 3 months to learn to walk from one room to another and 6 months in total to learn to not be afraid to walk upstairs. We’ve put a lot of effort to break her fear. I can’t believe that people support these things which do so much damage to them.
    There is too many irresponsibe people to allow using crates. I actually know someone for 5 years who keeps dog in crate for all this time. I’ve seen them out with dogs only once.

    I also don’t believe that leaving your dog to run around house while you are away is bad idea. my dogs are doing fine when i am away- nothing was ever destroyed by them. it’s a matter how well you can train you dog- when you use crate it just suggests that you can’t handle leadership.

    Dogs don’t like crate- you taught them to like it. my dogs are afraid of crates- definitely not expression which indicate that they like it.
    I can’t believe how many people are so ridiculous and not responsible

  • MikeH says:

    I’m in Australia and only recently heard of this caging thing, it’s just not done here as far as I know. If a dog is ripping the place up they probably aren’t being walked enough, whatever the behaviour there are other ways to address it – it seems people go with cages as an easy fix.

  • Dog lover says:

    Thank goodness there are people out there that don’t want to cage their dogs. There have been lots of parenting trends that have come and gone … And these crates are a fad for dog parents that make me so angry. Just because a dog is normalised to living in a prison inside its own house doesn’t make it right. If a dog needs confining do it in a run outside with a kennel and only use it occasionally with a nice juicy bone to pass the time. ( eg: whilst mum is at the supermarket) . If you cannot be home with your pet due to work commitments organise dog daycare. Don’t get a dog unless you can be around to supervise and be a companion. People are so selfish- its all about their convenience. It’s bad enough with pigs and chickens being caged- now we do it to mans best friend? If you have a crate- leave the door open and only close it if your dog is so naughty that you cannot have 10 mins in shower. Keep it short and humane. If you intend for your dog to be in their with the door locked for longer than 15 mins get a dog run outside with space to move and shelter from the cold. 0ccasionally is the key word. My belief is that being in a crate for hours each day is abuse. You shouldn’t have a dog. You don’t deserve the privilege.

  • DogsAndNature says:

    Why would anyone worry about their dog out of the crate when they are home?! If your dog is misbehaving and needs a crate when you are home, it is because you do not have a good relationship with your dog, and have decided that even though this animal depends on you for EVERYTHING your needs come first. IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO PUT A DOG 100% BEFORE YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO OWN ONE PERIOD! Dogs that appear to like crates, haven’t been shown how to be comfortable in their own home. Destructive behavior can be trained out of a dog if you just put time and effort into it. Crating is a lazy excuse. If your dog is stuck at home half the day or more, you are not a very good candidate to own a dog, get a damn cat! Dogs are PACK animals NOT DEN animals, they like to be close to the family. Crates assert YOUR control over the dog, and tell it, you do not want to be around the dog while in the crate. They give the dog mixed messages, and are not a useful tool for training, you know what is? ACTUALLY TRAINING YOUR DOG!

  • David says:

    I agee that cating your dog is abuse and owners are living in a la la land excusing their mistreatments. Dogs crated behave like people who have been improsoned for a long time. They is real mental damage inflicted. Dogs been conditioned. I have had lots of dogs and never use a crate. They have been house trained and never broke anything. Now i have a 10 month old Border Coliie with high energy. Never been crated and pefectly trained. He can stay alone at he house and will not break anything. He is very well soialised.
    Crates are cages and no way to treat an animal with love and respect. They are abused and should be banned together with all the other disgusting dogtools to train or shall I say too break your dog spirit into a little submissive animal who is afraid of his own shadow.

  • Lis says:

    I have had dogs all my life, and never used a crate until now. We have a 12-month-old border collie. We bought a crate to aid with toilet training and as a way of keeping her safe and secure when we were out. It’s in our living room and she sleeps in it at night as well. For us, it has been the best thing. She was toilet trained within days. She is always happy and calm when she is in there. We never leave her there for more than 5 hours during the day, and usually no more than 3 hours.

    Our beautiful BC is a terror in the house if free to roam. There is absolutely NO WAY I could leave her alone without crating her. One night, we accidentally left the crate door open. At 2.30am we discovered her on my son’s bed, licking his face. We thought it was cute until we saw the trail of destruction throughout the house – stuffed toys ripped to pieces, a bag of peaches chewed and littered around the living room, lego destroyed, carpet ripped. She’d had a great time, that’s true – but it firmed up in my mind how valuable out crate is to us. When she is older and I can trust her, I will no longer use a crate, but at the moment, we most definitely need it!

