To Crate or Not to Crate ....
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The use of a dog crate is NOT recommended for a dog who must frequently or regularly be left alone for extended periods of time--such as all or much of the day while the owner is away at work, school, etc,.  If it is attempted, the dog must be well exercised both before and after crating, given a lot of personal positive attention and adult animals allowed complete freedom at night (including sleeping near his owner).  The crate must be large enough to permit the dog to comfortably stretch out fully on his side, to stand without their head hitting the top of the crate and to feel that they have freedom of movement.

The reason most shelters and sellers of dogs automatically suggest crating dogs is because they cannot be sure which animals need crating and which do not. They are concerned the dog may get lonely or upset while you are gone and tear something up and then the dog might be returned or even mistreated by an angry owner. A concern with puppies is that they may injure themselves such as chewing an electrical wire.

However many adult dogs do Not need crating.  Many dogs do well 'confined'  in an area such as a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen and some may have full run of the house, perhaps with a doggy door so they can go outside to use the restroom. A doggy door gives your pet the opportunity to 'relieve' themselves and gives them a bit of variety. A pet door also provides an animal with a chance to ESCAPE from the house in the event of a fire!   When using a doggy door make sure your yard is 'escape proof' as possible,  keep your gates locked  and  know and trust your neighbors in adjoining yards.  (Most meter readers have equipment from which they can read your meter without entering your yard or you can ask to take your own meter readings. Keep your gates locked. You may want to consider adding a No Trespassing sign to your gate.)

To help you to determine how they will do when they are left alone, start by leaving your dog alone for just a few minutes and coming back and then increase the time to 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, an hour and then longer periods. Make sure their favorite toys are available and when you leave give them their favorite treat but do NOT make a big fuss over your leaving or returning, just act like you have been there all along.  It might also help to turn on a radio talk show several minutes before you leave and leave it on while you are gone but keep the volume low since dogs have very sensitive hearing.

Puppies and young dogs are at greater risk of damaging your property and themselves since they like to chew. They will need to be older and more mature before you can test leaving them unattended.  Also because of their small bladder, they must urinate more often.

Until you determine if your dog will be alright if left alone, confine them in an area where there are not items which you consider irreplaceable and also an area where there are not electrical wires they might chew.  Also, do not (even when you are home) leave trash containing food where dogs can get to it since dogs have an excellent sense of smell and some might be tempted to dig in the trash to get food.

You will find that many dogs do not need to be crated but only 'confined'.   However,  IF you need to crate a dog, follow these guidelines.

  • Be very thoughtful and considerate of the length of time your dog is made to stay in a crate.  (Just because your dog goes into a crate willingly does NOT mean the dog enjoys or wants to spend hour after hour just sitting there doing nothing!)
  • The crate must be large enough to permit them to comfortably stretch out fully on their side and to feel that they have freedom of movement.  They should be able to stand and turn around unimpeded.
  • Place the crate where the dog can feel part of the family, though still have some privacy.  When home, secure the door open so it cannot unexpectedly shut and frighten them. 
  • Do Not allow children to play in the crate.
  • Do NOT use the crate as punishment.
  • Equip the crate with a clip-on dish for water.
  • Place a thick, soft towel to lay on and include their favorite toy.
  • Leave on a radio talk show but keep the volume low since dogs have sensitive hearing.
  • Remember puppies have smaller bladders than adults and canNot 'hold in' their need to use the bathroom for as long a period as when they become older. Also elderly animals may not be able to hold in as long.

Once you have spent time with your dog and get to know them, you should be able to determine 'if' they need to be crated while you are gone or if they do fine and are happier and have a much better 'quality of life' not being crated

Please remember the use of a dog crate is NOT recommended for a dog who must  frequently or regularly be left alone for extended periods of time.
Just because a dog goes willingly into their crate, does NOT mean that they 'enjoy' staying there hour after hour, caged up, nothing to do, nothing to see and not being able to walk around or to use the restroom!

If your dog is housetrained, does not chew and gets along with your other pets, then they do NOT need to be kept a prisoner in a crate!

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Doggy Door .... Freedom of choice for your loyal and loving companion!

Purchasing a Doggy Door -
Petsmart sells several price and types of Doggy Doors including 'Economy' Doggie Doors,
'Electronic' Doors and even Doggy Doors to use with a 'Sliding Glass' door!

Petco.... Gates & Doors
Petsmart ....  Gates

If giving your animal access to your yard:
  • Make your yard as escape proof as possible.
  • Keep gates securely locked to prevent someone from accidentally letting your pet out or stealing them.
  • Know and trust your neighbors who have adjoining yards. (Kids may tease your animals or even worst, a person who dislikes animals may poison the animal. In one case a hidden video camera caught a neighbor deliberately annoying an animal.)
  • In many areas meter readers have equipment which can take meter readings from the street and do not have to enter your yard. If not, ask if you can take your own meter readings.

Block off a section of the house for your pet to use.
Petsmart and Peco sell pet gate of different sizes.

Keeping Your Dog Secure In Your Yard
Dogs are best kept indoors but of course they also enjoy and benefit from being in a secured backyard.

An underground electric fence(sometimes referred to as an invisible fence) will probably NOT contain Beagles. Besides the fact that the dog can leave your property if highly motivated, any person can easily walk on your property and steal your animal!!  Another threat is that any larger animal can enter your property and attack your animal.

To make your property as secure as possible, you would do best with a minimum of a 6 foot high fence, a type which canNot be easily climbed and you should put 12" x 12"(square) by 2" thick cement stepping stones around the entire inside perimeter of your yard.  This usually is effective in keeping most dogs inside your yard unless he chews fences. Then you 'might'(probably do Not need to) need to add the underground electric fence to keep him away from the fence.

Remember to keep you gates locked and know and trust your neighbor!
Also make certain your dog ALWAYS is wearing an ID tag with TWO phone numbers listed on their tag. (Tags can be purchased at Petsmart or Petco)
Consider a Doggy Door. (Doggy Doors can be purchased at Petsmart or Petco)
Also, consider having a vet insert a microchip.

Keeping your dog OUTDOORS .... Read This

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