The great crate debate — readers weigh in

I received quite a few comments on the letter about the Great Dane that is kept in a crate all day and at night. Some of you thought I didn’t go far enough to condemn the action, and many had some good suggestions.

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Is crating a dog a form of animal cruelty?

DEAR JOAN: May I make a suggestion? The owner should consider doggie daycare. I am a pet sitter and I provide the service for several dogs on a daily basis. It is a great alternative to crating for long periods of time.

Debra Roe, San Jose

DEAR JOAN: I will never, ever understand why people have a dog when they both work all day.

I am all for crate-training, especially for puppies and when the dog is riding in a car, and I don’t mind the couple having the dog sleep in a crate in their bedroom at night, but that dog definitely needs to have a crate he can stand up fully and turn around in.

In addition, isn’t there someone they could pay to either take the dog for a walk at noon, or let him out in the fenced — I assume — yard to run around for a while before he is crated again?

I am reminded of the woman who called me and asked me what she needed to have for a crate she was going to fly her dog in. I replied that he needed to be able to sit, lie down, stand up and turn around in the crate whereupon she wailed “Oh! I’ll never be able to teach him all that before tomorrow!” and hung up.

Judie Howard, Moraga

DEAR JOAN: Yes, the way this gentleman’s daughter and son-in-law are using the crate is cruel. At best it is thoughtless and lazy.

It is quite expensive to own a dog but that should never release a person from the responsibility of hiring someone to relieve and exercise the dog mid-day. Or, at least, doggy day care a few days a week.

Our dogs need us to exercise their minds as much as their bodies. I doubt daughter and son-in-law could take being in a crate with nothing to do for that many hours. Sometimes people need to look at things from the dog’s perspective to “get it.” Your answer was a good one but needed just a little more bite.

Kathryn Majo, Bay Area

DEAR JOAN: This is major cruelty. This woman needs to stop crating her dog immediately. Four hours at a time is the maximum, except during the night.

She can section off part of a room with gates so the dog can move; she can remove things he would chew. Please make sure she reads this.

Emily Sparks, Oakland

DEAR JOAN: Regarding your wise response about dogs left in a crate for too long, how about suggesting your reader build a dog run in the back yard? A small run will be much better than any big crate.

Elizabeth, Bay Area


Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

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