Q. We have just adopted a 2-year-old Brussels Griffon from a shelter. I’m nervous because I want to do all the right things to ensure that she is a well-behaved, enjoyable addition to our family. I’m learning all I can.
We have purchased a crate to crate train her. I don’t know where to put the crate. In the living room where she can see me more easily when she is in it, or in another room not so exposed to me or other things. Also, most importantly, can I move the crate from room to room? Can or should I move it to our bedroom at night? Any help will be appreciated.
A. Yes, it’s OK to move the crate from room to room (or out to the car when it’s time for a ride). Usually the best place for a dog’s crate at night is in the owner’s bedroom, so the dog has the feeling of being in safe company during sleeping time. Having the crate in your bedroom will also allow you to hear your dog if she gets restless during the night and needs to be taken to her potty area.
During the day, your dog should be with you as much as possible, so if you use the crate, move it to the part of the house where you are. It’s best to minimize crate use during the daytime, though, because a dog needs more room than a crate for natural movement and exercise, and needs access to drinking water and an approved potty area when she needs to use it.
If you are home and able to monitor your dog, keep her in the same room you’re in, either by gating the doorway or fastening her leash to your belt to keep her from wandering away to chew inappropriate items or eliminate in unapproved areas. This will improve her bond to you and will allow you to guide her behavior and teach her your house rules.
If you must leave your dog unattended during the day, a crate may be used to confine her for up to two to three hours. For longer periods of confinement during the day, a folding exercise pen is preferable to a crate. The “ex-pen,” though it only encloses a small space, allows the dog to move around and stretch. Potty papers can be placed at one end of the pen so your dog can relieve herself if she needs to. Ex-pens can usually be purchased from pet supply stores that also sell crates.