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Dana (now 9 months) has been crated from a pup and was brill with it, however when she took ill and came home we left the crate door open during the evening so she could have access to water during the night (we could never leave water in her crate it would go everywhere literally). She was fab had no problems and so she had her crate door open every evening. 


Never a problem during the evening, so we started doing it in the day and eventually took her crate down.  But the last two weeks she has become increasingly destructive.  I woke this morning to find a plant scattered all over my living room floor.  I am getting when I go out I hurry back because I am worried as to what she will do!  Do I go back to the crate, which I dont feel comfortable with, would like her to have more freedom, I had hoped at this age I could trust her. 


What would you recommend?

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She woke us up in the early hours the other night, she had knocked a glass vase over on my window sill and it smashed, when we came down she had a piece of it in her mouth, how she didnt cut herself to pieces I dont know.

I am happy to put her back in her crate but hubby keeps moaning that if she doesnt learn to behave now she never will. Think he is worried she will always have to be crated, he has never really liked it, doesnt believe in it. But to be honest I dont have any freedom at the moment as am always rushing back to get back to see what she has done and as you say she could get into some dangerous mischieve.

Hubby has been used to our old man who is now 14, he had free run of the place from 10 months old, was a completely different dog, so Dana has been a bit of a shock......lol.
Hi michelle, just a thought but Dana could be misbehaving because the crate has gone and she is suffering with from aniexty because of that. Reuben is 10 months and a month ago, I started. Leaving the crate door open when I nipped out but still closed at night. He has the run of the hall, kitchen dinerand conservatory but the lounge door is closed due to wires, kids toys and other precious things. I have left him for a max of 5 hrs and the only things he has touched is towels from conservatory and I think he thinks they are his anyway as I wipe his paws with them. Oh and a few of my garden shoes but I think that is a comfort thing. I do put things on dresser out of his reach also. I follow the same routine of telling him bed and give him kong etc and just leave the door open. I still keep crate door shut at night and pull his cover over as he knows it is sleep time . I still keep the crate for times when he may have time out or lots of small children over and he often retreats to it for peace!
If I were you then maybe put the crate back up but leave the door open and see how he gets on. Taking it away completely may be making him feel insecure.
I am a novice setter owner and by no means an expert but it is my gut feeling this could solve your problem.
Good luck
Sorry I kept saying he, i meant she. Sorry Dana!
My dogs are 3, 5 and 6 and sleep in their crates every night. I know they are safe, and each have their own space and aren't competing for lounge rights or getting into mischief.

They quickly learn not to knock over a water bowl. I have bought water bowls which you can suspend higher up inside the crate.
Sorry Guys, but mine are never crated, and I don't like the idea.My puppies are usually very good, although we have the odd incident, like the other day where the newspaper was pulled off the table and shredded! My babies are used to sleeping in the kitchen with some of the older ones, and once lights are out, they settle down, and not a peep until morning. I have brought mine up the same way for nearly forty years, and do not agree with this American idea of crating - the easy way out, in my opinion. We have a big toy box in the corner, full of fun to keep them occupied, and I am sensible enough not to leave anything important at their level - just as you would with a child. The babies, and these ones now are 5 months old, are good, unattended during the day or evening, and never, ever been in a crate! Why don't some of you try it from day one, and see how you go?
Myra, can't agree more with this.
Agree with you here Myra..have never used a crate...my dogs and pups have always had their own 'space'..for night time, dirty and wet time...and just chillin' out time..a safe area...usually the laundry room, with their beds..toys...etc...and no opportunity of getting into mischief or hurting themselves...we have stable doors into their room from two sides so they can always be seen...if you give a pup the run of the house too soon, you are bound to have problems..just as you wouldn't leave a toddler with access to everything..:-)))
Thank you Myra, what a relief!
Anton and Gina are our first Irish setters and we have never put them into crates. Virtually, they have the run of the house, apart from some NoNo Zones, and they are trained not to go there (although Sandy recommended a pen for them, don't tell her...).

We came to Australia from Germany, where crating dogs is unheard of, and the dogs there are well behaved, too.

But here, I have heard and read so much about the importance of crate training and I've been thinking, "better not admit that we don't do this. Maybe we give them too much freedom?"

I admint that they are supervised virtually 24/7 and involved in most of our activities, as we work from home and don't travel without them (otherwise we I wouldn't have two Irish setters). But our two "kids" are just fantastic. When we work, they have their little nanna naps by the office desk. When we do the housework, they watch or help. Believe me, my partner is very house proud.

Good that it's out now, and I don't even blush :))
Hi Michelle,
We've had setters for many years and my current four year old was the first we thought of "crating" as a pup. Actually it isn't a crate, more a playpen, with four puppy panels (quite high) and 48" square with a door in it. I did hate the idea of crates, but I can't begin to tell you how she still loves her own "space". It kept her safe as a pup when I had to leave her for short spells in the day, and she still sleeps there every night. She has her own toys and cushions and a bowl of water and cries to get to "bed" at 9 pm. When we got Bridget who is now three, I bought the same set up for her and once early puppy days were over, it was moved into a different bedroom from Maeve's and again she belts along the hallway each night to her own "space". My two are tremendous pals, but they seem to respect each others separate sleeping space. Needless to say they are setters, and a lot less respectful of ours - a squashy sofa each in the evening with Bill and I on chairs is the norm! All this long story is to really say, I agree with Louise. Maybe Dana is missing the security of her own space while you are out.
My Setters actually love snuggling up to each other, entwined, and always have! Maybe on a hot day they spread out a bit, but part of my joy is to see them happily wrapped around each other. To put them separately in a crate seems abhorrent!
I don't feel I treat my dogs in an "abhorrent" way. I am very upset to think that you feel I am somehow mistreating my dogs, simply because I crate them at night. They enjoy being in their crates and go in there willing even during the day when the doors are open, simply for some time out. I can't help but feel singled out by your posts here, Myra.
I haven't singled any one person out Melinda - you only have to see some of the photos put on the site, or read some of the comments, to know that there are an awful lot of people using crates.
Probably this is why I rarely make a comment on the Forum, because I have read, too often, people taking someone's opinion as a slight against themselves, and the whole idea of The Forum sliding downhill rapidly.
My opinion as a long term breeder and owner of Irish Setters, is that I do not like them, and prefer my dogs to enjoy their company together.I reiterate that the thought of them, my Setters, being separated to go in to a crate, is abhorrent.




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