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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm expecting to get a lab pup at the end of the year and I've been doing quite a lot of pre-reading to try and be prepared. One thing that has confused me on the subject of crates is that a lot of the advice is to introduce the puppy to the crate gradually and make sure they're happy before starting to shut them in, but if that takes a few days what do you do for the first night when you get the puppy home?

Do you start them off shut in a whole room of the house and move to the crate when they're used to it or do you go cold turkey and use it from day one?

Sorry, an answer to this is probably already on this board somewhere but I haven't come across it.

Thanks
 

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I'm a great believer in starting as you mean to go on. My puppy crate is under the kitchen table and the door is shut from the first night. Otherwise there is no point in using a crate, you might just as well use a dog bed. There is no NEED to use a crate, as I wrote in another post today, but there are good valid reason why it is a good idea to. I have the crate in place before pup arrives home, and from then on everything nice happens in the crate, feed in the crate, give treats in the crate and make a fuss of my pup in the crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That make sense. I think I've read a small novel worth of your advice on this forum already so thank-you for your response and your many contributions over the years!

I am planning to have two crates, one upstairs in our office room where I'm thinking the dog will sleep at night and which will serve as a bed where they can spend a lot of time with us while we work at home in the days, and one in our family room downstairs, which we can use if we need to secure them due to a nervous visitor or if the front door needs to be held open (etc). The downstairs one will also hopefully provide a refuge for the puppy since we have 2 young kids who will be told they have to leave it in peace if it chooses to go in there.

Do you think there is any downside to using the two crates from day one? We can do the same familiarisation exercises with both, and I can fit them both out with the same bedding, etc. If it is going to be confusing to a puppy another option is that we could get the overnight crate sorted first and introduce the other one a few weeks later.
 

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Do you think there is any downside to using the two crates from day one?
No, a lot of people do. Personally I dont, but we all have different lifestyles which our dogs have to fit into. I'm now retired so it's easy for me to have my dogs around me 24/7, but is it a good idea? Possibly not. We all have to leave out dog at some time, to go to ASDA or whatever, so I feel a certain amount of "Alone time" is good training against separation anxiety. For that reason I have my crate in the kitchen. My pup is with me for most of the day, be that unconfined in the living room, garden or wherever, But every afternoon and evening I pop the pup in it's crate in the kitchen for an hour's rest. Puppies are like children, over tired they can start to get silly, start playing rough, biting hands and the like. It also gives us a chance to get our breath back. Believe me, young puppies are hard work!! So time on their own, in the crate away from me is part of training to be left.
 

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I use a crate from the first night, with a slight difference in that I currently have my lot come upstairs with me, due to having problems over the last year with a rat infestation at the back of the house. I'm due to have a new extension built that will hopefully be rat proof, the beggars literally chewed their way through the back door and into the walls. However, until the back of the house is rat proof completely, I don't want to crate my girls in what is the utility room down there, so they have been coming up to bed with me. So the crate for my new puppy is at the end of the bed, but once the extension is built with purpose built in crates, they will all sleep in the new dog/utility room. Crates are brilliant used in the correct way, I wouldn't be without them.
 

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Yup, crate from day 1 in the location they will sleep.
 
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