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A few years back Callie squeaked thru the railing of my Mom's second floor balcony... Thankfully landing on grass and rain softened ground. Callie had decided she was ready to leave ,deciding to take the shortcut back to the vehicle... Scared the CR*P out of me and I was amazed at how quickly she did it. No yelp, nothing, just shook and calmly trotted to the truck to wait on me.

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Anyway, I agree with you about just not wanting to leave dogs outside all day--here it wouldn't be so much pissing the neighbors off as worrying about someone helping themselves to my dogs or yard destruction wrought by boredom, but I did want to point out that sometimes there are sufficient motivators to make a dog jump a barrier it normally wouldn't jump.

 

Well of course "never say never" mostly applies to dogs. But in my case, cautious a dog owner though I am, I will say with 100% assurance that I am completely convinced my dogs would never jump my deck rail. Not because I think they "know it's dangerous" (that, I think, is a dangerous assumption) but rather because they don't seem to know there is a top to the rail. The other night I had some friends over for drinks and we were all sitting on my deck (I become disproportionately popular in the summer time, thank you private deck) and Shane was throwing a toy for Piper. He accidentally hurled it over the railing and the look on Piper's face plainly conveyed that she felt Shane could throw things so hard he shot them into another dimension or time/space continuum. She had no idea where it went because she doesn't seem to know that the railing stops at about 5 feet in the air. But then, my dogs have never been allowed to so much as put paws on the railing, are not allowed to stick their head through the slats to look and they do have a strong respect for physical/psychic barriers in the home.

 

In all my years of apartment living and the hundreds of dogs I know in my hood, I have never heard of a dog going over a railing. There have been a couple of cases though of dogs going *through* windows during fireworks. They were inside the apartments, and shame on their owners for not being home with them. And one of my friend's noise phobic dogs went through a crate door and a glass HOUSE door to escape when there were fireworks. So what is *safe* really? I am giving the owner the benefit of the doubt and assuming he/she knows the dog fairly well. Perhaps rashly.

 

At any rate, as I've said, I would not leave my dog unattended, on the deck or in a yard or what have you. On the deck especially, because no matter how much shade a deck has, it still gets pretty hot out there and the lino in the kitchen is always cooler ;-) I personally leave my dogs in the apartment in the day, no access to the deck, but if I were going to give them access, they would also have a way to get back inside.

 

RDM

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I lived in an apartment complex that had balconies with pretty high railings. The upper 2 floors also had screens around the railings.

 

Several of my neighbors had dogs who would bark at squirrels, dogs walking by, whatever. The dogs generally got louder and louder until the owners got complaints and started keeping the dogs inside.

 

But one of the dogs DID jump off of a 2nd story balcony. Went through the screen and everything.

 

It would make me nervous to keep a dog out there for those reasons, as well as the potential for inclement weather. JMO.

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Then there's the story on emergency vets of a shih tzu who had lived in a penthouse apartment for years, and NEVER tested the boudaries of the permiter wall (which was 3 ft high), and who, for some reason ended up leaping off the roof and landing on her jaw. I would not trust leaving my dogs home without me on a deck that was not fully fenced (as in well, soup to nuts totally). There is no rhyme or reason to what some do.

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If anyone got one of our dogs (God forbid) as a rescue, they all know to jump 34" high fencing to follow us into the pasture (our neighbor has no gates so we had to teach them this - Gus knew how already). But it would never be obvious unless they really really wanted to. Ben, for instance, won't even jump a baby gate to get a toy. But I wouldn't put it past any of them if they were scared by something, or thought for some reason that someone was asking them to jump.

 

I'm fairly sure a dog has no idea of the difference between "That might hurt" which would pretty much be gained through similar experiences, and "I could die from that." Something is either sufficiently aversive (or not rewarding enough), or it's not - at least in my thinking.

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Maybe Independence Day approaching makes me want to get up on my soapbox, but I will never, for the life of me, understand why people want to reject crating dogs for their safety and sanity. In this case, what would be so wrong with having a big enough crate inside the apartment for the dog to be kept in while the owner cannot be with him/her? Is it because the dog deserves and enjoys his independence, and can be trusted 110% not to get into mischief that could get him sick or injured, or cause him to be the source of your displeasure for his activities while not restricted? I have a dog or two I leave loose in the house (and at the mercy of the cats), but not usually, better peace of mind for me and for them.

 

Balcony jumping: yes they do. Accidental, provoked, curious, compelled, but they do, and it causes them death or injury or both. Can't count on two hands the numbers I can recall, working in an urban vet hospital, lots of apartment critters. Cats too. Also, window screen pushers. I wouldn't do it, ever. Or walk over an overpass on a freeway with an unleashed dog. Seen that too, awful.