    We have a big backyard, but when out BC is in it, she spends most of her time sleeping under a bush in the corner. It’s her outside den. We used to leave her outside when were were not at home, until she jumped up at the fence one day to greet a neighbour and got her front paw caught between two wooden panels at the top of the fence, leaving her hanging off the ground. If we hadn’t been home at the time, I don’t know what our poor elderly neighbour would have been able to do to rescue her. Fortunately, we were there and able to bring her down relatively unharmed. So now we crate her whenever we go out.

    By the way, our dog is well loved and exercised. She gets two big walks/runs a day, plus many ball games in the backyard. She is also undergoing dog obedience training. One day, we may never need to use her crate, but at the moment, I wouldn’t be without it.

  • Panda says:

    Hello from England, We have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, He’s a Rescue,and other than a general dislike for most male dogs he’s a great little dog, very level headed and is part of the family. On a Staffy site in England, I wrote a post saying that in my opinion Dog cages/crates were cruel,and asked for other peoples opinions, consequently I was surprised at the comments some quite vitriolic, all commending the use of cages,though not for longer than 8 hours that was agreed, and accusing me of being offensive. I remember the time when you would not dream of putting a dog in a cage but now it seems commonplace here in England. From the replies to my post most people use it as a ‘tool’ rather than spending their time training their pet. Also it enables people to own a dog and go out to work full time, which years ago they would not have done.
    I note too that the replies here are mostly in favour of cages. Companies who make these cages have much to lose if a whiff of cruelty is mentioned, and I do hope that one day they will be banned. I mentioned on my post in England that for a male dog caged all day and unable to urinate could be the cause of physical problems later, because peeing flushes out all sorts of harmful bacteria, now I cant find where on the Net I picked this info up,does anyone have any ideas? But I am afraid that caging is now ingrained in the mind.

  • Amber says:

    I don’t see an issue with responsible crating. My dogs actually do enjoy their crates. They typically are crated a few hours a day. I know they enjoy their crates, because they go in them when they don’t need to. After coming home from a long walk, I take off their leashes, they get a drink, and then often times mosey over into their crates for a little nap. The door is open, and they are able to come in and out- yet they often chose to lay in their, take their toys in their and relax in their. Using a crate is not cruel.

  • ReallyFoo says:

    Dogs are animals that have dens. I know you want to make people feel evil for crating a dog for an hour but dogs feel safe in their crates. I will try not to cry for all the dogs that get surrender by owners for destroying the house because they were guilted into NOT buying a crate the dog. But what do I know, PETA would be the authority on this topic.

  • Jen says:

    Really? Oh, poor dogs. Let’s not crate them and let them run around the neighborhood chasing cars or leave them to tear up your house and possibly eat something that could kill them. I love my dog so I crate my dog. If anyone has a problem with that then maybe we shouldn’t put our babies in cribs either. It is for their own protection! I know that there are some very smart dogs out there but do you really think they sit around all day and mull over the next great american novel? A dogs sense of time is pretty skewed. You could leave the room for 2 minutes and your dog thinks it’s been a week. Come on people! Don’t you have anything else to do with your time than this?

  • Horrible article says:

    Obviously if you leave a dog in the crate 18 hours it is bad, if people do that they should not have a dog to begin with! 2nd a dog is basically a friendly wolf. Wolf burrow! Meaning the crate if positively enforced becomes his cave! There is nothing wrong with crate training if done right. Reading articles like this “what if we put you in a cage” is stupid. What dont you say why dont we eat dog food as well? Or pee on peoples trees…

  • Cody Crown says:

    I disagree with the opinion of the people who think crate is an evil tool. If someone said that crating is against dog natural instinct to move around then we should never take dog to human life in the first place. What wrong is how people introduce the crate to their dog. For me a crate is nothing more than a place for the dog to rest and feel safe. It is natural that every dog have a place to retreat to feel comfort and secure.
    The best analogy is a crate is like the dog’s bedroom. It’s a place to have a privacy, to take a rest, just like how we human use our own bedroom.
    So if the parents decide to lock their children inside the room would we blame the room? It’s the same logic this article use to blame the crate.
    It is not right to perceive a crate as a cage or a prison just because it has a metal bar, it only applied to human because of our cultural perception on metal bar, because for a dog a crate is just a form of space.
    The context of this article is not about the crate but about “locking” or “isolating” the dog. I think blaming this habit just on the crate is a little off.
    I personally against people who excessive-crate their dog, but in my opinion is not the crate’s fault but the human’s fault.

