Why I Use Crates
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  • A frequently asked question is, Why crate? There are many reasons for crating and one that I often emphasize is the importance of crating in the car. I have made sure my puppy people understand how important it is to safely secure their dogs while in the car just like you wear a seatbelt or secure a child in a car seat. Today, I was very glad that I always crate my dogs in the car. We had been visiting my mother-in-law to help her get some things done around the house this weekend. We had finished up and were going to head home. We changed our normal going home routine to stop and get money to cross the toll bridge. While getting back on our normal route, we were waiting a stop sign to make a right hand turn onto the main street. When we started to go someone made a sudden lane change causing us to have to stop again, the truck behind us then accelerated into us not seeing that we had stopped. We could hear the thud and felt a bit of jolt but not too bad. We pulled over and I checked in on the dogs, they were all still happily laying in their crates, none the worse for the accident. I am so glad that they were securely crated. They were not injured in the accident and I didn?t have to worry about the getting loose on the busy expressway that the accident occurred on. Below are the photos of the car immediately after the accident and after the rear window blew and of our dogs in their crates waiting for family to come and pick them up.

    Here is the car immediately after the accident

    Here is the car after we had moved it to a safer place and the rear window shattered.

    Here are the dogs relaxing in their crates with the AC going while we waited for my mom and brother to help us get them home.

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    attachment_t_11766_1_dogs-after-accident.jpg
    attachment_t_11766_2_right-after-accident.jpg

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  • Ivoss, I am so glad nothing bad happened to anyone/anydog in the car, or the other cars for that matter.

    Your words are wise ones, and what happened to you this weekend is the proof that animals should not be loose in a vehicle. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  • I am so glad everyone, human and dog, is okay!

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  • Thanks for a really good example of why dogs should not ride loose in the car. We protect ourselves and our children, but many fail to protect their dogs. The worst example is a loose dog in the back of a pickup truck…...which you see all the time in the country! And of course the loose dog who is halfway out the open window and would become a projectile if the car stopped suddenly.

    For those with dogs that are not happy in a crate, there are pretty decent purpose made harnesses that can be secured with seatbelts, but beware of the airbag. If it deployed it would do major damage to a small dog. Best that the dog rides in the back seat for this reason. (I have a friend with a GSD that is a spinner......she cannot be crated, as this triggers the phobia and she injures her tail)

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  • Pictures speak louder then words! Sorry that you had an accident and sure glad everyone is OK… but your pictures of the Van enforce the reason that many of us "repeat" over and over that animals should NEVER ride loose in a vehicle!

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  • Above all else, I'm glad you're all okay! As Pat said, pictures speak louder than words! I totally agree in not letting the dogs loose in the car. My Cosmo has a car harness and is always buckled down in the back seat - even if it's just a very short trip (where a lot of accidents seem to occur).

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  • Houston

    So sorry to hear of you accident. Glad to hear every one is Ok.
    I totally understand the importance of crating the dogs, but I've yet to manage to drive with Pippin being crated..he screams so bad I am a nervous wreck, which makes me feel as if I will wreck because of it. He also bites on the bars and twice (when he as younger) he got his snout stuck inbetween the bars,(once on a wire crate and once on a plastic crate in the top sides) so I had to pull over and try to squeeze it back all while he was going ballistic.
    We also have the car harnesses but he chews on them, he clearly is my problem child.

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  • Clearly he has your number…gggg

    However if you can't stand to screaming in the crate and he eats the harnesses, I would use the harness and a muzzle so he can't eat them.

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  • Houston

    Tanza..I never thought of that, it wouldn't be cruel? I mean I would have him safe, but his "I have to be loose at all costs" behaviour is stemming from his separation anxiety, no? I will try it, shoot it will probably work wonders..

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  • This does not sound like separation anxiety which is triggered because the human leaves, this sounds like crate anxiety.

    L'Ox had some crate anxiety issues and we have had success with all meals happen in a crate. When he wasn't transferring that to the crate in the car he started having meals in the crate in the car. At first, you aren't going anywhere just sitting in the drive way or the garage as they eat their meal. Once they are very eager to get in the car and crate because they know it is meal time you can start moving the car, very short distances at first, make sure he is still eating because that is a measure of his stress.

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  • Ivoss so happy that everyone was all right. I have to go with you on this one the crate is the way to go. Jayden was my problem child he would also yell so it was like this you yell I drive and turn radio up only way you can go bye bye. Yes Jayden also got his mouth stuck on the wire cage door that was not fun for him or me. Jayden had to understand the master/slave rule.

    Rita Jean

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  • @Basenjimamma:

    Tanza..I never thought of that, it wouldn't be cruel? I mean I would have him safe, but his "I have to be loose at all costs" behaviour is stemming from his separation anxiety, no? I will try it, shoot it will probably work wonders..

    Why cruel? There are a number of different types of muzzles. We use them all the time lure coursing… and it is not like it would be on him 24/7, only in the car. Once he figures out that being quiet or not eating the harness ='s no muzzle... then you are making progress.

