Is It Considered Torture?

Updated on April 14, 2008
M.M. asks from Sacramento, CA
112 answers

We have a dog who stays in the garage in a kennel most of the time except when I go home during lunch to feed, walk for about 15 minutes, and let her relieve herself. After work we walk her for at least an hour, this time we spend more time to play with her then she goes back in while I attend to cooking dinner for my family. This is basically her routine daily except for weekends when we have time to take her to a dog park. She used to stay in the house with us when we are home and just go in the garage when we are away, but this stop when she relieved herself on the carpet. She was potty trained for a long time at least we thought she was. We would take her out every two hours until she had an accident on the floor. I want to know, is it safe for her psychologically to keep her in a kennel for a long period of time or is it torture? Please HELP.

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So What Happened?

Whoooa. A lot of angry ones and very few who can relate. Our little Princess, now one year old, do go out with us when we are running errands at night and when we go out to visit friends on the weekend. She does get her play time at the dog parks every now and then. We even took her camping with us last summer. She had completed dog basic training. She knows few commands such as sit, down, stay, get it, drop it, and leave it and give me. She loves to play fetch. When we are at the dinner table and she's snooping around we'll tell her, "Out!" and she will either sit in the family room or go under the table. She's been trained not to go upstairs where all the bedrooms are. Every now and then we'd take her for grooming if budget allows, other wise we do it ourselves.

I guess the issue I had trouble with was the potty. We had been training her for quite some time by taking her out of our house every hour or so. But at times she still have her accidents. That's when we resort to the kennel. I guess we were trying to show her that she can't relieve herself in the house. I learned to either get a trap door or leave a door open for her so she can go in and out if we happened to not notice her need to go. Thanks everyone, she is back home with us. We're not going to give her up, she's our baby, we've had her since she was 8 weeks old.

Can anyone help me train her to walk along myside without a leash? We have been using this retractable leash and when she gets too far, I'd tell her to heal, and she would walk back to where I am.

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J.C.

answers from Sacramento on

If you can resign a dog to a kennel after just one potty on the floor it would seem you don't have enough compassion for dogs to have one. For the dogs sake I would consider finding her/him a good home. You don't seem like a dog person.

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M.K.

answers from San Francisco on

At the very least, I'd say it's cruel to keep her kenneled most of the day. Dogs need to be able to run free regularly. The more she's cooped up, the more you will reinforce negative behavior. Do you have a fenced backyard? Please, Please, Please let the dog in the yard. If you don't, perhaps it would be kinder to find a new home for the dog than to continue this meager existence.

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Well, I would say it is not a very nice way to live. I would refer to a pet specialist like a vet or dog sitter who can help with training. IF it doesn't work out, I would consider finding a new home for the dog, would you really want to spend all that time in a kennel? Please don't think I am being mean, I am trying to be honest-

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,

I am a dog trainer and I think I can help you. First of all, it sounds like if you could prevent the accidents in the house the dog could be back inside with you and your guilt relieved, is that correct?

If so, then we just need to go back to the housetraining. I highly suggest that you put your dog on leash for a couple weeks with you in the house-that way you can have good timing if she does have an accident. Also, bring her outside and watch her relieve herself, then you will know if she did and how much. So if she only urinates a small amount you'll know she will probably need to go out soon. If she does start to go to relieve herself inside your house then, say no (but don't get angry) and quickly go outside and praise her when she does eliminate outside. It is prevention at this point. You can retrain her, making it positive to go outside and have the dog you always wanted. It will be a little more work at for a couple weeks but then it should be resolved! When you do take her off-leash have her in the same room with you for awhile just to be sure, and slowly give her more freedom in the house.

I'd be happy to offer more advice if needed. Let me know how it goes!

You and your dog will be happier with a solution.

J.
www.webDogTrainer.com

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K.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Why does your dog have to be in the kennel in the garage??? Do you have a yard? This dog has a sad life! You should seriously consider giving your dog up for adoption. Yes, I think this is cruel.

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

THANK YOU for reaching out for help and realizing this situation wasn't the best for your dog. You've got enough advice and bashing already.

You can train your dog to walk nicely beside you using treats. Keep your dog on a 6 foot leash, not retractable at this point,in your left hand with the dog on the same side. Keep a great treat in your right hand and get your dog's attention with it. When she is walking nicely beside you give her a treat. Keep doing this with her along the walk. In no time she is watching you more and walking nicely since she's hoping for more treats. This worked great for my dogs.

I also trained them to continually come when I call if I have them off leash and each time they do they get a treat. Now I barely say their name and they are running back to me to get a treat. Do I always carry treats? Now no but after 1 year they know that many times they will and will always come to me when I call.

I walk along the Alameda creek trail and the unpaved side is all off leash for dogs. Great trail to push stollers and walk dogs at the same time. Tons of mothers out there doing this.

GOOD LUCK!

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A.P.

answers from Sacramento on

Don't use a retractable leash at all. Get a good training leather lead, 6 feet long, and wrap it around your hand until she is on a short lead of about 10 inches. keep her at your side, walking comfortably, and give her a good tug when she goes ahead. I say "heel!" each time to my dogs when they start moving ahead and give a tug. The corrective collar I prefer is a pinch collar, but most people do not have the experience to use them properly. They have to fit high on the neck near the jaw, not low. Same with choke chains, although it's way easier to damage a dog with extended pulling on a choke chain than with a pinch collar. You can get rubber tips for the pinch collar. If you are determined to use a regular dog collar, be aware that you must have it up high on the dog's neck, as close to the jaw as possible, so that your corrections do not have to be very strong to get noticed and so you don't train your dog to pull away indignantly (thereby creating the need for a pinch collar or other corrective collars.)

Start with dog at your side in a sit, stay; walk forward two steps and say heel as your wrap the lead in your hand while walking. continue a smooth pace, keep dog on the short lead with quick corrections. Your first "heel" command should be with a finger point at your ankles.

After one week, release a loop of the lead, keeping dog on the heel.

After each week, you should be able to have a calm dog at heel with a longer and longer lead.

When you are ready to try the recall and heel, go to your yard and do a lot of stay/recalls from across the yard. Sit stay is hard to train if you don't already have that down, but essentially you move further and further away from your dog while they are on a lead, and go back to them and reward them with lots of pats when they stay seated. You do that until you can get across your yard. Then call her, it won't be hard to get her to come if you sound excited. When your dog comes to you, say "heel" with a pointing finger at your ankles, and turna bout face and walk. The dog should follow, looking up at you for body language cues. Praise the dog.

If you can trust her in public off lead at all at that point, you should try it on the street. However, most cities/localities have leash laws, so it makes a lot more sense to just get her to walk on a lead without going nutty and to come to you on command if she gets loose.

I disagree that kenneling or crating a dog during your workday is cruel. Kenneling young dogs is a way to keep them safe. Dogs left to their own devices ARE like kids, and by that I mean they can get into things they shouldn't have access to. Also, the sheer number of responses against kenneling/crate training (inaccurately but seriously referring to it as a "cage" is not the same way that I joke that cribs are "baby prisons") shows me that a lot of people may adore dogs but do not understand them at all. Everyone remembers dogs are pack animals, but they seem to constantly forget that dogs are watered down wolves and wolves are DEN animals. Dens are, for all intents and purposes, safe, secluded smallish places that are easily defensible.

In my opinion, after having trained and lived with more than 20 dogs (5 at a time sometimes), crating a dog while you are at work is fine. Up to 8 hours a day is fine. Did you know that adult dogs sleep all day until you get home anyway? If they aren't sleeping the entire time you are gone, it's because they are ill at ease. Also, a crate that is too big will teach a puppy to urinate and defecate on one end while she sleeps on the other. It just exacerbates any potty training issues you may have been having. Potty training is all about timing and feeding consistently anyway. Walking after a feed will trigger a bowel movement just like a 20 minute wait after drinking water or a long wait in a crate will trigger a urination. A potty break is the first thing you need to do after crating your dog. If you have a big crate, you can sometimes section it off with dividers so that you don't have to buy more than one as the puppy grows.

While it's never as frowned upon as "crating", leaving dogs outdoors can expose them to a lot of dangers that people don not think about. For example, too much sun or inadequate shade and not enough water, depending how the yard is set up. It also allows mosquitoes, fleas and ticks to have ready access to your pet regularly, which means you better be extra vigilant about the heartworm, flea and tick treatments. Also, dogs tend to dig and go nuts alone in a yard. They can even chew trees down, learn how to jump fences, and accidentally ingest fertilizers, cat/oppossum feces and toxic plants. The best is when they become super aggressive to dogs in adjacent yards and they are all barking or, especially with foster or adopted dogs, you might come home to a neighbor's cat with a snapped neck and a missing belly, always fun to have to explain.

Hmm. Crating for 8 hours while they sleep, they hold their urine and feces until you come home to walk them supervised or play supervised in the yard, they sleep in a safe environment and do not have access to dangerous things....or....they run amuck in your house as teething babies...OR end up bleeding from a variety of orifices because they ate a dead rat your neighbor poisoned while you were away at work.