  • puppy lover says:

    dogs should not be put in crates!period! In fact i think crates are so harmful that they should be banned. how would you like it if someone put you in a cage and left?

  • RealityCheck! says:

    My family adopted a retired racing greyhound recently. These animals are crated all day and night with the exception of to feed, turn out and train. When they are no longer worth money to the owners and they are no longer winning races, they’re being put down. Instead, many owners now opt to sign the dog over for adoption. When these dogs are adopted into homes where they have had little to no human interaction, the crate is a source of stability in their new world. I’ve had my grey for almost 4 months. We didn’t crate her the first 3 weeks we had her because I figured I was home all day. So why bother? Our adoption group recommended I crate her for a little while off and on during the day because there will come a time when I do need to leave her alone, and she will likely have anxiety. Her anxiety could leave her injured or create serious damage to her living environment. We’re on month 4 almost and she has 2 beds and one large crate. Nice, fluffy, big, warm beds. She’s laying in crate right now. The door is open. I didn’t ask her to go in there. I didn’t tell her to go in there. In fact, she wandered around the kitchen whining until I opened the door to her crate to let her in. She’s resting comfortably. I don’t consider it being lazy. Apparently, she feels more secure in there. I think this article was very one-sided and is “pro” not crating animals. I also have seen myself that crating my dog hasn’t caused her any trauma. Would you rather I go in there and shoo her out of it and force her to lie in a place she’s not mentally comfortable?

  • rondomvp says:

    My dog loves it. When I’m home the door to the crate is open she likes to go in there. Just like she loved to lay under the kitchen table. I walk my dog 4-5 miles a day and try to play with her in the house. But a crate is necessary because although she is the sweetest pitbull if something were to happen they won’t see the sweetest pitbull. So when my roommate is in and out with his friends I have a piece of mind my dog is protected as well as the public. Ya’ll are talking to the other kind of owners

  • Julie says:

    I am sick of listening to these new age dog owners who feel they need to crate. The previous generations of dogs managed quite well without them. Smarten up people. Dogs are not Hamsters!!

  • Petascope says:

    Agreed, a dog is not meant for crating. We wrote about this topic on Petascope.com as well, and we review only soft pet carriers meant exclusively for travel, not as a permanent pet home.

  • Jhony says:

    Getting them neutered will help with the trrtieorial marking. It’s good that you did that. My 19 month old puppy is house trained but I never had a problem with him marking his territory. My dog can potty on command. I would recommend taking them outside often (every 30 minutes or hour at first) and tell them “potty”. Dogs learn fast so you can gradually wait longer between potties. You can have a dog potty trained within a week or two if you spend enough time working on it. Take them out when you get up, after they eat, before you go to bed. Don’t let them in the house after a walk until they go “potty”. I don’t recommend letting your dog out to potty off leash or in an area that isn’t fenced. Too many bad things can happen. When the dogs potty praise them and give them a treat. You have to make the dog think that going potty outside is the greatest thing in the world. When the dog pees in the house you can’t punish him for it if you don’t catch him in the act. When you catch him in the act say No in a stern voice and take him outside and tell him potty. This is how I did it with all of my dogs and it worked! My dog has a doggy door and hasn’t had any accidents since he has been trained.References :

  • Robyn says:

    I agree that many people misuse crates, but I don’t believe that they are necessarily inhumane. I’m against cooking crustaceans alive and all that, so I’m not being insensitive. My dog, Teddy, loves his crate and prefers to sleep in it instead of my bed occasionally. When we kept him in the crate as a puppy, he was never left in it for more than a couple of hours (except at bedtime, where he’d be left at least six hours), and we only did it because it took 3 years before he finally realized that he was supposed to go outside. I guess it’s the shih tzu in him. We have a large house with huge yards, so we preferred to let him have pretty much free reign. I find Teddy enjoys sleeping under beds, under covers, in coffee tables, and other den-like places, so I don’t think crates are necessarily “unnatural” for them. I do, however, agree that crates should only be used when other alternatives are unavailable, and should only be used if the animal feels comfortable in it.