    And lvoss had some good ideas... with feeding his meals in a crate in the car.

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  • Your pippin sounds like a dead ringer for my Oakley! The crate at home has improved drastically but in the car he messes his crate and screams bc he can't be on my lap! They really do own us!

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  • Houston

    I've tried feeding him in the crate..he flips the bowl with his paw, food goes flying and he starts screaming..he crates very well at home, now, because I bought the biggest crate 48" or so..I could fit in my bedroom and both him and Moses crate together…but when eating I have to separate the two or fights will ensure (only while in the crate, not if fed outside of it, go figure.) I will try the muzzle and see if that works.
    I bet it will, but will he become a "nervous" dog if I keep on pushing the issue or is he winning if I don't give myself the upper hand..

    Yes, Chealsie....they really do own us.

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  • Is the door open to the crate? Since the car is enclosed if he wants to eat he can go in the crate and eat but at first leave the door open so he can choose to leave or even remove the door at first so the crate is open. Again, this does not sound so much like separation anxiety but instead an anxiety at being confined.

    You may need to consult a behaviorist.

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  • Houston

    Yeah, I have closed the door, will try leaving it open, do I then close him into the room himself or leave it all together open? I would have to try to separate the other dogs from him and vice versa, or else he will come out and take their food. He bosses around like that :(.
    Yeah I don't think it is separation either, although he does have a thing for me leaving him/them/the whole house alone..he is a mama's boy, but I think it has something to do with him being locked up whether in a crate, stuck to a leash or left in the car…he simply can not stand it.

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  • B

    @lvoss:

    A frequently asked question is, Why crate? There are many reasons for crating and one that I often emphasize is the importance of crating in the car. I have made sure my puppy people understand how important it is to safely secure their dogs while in the car just like you wear a seatbelt or secure a child in a car seat. Today, I was very glad that I always crate my dogs in the car. We had been visiting my mother-in-law to help her get some things done around the house this weekend. We had finished up and were going to head home. We changed our normal going home routine to stop and get money to cross the toll bridge. While getting back on our normal route, we were waiting a stop sign to make a right hand turn onto the main street. When we started to go someone made a sudden lane change causing us to have to stop again, the truck behind us then accelerated into us not seeing that we had stopped. We could hear the thud and felt a bit of jolt but not too bad. We pulled over and I checked in on the dogs, they were all still happily laying in their crates, none the worse for the accident. I am so glad that they were securely crated. They were not injured in the accident and I didn?t have to worry about the getting loose on the busy expressway that the accident occurred on. Below are the photos of the car immediately after the accident and after the rear window blew and of our dogs in their crates waiting for family to come and pick them up.

    Here is the car immediately after the accident

    Here is the car after we had moved it to a safer place and the rear window shattered.

    Here are the dogs relaxing in their crates with the AC going while we waited for my mom and brother to help us get them home.

    I wonder if the dog would be okay if they were in a harness that buckles into the seatbelt? My sister has a golden retriever who's no longer crated but has her own room (spoiled I know:P) for at night and when she's at home alone. They use the leash that buckles into the seatbelt buckle thing. Do you think that this keeps a dog safe enough? Currently I crate Basil and though he whines for about the first few minutes, he usually lays down and relaxes… I did buy a harness though that buckles into the seatbelt but I haven't used it yet because he's not nearly big enough. What's your recommendation?

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  • Seat belt harness will also protect the dog especially from being a projectile. I prefer to crate and it works well for my dogs but seat belts are a better option for some.

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  • Petra, to start, I would put him in an area where he cannot get to the other dogs' food but you can leave the crate door open. I have a baby gate that separates my kitchen from my living room so I would gate off the kitchen and feed L'Ox in the open crate. Once he was eagerly eating and not trying to always keep his hind legs out, I would then close the crate but not latch it so he would sometimes check to make sure he could leave. When he stopped checking and was happy in the crate with the door closed then we started latching it and building up time while he was in it. It would be a similar process for in the car.

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  • @basilboy7:

    I wonder if the dog would be okay if they were in a harness that buckles into the seatbelt?

    I think they are fine, particularly if you have a dog that doesn't crate well or don't have room in your car for the crate. But don't put them in the front passenger seat unless you can de-power the airbag. If it deploys in a crash it could injure a dog, especially a small dog. Also, you need to lock off the inertia reel so the dog doesn't pull the seatbelt out. :)

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  • @eeeefarm:

    I think they are fine, particularly if you have a dog that doesn't crate well or don't have room in your car for the crate. But don't put them in the front passenger seat unless you can de-power the airbag. If it deploys in a crash it could injure a dog, especially a small dog. Also, you need to lock off the inertia reel so the dog doesn't pull the seatbelt out. :)

    The problem being the Basenji that chews through the seat belt harness in 30seconds or less. So hence the muzzle

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