Kenneling in the house is the proper way to do this.

Kenneling in the garage is dangerous in my opinion. While it's springtime now, the summer will heat that garage up and it will be too hot.

If you have a utility room you should kennel your dog there.

Your dog should only be crated when you are NOT supervising her.

If she pottied on the floor it's because you don't quite have the timing down, but basically, every 2 hours is enough time as long as you potty on a schedule. If your dog is straining or urinating at inappropriate times (like nervous wee wee) she may have a bladder infection or another problem that should be checked by a vet.

Puppy potty feed routines should be something like this:

Wake up around 6:30/7 AM
Potty immediately
Feed/Water
20 minutes later, potty again
crate
lunchtime: water/walk/potty
Crate
home by 5: walk, feed/water
Play until bedtime, potty every 2-3 hours until crating for nighttime (or bringing dog to bed with you. Most dogs are not alpha enough breeds that it would make a difference if you brought them into your bed for "cosleeping".)

You should also take your dog everywhere with you that you can, and buy a harness for the car if you don't have a crate or separated space for her already.

That's my .02

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S.K.

answers from Bakersfield on

I agree that the dog should not be in the kennel for that long a period of time, however maybe there's a reason for the accidents. My sister was advised to have her aging dog euthanized because it suddenly lost bladder control causing her to basically be evicted from her apartment. After extensive testing she discovered it was an allergy to the food she was giving her dogs. Now she uses Nutro (I think) and has had no problems since. I would at least give the dog a chance before locking it up all day, or give it to a family who has a fenced yard.

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M.L.

answers from Sacramento on

I think you should get rid of the dog. I feel it is unkind to keep a dog in a kennel most of the time. Dogs are pack animals and need to be around their family. If you can't provide that, at least attempt to give it a better life then sitting in a kennel or dark garage. Also, if the dog was potting trained and then all of a sudden starting having accidents, it may be related to a medical condition (UTI?).

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D.W.

answers from Modesto on

Tortuous? No. Unkind? Yes! Dogs are pack animals and you, as her owners, are her pack. I would either invest in some great dog training or please, please, please(!!!!) find your dog another home.
Kenneling is a great training device and many dogs will sleep in their crate even when they don't have to. But all day is too much and not fair to your dog.

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W.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Just so you know this could cause you legal problems with the ASPCA because it is not legal to keep a dog caged up like that.

My hearing dog which I purchased and decided to train myself was potty trained. Until that is the former landlord said in her presence in a nasty tone of voice. That she wasn't allowed to relieve herself on the lawn of our apt complex.

They had told me it was fine as long as I kept her messes cleaned up. After that incident she started resisting going outside and would refuse. And she untrained herself, so we had to start all over again. Using incontient pads they are bigger and hold more. She is only to use those when she is unable to be taken out. Such as we aren't home or we are asleep.

Today I was stuck at a dental appt for 4 hours, she had her pad and yet she held it. I took her out immediately and she relieved herself and was happy. I also used treats to start encouraging her good behavior outside, and any inside on her mat only when outside is unavailable. Dogs love treats and love to show you what they can do I still use them like for todays good outside behavior.

It doesn't take much work but what you are putting her through by caging her will last a long time. And they are made to be a part of the family or pack not alone in a garage. So for her sake try to retrain her or find another home for her.
W. H.

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J.I.

answers from San Francisco on

M. M - I also sent you a private message, but in this forum I would like to suggest that you take your dog to a Vet for a check-up. Dogs don't pee in the house for no reason - many times it's health related. Can I also suggest you read my private note. I do believe you need to immediately get help for your dog - the life you are giving her is unfair, cruel and contrary to the instincts of dogs - to be with their pack.

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I would sincerely consider talking to a professional trainer and/or your vet. Being a life-long dog person, it doesn't seem fair to the dog, she doesn't understand why she is suddenly being banished. However, you do spend time with her, that is important. My concern is that she's in the garage for the most of the time, if whether permits, some of her time could be spent in the yard. How many times did the dog have an accident in the house, it sounds as if it wasn't that many times. A dog who has been previously housetrained without any problems & then suddenly start having accidents may be ill, possibly with a UTI, or may have undergone psychological distress of somesort. Did it start hapening when there was a change to her routine, your routine, a new member of the family was brought home? Do talk to a animal behaviorist, it could make a huge difference in all of you lives.

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi M. M!

It sounds like you're really torn with what the right thing to do is. I'm sorry you're struggling, it sounds like it has been really bothering you.

If you are a working family, and not home during the day, and your backyard is not "dog-proof", then perhaps you are doing the right thing by using her Kennel. My neighbors use their kennels daily, and the dogs have adjusted very well to them after a period of time. BUT, in all honesty, I wonder why they wanted dogs, because their little kids never get to play them, and neither do their owners. They're fed, and occassionally loved.

My question is...what were the reasons for getting your puppy? Are you fulling those reasons?

In our case, we decided to adopt a puppy for our kids. My husband and I enjoyed having a dog in the home when we were kids, and the love and laughter it brought into the home. So, we wanted to do the same for our family. It is ALOT of work to have a new furry friend!!! And, during this time of year, ALOT of hair, due to shedding.

It sounds like you are doing the best you can with enjoying your dog....when you have time. Is your family benefiting from your pet, yet? Or are you too busy for her?

She can't learn her "family manners" when she's in a kennel. You know like...not jumping up on the kitchen counter, not jumping on the couches, etc... If you want her to be a "perfect" family dog, then she should be included more in your family. She WILL learn what you expect from her...if given the chance.

In our case, we wanted our dog to be a "family member" as much as possible, so he is included in almost everything when we're home. He has learned NOT to jump up to s ee what's on the counter, and NOT to even touch the couches. BUT, he's a HUGE help cleaning the kitchen floor after meals :o) I don't have to mop as often.

Anyway, I think if you're second guessing how you're handling your dog, then it may be time to re-evaluate why you have her, and if it's working like you thought.

Good luck, "M"...I'll be thinking of you and your "friend"

:o) N.

P.S. For the record...I think this is the most responses I've ever seen to any other question on Mamsource! I can't believe over 50 different people respond to you!

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N.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I think it is definitely torture to have a dog that you keep in a cage in the garage for 22hours & 45 minutes a day. Why even have a dog? Your animal deserves to be with someone that will love it & be able to enjoy the special bond that having a pet can truly bring to your life. Nobody is benefiting from this situation, least of all, your dog.

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B.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes, this is torture in my opinion. Can you imagine being in a small enclosure for most of your life. It's great that you are coming home at lunch to walk her and spending time after work to play. If she had a few accidents just keep working on potty training. You can put her in the kennel while you are at work but at least let her be with you out of the kennel when you are home. My dog has had several accidents even as an adult dog but we just clean it up and keep going. A few accidents isn't enough to make the dog live in a crate. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it's how I feel.

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G.O.

answers from San Francisco on

We had an older cat (who just died) who became incontinent. I hated to leave him outside all the time in the cold-- he was so arthritic and skinny. I found two items at Petsmart that helped. In the dog department there are diapers for dogs of all sizes (with a hole cut out for the tail) and disposable liners, and also large washable pads for the floor. That solved our problem; we could let "Billy" in the house with his diaper on, or he would use the piddle pad.
Maybe this solution would work for you and your dog could be inside with you more. Most dogs need companionship and room to move, so I can't see that keeping her in a kennel that long is a happy situation for her. It sounds like you work hard to keep her active when you can. Good luck.

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T.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Torure, yes. How would you feel living like that, and, when you consider that your dog dosn't have higher thinking abilities to "justify" your reasons. Think of a dog as having similar thinking patterns to a young child. Would you put your young child in a cage all day? I was attacked by a dog that was kept caged for long periods and then let play at the dog park. After the incident, I was told that the dog was really disturbed because he had been caged for long periods and that he though he was just playing, but couldn't control himself due to psychological problems. But thanks tthat incident I havd had to live with constant pain. That happened when I was 15 and has really changed me. I don't fault the dog. I fault the owner, who really didn't know he was doing anything to hurt the dog. Get professional help to learn how to care for your dog, orput her up for adoption through a reputable organization. May organizations will take the dog and work with her before adopting her out to a good family. Many organizations also offer classes to help dog owners better understand dog.
When I was growing up, we had a kennel and the dogs had time in the crates and then in the playyards. I was taught that dogs need human companionship as much as possible unless they have other animals to be with. Dogs are very emotional and very loving and giving.

As an animal lover, I hope you will do what is best for your dog.

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M.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't think it's torture, but it is cruel. Dogs, like people, are pack animals that thrive only when they live with others. Your dog started living with you and your family, and now is banned to the the cold dark garage because of mistakes. I can tell that you feel bad about it. This isn't what you really wanted to teach your children about caring for an animal. So I would start by starting house training all over again! Just like with potty-training and kids, sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back. Involve your kids, it will build empathy! If that doesn't work, please consider that the problem may be physical (like a urinary track infection) and take your dog to the vet for a check. You can also get advice on "potty training for older dogs" from your vet as well as suggestions for books and professional trainers. As a last resort, consider giving her up to a rescue group. Look under her breed on the internet for rescue groups. Sometimes the timing of getting an animal and the needs of a family aren't in synch. Good luck!