  • Sara says:

    I disagree to some extent. You should never leave your dog alone for ridiculously long periods in a crate like that.. but then I wouldn’t leave my dog alone for ridiculously long periods like that NOT in a crate either. We have 2 dogs, both rescues. One is a terrier with more energy (and speed) than any three other dogs twice his 24 pounds of fuzz terror would be able to manage. He is generally very non-destructive unless bored. His girlfriend is our other rescue…a beagle/corgi mix. Her brain has the beagle need to find food and though she has a leg injury her previous owners didn’t bother to fix that left her deformed…she can launch her squatty little body to rather alarming heights to access things. I would rather crate her for a short while occasionally than have her eat something that could kill her. Because when she is crated the other dog gets bored and he is brilliant (learned stay in 5 minutes flat)…he finds things to do…like hiding shoes then eating a bit off of one. We just bought the biggest crate we could find and put them in it together. They go in it on their own to take naps. The only time they are there is when we ALL have to be gone. We made sure that we work alternate days away from the home so it simply amounts to the time spent going picking up the kids from school, occasionally grocery shopping if it can’t be done when the other is at home…things like that. It is for the safety of the dogs that were mistreated previously and now feel loved and secure. Besides…they know they get a nummy when they go in there. =)

  • Daniel Hauff says:

    I must commend you, Cecilia, for your excellent advice of “knowing what you are getting into” and understanding the types of dogs that exist prior to bringing home a new companion.

    I definitely believe people should be as informed as possible; however, I don’t think any of us can truly understand the frustration we see acted out by dogs who are crated. Much of the high energy issues one faces are going to be made worse by crating the animals.

    After we took in one of our dogs we didn’t realize that he had diarrhea when we first got him. He held it all day in the crate only to explode when I got home. I felt (and still feel) very badly about it and it was nearly a decade ago. I don’t know how any of them feel from day to day and they can’t tell us – at least not very well.

    The painful day our guy spent cramping (think about when you’ve sweat because of a stomach virus you had to hold in!) was the end of crates for us. Our crates are for emergency travel only now.

  • scott says:

    My dog has never seen a crate and never will. He is the happiest, most well-adjusted, and best-trained dog I know. All my friends and relatives agree so it’s not just me saying that.

    Crating is totally unnatural. Respect your dog; don’t crate her/him. Ever!

    Thanks.

  • deborah mcgowan says:

    my dog always hated going in the crate! but I did it for most of his first year. during this time it really bothered me that he had to hold peeing/pooping for up to 9 hours. something just didn’t seem right. do you hold it for 9 hours, plus? no, of course not! so why is it ok to do this to an animal? for the last couple of months I have been leaving him out of the crate while @ work & I cannot believe how good he is doing! I put some pads down & he goes on them, sometimes he misses but @ least he can relieve himself when he needs to. I wouldn’t crate again if I got another dog.

  • Chris says:

    Sorry Cecilia, but crating is the ultimate lazy person’s way to “train” a dog and your justification of it is shameful, yet typically more and more common in america. If you simply must contain a furry family member in a small prison cell for 6 to 8 hours per day (or more), you absolutely should not have an animal. If you can’t take the time to potty train a dog, then you absolutely should not have a dog. If you feel that by caging or imprisoning a dog, you will at least be able to contain the mess in your house because you don’t want the new carpeting to get peed on, then you are not qualified to have a dog. You can come up with any excuse you choose to justify caging a dog, but truthfully speaking, it is your responsibility as a pet parent to work with your dog to teach him/her proper discipline AND provide him/her with the proper living environment so that you are not setting him/her up for failure. And if this candid response bothers you, it should. If it doesn’t then I suggest you be locked in a small cage for a minimum of eight hours a day with no place to relieve yourself and nothing to mentally stimulate yourself. Of course, if you were subjected to this abuse, you’d be able to make an abuse claim against those who locked you in. Crating is cruel and abusive, there’s no way around it. Goodness gracious americans, take a little responsibility, step it up and stop being so darn LAZY.

  • Bob says:

    I agree that being crated for more the 10 hours is abuse however, I know that crate training is essential to have a dog because they can’t always roam the house. My rule is that if I can’t keep an eye on my dog she should be crated. That’s means whent I’m asleep, or at a meeting my dog is in her crate, for her safety, she is never in the crate for more then 7 hours

  • SZinCA says:

    I used a crate when my dog was a young puppy for overnight sleeping, for travel & for when she was home alone when my mainly-work-at-home husband had to leave the house. However, by 7 months she’d graduated to an exercise pen, then to being confined to the living room w/ a baby gate, and by approx. a year old to having run of the entire house. She was trustworthy with 3 cats and w/ leaving food on the kitchen counter. Dogs can be and should be trained in this way. It will take more effort than making them walk into a crate & shutting the door, that’s for certain! I hope the previous commenter no longer crates her dog, because if she believes her dog is “balanced and well-behaved” then he shouldn’t need to be crated when he can’t be “supervised”.

