My SIL asked me this question, I gave her a few thoughts, but said I'd ask here. To clarify for you, she had only used crates when they're at work, or away from home. The dogs slept with them at night. A few months back she had knee surgery, and it hurt her when the dogs slept on the bed. So they got crated at night during her recovery. She's fine now, but the 1 year old lab still wants to sleep in his crate at night. She wants him back out for two reasons. First because she likes it, and second there's been some break-ins around their neighborhood. She doesn't expect the dogs to protect them, but as an early warning. I have no experience with breaking that, any and all suggestions would be appreciated.