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S.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Get her out of that kennel!!!! Was it only the one accident? It could have honestly been just an accident. If it was more than that, maybe she just needs to have her housebreaking training reinforced. Try reading How To Housebreak Your Dog In 7 Days by Shirlee Kalstone. I have 2 dogs and a new puppy and this book has been a huge help. My dogs are completely trusted to be in house.
It really is completely inhumane to leave your dog confined ALL day!

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A.R.

answers from San Francisco on

No it isn't okay to leave a dog in a kennel all day long. I would either invest in training to get her to not go on the carpet or I would find a home for her, where they have the time to spend with and care for a dog. You wouldn't lock a child up for having an accident on the floor, nor should a dog be locked up for it.

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T.S.

answers from Chico on

Hi,

I would try hard to find another home for this dog. She sounds great and deserves to be in a situation that works for her, as well as the family. I think it would be generous and caring of you to adopt her out to another family. Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, ect weren't made to live in a container. I'm sure you can do it if you get the word out. Use your local animal shelter as a resource to spread the word. Good luck.
T.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Why have a dog if she is going to be in a kennel. You say she had an accident once. How obsessed are you with a clean house. You need to find a good home for the dog where she will be loved, played with and exercised more than an hour a day or when you have time. Yes it is torture to keep an animal restrained all the time.

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J.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Take your dog to see a vet, she may have a bladder infection, a bladder stone, or something else wrong with her (kidney problems or diabetes) that she used to be house trained- and now she is not. If she is very old, she may also lose her house training if she is getting the doggie form of senility. If she is not spayed, she could also be ill with a uterine infection. Crating for long periods of time away from her people sounds like a lonely existence. Better to find out if there is something medically wrong with her (like a urinary tract infection), and if not and this is behavioral- if you cannot spend a reasonable amount of time with her to solve that problem, find her a new home.

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M. M.,

You've already gotten a lot of great advice. If it was ONE accident, chalk it up to an accident. If it's several accidents after a long time of being housetrained, I would do a vet check. If you need help with housetraining, I would hire a certified professional dog trainer or dog behaviorist to help you. (I would avoid TV shows which show highly edited examples of what a celebrity host might do, though!)

I am a professional dog trainer, and I have a website which gives advice on housetraining (and other issues) - see http://www.wagntrain.com (under "Training Tips"). I would be happy to help you if you are in my area.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

That makes me so sad to hear. I believe it is torture. Can you imagine yourself being placed in a cage? How would it make you feel? I think you should find this poor animal a new home.

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L.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Let me begin by telling you a little about me... I'm no extreme animal rights activist, but I have had a dog my entire life (grew up with them and have had one as an adult). This is the first time that I've been without a dog - we had to put our almost 13 yr. old yellow lab down last June. Now to your question...

To put it simply... you've answered your own question with your description of the dog's life. While I really do commend you for caring enough to inquire about it (I really mean that), I'm somewhat disturbed that a dog owner even had to ask.

Let's start with the positive - it's fabulous that you take your dog on a walk everyday (alot of people don't and it's important - especially if you have an active breed). But it's interesting to me that you’re concerned about the dog being in the kennel (or crate) all day, but didn't express concern about the dog being in the garage. A garage is absolutely no place for a dog - it's fairly dark (even with a light on), there's no fresh air and it's particularly prone to getting overheated (especially now that the weather's warming up). And a dog SHOULD NOT be in an indoor kennel or crate for that long (just to sleep at night is different). It's definitely mistreatment and cruel.

It sounds as if you were open to the idea of an indoor dog (not everyone is), but when the dog showed signs of no longer being house broken, you stopped that. Why not call in a dog trainer to give you some help with that, so you can once again have the dog inside with you? Another recommendation… please do some research on your particular breed (even if it's a mixed breed). You can find out alot about your dog's personality, temperament and needs that way (ideally, people should do this BEFORE they get a dog, so they know that the dog fits their lifestyle).

Lastly, you should know that dogs are pack animals. Which means they need to be with their pack. In this case, that’s you and your family. You’re going against a dog’s fundamental nature by keeping them isolated. Watch some episodes of the Dog Whisperer (or read some of his books) and you’ll learn a lot about the nature of a dog.

Hope this helps.

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B.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M. M,
I have been a long time dog keeper, and my mom rescues animals specifically collies. I can tell you that kenneling a dog for that long is not good for the emotional or behavioral ability of the dog. It is a form of torture. I have heard stories of how my mother has rescued animals from places where they are kenneled the majority of the day. It is probably why she is potting on your carpet. They get a little Retarded from not being stimulated. do you have a yard? She may not be the dog or animal for you. a cat may fit your lifestyle a little more since it can have a litter box. Dogs need lots of love, attention, activity. They should be treated like child in your family. That is the development of their brain. If you can't provide that then you need to look for a home that can. Maybe you need an older dog that has already been house broken and trained. or a different type of dog.
I hope this helps you.
B.

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P.F.

answers from Redding on

I would not consider this torture, but it sure is not being a good "pet" parent. Why have a companion pet just to have her in the garage all the time, AND in a kennel?! It would be more kind to at least NOT put her in the kennel in the garage. Why don't you give her another chance with being in the home with you? One accident doesn't mean it is going to happen all the time. Sounds like you were doing the right thing by taking her out every couple of hours to potty. Be consistant with this practice and she will learn. I know lots of praise and a healthy treat after she potties outside is a great motivator for dogs. Doggy doors work well for some dogs, so you might consider that option also. Please give her another chance. She belongs with her family when they are at home....not in the garage in a crate. Most importantly.... do not punish her if she does have an accident in the house. Just as we do not punish our children for wetting their pants or beds, we do not physically or emotionally punish our pets. Yelling and screaming doesn't do any good. A good stern "NO" is all that is needed. Dogs know our displeasure just by the looks on our faces.

I have had many dogs (cats, rabbits,even rats) in my 61 years. Some small and some big with very different personalities. Some harder to train than others (just like my human children ;o). But all in all, they all came around to be wonderful loving companions. I believe that the Good Lord gave us domestic animals to love and enjoy, just as we do our children.

Take care, and happy pet parenting. P.
PS...My Blk. Lab. Bruin, and my blk. kitty, Aretha also send their best wishes.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Don't you have a backyard the dog can freely stay in while you are at work? There are people you can hire who will come to your house and spend time with the dog, walking, playing, petting. To me, it sounds like too much confinement...like prison. Talk to your veterinarian about the urinating problem or consult a trainer. This dog definately needs to be included more in your family.

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K.J.

answers from Sacramento on

If your dog was previously potty trained and is now wetting the carpet, she might have a medical issue. She could have a bladder infection or a hormonal issue that can be fixed. You might want to get that checked out so that she might be able to be in house again! Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear M. M.,

I think that you should give your dog another chance to stay in the house. Maybe you could take her to a dog trainer. If money is an issue, petsmart has affordable dog trainers and classes there. I think that mentally and physically, it isn't nice to keep a dog locked up for most of the day. It probably feels like punishment to her. If she has access to a backyard and can roam free, thats another story. Good luck to you.

Molly

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P.Q.

answers from San Francisco on

This is not a good life for your dog. Please give it to a family or person who will be home with the dog all day. Dogs are social, pack animals. They are not meant to spend so much time alone. Your dog is not thriving under these conditions.

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T.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi M. M,

Pretend it was your life...would you want to live it??? I suggest you put her up for adoption...or take her to the SPCA in Sacramento where they do not Euthanize, but have a bunch of foster homes where the dogs await adoption.

Best of luck,
T.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I agree that it is an extremely long amount of time to keep the dog in the kennel. We keep our dog in the garage when we leave the house, and then he comes in when we are home. He is always with us when we're home. He is trained to the point where he goes to the door and barks if he needs to go potty, but he is not trained to "hold it" when we are gone. So we do have some clean up to do in the garage. But put newspaper down and you can train your dog to go on the paper.

I agree with some of the other posts that if you do not have the time to spend with your dog, the best thing is to give him to someone who does. That's not a good way to spend your life, cooped up in a kennel.

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K.L.

answers from Merced on

This is pure torture! Give the dog up to a better home so she can have a better life! Would you like to be caged up almost all day? Someday you will grow old and have accidents, hopefully the people taking care of you don't punish you! If you believe in reincarnation..pray you don't come back as a dog.
Let the dog run, play, let her be happy.

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Five years ago I knew nothing about dogs until I got one. A friend told us she would not mess her space, so my late husband build her a small "cage" and we kept it in the kitchen. We took her out every hour or two, let her run around the house, and took her outside and would tell her to go potty and if she did we got all excited. She will still go potty on demand. Is there any way that you can put in a doggy door and allow her to come and go as she pleases... if you have a fenced yard. Dogs look at us as part of their pack and they need the interaction whenever possible. My present husband and I now have two dogs that have a doggy door and a small backyard and they are very happy. They are definitely part of our family all the time... and we both do work.

