Do crate train your dog, even if you don’t intend for the dog to stay or sleep in it. There very well may be an occasion where your dog will need to be crated and it's best if you've made it a rewarding and pleasant experience. Ideally, crates are not always designed to be used permanently, but more as a training tool until your dog is house trained and has become accustom to your home and its new environment. Some dogs may always require crating when left alone and others will learn or mature and not need to be crated. Every dog is different and requires a different approach.
We believe as long as they are not crated any longer than 6 hours at a time, there is no harm done. With puppies, you can base the time they can be crated on how many months old they are (3 months, 3 hours, etc.).
Do not use the crate as punishment. By the time you get the dog to the crate, they will have no idea what they’ve done wrong, but most importantly, being placed in a crate should always be a rewarding and pleasant experience for the dog.
Best-case scenario: Use the crate as a tool to house train your dog. After you’ve had your dog a few weeks, work in 5 or 10-minute increments, leaving your dog alone to see how they behave when you leave the house. Do this gradually when you have time to work with the dog. Don't make a “big deal” out of leaving and ignore the dog for about 5 minutes after returning, no matter how much attention they are vying for. Over time, most dogs will become trustworthy to be left alone in the house. As with learning any new behavior, it takes patience, consistency and time.
In cases where your dog may need to be crated when you’re away, please make sure the dog gets plenty of exercise before and after being crated. If you must leave your dog crated while you are at work, make arrangements to come home during lunch to let the dogs out for a break and to run around. If you’re not able to, maybe have a neighbor or hire a pet sitter to come by once a day. You and your dog will love you for it!
We are not totally opposed to the dog being left in a secured (fence well maintained and a lock on the gate) backyard while you’re away. but please bring the dog inside anytime you are home. Always allow the dog to sleep inside, preferably in the room with you (crated or not… your choice!) Always keep in mind that dogs are pack animals, regardless of how human we want them to be or behave. Keeping that in mind at all times will lead your dog to become a loyal and faithful companion.