Post # 1
How long was it until you left your pup out of the crate during the day when you were gone? I know we still have a long way to go because he is still teething, gets a little wild, and we haven’t finished puppy classes. What requirements are you/did you use before you trusted your pup alone during the day? How did you get him used to it?
And just because here is a cute picture of the most uncomfortable way to sleep in a crate.
Post # 3
Haha, what a cute picture!!!!
Leroy is 6 months and we still in no way trust him. He peed on the floor twice this morning and he hasn’t done that in weeks! Anyways, my mom crate trained her dogs for a year before she let them out of the crate when she wasn’t home.
Hopefully some of the other bees have better answers 🙂
Post # 4
My dog was almost 2 or so before we would trust him in the house.
I think you need to start with short periods of being gone first. Practice on the weekends when you run to the grocery store. Once he has mastered that, then practice being gone for about half a day. Then work up to a full 8-10 hour day.
The other thing to remember as you start to leave them out is to set them up for success. Don’t leave shoes out, take out the trash if there is something smelly in there, close bedroom doors, etc etc.
Also, as you are training as a puppy make sure they distinguish the difference between their stuff and your stuff.
Post # 5
Just for fun – another crazy way to sleep in a crate! Lol!
Post # 6
Our pup is just turning 1 and we have tried it a couple of times for short stretches (like ten to twenty minutes) and he has FREAKED and gone a little nutty around the apartment. So I don’t think he’s ready yet.
I also feel like he is just getting to the point where he truly loves his crate–he goes in there all the time during the day even when we are home. So it seems weird to take it away at this point. He feels safe there.
Post # 7
In my experience 2yrs is the magic age. At about 1.5 years you can usually start trusting them for a small period of time.
Post # 8
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
We started leaving our dog out (for short periods of time) when he was about a year old. He really really freaked out about being left alone (he has attachment issues) but he didn’t ever destroy anything. He would just spend the entire time we were gone jumping up and down in front of the door. We felt really bad about it, but we just kept doing it and now he’s perfectly fine with it (he’s a little over a year and a half now).
The key is to do it for very short periods of time to see how they do, and then slowly begin to leave them out for longer!
Post # 9
We have only in the last 6 months or so let her out of crate full time.
We probably went through a gradual 2 months of easing her into being out of her crate for that long. We started with leaving her out (all doors closed minus living room where she was) while we ran to the store for 20 mins. Then when we went out to dinner (1-2hours). Then on days when FI had 1/2 days at work (4 hours). Then we graduated her to a full day.
Note that we did each of those steps a couple times before moving on to the next step.
She goes all day now with free range of the house…but she did have a brain fart accident the other day. But I think no matter how well trained a pup is you’ll get those brain farts.
As a side note we always left her crate out with the door open when easing her into having full range of the house so that she always had that “security” option if she needed it. But she never did. Hhaha. She always preferred the couch or the bed.
She just turned 4 so we probably started easing her when she was 3.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2011 - AnthonyÃ¢Â€Â™s Fine Dining
Our dog is 5, and she still uses the crate. She has a lot of separation anxiety and when we leave, she doesn’t destroy things or anything like that, but she cries at the door for a long time. It just breaks my heart! So one day, we decided to leave the crate out as an experiment. When I grabbed my purse and keys, she went into the crate automatically, curled up and went to sleep! Now she uses it whenever we leave the house…I think she thinks it’s her little den and it comforts her 🙂
Post # 11
Thanks for all the input ladies! I wrote this because the last couple weeks I have been so impressed with how he was doing in his crate. He has gotten up to about 4 hours perfectly quiet while I was studying for my nursing boards. AND THEN TODAY…he sounded like he was dying. He barked, yelped, howled, whined for the entire 3 hours he was in there. It was the worst most pathetic sound I have ever heard in my life. We never let him out when he is crying but that was the closest I have ever come. He used the bathroom right before going in there and had his favorite toys so I don’t know what his deal was but it’s like he knew i was writing this and was saying “just let me out when you’re gone, I promise I will be good”
Post # 12
Aw, what a cutie!
Our situation is a little different – our girl is a 1 1/2 year old Aussie rescue. She’s very timid/afraid in new places and VERY clingy with us. But once she’s comfortable, she has lots of energy. This is also her first time living with cats, and she was already crate trained from being in a shelter and living with a foster mom.
At first, we crate her at night and when we were gone – every single time – because we didn’t want a kitty accident, and she seemed to feel safer in there. Even if she’s not locked in, she’ll lay in her bed just because it feels good to her.
After about a week, we put up a gate to expand her area. It encompassed her crate, plus about half of our living room (which is small) – we started letting her stay in there without the crate closed at night/when we were gone.
She’s been great with that, so now we don’t put up the gate at all. At night she is allowed to roam free. She mostly sticks to the living room/dining room, I think because she is intimidated by our cats. But she will come in the bedroom for attention, and the three of them beg for food together in the kitchen in the AM and PM.
Right now she only gets crated when we’re gone and (once in awhile) while we’re eating, since she’s always wanting attention and food – we don’t have a dining room table yet.
I’m not sure when we will feel comfortable leaving her alone for long periods of time out of her crate/gate. I’m assuming we’ll work up to it over the next few months, so I’m interested to read the other replies you get! Our times leaving her loose have been very successful – she’s really well housetrained, and only chews things that we’re stupid about leaving out (emory board!)
Post # 13
When Colby (our dog) was about 6 months old, we started leaving him out a little bit at a time, but then he abused the priveldge and ate half the christmas tree and a bunch of other things. He’s a little over a year now, and he’s crated whenever we are gone now. I’m thinking we’ll give it another try in the fall.
Post # 14
mine are 13 months and 8 months old and they are still crated when we leave during the day. fi and i work diff shifts so they go in the crate when i leave and hes home about an hour or 2 later to let them out. buuuuuutttt we used to have to leave them in there from 4 pm till 11 or 12 pm when we both worked nights. they do great in the crate, and even stay out in our bedroom at night, but i dont trust them yet to be alone when we are gone. i know my parents didnt start letting their lab have full reign of the house until he was almost 3! The crate is good for them, it becomes their safe place and mine have learned to love it in there and will even go lay down in it on their own time haha
Post # 15
I think it’s a lot dog dependent.
Do you leave him out when you’re at home but not paying super close attention? That can be a fairly good gauge of how they’ll respond. Like if you have to say ‘NO’ constantly when they’re out of their crate, they’re probably not ready. But if he’s fairly trustworthy then you might want to try little short outings. I’d say even just like go for a walk or run for 10 or 20 minutes just to see their reaction and work up to grocery store trips.
Until they’re over a year (sometimes even two) they’re going to be looking for ways to get into trouble though (but they should be potty trained, it’s just more the chewing), so some of it might be how well you can puppy proof your house and how responsive they are to playing wiht their toys and learning what isn’t their toy.
Post # 16
I definitely agree it’s dog dependent. With my old dog the answer was never. He was a smart little bastard. I would start feeling bad that he was locked up and Bones wasn’t and start working him up to be let out (10 min, 45, an hour, etc.) and he would totally lull me into complacency until I relaxed and then he would destroy the trash/get into his food/the fridge/try to get outside/etc. He was a rescue and had separation anxiety though so that definitely complicated things. Oh, and all of that was ages 4-6 years or so.