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I think you know the answer to this question. It is psychologically and physically inhumane to do that to your dog. I think you should call the SPCA for suggestions on how to address the toiletting indoors issue rather than making your dog a prisoner. Dogs are not human, but they are intelligent creatures, and your dog was once much more an integrated part of your family. Think how you would feel if you were treated that way. Seriously, call the SPCA. They will have resources adn suggestions to help you solve the problem so that you won't feel that you have to banish your dog.

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N.H.

answers from Modesto on

Dogs thrive on human contact and the mental stimulation you provide. They are completely crushed and confused when you are away. Survival is okay but your dog wants to live a fully, happy life. (Just like Humans) Please consider a dog care service at least a few days a week. I use Hot Diggity Paws Pet Sitting in Turlock. (209)656-PAWS I am sure there is another reliable service where you live.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Waaaay too much kennel time. My advice is to talk to your vet about the problems, and if you cannot adjust your lives to accomodate her more, find her somewhere to live where someone can. It's just not fair to her.

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T.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Dear M. M,

I am a dog lover. Even if I wasn't, if the pet cannot be a part of the family at all times, then one should not have a pet. Dogs especially have this sense of appreciation and uncoditional love for their master.
Yes, I feel it is cruel to keep the dog in a kennel. My mom has 2 bueatiful dogs that are always locked up so that they don't get under way. It is an aweful site to me. Please reconsider bringing this awesome companion back into the house and give him another chance.
This is what i did when I decided to get Angel my Shep/LAb; I decided to buy a gate like the once we use to keep children out of areas we do not want them to go. I put one up between the kitchen and the living room. She got to stay in the kitchen when she wasn't playing outside. This also helped with when we go to work, because if she'd have an accident, it would be on the kitchen floor and not the carpet. She knowes her bounderies now, we no longer have the gate up, and she still does not come in the living room unless we call her in. You see she still got to be part of the family during meals cooking and anything else we do at the table. She can still see us when we are in other rooms. Pick a room in the house that works best for you, and try that. You'll feel so much better about leaving your dog alone when you work. And so much happier when you have her around when you're there.
T. C.

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D.C.

answers from Fresno on

I agree with many posters here. Dogs are pack animals and spending that much time in a kennel just isn't fair. There are a lot of suggestions here, but I agree that maybe having a dog is not right for your family right now.

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S.G.

answers from San Francisco on

My dog, as she got older, became incontinent and started having accidents on the floor. She would be sleeping and just pee without even knowing it. I asked the vet and they put her on medication that stopped it.

You might check to see if that is her problem. If not, then I think you might consider a new home. That's not a good situation for the dog.

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes!!! It is considered torture! How would you like it if you were placed in a small little box for hours at a time without no sunshine or people and things to get stimulated from?!! I mean she is a living thing and what do you suppose she is doing with her time just sitting there helpless and alone!? I know that you are new at this whole dog thing but come on now, have some common sense! If you really need your dog potty-trained, you need her to face her challenges head on and have her be around the house with the family and discipline her when she does relieve herself in your carpet. There are also dog training classes that you can take her to. There are sprays that you can put around certain areas that will help her avoid relieving herself on your carpet, you can also take her outside every hour or so and make sure that she goes pee-pee. You need to make a routine for her and keep track of how much she drinks and often she should and need to go potty. If she is a puppy, you need to monitor every 30 min. or so because they still can't control their bladder but if the dog is older, you need to make a schedule or evaluate her current schedule and work with it. There are books you can read and other things to try before you just stick her into the garage all by herself in a cage and assume that will solve her potty-training! That is soo sad.... poor doggy! What kind of life is that?! She is like being in prison with very little social time and outside time and she hasn't even done any crime!! You need to help train your dog not abuse it and put it away like if it's some kind of toy! Please take her back inside the house and have her be with the family. Enjoy her, play with her, take care of her, dogs love attention and they will do anything to please you... you just have to be consistent with your discipline and training and for that you have to do some research with some books or with a professional. I have 2 dogs, one of them is a Italian Mastiff and the other is a Cocker Spaniel. I would never leave them outside or in a cage. They are like my kids. Sure in the beginning there was a lot of messes and mistakes but after a lot of trial and errors, they are now fully trained and know better not to make potty messes in the house. They scratch or bark at the back door if they need to go potty. I talk to them and tell them to go pee-pee before we all go to bed so that they understand that I am not opening the door for them after I go to bed. When I wake up, the first thing I do is open the back door for them and whenever I come home from going out or doing an errand, I open the back door for them. Everyone has their way with their pets but one thing I do know for sure is, "You don't lock them up in the garage and isolate them because you think you are helping them or disciplining them. They don't know any better and it's up to you to teach them. How are they able to make that connection if they are not inside the house practicing to be good pets if they are rarely in the house. "Again, please don't lock your pet up and isolate them." That is not good for the soul or spirit of a human or an animal.

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S.A.

answers from Sacramento on

I wouldn't call it torture, but I have to ask you, if you don't want your dog with you, why do you have a dog? Dogs will have accidents, particularly if they're young, but permanent banishment to a kennel in the garage doesn't sound like the answer. You may want to consider finding her a home where she can be part of the family. It sounds like your family is too busy to have a dog. They're no different from children in their need for training, affection and attention.

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E.B.

answers from San Francisco on

You're in a tough situation. You obviously care about your dog, otherwise you wouldn't have posted. But at the same time, you don't have the time to spend with her or train her.
As others have said, dogs are pack animals. If they aren't with their pack (you and your family), then they do get depressed and can become aggressive. They are just plain miserable. All dogs (and kids and husbands ;) ) make mistakes, but with a dog you need to forgive and move on and get a dog trainer to help if necessary.
I would gently suggest that if you are not willing to invest the time to train her properly so she can be an active part of the family inside the house at all times, you should give her up for adoption. She will be much happier and you will have a huge burden lifted from your shoulders.

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H.F.

answers from Sacramento on

I think you are being rather hard on the dog if it was just one accident. And if it was more than just once, then I would recommend that you either invest in more training or find her a home with a family that will. Living in a kennel for hours on end is not a good life... I feel so sad for her. Especially since she once knew what it was like to live inside with the family. I am a huge believer that if the dog will not be part of the family, spending time with everyone when they are home and being free to enjoy the yard while they are gone, then one should not have them. Dogs are social animals and enjoy being with their family. They aim to please, so I feel that you should give her another chance.

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T.S.

answers from Salinas on

She is probably in the kennel too long. They say not longer than 6 hours at the most. Plus she's in a garage...Its usually dark and gloomy not to mention smelly in there. This happened to our neighbor...the dog started "acting out" by peeing and chewing things they normally didn't. She is probably stressed. Our neighbors decided to give her up since they didn't have the life style to keep her (they were always gone).
I've kennel trained both of our dogs, but once they were potty trained the kennel was left out for them to go to when they wanted a little quiet time, but the door was never shut- and the kennels were inside our house (living room).

I would try leaving her out when you are making dinner. Just have her lay by you or stay in the kitchen so you can keep an eye on her. She needs to be by her family...dogs like to be a part of a pack...

I'm big on googling things and I would just google "how long is too long for a dog to be in a kennel" See if that helps. You usually get lots of answers that way.

Good Luck!

A little about me:

Stay at home mom with two boys ages 9 and 6. One 3 year old Golden Retriever named Scooby...sadly Our little "Penny girl" Cavalier King Charles of 11 years went to the Rainbow bridge Oct 2, 07.

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S.R.

answers from San Francisco on

You should talk to a trainer about this, but in my opinion (and I have two dogs), that it will make for a very unhappy dog. That is a LONG time for an active animal to remain in one small place. Please talk to a professional and get some expert advice. Call a pet store and they can refer you to someone too - or your vet. There are other options. I don't know how old your dog is now, but if it is still under 2 years, it needs activity during the day. No, it is not good to keep it kenneled for the time you do, find another option that is good for the dog, or give the dog to a home that can give it time and get a Guinea pig. They are great pets! And everyone will be happy.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You should never have adopted a dog - yes it's torture!!

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A.S.

answers from Redding on

It is very unkind and crowl to have a dog locked in a kennel most of the day. If you are just going to keep her in a kennel most of the time, due her a favor and give her to a family that can care for her properly. You lock her up for having an ACCIDENT, what you are doing to her is NO accident. Would you like it if someone locked you up for what you are doing to her? There is laws against that sort of thing and the ASPCA does act on such cases.

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K.W.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't think this is torture, but it's cruel and not the way a dog should be living it's life. If you can't be with it during the day and you now put it in a kennel also when your home, due to an accident on the carpet, maybe you should consider giving your dog to someone who really wants it. Animals will have accidents. That's part of being a pet owner.
Would you want to spend that many hours in a cage? I don't understand why people get dogs and then crate them all the time. Please be kind and find a loving home for your dog. He needs to be free in the day to play, get fresh air and have some kind of companionship.

