I use crates and pee pads with my boys. We're working on going potty outside, but it's been so hot out that I haven't been too consistant this past week. I let the boys have free run of the house now that they are both paper trained, but I liked the idea of crates to give the boys their own little safe place to go. They both hate thunder storms and they just go hang out in their crates during storms. I never lock them in the crates, but they do seem to prefer their crate to dog beds or my bed. Just with traveling so much I wanted the boys to feel safe in a strange place, so it all worked in my case.