  • Susan Rubin says:

    Dogs are refered to as man’s best friend. I don’t think that is how you should treat a best friend.

  • Debbie says:

    I am a card carrying PETA member, but I have to say I disagree with you on this one. This is only one side of the crating story. A crate is a tool and if used correctly can be a great aid in helping a dog adjust to his new human environment. No dog is born knowing how to live in a human household and there are different training methods to help them learn. A crate can also be used incorrectly and have adverse effects on a dog. For example, it should NEVER be used as a form of punishment. However, saying that crate training is bad is like saying that any other form of training is bad. Why put any boundaries on a dog? Just let them do whatever they want so they can be happy, right? Wrong. Dogs need exercise, discipline in the form of boundaries, and affection. Crate training a dog can help people give a dog a good loving home who would otherwise not be able to have a one at all. Having more dogs in shelters without homes is a crueler option in my opinion. My dog DOES love her crate. I leave the door open and she goes in it now on her own. A crate can be taught to be a safe place if presented correctly. And, by the way, I have zero ulterior motives for encouraging people to use crate training. I just think it’s fair to present the other side of the story of the many dogs and dog owners, myself included, who have benefited from it.

  • Asenab says:

    Hey Cecilia,
    I’m sorry but I believe you are sick. Imagine if you’re parents locked you up because they were at work and they didn’t wanna leave you running in the house. THat’s exactly the same thing. You see what you want to see, I don’t think at all that your dog is healthy. you are completely sick. I wish that dog rescued from you..

  • Sam says:

    At last. I loathe crating and have always been totally against it. Its lazy dog ownership as far as I am concerned. I have never had a problem training my dogs without the use of crates. And I have to say I think the use of crates its more prevalent in the US – I never noticed this when I lived in England but it would seem over here to be the norm. I know people that crate their dogs so often (mainly it would seem because they do not want to worry about “mess” or the dogs “bothering” people), that I wonder why they have dogs and don’t just get a goldfish.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    stop caging.

  • Lize says:

    I totally disagree with the crating of dogs or any animal for that matter, if you cannot look after a dog or are worried what it might do when you are not home then maybe you should rethink about getting one. I have had dogs all my life and I accept what comes with that, keep certain doors closed when you are not there and if they chew something or whatever, live with it. You dont cage a child until it learns to behave so why on earth would anyone do it to an animal child is beyond me.

  • Nicole Leah Ninaus says:

    From some comments frequently submitted by others under these articles, I question if they understand the meaning of: Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for ENTERTAINMENT. If you need to imprison a dog, you are not a guardian. You have the dog for your own selfish needs – OWNER. One of my in-laws crated “their” dog, Bella, every night, and I never heard an animal scream the way Bella did while crated.

  • Kate says:

    I agree that dogs shouldn’t be caged for more than 8 hours but crates can be useful. My dogs sleep in their crates at night and during the day, when the crate door is open and they are in the house (they spend most of the summer days outside), they love to just lay in them because its right under the air vent. When they feel tired or don’t like guests, they’ll go to their crate. Its they’re beds and they love them. We only close them during the night and open them as soon as we wake up. If trained right, crates can be a good thing.

  • Ana says:

    Owners need to realize that they have to take the time to train their dog correctly. Crating is horrible. People just want things easy nowadays. I have a german sheperd/chow mix and yes the first 7 months was horrible however, she is now 13 years old and after a year she never messed up anything and I give her lots of love. In fact now she has hip dysplasia and I was thinking of boarding her on my vacation however when they told me she would be in a 3 X 6 crate I thought to myself she can’t even get up and walk around so we took her on vacation and she loved it. If you want a pet make the commitment to train it.

  • RRGreyhoundMama says:

    We used a baby gate to train our pups and within just about 2 weeks we opened them up to the whole house and they get to live like kings all day like they should = ) It might not be an easy path to get down if your dog (or breed) is more stubborn, but in the end its just the right thing to do regardless of how much work it takes. Treat your animals like you would a child, they feel just the same.

