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Archived Message


by Robin K.

Do most of you crate your Maltese when you are away from home? I understand that it's good for them to be comfortable with it for travelling and trips to the vet. But I never crate Taffy otherwise. I know I am lucky because she is so good, but if I had a dog, (which I have in the past), who wasn't good, I would still make a place larger than a crate to keep them in. I really do feel that Taffy is my baby, and I would not keep my baby inside something that small for hours either. I just have a problem with all the crating I hear about. I realise that if you have a dog who is not housebroken, it can be frustrating, but most kitchens don't have carpeting. Neither do some bathrooms, which can be set up with babygates or something so the dog isn't confined to such a tiny space. I am a person who cannot stand to see a dog caged, tied up, or anything of that nature. If it's a matter of housebreaking, I strongly encourage you to think twice before getting a puppy that needs your time and undying attention and love.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Yes, I do but my Maltese in his Kennel when we are not home. I do it for his own protection. I have been doing this since he first came to me at 8 weeks old. I do not feel he is any less loved or has any bad feelings toward me. I keep his kennel padded so it is a nice place for him to sleep. He also, has some toys in his kennel. I never keep him in his kennel when we are home. I always keep the door open, and guess what he goes in it to sleep sometimes. There are always to sides to everything.
-Joanne Maltese

Robin, I was just getting ready to start a discussion on crates when I saw yours. Crates are a sore spot with me. They are misused and people are misled as to how they should be used. They have their purpose, and a very important one too, but they're being used to keep dogs in for 8 to 11 hours a day. How many of those are spending the night in there also?

Crate training, if done properly, is a good idea - even if you ultimately never crate the dog for anything other than to go in a car. Proper technique creates a natural affinity for a dog with his "den" and they choose to seek it out when tired, or simply wish to have a little quiet time to themselves.

We crate train all of our puppies and they develop a bond with the crate - we even leave the door open so they can come and go as they please. But, should we go for an extended visit out of town into someone else's home - the dog is comfortable as he has his den, even if the rest of the surroundings are unfamiliar or intimidating.

This doesn't mean he cannot have the run of the house at all times - only that he will not feel penalized if a time or condition arises when he MUST be confined for a period of time. My brother never crate trained his Pommeranian and when they come for a visit it is my dog that gets crated since he doesn't mind at all - but they play together too rough to simply let them stay out together - my Maltese dog's coat would get destroyed.

It sounds like punishment, and if done improperly it is even abusive, to crate a dog. However,done with a soft, skilled, understanding approach crating is ultimately in the best interests of the dog - providing safety, security, tranquility, and versatility to the ownership responsibility we all take on in adopting a vulnerable toy breed companion.
-Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

When Marla was younger she would chew up paper, pencils, magazines, etc. whenever I left home for a few hours. I began putting her in a large crate with bedding and toys; and then pushing the crate tight against the doggy door. She could go outside whenever she wanted but could not roam the house tearing things up. After 3 or 4 confinements to her crate she would run over and get inside the crate when I picked up my car keys. When I came home I always made a big fuss over her, praised her and gave her a piece of doggy jerky (her favorite). After 7 or 8 confinements I decided to try leaving her outside the crate and never have had a behavior problem since. Go figure...I know maltese are SMART but some of the things I have seen my maltese do make me wonder who is smarter than who..
-Stephanie Giroux

I agree with you. When we first got out little Maltese we kept her in a crate and it's true it did keep her from going to the bathroom before we got home to let her outside. But I think as they get older and more trained they should have more room. Even though I know she sleeps most of the day I think she should be able to stretch her legs and walk around if she wanted. We now keep her in the tiled bathroom even though she is house trained she will go to the bathroom when we are not home if she is out of the bathroom.

One time I put my maltese in a cage. He barked. Then I left for a little while to go buy grosheries. When I came back he had chewed right through the steel screen! I couldn't believe it. I had to go buy a stronger cage. I put him right in it. He started barking again and I left to run erands. I got back and sure enough he had chewed through the reinforced steel bars and gotten out again! Only this time he didn't stop. He chewed through the wall board of the kitchen and was halfway through the bricks when I caught him! He's ferocious.

I have to disagree, I keep my pup in a crate when I am not at home and sometimes at night. Dogs are den animals, this means that if in the wild they would have a den to sleep in. Dogs need to have a place of their own then they want to sleep or just be alone. I only keep bacci in his crate for one hour at a time and at night I leave the door open for him to get water or what ever else he wants to do. As far as housetraining goes, crates teach control. When I am at home I put Bacci's crate on the floor with the door open and he goes in when he wants to sleep or just lay down. Crates can be abused, but when used right they can be good for both you pup.

Hi! Robin K. I still have to crate Shayna, but she is gaining our trust again. I figured out what all the wall digging was about. When we left in June for our 3 months trip Shayna was 7 months old and we stopped crating her in the motor home. She did really well for the entire trip. Had 2 piddle accidents, but it was because we left her for too many hours. Well we suddenly returned to FL and the big house and she was confused. She missed her "Dog House", that's what I call the motor home. Anyway we are home 2 months now and she is doing much better. We have started to leave her roaming around again, unless it's for 5 or 6 hours. We don't worry about the accidents, she is very well trained now, but I hate being decorated in early "Spakel". She hasn't tried any wall digging in weeks thank goodness. What I'm trying to say, we use the crate for training purposes, however, Shayna really likes her crate. If she thinks we are going out, she goes in without being called. KoKo on the other hand hasn't been crated since she was 8 or 9 months old and has never given us any cause to consider crating her.

Robin, I could not agree with you more!! Would anyone leave a human child in such a tiny area for hours or even all day?! You would be locked up for child abuse! I too feel that my angel Misha is my baby and couldn't love her more. I realize people want to housebreak their dogs, there is one method I found successful: I placed her crate in a cut off area with the door off her crate, I put food, water, and toys in there. There was enough room to walk in & out of the crate and eat. I cover the whole area outside the crate with news paper, slowly each day I would remove some paper unitl finally there was just little corner covered with paper. She learned to go on the paper. As she got older I would test her, giving her more freedom in the house whild I was gone. I was very careful to puppy proof the house first, and at first only kept her in non-carpeted areas (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). Now she has full reign of the house and I will leave out a wee wee pad on the linolium in case she can't wait until I get home. When I first got her I took everyone's advise and crated her, she would cry and would mess in there because she was so miserable! Please consider the above method rather that crating, I am not a professional or anything just a maltese lover! :))

Hi Robin: I'm with you! I respect other people's views on crating and I do believe from what others have said that if crate training is done properly it isn't cruel and does give the dog a secure environment. And I can understand how useful it would be for travelling. But I would never consider leaving my babies in one while they were "home alone". We don't have any carpet in our house, just bare boards. The wee beasties have the run of their own room, kitchen and hall. They are very good at using their paper and almost never have accidents, even though they are left on their own all day. We were lucky because the breeder had paper-trained them for us.
-Deanna (Moose & Squirrel)

Precious has always had the run of the house except while we are at work. I used to keep her in the washroom giving her the room she needs to play with her toys and stretch her legs. Well, I noticed that precious has been eating the wall. She has ruined half a wall in the washroom. We just bought our house a year ago and as much as I love her I can't afford for her to do that. I have since put her in her kennel. She has plenty of room to stretch her legs. The first thing I do when I get home is take outdoors so she can do her stuff and then has the run of the house. I hated crating her too, but I think she feels just as comfortable in her kennel.

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