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K.T.

answers from Fresno on

I think it is good that you asked. I personally would never do that to any animal. Is there anyway that she can just stay in the backyard, instead of being couped up? You might start to find that behavior problems will begin the longer she is in there and when she is out might become to hyper. I guess I think of it like this; I wouldn't want to be stuck in a very small space for 21 hrs day, so why would I do it to someone or something else.

I have 2 dogs and I was raised with dogs in the house (big dogs) and sure they had their accidents but my father was always quick to make sure they knew that is was wrong. My little dogs run around all day and I can only imagine how crazy they would be if they were couped up all day and night. I know you want to keep your carpet and things nice, but you also might want to consider what is best for the dog.

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C.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Sound like the dog just had an accident. Kids have accidents, adults spill things ect. Why not let her out when you home in the house just keep her off the carpet if your worried. Maybe she has a medical issue or it was just to long between potty breaks. Give her a chance. It's not torture but pretty rough punishment. Watch "The Dog Whisper" on the National Geographic Chanel.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Has she only had one accident? It seems kind of extreme to respond to one accident with constant kenneling. Can you give her another chance or two? In my opinion if a dog isn't going to be part of the family why have it. It does seem unkind to the dog.

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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

While the kennel is ok, it really sounds like you are keeping your dog in there too much. More than 4 hours (except at night) is too long. It sounds like the poor thing is in prison. Did you take it to the vet maybe something is wrong. A potty trained dog doesn't just become unpotty trained for no reason. Either take the time to figure it out or find another home for the dog.

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L.B.

answers from Chico on

Dear M. M,

Find a dog rescue group and turn your dog over as an owner surrender.

Dogs are pack animals. In a family you are their pack. They need this togethernes, this contact, this interaction or they will die emotionally. Dogs kept alone and away from people eventually can become aggressive. How can any animal learn how to behave when locked up in seclusion? It's the cruelest form of life.

Animals will sometimes make mistakes and soil your floors. If you did not realize this when you got the dog then you obviously did not think through what it means to have a pet. All that is needed to prevent this type of thing from happeneing is to pay attention to body language from your pet.

Give your dog to people who will care about it enough to truely love it.

L.

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A.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I am an experienced dog/cat owner/lover. In my opinion, why have a dog/puppy caged up most of the day? I think it is torture with inability to move around, exercise, and explore. I would think it be better L(weather-premitting) to keep her in a dog run outside wherehe/she could smell the fresh air, if it is safe and unlikely that the dog would get out. Or try the garage, but make it doggy safe.

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know that I would call it "torture" but leaving a dog kenneled for so long and not included in the family is certainly not civilized...Dogs are inherently social animals, pack animals to be exact -- and they should not be relegated to a garage -- Just because she had one accident does not means she cannot be trusted. A long, loving relationship with a dog requires a serious commitment -- not unlike having a child. Your dog would do better in general if she was included in the family. it would be so much better for her if you took time to work with her and include her in "your pack". I am happy to help if you wish referrals to trainers, classes, books, or anything else.
S. in Oakland

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M.R.

answers from Sacramento on

I am really sorry to tell you, but this is really torture. Your dog is locked for 22 hours out of 24? A dog is not an object that serves you as you please...it needs, love, attention and training! Everybody makes mistake...even your dog..please if you have any love for your puppy, invest some time, get some books and better your relationship with him/her. If you are not willing to do it yourself, at least pay a cannel for the dog to spend his/her days...and play and have fun..it is not that expensive...and finnaly if there is nothing you can do for your dog...give it away to someone who can treat him/her with the deserved love, appreciation and respect.

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B.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this but... I am an experienced dog owner who does a fair amount of animal rescue work, and I am totally against the routine kenneling of dogs. I know a lot of people who swear up and down that their dog loves their crate, but look at it- it's a cage. A very small cage.

I'm sure you are a compassionate person or you would not be asking this question. I think it's wonderful that you go out with your dog and give her a lot of excercise. Are you sure you don't have any other options? From your post it seems that your dog only had one accident in the house. I could see keeping your dog in the yard, or a "doggie proofed" garage when you are not at home if you have a dog that is truly resistant to house training, but in this case putting your dog in a crate seems a bit extreme. It can even backfire to the point where the dog considers the crate to be "the house" and everywhere else to be "outside," totally sabotaging house training.

I would advise you to let her in and out of the house when you are home. She seems to be house trained except for just one accident. I would also advise allowing her in the house when you are out- just try it again, it may work out. Once in a while my dogs, who are 8 and 9 years old will have an accident in the house. Once a year or so, if we didn't let them out for long enough in the evening to do their business or if they have some sort of stomach upset.

I am glad to hear that you are reconsidering your position. I know I am out of the mainstream here, but since you asked, yes, I think that the routine kenneling of dogs is, if not torture, at least very inhumane. Best of luck to you- I can tell that you really care about your dog.

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

Clean up any/all poisonous items in your garage and let that be your "best friend's" domain while you are gone all day. If there is carpet in your garage, take it up. Think of the hours the dog spends cooped up in that kennel. How would you like to be locked in a closet all day? If the dog needs to "relieve herself", you can spread some news papers down and it will be easy clean up. If you really don't have the time and/or room for your dog to have a happy life, maybe its time to consider finding a better home for your pet.

If you don't have enough room or time to love and care properly for a dog, you should consider finding your pet a better home.

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J.T.

answers from Sacramento on

As a long time dog owner and rescuer I think that from your dog's perspective it is definitely torture, especially if she was used to being inside with your family before this. Dogs are pack animals and extremely social beings. Isolation and separation from their pack (which is you and your family) can be devastating for a dog. I think it's great that she gets exercise, but what she needs just as much is love and to be part of your family. I could see why she may be having accidents in the house now, since she is not used to that environment anymore. It should not be hard to retrain her, probably just a couple days if you are consistent with it. If you don't think that you can keep her inside with your family when you are home, I truly believe it would be in her best interest if you consider finding her a new home. If you need help I'd be happy to give you advice. I commend you for thinking about what is right for your dog and asking for advice. I believe that you will do what is right and you will all be happy with the outcome, especially her.

J.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

you need to get rid of the dog. you can safely turn your dog over to any vet hospital....for example, Livermore Pet Hospital on railroad avenue. Stop pretending like you have time for this dog. The dog deserves a better life and I can't even believe you had the audacity to make this post! Sorry to be blunt, but it's true!

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

I know the frustration of having a dog have an accident in the house...our 120lb rhodesian ridgeback had an "upset stomach" and literally threw up and left puddles of poo all over our living room floor...when our baby was just about to start to learn to crawl- can you say YUCK??? SO, $4,500 in new carpet later...he is still an indoor dog although we never leave him inside alone. If we're gone, he goes into his kennel in the garage. I can't imagine what it would do to him if he was sortof on a permanent state of 'time out" in his kennel. Dogs are a ton of work, as are children, but if you keep yours (your dog of course:-), hopefully you can forgive her (believe me, I know it's hard when it impacts your home) and try to find the time to train her properly....all she wants to do is please you. Just teach her how. :-)
Good luck!
M

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

To me, a dog is part of the family. Accidents happen, especially when it is a new dog learning to be potty trained. The rule is a dog should not be left in their kennel longer than 2-3 hrs when crate training. Crate training usually takes 1-2 months. While doing it if not at home you need to hire a dog walker to come in during the day a couple times to let them out. Once housebroken from crate training then the dog should be free to live in the house. The only time the crate is used again is for traveling on an airplane or some dogs use it to sleep in at night. If there is limited contact with your dog, trust with you will be hard to develop. I think it sounds very sad for your dog and maybe your family isn't ready to be dog owners at this time. Making the decision to return your dog is better made early on, so it can develop well. Check first where you live that the dog will not be enthunized if you take it to the Humane Society - SF doesn't.

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F.H.

answers from Yuba City on

Dog's thrive on love and companionship and truly grieve when left alone for long periods. You are continually punishing her for one occasion which might have been your fault if you had not taken her out when she needed to go or she felt some jealousy and needed to mark her territory. Why do you want her if you don't have time for her? You are her only source of love and protection. She cannot help herself.If you cannot fill those needs you should find her a good and loving home.

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A.Y.

answers from San Francisco on

I think it is hard to have a family and a pet. I'm a dog lover and have always had a dog. I now have a 4 month old very active border collie. I spend alot of my time playing with him because I have grandchildren, and would like him to learn how to play with children..Pets are also companions, you're dog should feel like one of the family. Give her a chance. She can't learn not to potty in the house if you don't train her. I use Natures Mircale you can find it in any pet store it will remove the smells.Your pet deserves it and if you can't, find someone who can. Pets don't train themselves, and it's not always easy. Give her a chance.
We have 2 doggie doors that will allow our dog to go out into the garage or outside in the back yard, whever he needs to go to the bathroom or just wants to be outside. You might want to consider this.

