I’m not quite sure why everyone is in a big hurry to let their puppy out of the crate to wander around the house or roam a certain room. Puppies are immature until they are at least 18 months or a year and a half old. Unconfined they will get into trouble. Puppies chew wires; steal things off tables or counters, as they self entertain. Although training is important from a young age, even with training you really can’t leave a puppy/young dog up to its on volition until well over one year old; and some dogs need confinement even longer.
You wouldn’t gate your toddler in the kitchen by himself and take a shower, doing the same for a puppy is just as insane. If you don’t want to crate your puppy, buy an exercise pen to keep him confined. It can be a little bigger than a crate but it so much safer than gating him in a certain room.
Crates are good at any age. Just because you can leave your dog alone in your house doesn’t mean you should throw out your crate. An adult dog that can relax in his crate can be taken anywhere and be watched by anyone. It’s great to be able to take your dog everywhere that you go but, unfortunately, emergencies happen and your dog must realize “It’s ok to be alone”.
As long as your dog has been exercised (mentally and physically), has been fed and has water it’s ok to go out to dinner and maybe even a movie and leave “Fifi” at home. Toys, bones and the radio and television can provide some distraction for your dog but every so often lock him in his crate. By doing this, you or anyone else will be able to confine your dog, should the need arise.
No one minds caring for a trained dog. But who wants to care for a dog that doesn’t obey, is not housebroken or barks a lot? Trained dogs are welcome at parties, picnics and public settings because everyone loves having a trained dog around.
If you are leaving your dog with a friend for vacation, do some overnight stays, before you go away. Bring your crate so a part of home is with him at the new house; this way it will be less traumatic for him when you are gone for a longer period of time.
Please don’t think of your dog’s crate as jail, think of it as a safe place to contain your dog/puppy. It will give you peace of mind and it just may save his life!