Archived Message
Permanent Crating?

by Marsha O & Jazz

I read an earlier post that has been bothering me for 2 days now, and I wanted to ask the position of others who maybe Maltese show people. The post was regarding a puppy with coat problems. The person stated that the pup was wrapped and "kept crated most of the time", apparently to get a longer coat on him. Now that I've had my Maltese pup for 2 months I've been delighted on a daily basis by his liveliness and joyfully unrestrained play. (Not to mention all the affection, kisses and hugs). I've had other breeds as young 'uns, but haven't seen another that seems to love frolicking with abandon (as in the earlier "Scampers with a ferrari engine" post), as this baby does. Since reading the post about near-constant crating, I've been haunted by the idea of a pup with the zest for life of my Jazz being kept this way. I can understand the coat wrapping (although I don't think Jazz would be too pleased with THAT), as it doesn't interfere with the dog's natural tendencies. But, do other show people keep their young 'uns crated this way to grow coat? Funny thing is, Jazz's coat is also about 2 inches off the ground at 8 months of age, and he hasn't ever been wrapped or kept in a crate. How do other show people feel about this? Is it common?


Marsha, I too have a problem with that constant crating you have read about. I questioned it before a couple of weeks ago.....the question champion vs. pet in which I thought these show people were not keeping the best interest of the dog in mind. I think that particular question and answer was deleted from this discussion forum. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't seem to find it for discussion anymore. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It's still nice to know that the majority of us treat our babies like one of our precious children!

I am the one you are refering to in this post. My pup is crated most of the time due to the fact that I work all day and he is young enough to not potty in the house while I am gone. When I get home i emmediatly put him out to go potty and then he is turned loose in the house to play and have fun for the rest of the night. He does not have a life deprived of love or attention this I assure you. I do know of some people who crate their dogs for the purposes of coat growth but I do not. I simply wrap the coats in Rice Papers to keep it from breaking off while they play. All of my older ones are never crated except when there is a female in season and they live in the house all day long. Some even sleep with me. I am sure the post alarmed you as you do not see the situation for your self and how the dogs live. I assure you that my dogs are happy and are pets first and formost and show dogs second.
-Charity...SnoCcrystal Kennels

Sorry, my mistake on the deleted wasn't. It is still on the discussion board dated 5-01-97. I apologize Jay!

Marsha: I have to admit, I too felt a sadness when I read that post. After having (racy) Macy for only 2 weeks now, I couldn't imagine crating her constantly. She is so full of live and you can just look at her running throught the house and almost see a smile on her face. However I am sure that their maltese is too loved as much as mine.

Marilyn, selected messages on this board will be normally archived 14 days from the origination date. The majority do make it to the archives. Also, today I put a new search engine on the archives that gives a lot more information than the old one did.

Oh Boy! I wish I could tell you all exactly how I feel, but the language I would have to use is not appropriate. My opinion on this "Rice Paper"thing,showing your dog,crating your dog(except for training purposes),etc., is that, if you or anyone else is going to bring a puppy(same to as a human)into this world, it is entitled to the quality of life that we want for ourselves...AND NOTHING LESS!!!! This REALLY angers me. There is NO amount of money or recognition that would entice me to inhibit my "babies" in ANY way. No offense to anyone, but I'd like to "wrap and crate" a few dog owners myself.....Sorry,for the outburst,it's good thing you can't hear me. I can't imagine being confined in any way, and for the rest of their lives, I'll do my best to give Harlee Dee & Travis that best I can offer. AMEN...
-Karen Kalamaras

To Charity. You said you know of people that cage up there maltese all the time just to get the coat to look good? Thats disgusting. What a thing to do. Also, why don't you block off a room for your younger one to be in while you're away. It would be much more humane than leaving her in the crate all day long.

I do not show my dogs, and I do not crate mine, as I have no reason to, but my friend does. Her crate is not what we think of as a crate, but is the size of my bathroom. In it is a paper to go on, toys, water and food, and she is a very well adjusted dog. She stays in the crate while she is at work, because this dog can shred an entire house, furnature, walls and all if not crated. As soon as she gets home from work, she is set free and romps and plays the rest of the day, and sleeps in bed with her each night. Weekends she is not in the crate, but is taken to the park to play, and to the petstore to roam and bark. At a recent show, I met one of Larry Stansbury's dogs, Puzzle. This dog has, I am sure, been in a crate to grow hair, but it has done nothing to hurt his spirit. He is a bouncy, fun loving dog out of the ring, and totally professional in the ring. I saw no inhumane treatment of these dogs, but rather, more attention lavished on them than I am able to give my dogs. The handler I met was wonderful with them, constantly talking to him and petting him. These show people work too hard, and spend too much money on the shows to not love the animals. They do not do it for the sale of the puppies, because I found their puppies to be less expensive than purchasing from a local breeder. I would not approve of a dog being crated all their life either, but this is just not what is happening with all show breeders.
-Marsha A.

Marsha-I still feel too many - show people do it for the so called 'prestige' and not for the love of the animals,I'm sorry to disagree with you.

Our maltese showdogs are "crated", which is a term used by many in the show community to designate living quarters. However, what you should realize is that "crating" is a generic word. Many of us show people actually use 3" x 3" puppy play pens as crates (or something of a similar size). This is approximately the same size as the play pens used by human babies. These play pens have a raised hygenic floor and allow the dog the opportunity to run, romp and play while protecting the coat from breakage. Our dogs are very happy in this environment during the workday and overnight. During the early morning and evening when we are home they have the opportunity to play in the house on our tile floors.

Please understand that show dogs are not abused and kept hidden away.

I guess I am a show person as I have been involved in showing and breeding dogs since 1978, and Maltese since 1990. I really enjoy my dogs and take pride in breeding, training, grooming, and showing my own dogs. I do wrap my dogs' coats in rice papers, but that is the only concession I make to show dogs. My Maltese run around the house during the day, drape themselves over the backs of couches, run to the door and bark when the doorbell rings, and sleep on the bed at night. Wrapping the coats in rice papers protects the coat from tangling and breakage. My show dogs still have some broken coat--they love to rub their backs on the carpet--but I'm not willing to confine them to pens or make them live on wire racks. Judges have commented on the nice conditioning--including muscle tone--that my Maltese have.

As far as showing dogs being an ego trip, small breeder/owner/handlers like myself love their dogs, enjoy their companionship in our homes, and take pride in studying the breed and trying to improve it with every litter we produce. There would be few pets (other than pet shops and puppy mills) if it weren't for the serious small breeder who is trying to produce quality puppies. I never breed a litter unless I plan to keep a puppy to show! So, please don't lump all dog show people in the same basket. I too have heard and seen horrors--but I have seen many more examples of breeder/owner/handlers who love their breed/their dogs and take fantastic care of them.

When I get ready to go to a dog show, all my Maltese bark, cry, scratch, bounce, jump, and twirl to entice me to take them all, including the long-retired gramma dog. They truly love to go to the shows--you'd just have to be here to witness it. If dog showing were so bad for the dogs, you'd think they'd go and hide, not fight to get into the travel kennels.

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