A lot of people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that 2 of my dogs are on a crate rotation schedule. They’ll often say, “I don’t know how you do it!” Or, “I could never do that.” Or even, “Why don’t you just get friendlier dogs instead?” At the end of the day, this is my pack and none of them are leaving. It’s my job to make sure they stay safe and this is the best solution that I have come across to date.
The fact is, our crate rotation schedule provides me with peace of mind and confidence knowing that I’m not going to have to separate two fighting dogs, deal with any injuries or a possible fatality.
When you have a dog that is aggressive, which would you rather do? Walk on eggshells all day long waiting for the next fight to happen? Be paying out your ass for stitches and antibiotics and for wounds to be wrapped and cleaned? Feeling on edge 24/7 because the dogs may or may not fight and you’ve got to be ready for when they do? Or, would you rather have a simple system put in place to protect both dogs from getting injured while still being able to enjoy and spend time with both dogs?
Personally, I’ve got enough daily stress in my life. I don’t need to be consumed by the notion that one day my dogs might kill each other. I also don’t think that its fair to the dogs to be putting them in harms way. What type of quality of life are you providing them with if you aren’t mitigating the ability for a fight to break out. Also, living in a constantly stressful environment simply isn’t healthy for anyone.
One thing that I have run into is that people assume that because a crate rotation exists in my household, my dogs have zero quality of life. I’ll clear that up right now: My dogs have very fulfilling lives and I’ll explain how it works in our house.
In the home, we rotate the 2 female dogs every 2-4 hours. Does this mean that they might spend time in their crates a little more than your average dog? Perhaps. Does that mean they aren’t regularly exercised and cared for? Not at all.
During the 2-4 hours that one dog is out, they are not only exercised, but we do obedience training as well as just relax on the couch. Then we alternate.
On warm days, I will take one dog outside and leave the other in the house uncrated. So, we are rotating from inside to outside and they aren’t confined to their crate.
In addition to being exercised at home, they also both get to go out on separate hikes, trips to the creek as well as to sports (Rally-O, Dock Diving, PSA, Nose Work etc…). When one dog is out at their sport activity, the other is free to be in the house.
At night, we alternate which dog gets to sleep in bed with us.
Crate rotating is simply a safety measure that I have put in place to ensure that I can continue enjoying both of my dogs without having to worry about any potential fights. It creates a safe, calm and relaxing environment for both of my dogs and I. Despite the stigma attached to crate and rotate schedules, I will continue to use this method simply because it is what works best in my household. It has become second nature to us, doesn’t take up any additional time out of our lives and gives us the ability to truly enjoy our dogs.