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Torture is a strong word, but this is definitely extremely unfair to the dog. You don't mention how old your dog is, but it is common for dogs to "backslide" on their house training especially in the first year. You need to take the time to work on house training with her. Praise her when she goes "potty" outside. Do this on your walks everyday. If she is not understanding either ask your vet about it - she might have a UTI or something that is making house training more challenging, or hire a dog trainer for an hour of advice. I have a friend who maybe able to help: [email protected]____.com

Dogs are social animals. They like to be with their pack, so yes it's close to torture to a dog to be in isolation. You might ask yourself why you got a dog if you didn't have plans for it to be part of your family. A hamster may have been the better choice. There are lots of rescue organizations that could re-home your dog if you want to go that route.

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L.V.

answers from San Francisco on

YES! It's absolute torture. Please do this dog a favor and find him a home where he won't be locked in a cage his whole life.
Please consider finding your dog a new home through this web site- Hopalong Rescue. You can foster your own dog while he's being found a home. Hopefully you can find it in your heart to let him out of this cage while you foster him.
http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/Hopalong_Animal_Res...

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J.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm not sure how old she is, but if age is a factor you could check with your vet to see if Proin is an option (even if she's young I would check). My dog is 16 and it has helped him control his bladder. Also, perhaps a bladder infection is the cause. Best of luck to you.

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P.H.

answers from San Francisco on

If you don't have time to make the dog a part of your family, then find her a new home. The only way to improve housetraining is to work at it, together. If you love the dog, what's wrong with an accident once in a while.

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O.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M. M,

Your dog is letting you know that she misses you and I think she is too young to be in a outside kennel. Have you ever heard of Crate training? There is so much to learn as a pet owner and the fact that you are asking for help is awesome!!!!
Please don't think that dogs should mess inside, that is ridiculous. To me that's like saying that your child doesn't have to be potty trained. Dogs need to have rules just like children. They thrive on it. I also would think about going to dog training classes, it's a great way for you and your dog to bond. It will also train you as well as the dog! I do believe however that she needs to be with you when you are home and maybe a dog sitter, who will play with her for an hour a day or everyother to play with would be a good idea. Pay one of the neighborhood kids. Maybe $10 for an hour.
I would look into crate training, that way your dog can still be inside. We crate trained our lab and it was the best thing we ever did. We started when he was 6months. He is the best dog ever. At the beginning we had baby gates up so the he didnt go back in the hall way. It was like having a child. Now he stays in the house while were gone, he knows that he is not allowed in the hallway (without the gate). The crate is just a tool. He now goes to his mat on command. Even when we travel we bring his crate and put a blanket and toy and he loves being in there. A well trained dog makes a happy house hold, trust me. Once we are at our cabin we bring his bed. He for the most part will still sleep in his crate (with the door open).

Good Luck!

Ps. when we were crate training, and we were home we left the crate door open and held it open with a boungie cord so that it wouldn't close on her and wouldn't scare her.

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J.U.

answers from San Francisco on

I would consider looking for another home for your dog. I have been told that dogs should be in kennels a maximum of 8 hours per day. They are very social animals and it is not fair to your dog to keep him if your family won't give the dog the attention it needs. There are many families who would work through this and give the dog a good home.

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I raised dogs all my life, and I think it is not ideal for the dog. They are extremely social creatures and you are keeping him in a dungeon from his perspective. Call the SPCA and ask them. Then ask if they can find him a better living situation. C.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know if it is considered torture but your dog would probably disagree. We have always had dogs in my family because we love them. It takes a great deal of responsibility having a dog because they need love & attention just like kids do. If you can't keep your dog inside and you don't have the time for him then my suggestion would be to find him a good home. There are plenty of people who would love your dog and provide the love & attention he deserves. A lot of times they are trying to get your attention because they are sad & lonely. I get so sad when I have to see a pet being kept in a kennel all the time. That is really no life for any pet. Hope this helps a little bit.

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V.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Our puppy ended up becoming very aggressive being alone in the backyard all day and in her kennel at night.... Dogs need to be with their pack - it was very sad and it got to the point we couldn't take her anywhere because she would bark and lunge at people. We had her since she was a puppy too, but I think if you keep it up you will ruin your dog - might want to consider finding her a new home. I don't mean to sound harsh I still feel guilty about what it did to our puppy it was terrible - I just didn't understand dogs very well.

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S.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I'd work much harder on training her to have good habits in the house so she could spend more time with you/the family. When you have a dog I am confident you'd want her to be a member of the family. As to the kennel, I assume you are talking about a large crate rather than a big enclosed run. Some people I know have their three dogs in the house with them and, if the behavior is bad or they are just too playful on top of the bed while they are trying to sleep and can't supervise, then they put their pets in the kennels when they go to bed. That's wonderful that you go home and walk/interact with your dog at lunch and have a good hour with her upon returning from work. The interact part is probably at least as important as allowing your dog to releive herself.

If you have an enclosed yard with access from the garage or laundry room or the like of the house, I would suggest putting in a dog door so she may go back and forth between her bed/food/water/toys and the yard for exercise/play. Other friends do that and find it a good mix. Their dog Ripley is happy, has the best of both worlds including relief from the elements, and they don't worry about her getting into things while they are gone (even though she is well-behaved).

My sister raises dogs in another state and while I don't live where I can own dogs of my own, I dog sit regularly for friends. Look on-line for some advice about potty training, talk to your vet, etc. There has to be a way to promote your dog asking to be let out rather than baptizing your carpet. When you are not home, I am hopeful you can find a better solution than having your dog confined to a kennel for such long periods. It does sound like she spends a significant part of her day in the kennel. One of my co-workers (owner of Ripley) just came by and I posed your problem. He said that he considered it cruel (unintentional I know, but I do as well) and that your dog will end up feeling it is being punished.

Good luck on making your situation harmonious for you and your dog. It just takes patience. While I am very much a dog person, I've only been able to have cats (love them too). Time, patience, positive reinforcement, and love can teach them things too. My beloved kitty girl shook paws, gave me a high five, came when I called her, sat on request, and walked into her carrier when I said it was time to go to work. I was self-employed, working out of a friend's home for some years, and Peddler hung out with me and on my computer monitor.

I feel confident you can work it out to retrain your dog rather than confine her so much. I know you are sensitive to her happiness or you wouldn't have asked your question. Here's to success and have a Happy Easter.

S. A.

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M.F.

answers from Modesto on

Dogs are pack animals and while a kennel is a great training tool, I think your dog is spending an inordinate amount of time in hers. Is the only reason because of an accident on the carpet? You should consider why this happened. Is it a constant problem or one time event? Is she going only in one spot? You should consider if there was some type of stressful event to bring this on. Is she holding it while in the kennel? There are many questions that are relevant to this situation. Dogs also get urinary tract infections or have what is called "spay incontinence." Use an enzyme cleaner to clean the carpet as dogs tend to sniff out previous spot. My advice is to seek the advice of a reputable trainer in your area. Many come to the home to help with different types of behavioral situations and can recommend a vet visit is it seems physical. I think you would be happier to have your dog back in your house and so would your dog. Good luck!

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

M. M,
I'm not sure I'm comfortable saying that you're torturing your dog, but I agree with others that a health issue could have caused the accidents to start -- bladder infection, diabetes, old age, etc. Please get your dog to a vet. Also, dogs sometimes leave "gifts" as a sign of submission when they think you're mad at them. We adopted a dog that had separation anxiety, and she would leave a lovely poop in the middle of our garage (where she stayed -- with a dog door for easy access to the yard -- when we were out). Had your dog just gotten in trouble for something? Dogs are pack animals, meaning that they are wired to be around others and can get very depressed when isolated. It's not ok to do this to your dog, even though she is getting a nice walk. Dogs are a huge commitment. Don't your kids want to play with the dog? Even if this is a behavior issue, labs are usually quick learners and some remedial training should help. Had she only had one accident before she was banished to the kennel? If so, you should not own a dog. Dogs require lots of patience and attention. Please take her to a vet. After that, you need to decide if you and your family have the time, energy, and desire to do all it takes to have a dog. That includes giving your dog lots of love, play, and attention. If not, please find a lab rescue group (can find by googling or going to www.akc.com -- American Kennel Club) so that someone who is able to care for this dog appropriately can do so. There are more general rescue groups, too, such as Milo Foundation. It's better to drop off your dog with a rescue group than a shelter as the dog could be put to sleep at a shelter if not adopted quickly enough. If you are unable to find a rescue group, please send me an email, and I will help you find one.

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S.J.

answers from San Francisco on

M. M.
I agree with the other responses you had, Please find the dog a new home. Animals are not a pair of shoes, they need to be loved and cared for and played with.
I am sure the dog had an accident just as a child would when potty training.
If your family wants to keep the dog, please have him see a vet, but also accidents happen, If you are not willing to have the dog in the house or in the backyard without being in a cage, then the dog is best off with another family they can enjoy and have fun with him. Animals need love and attention and sorry but seems your family doesn't have time for the dog.