 

Diarrhea...fast (just food) for 24hrs, then bland diet, then reintroduce food, but by then you will past the 4th, when all vets except the emergency ones are closed. If you want to call your vet, do it today for advice as to what to do for that.

 

Back to crates, I wish I had a nickel for every dog I've seen sickened or killed by freedom. Stepping down now...

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... I will never, for the life of me, understand why people want to reject crating dogs for their safety and sanity.

 

Well, I don't really have strong opinions for or against crates, but I will confess that in my 45 years, I've never used one, and never needed one.

 

First time I heard of crating was around 1987; I was student teaching and the dept. head had a schnauzer in a crate. She explained the theory to me, the benefits, etc.. Prior to the 80s, as far as I can remember, no one crated their dogs. All our childhood dogs were indoor dogs who came outside to play with us. If I remember, our puppies were kept in large cardboard boxes or penned-in areas at night and when we needed to leave them, until they were housebroken and safely not chewing stuff up. I guess the boxes and penned-in corners were early versions of crates. At any rate, we stopped using them as soon as possible; it was a pain to have a big old cardboard box in the kitchen! :rolleyes: The dogs all had special spots in the house where they would lie: under an end table, up on the old chair no one used anymore. My current dog hangs out in my living room all day, under a table. While I type, he huddles under my computer desk. At night, he likes to sleep under the bed in hot weather, on top of the bed in cold.

 

I do understand the theory behind crating as a training tool and safety device. I guess it's possible that I've just been lucky in having dogs who didn't have any manic urges to destroy the house or rip through screens. Maybe it's also possible, though, that being given some freedom early and often allowed the dogs to learn how to mentally "crate themselves" without having to be put in a crate. Maybe there's an emotional component (self-calming, retreating to a quiet safe place) that can be mastered without the physical component?

 

Having said all that - I do not and never have owned a dog whose safety was in jeopardy because of behavior in the house. Which makes it all happy theory. :D

 

Mary

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Sienna has never really like the crate, but she'll go in there (not without some dirty looks first of course :rolleyes: ) But when we go to trial, she doesn't seem to have any issue with it. So I've decided to crate her inside, and put it outside when it gets much cooler. I figure that's the safest option, and plus she needs to know crate == home anyways.

 

As for her diarrhea, it cleared up for a day before fasting and then she had another present for me last night when I got home. I started her on some rice and will give her some boiled chicken this evening. If it doesn't clear up by Friday, I'll take her to the vet Saturday. Thanks for everyone's responses!

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Having said all that - I do not and never have owned a dog whose safety was in jeopardy because of behavior in the house. Which makes it all happy theory. :D

 

Mary

Mary,

I'm not sure how crating became part of the discussion, but for some of us it simply has to do with numbers and pack dynamics. Right now I have 10 dogs (one's a visitor) who stay in the house. For me, it makes sense to crate them when I leave so that I know there's nothing going on that shouldn't be. Heck, even rough play when several dogs are involved can cause accidental damage. Not to mention the bitches that don't get along. Or when someone's in heat and needs to be kept separated from the (soon not to be) intact male. I will often leave one or two uncrated when I leave, but leaving 10 uncrated isn't something I'd want to try! :rolleyes: When I had just two or three, they were pretty much never crated (I probably didn't even own a crate, expect those I had for transporting the cats).

 

I have a couple of thunderphobes who might go out a screen if they were desperate enough. I mentioned one of them earlier in this thread. That's where I see a crate as serving as a means of keeping a dog safe.

 

Another thing to consider: a crate doesn't have to be only because the dog's safety is in jeopardy. It's hard enough to find rentals when you own pets--I think a responsible renter would do everything possible to ensure that no pet damage occurred and if that means crating the pet when gone, I think it's a small price to pay for being allowed to continue to rent and have a pet.

 

You're right--we didn't use crates when I was a kid. Then again, we generally also had someone who was home most of the time. Maybe that's one of the differences as well....

 

J.

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Ditto Julie: I never used them until I rented, and until I had in excess of three dogs, and I have no doubt in my mind that all my dogs will behave respectably if left alone, and I have left each one out alone at one time or another. My dogs do play rough and fun, and when crated, they pretty much rest and relax.

 

I think I responded mostly to the idea that a dog needed a safe place to be left alone at home (balcony/porch). I would never leave a dog out in a yard alone or in the company of other dogs either, just my paranoia about them having to fend off traffic I'm not here to mediate. Don't want them stolen either. My sister married a man who believed no dogs in the house...they had a beagle that they left out 24/7 (rural area), and he used to say that dog was way happier for her freedom than mine ever were. No doubt she was until the day she roamed out to a neighbor's place and drank of a pan of antifreeze the dumb neighbor left out for raccoons, for whatever reason. That dog was always having stomach upsets, and ate from same neighbor's compost pile regularly as well. The antifreeze did her in. B-in law still proclaimed he was glad she had her three years freedom vs a life in confinement. Their next beagle got hit by a train. Another story of freedom. Extremes, I know.