  • Denise says:

    I had a “trainer” come into my house to evaluate my GSD. She was abused. We got her at 9 1/2 months old. She will be 1 year old August 18. he told me that I had to “crate” her and that I’m not to talk to her. Against my feelings, I did get a crate. I hate it! To me its abuse. IMHO

  • Barbara says:

    I totally agree with both comments above/below mine. I have used a crate for several years with four different dogs. I only had one problem and that was Dexter soiled his grate…..my problem really, I was using a crate that was just too big for him! When after a few months I switched to a smaller size the problem took care of its self. I might add that each evening at almost 9 sharp he retired to his crate on his regard the door not shut until 11. After his passing I adopted two Chi’s. They both love a crate ….use it during the day on their own with the doors open. Neither have “problems” and seem happy both in and out of their private spaces. Let’s be open to those who use a crate and have well adjusted dogs!

  • HopeForAnimals says:

    I strongly disagree with this article. “Other promoters of crating will say, “But my dog loves his crate!” This statement defies logic and is not based in science. There is no animal on Earth who “loves” to be caged. However, dogs do love people and will tolerate almost anything that their guardians force them to endure, including being locked up.” That is SO NOT TRUE. My dog loves her crate. She is a well-behaved dog but doesn’t do thing that she does not want to do just to please people. I will send a video of her at night when she goes to bed. I can’t believe PETA can’t see the difference between leaving your dog in it’s crate for 18 hours (that would be extremely cruel buy most people don’t do that) and having a crate as a training tool for when you are out for 1-2 hours so that your dog doesn’t destroy the house. Instead of saying that crates are “a dog-training tool that makes your dog weaker, klutzier, and less intelligent and increased your dog’s frustration and fearfulness about the world and made him or her less likely to bond with you.” you should educate people about how to properly use a crate. I will be posting a video about my dog and her crate on Youtube and will send you the link.

  • Sharon Kinnee says:

    I have two min pins and they have never been in a crate. In the past I used a crate in the early training months for a larger dog for the first few months for about 6 hrs a night until they could manage night dryness (about 3 months). My daughter adopted an abused rescued dog who was a young adult. He had such bad separation anxiety he did a thousand dollars of damage to their apartment. (They tryed a crate briefly but he hurt his mouth trying to get out.) In spite of “expert” advice what cured this was they babysat another dog and Dingo was instantly cured. The other dog stayed and they became best friends. A crate is a jail just like a playpen. Not saying they have no place but they are way over used. Also I dont believe everything the experts say.

  • Emily says:

    This is ridiculous!
    My dog was in a crate until he was 10 months old and is completely fine. He had a whole room to himeself (he was with a rabbit, hamster, fish etc. but no people) in the day time (for about 6 hours) while everyone was at work and at school and had a crate with the door open for him to use as a basket/bed. He also had a sofa out there for him yet preferred the crate.

    Our breeder (A well known cruffs and kennel club breeder) suggested using an open crate instead of a bed because his dogs liked using them.

    Also, saying that he was scared of the outside world and bonded better with his crate than me is so a stupid statement! He is the most outgoing and friendly dog I know, he loves cuddles and practically joint at the hip with me; a little strange if he hasn’t bonded with me.

    I agree with some of what you’re saying- dogs shouldn’t be locked away all day, but using a create with the door OPEN is perfectly fine.

  • Cecilia says:

    I’d have to strongly disagree with this article. I crate-trained my dog and have at no point experienced harmful side effects as a result. He turned out to be very emotionally healthy and balanced, well-behaved, and in ideal condition for a dog of his breed and age. This is the best method for people who have to work during the day and need their dogs to be “supervised” when nobody is around. Of course, keeping them in the crates for longer than six to eight hours can be excessive and unhealthy, but sometimes owners don’t have the option, especially when they depend on their jobs to support themselves and their dogs. Day care could be one possbility for owners who choose not to use crate training, but keep in mind that regular dog-sitting can be cost prohibitive and isn’t an option for everyone. I do understand that this article takes one point of view, but it also seems to be playing on the ignorance of many dog owners and animal lovers. For prospective pet owners, I suggest doing extensive research on the breed/s of dog you will be adopting and make sure you understand what would be required of you. High energy dogs need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, which isn’t necessarily readily available for pets who are left alone during the day. This is why ultimately you should not adopt a dog with such a high level of energy unless you’re fully prepared to give them the regular exercise they require. Humans need to be better informed of ALL sides of the story where their dogs are concerned and remain logical about what’s expected of them.

  • Suze says:

    Instead of books we can’t make the abusers read; could you do a page pointing out the problems it causes, and training alternative tips we could “fwd” to people who insist on crating their dog?

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