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D.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Good for you for asking this question and wondering about your dog's happiness. It doesn't sound like a very good quality of life to me. Dogs are social creatures and yours wants to be with you and your family as much as possible. Have you considered calling your local humane society for advice? Many offer free behavior counseling and may be able to help you address your dog's house training issue.

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G.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I think you hit a sore spot with so many animal lovers out there and now you realize what you need to do to fix it. Just the fact tht you refer to her as your 'little princess' shows that you care, but it just isn't right to keep her crated. It sounds like you have trained and trained and trained and trained. Since all that training isn't giving you the results you are looking for, why not try letting her just be a dog. Accidents happen, whether with children or pets. You have to take the good with the bad, not in spite of it. Pets are an extension of our family and provide love and care and support in ways other family members can not - so she should be treated like family. I am sure you wouldn't confine a child like that. She may be having accidents because she is not getting the care and attention from you that she needs.

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A.O.

answers from Sacramento on

Well, to be completely honest...maybe a dog is not the right pet for you. Torture, probably not...but kind, probably not either. Dogs do have accidents, even the best trained ones, and kenneling a dog most of their day isn't best for their personalities...it can cause them to be aggressive. She can't be in the backyard when you're gone or busy? The kids can't have more responsibility with her when you are cooking? Maybe a cat or an animal that is independent would be a better fit. I found a sliding glass door piece in which my pets can go in and out at their choice to solve this problem for us. They are pricey (about 200) but well worth it and much better than locking the dog up all the time.

Good luck to you, and I am sure you could find someone who may want her and has the time to dedicate to her.

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J.H.

answers from Stockton on

In my opinion this is not a smart thing to do. First how old is your dog? If it's still in its puppy years, you may have to retrain in housebreaking. There is a legitement procedure called crate training, but what you are doing may be excessive. Your dog may become anxious or antisocial. They are pack animals and you are her pack...she needs to be an active part of your life. Two suggestions...1) talk to your vet. to see how you can get the desired behavior and check her urine for possible infection. 2) give up the dog to the Humane Society where they can find a family willing to spend time w/dog.

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S.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Well, I think you know that this is not the behavior of a good dog owner. In addition you have read all of the responses confirming this. Therefore, I think you should make everyone feel a lot better (even yourself) if you let the people who took the time to respond to your question know that you have corrected the problem or given the dog to a "good and loving home" not the dog pound.

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C.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Try watching just two episodes of the "Dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic Channel and purchase a training lease. The lease is only 24" keeping the dog right by your side. It is never advisable to walk a dog without a lease.

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L.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Personally, I think this is torture. Just think about it. You are keeping your pet in a cage, away from the family, in a dark garage. Having a pet sometimes involves potty accidents. You need to take some time to potty train the dog...it doesn't come naturally to the animal. Put yourself in your dog's place...would you like to live in a cage all alone? What you are doing to your pet makes me want to cry. Please bring the dog back into the family and let everyone in the family help with the potty training. Get some pads (found at Petco or any other pet store) to assist with the potty training. Stop punishing the dog for being a dog. Good luck.

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear M.,

We have had great success with any animal questions by calling the animal behaviorist at the Marin County Humane Society. They help with dogs and cats. I don't know what your kennel looks like, but the words "most of the time" don't sound good. We have five animals in our house and I am godmother to an Akita dog.....I know many people who have also done the training classes with their dogs at the Humane Society and it really made all the difference. Dogs are pack animals and don't thrive in isolation, so please do check out the help a available for you! Good luck!

XXOO

L. M.
Novato

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L.C.

answers from Sacramento on

All dogs have accidents, even our children do. If your worried about your house, close the dog off to the kitchen, at least will give her some space and company. Dogs need socialization, just like people. Would you like to be locked in a kennel for the majority of your waking hours.

If you have to keep her out of the house - at least let her have the garage space and keep her bed in the kennel with an open door.

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C.F.

answers from San Francisco on

No, it's not safe. Dogs need to be with their people. Is it just one accident? I have a dog with issues, and I havae to keep her on a leash when she's in the house. This seems to let her know that I'm the boss of her and then she behaves. Maybe you can try that? Dogs need to be social and be part of the family. Maybe you could try obedience training if your dog is having issues with potty training. Take care.

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A.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I understand that a dog can all of a sudden seem to not fit into your lifestyle anymore. Sometimes it just seems to add more stress in your day. But a kennel in the garage is not a place for a dog to be. I'm a dog owner and dog walker and see this all the time. The dog becomes more of a nuisance than a companion. Having had my first child, a five month old and the challenges of having a dog who needs affection and exercise daily, I too found myself not being able to give as much as I used to. Luckily he is older and more adaptable to laying around the house all day if we need him to. Although he sheds a lot in the house and it drives me bit batty, that is what we put up with to have a happy content loving family dog. You just have to be honest with yourself and ask, is the dog more of a nuisance or for companionship. She could also be acting out, by all of a sudden having an accident on the floor. Did anything change at that time? Good luck.

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T.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I am not a dog owner and don't know a whole lot about dogs, so keep that in mind, but frankly, I do think it sounds terrible for the dog. Do you think you could put up a posting for a new home and then carefully choose the new owner to make sure he's getting the proper home? Or at the very least pay a dog walker to take him along with some other dogs to the park for a few hours every day?

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G.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Yes! If you do not have the time to take care of the dog you should find another home for the dog. The reason the dog might be relieving herself on your carpet is because she is showing her resentment.

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S.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I consider it torture, why don't you give the dog to someone who has the time for it? Maybe get a goldfish.

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I really think that this is an awful way to treat your dog. Maybe you need to consider finding another home for her if you are not willing to work with her a little more on the house training. Our dog is part of the family and she lives for the company. To stick her in a small kennel all day would be torture for her. All dogs want is to be with us. Imagine being isolated in a small space all day. I think you know that this is not the right thing to do for you dog and your instincts are correct, go with them please! Why not consider giving your dog another chance. Maybe she had accident because she had a urinary tract infection or maybe she was adjusting to something and needed mark her territory. It's not the end of the works... get some good carpet cleaner and clean it up.

Please do not continue to leave your dog in the garage, stuck in a kennel.... You decided to get this dog and you now have to act responsibly. Animals are not there for us to with as we please whether they are convenient or not.

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J.D.

answers from Sacramento on

Good question. I have the same trouble with my miniature schnauzer. When the weather is nice, I let her play out back a good portion of the day. I put food, water, and toys out back for her. At bed, she goes in the kennel. On rainy days it is harder because, I try to get breaks in the weather where she can go out ro relieve herself, so I feel your pain. I try to always make time to play with her in the house, as well, and have social time with her. With a dog who has accidents in the house, it's just a lot more work because they are not independant. I do not leave her in the garage because we do not get any natural light in there and I don't believe in running unnecessary electricity. Besides, at times, I have felt that our garage is too isolated. I even sometimes take her out on car rides or to the doggie park for fun. I guess it just boils down to giving her a little variety to entertain her. If you have a back yard and are worried about her being cooped up too much, let her out back during the times that you would normally put her in the kennel so she can stretch her leggies. I would also talk to any animal experts (dog trainers, vets) for any advice to break this, that is what I plan to do with my mini schnauzer, since I believe that there's hope.

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Dogs are pack animals. Confining your dog to a kennel for hours and hours a day without a lot of exercise is wrong. I also feel it is wrong for dogs to live outside only. Did you take her to the vet to see if there was a urinary tract infection? Dogs that were previously housebroken that start having "accidents" may have a medical issue. If you plan to continue to kennel her for extreme periods of time, I would suggest finding her a new home.

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E.C.

answers from Sacramento on

No, it is not torture. But it is not healthy nor appropriate at all. It is common for a dog to be in a kennel or pen if small, while you are at work. But once you are home they should be free. If she is using the carpet, she is not potty trained. I hate to be blunt or too honest, but if your only way to deal with your pup is to keep her in the garage, and you are wondering if it is right, you have answered your own question. It is time to find her a new home. This may be hard to do but you are in no way able to give her what she needs. I had to keep my first pup in a garage during the day. Every day she dug out and we came home to her on the porch. I realized I was not in a situation to give her what she deserved. The shelter found a new home for her with my approval. The young lady had a horse and wanted a pup to run with her and her horse. My pup had acres to be free. I still smile to this day knowing she had a much better life. Also, I feel when you get a dog it is for life. But there are exceptions and a major responsibility to make sure if you have to find a new home, you do your best to make it the right home. Good luck and remember, it is better to feel bad about finding her a new home than having the feeling you have right now that you may be "torturing" her.

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E.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Keeping a dog in a kennel in a garage is not humane. She has hardly any human contact out there, cannot move around much, is lonely, and is probably bored silly. Dogs can be trained not to go on the carpet, but it takes time for them to learn. If she was trained before she is either upset about something, not being taken out when she needs to go, or has a medical problem. (Both of my dogs were 8 or 9 months old before they could hold their urine for extended periods). Moving to a new place can require some retraining as well. There is a lot of advice online about housetraining dogs so I won't repeat it here.