 

I just hear a lot of stories at work of how dogs "ate something they shouldn't have", got in trouble for eating socks, furniture, panties, and human meds, and I think of how crating them might have saved them a lot of heartaches and money. No, crates aren't for everyone, but they can be lifesavers in a lot of cases.

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Crating is just plain CRUEL!

 

Yeh, I USE to think that until I learned (it was pointed out) that one of the first things a dog (or most any other small animal) will do in the wild is find shelter. A small enclosed area (covered on top and all sides 'cepting a way to get in) where not only are they sheltered from the evironment, they also feel protection from intruders.

 

Sounds something like a kennel with the exception of the wire door that traps them in. So it would seem to me, it's not the fear of the kennel per se, it's the fear of being 'trapped' in. In any event, a kennel is viable in any situation, not just the logistics of safety or number of animals. There is nothing wrong with putting a pet in an enviroment where they feel safe, they are happy there (well, once the fear of being trapped is overcome).

 

I'm sure Sassy is no exception, she loves her crate. It's there (was) if she wants to go in. In fact I literally paniced one time long ago after looking ALL over the house and Sassy was nowhere to be found. With racing heart I go looking everywhere a second time and just happen to notice her laying in her kennel. That's when I learned 2 things- remember to check the kennel , and even better, command her to come rather than ASK "Sassy, where are you?" :rolleyes:

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my dad is one of those people who think crating is cruel. He said I was never allowed to move back with them unless my dogs became 100% outside dogs. I explained Yoshi (sheltie) could not be in the heat all day, he HATES the heat and would get heat stroke in the middle of the day. And of course Foxy couldnt just be left outside either. He is a very stubborn person and wouldnt even listen to any of my talk and he still thinks crating is cruel and leaving dogs outside is much better. :rolleyes: *sigh*

 

I think my sheltie would die without his crate, he makes a beeline for it everytime we come home. lol

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I just wanted to add to the discussion on crating. If I had left Zia in one of the available crates in that motel room two and a half months ago, she'd be alive today. Instead I thought it was kinder to leave her lying on a bed so that she could rest her stiff, aching muscles while the other dogs went for a short morning run. I told her, "Be good!," as I always did when leaving her, and closed the door behind me.

 

The crate would not only have kept her safe, but would have provided her with psychological security. She was always content in a crate, but she was very nervous at being left alone and loose in a motel room. I wish to God that she had just chewed up some furniture, but I taught her too well as a puppy for her to do that. Instead she found another dog handler's medicine supply (which I didn't even know was in the room), tore the tough plastic bottle apart, and ate a lethal dose of Rimadyl.

 

I'll keep posting this story here whenever the issue comes up, and I hope it helps someone else to make the right decision sometime.

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I'll keep posting this story here whenever the issue comes up, and I hope it helps someone else to make the right decision sometime.

 

I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that by sharing your heartbreaking story, you may be helping other dogs stay safe.

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I just wanted to add to the discussion on crating. If I had left Zia in one of the available crates in that motel room two and a half months ago, she'd be alive today. Instead I thought it was kinder to leave her lying on a bed so that she could rest her stiff, aching muscles while the other dogs went for a short morning run. I told her, "Be good!," as I always did when leaving her, and closed the door behind me.

 

The crate would not only have kept her safe, but would have provided her with psychological security. She was always content in a crate, but she was very nervous at being left alone and loose in a motel room. I wish to God that she had just chewed up some furniture, but I taught her too well as a puppy for her to do that. Instead she found another dog handler's medicine supply (which I didn't even know was in the room), tore the tough plastic bottle apart, and ate a lethal dose of Rimadyl.

 

I'll keep posting this story here whenever the issue comes up, and I hope it helps someone else to make the right decision sometime.

I am so sorry to hear this. My condolences on the loss of your sweet girl.

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We have 2 Aussies who live outside. We live in the boonies though and have the best neighbors. I'd be worried if we lived in the city though. Ours are in escape proof enclosures with dog houses. They do fine rain/shine/snow. We live in the high desert of AZ. They just need shelter from the excessive heat and cold. Go with what your conscience tells you would be my suggestion. JMO

Narita

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So it would seem to me, it's not the fear of the kennel per se, it's the fear of being 'trapped' in.

That may well be right, but at least some rescue dogs have, at some time, been forcibly crated and associate a crate with something nasty. It took weeks of coaxing to get Senneca to go into her crate. I'm guessing she associated it with her trip to the pound (she is scared to death when she see the AC vehicle). Now she has learned to trust us, her crate is her den and she loves it.

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