Crates vs. baby gates.
November 27, 2012 11:13 AM Subscribe
After doing tons of breed research and visiting shelters and rescues, I have finally found the write dog for me. I purchased a miniature dachshund from a reputable breeder in my hometown. She is only three weeks old right now, so I have five weeks to prepare for her arrival in my home. I do have a few questions that I hope Mefites can help me with.
posted by SkylitDrawl to pets & animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I will be bringing my miniature dachshund, Josie, home to my (large, one bedroom) apartment in about five weeks. This will be my first pet that I have ever brought home as an adult (I am 25) and I have spent a very long time thinking about whether or not I am ready for her. I think that I am. I am really excited to bring her home and plan to spend the next few weeks puppy-proofing my apartment and buying all the necessary supplies for her.
Right now, my big dilemma is about what to do with Josie when I absolutely have to leave the house. I am a grad student who works part time, about 20-30 hours per week. I am lucky in that my schedule is very flexible, so in the early weeks of Josie's time in my home, I plan to spend as much time with her as I possibly can. However, I will have to be at work for a minimum of twenty hours a week. I usually work in the mornings on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10AM-2PM and on nights on Tuesdays and Wednesday from 3PM-9PM. I have the entire weekend off, except for two Saturdays a month, when I go to class from 8AM-4PM. I have arranged for someone to come sit with Josie during the Saturdays that I have class and for a dog walker on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to come play with her and let her out, but I am unsure on what to do on Mondays and Thursdays.
I personally want to crate train her to aid in the process of house training, and so I can safely contain her when I have to be out of the house and/or someone cannot be with her. I have read during my research that most dogs love their crates if crate training is done properly. However, my family members and friends seem to advocate for me putting her in my tiled kitchen or bathroom with a baby gate up to contain her and pee pads on the floor to catch any accidents she might have. They argue that a baby gate/pee pads will be cheaper than a crate and that Josie will be uncomfortable and cramped in a crate. Josie is a small dog who will weigh < 11 lbs at the most at adulthood. I don't know what sort of dangerous capers Josie could get into if she had the run of my kitchen, but I definitely know that I do not want to leave her alone and free to roam in my small bathroom. I don't want her to be expose her to chemicals and I don't want anything to fall on her while she is exploring. I'm also concerned about her getting too acclimated to pee-pads and being difficult to house train because of it (can a dog get so used to going on pee pads that they do not want to go outside? I feel like it would be inconsistent of me to let her pee on pee pads when I'm out of the house and then expect her to magically want to go outside when I'm there). Is it safe to leave her alone in the kitchen sealed off with a baby gate for 4-6 hours? I really feel that it would be safer to crate train her, but I'm just not sure. Also, what size of crate would be best for her and do any Mefites have crate recommendations? I appreciate any responses!