Your dog will have more behavior problems because of isolation, and you will probably get reported for it. (Not all will agree, but putting a dog in the garage while you are at work or while you are sleeping might be acceptable if she is with your family other times -- morning, evening, weekends -- and if during the day she is not in a crate but has room to move around.) If you don't really have time to train your dog, or don't want her in your house, don't be afraid to ask the animal shelter can find another home for her. My heart goes out to your dog and I hope you are sincere about doing the right thing.

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L.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I think that it is. You should probably find another home for her!

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

i don't think it is considered torture, but I cannot imagine leaving my dogs in the garage or a kennel all day and all night. I think they would be quite depressed without much human contact. I think my dogs would trade a walk any day for some cuddle time with me and the kids. If there is any way for you to see if there is a little more potty training you can do rather than banish her/him to the outside, i would try that first. you can also get wee wee pads etc. my small dog goes potty in the house every once in awhile and i look at it as my fault for not letting him out soon enough or paying enough attention to him. all this said though, i let my dogs sleep with us on our bed, so i am pretty lax and an insane dog lover so take what i say with a grain of salt. i would just try to see if there is anything else you can do to help him not go potty in the house.

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T.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Here is my 2cents for what it's worth.

Animals are a lot of work. I have had dogs in the past. When I did I lived where it was warm and the dogs had land to run and roam so locking up them up wasn't ever considered. I know the vets say it's fine but I personally would never do that. I think it's cruel.

Again just my 2cents

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R.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello,
I don't think you are torturing your dog. I have had two big dogs in the past that I crate trained and now I have a 6 month old Bernese Mountain dog Puppy. He is crate trained too. He is now potty trained so he gets more freedom. When he was potty training he was in the crate or kitchen with a baby gate. It's good for him to be in the crate when you cannot watch him or he might have an accident or even chew on furniture. So I think you are doing good. How old is your puppy now? Do you praise your puppy or give him a treat after going potty? This might help. I give big praise when he was potty training. It's also good that you are walking him everyday for an hour. My dog only needs 10 mins. maybe 3 times a day since he is a big breed. You might also try when you are home on the weekends to take her out 20 mins. after she's eating/drink water to go potty. That is what I did with my puppy. Well, good luck. Have a good weekend. R.

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't think it is torture, but it is close. I don't understand the facts fully. Why can't she just be in the Garage openly? Why does she have to be in a cage? If you just put some newspaper down on the garage floor and maybe a huge litter box she should be fine as long as she has lots of water and food. I don't know how hot the Garage gets in the summer, but if you train her she may be ready to stay indoors by then. One other question is once you get home why do you put her back inside the garage? My dog is outside on our patio, un-chained and when I get home I take her for a walk immediately and from that point on she is in the house with us. She sleeps with us etc. She loves us so much that she doesn't even want to disturb me at night to go out. I have to wake up myself to take her. If I don't wake up, we leave a litter box downstairs and she somehow manages to pees in there. It is a big plastic box, similar to a litter box and we put cat litter in it. Most of the time she doesn't use it because I take her out one more time before we go to bed, but the funny thing is that we never trained her, she just did these things on her own and we give her lots of love. The other thing is similar to what some others have said, that dogs love to run in packs and so we take her to the park or the dog park on the weekends and throw the ball and let her run. Her eyes light up as if to say "Thank You" every time we come back. You will be surprised what dogs will do out of love. At home set up an area that you can use as your training area and put newspaper or those potty training pads and if she goes somewhere else just tell her "No" and take her over to the potty pads etc and just show her the area. After a few times this should work. Do not hit her though. Anyway, if you are not willing to put in the time, it is best to give her away.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

To be honest this is animal cruelty! I can't believe you even have to ask us the answer because it sounds like in your gut you already know its wrong. :( Sorry to be so harsh but I think its horrible. How'd you feel to be locked in even a house all day/night long with no attention? FIND A GOOD HOME FOR THE DOG QUICK! THANKS!

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D.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Torture.....no. Inhumane, yes. That poor pup pees on your carpet because its confused. I know this for a fact because I had to put my 4 yr old doggie in a crate for 6 weeks to heal her knee. She is medium sized, about 50 pounds and was in a really big crate made for like a Great Dane. She was in the livingroom, so she wasnt alone. She saw her vet and now has been allowed to be with us for periods in time during the day out of the crate. She did get frustrated being cooped up, but I really didnt have a choice. It was for her health. But ill tell you, she is 4...has been potty trained this whole time since she was 5 months old. She peed all over my couch, on my new carpet, she pooped in my kitchen and in my hallway. The doc said it was due to frustration of her being cooped up. Dogs need space to roam and be free. I do not want to sound like a jerk, but if I knew you I would have to report you to Animal Control. This is no way for an animal to live, this is so sad. Ask yourself...would you do this to a baby????????? If you answered yes, your sick. If you answered no, then please PLEASE find a new home for that dog.

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T.M.

answers from Modesto on

It sounds like her relapse in potty training was a way to get more attention (whether negative or positive). Which you did the opposite and put her out. I think you already know your answer to your question. Do you honestly think this is the kind of life a dog was meant to have? Could you take the time to put her in and train her (more)? Salt works great on spills. I hope all works out for you and your pup. T. M.

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N.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Dogs need attention and exercise. Time to find her a new home.

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I have trained dogs for many years. Dogs can remain in kennels for periods of time, but crates, pens, or kennels should not be used for extended daily housing in a family situation, without other interaction. Dogs DO sleep a lot and can wait patiently for you, but they MUST feel a part of your family, and they DO LIKE activity. You should absolutely consider paying someone to walk your dog for you during the day, if you are too busy to be with the dog. (The cost in NOT that high) The truth is that dogs WANT to be with their family, and deserve to be INSIDE and PART OF THE FAMILY, unless they are working dogs, which give them some sense of purpose.
Yes, I do feel it is torture to keep a dog alone without a job or a family for more than short periods of time. If you cannot pay someone to help with outings, and if you do not have time to make your dog a part of your family life when you are home, or if you are not interested in it, then you should let the dog go to another family.
If you want to keep your dog, consider a simple training/obedience program, which really helps owners learn how to work with their dogs. You will only ever have a "good" dog if you learn how to interact with it, and want to include it in your lives.
I did not read the other posts (yet) but I am sure you got some emotional responses, people love their animals as they do their children. I understand that it is a learning experience but my final advice is to take it as seriously as you do parenting, or your dog WILL be unhappy and neurotic. It is not a bad thing to let a pet go to another home if it is too much for you, but neglect is sad and terrible.
A very good book on dogs is "Mother Knows Best", which will teach you how to relate to your dog in "dog-style" Best of luck.
Oh, one final note on the potty training, CRATES and PENS are GREAT for potty training. Your dog learns that that is the "den" and will not go in there. You can extend the "crate" area slowly. Lots of good info on natural crate training out there.

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M.S.

answers from Sacramento on

DEar M. M:

Dogs are basically domesticated wolves and in the wild, they live in packs. We have easily brought them into our homes as protectors/companions because the canine has similar familial habits as we, humans do.

If you try to assess the reasons why you brought a dog into your life, then see how that animal can be trained to accomodate that.

Think of "cause and effect" in solutions to your problem. The root cause for putting the dog in the kennel alone seems to stem from her inappropriate house urinating/defecating problems. In isolating her to the garage, you are solving the immediate problem but merely treating the "effect" which is a soiled carpet, which no one wants.

It appears that you are already re-thinking this issue and will most likely come up with a good solution.

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T.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, M. M.

I understand how upsetting it is when a dog relieves herself on the carpet. Dogs do not normally do this, and if relieving herself on the carpet is something new for her, then there is something wrong. Dogs will usually only do this if they feel some sort of anxiety, or if there is something physically wrong. When was the last time she went to the vet? Dogs will potty on the floor if they feel anxious about something, also. So you might want to look into what might be causing her anxiety. It could be as simple as a change in diet that makes her want to use the bathroom more. If that is the case, then you can make sure that she goes out at scheduled times, about 20-30 minutes after she has eaten. Then take her out again before you go to bed. What would you do if you only had a couple of chances a day to go to the bathroom?

I think that after you've gone back to the kennel for a short time, you can begin to wean her off of it. Try leaving her out during the evenings first. Then, if you are only gone for a couple of hours in the morning before lunch, then start leaving her out during the mornings. If she does well, then do it in the afternoons, also.

Dogs by nature are devoted to their humans. They are generally unhappy if kept secluded from their humans with no job to do but sit in a kennel. If left in the house, make sure she has lots of toys. Even grown dogs need toys and things to chew on. It keeps them happy while their humans are away or busy. And if she signals you that she needs to go potty, just like any child - TAKE HER!

I don't think it's good for dogs to be left in a kennel for long periods of time. There are great books out there to help you with long term solutions. Paul Loeb's Smarter Than You Think is a great book and may help.

I hope this helped you. Good luck! :)

~T. K

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