Post # 1
I currently have two boxers that I absolutely adore! My older boxer is a year and a half, and has matured quite a bit. When the ex-FI was here, he had potty issues because he was very aggravated with the way he treated him. Before then, he was very well-behaved, and was magically potty-trained after he was neutered.
He used to go potty in his kennel (I know, weird) and didn’t care. He would just lay there and sleep in it (no, I do NOT leave him in there for long, at all). His last accident outside of the kennel was when we first got the other puppy…which I expected. He was pissed. Now he’s a very, very good boy who hasn’t had an accident in months. Hell, the two times he had an “accident” when the ex was here was more of a “I’m sick of your crap” type deal. I leave him out at night; or should I say, I put his dog bed in my room at night, and I have yet to wake up with an accident. I’ve even fallen asleep in my room FORGETTING he was in the living room and nothing was chewed up, nor was there any pee when I woke up.
I’m wanting to start leaving him out when I’m gone, but I’m afraid he’s too young for it. He proves more and more each day that he’s a big boy, but I know I would be LIVID if I came home to a chewed up apartment and stains everywhere. He gets plenty of exercise each day, so there’s no problem there. I also leave him to his own devices when I’m home, so he’s not chained up or anything like that.
Is he too young still? should I wait a bit longer? what age was your dog when you starting leaving him/her out? Thank you for your responses. 🙂
Post # 3
Could you start slow, maybe using baby gates to keep him in one room or area, then gradually expanding as he proves he’s trustworthy? After about four months of crating, my dog figured out how to escape his crate when unsupervised, and I didn’t want to risk him hurting himself on a more heavy-duty model, so I just gated off the basement (where there’s carpet) and he had free reign of the upstairs. We’ve actually had very few chewing incidents and almost no accidents since; he was a little under two years old at the time (got him at 18 months) and is almost four now. He still has his crate for ‘hanging out’, but the only time I close him in it is when I have delivery or repair people.
Another option would be hiring a mid-day walker to check on him for the first few weeks while he gets adjusted to the new routine/freedom.
Post # 4
We didn’t stop until he was almost 1.5 years old, but probably could have started much sooner. I think it’s totally up to the personality of the dog. My friend has 2 springers, one was allowed run of the house around 1 year old and never caused issues, the other is 1.5 and they said he will remained crated indefinitely since he is so distructive.
Post # 5
We stopped crating our boxer at 1 year exactly (I got tired of chasing him around the house and carrying him into the crate). He will occationally chew up something if he gets pissed that we left him too long but he never has accidents. I just make sure that there is nothing in the kitchen or on tables. Start small and leave him out when your gone for 1 hour, then 2, then 3 etc. Good luck!
Post # 6
My dogs are six and seven years old and we still crate them during they day. They have a very large crate that is big enough for me to fit inside.
Frankly leaving them out caused more anxiety and issues for them. They would get nervous, have accidents etc that they don’t normally do when we are home. Our vet recommended crating and it has been such a relief. They are comfortable and happy all day long and remain out all night and in the morning before I leave.
Post # 7
We tried crating our Lab, but she hated it. I mean we even put her dinner and treats in there and no dice, she would not get in it. We used baby gates to keep her in the kitchen, but she never had an accident…. ever. Now we have a pet gate to seperate the “dog” area from the “cat” area. If we’re gone to long, the lab does get up on the couch and she knows she’s not supposed to.
Post # 8
DH’s doxie is 5 and we still have to crate him. It drives me nuts, we stopped crating the la mix I grew up with around 3 years old and could totally trust her. His dog, on the other hand, gets pissed off about being alone and will pee on things just to spite you, it’s clearly not an accident where he just couldn’t hold it in. It really just depends on the dog.
Post # 9
@angustia: Mine was 13 months! I kenneled her during the day because she was a terror and ate everything even when supervised – walls, baseboard, doorframes, when she was puppy, and then she just all of the sudden outgrew it. I forgot her out one day and came home and she was sleeping happily with everything in pristine condition. After that, we only had one incident of bad behaviour, which was my fault for coming home later than usual, and she’s five now. I don’t think there’s a magical age, just when the particular dog is ready!
Post # 10
We stopped crating around the 1 year mark but our previous dogs and the older of the three we have now then moved into sleeping in my parents’ room. My dog is 5 and still not entirely potty trained (he’s a rescue with some issues).
Now? We have an 8 year old and a 3 year old Golden Retrievers and they’re only crated during the day. Out of nowhere our older Golden started to destroy things after my dad would leave and when it resulted in a $5,000 surgery, it was crate time during the day for them.
I’d recommend what PPs have said and gradually expand the free space they have but I’d do it if you could trust them both. Having one in a crate and the other not can lead to some hurt feelings. (I know, I sound crazy!) Good luck!
Post # 11
Thank you for all of the advice. Some good points have been made, especially about taking it slow. I will start with a baby gate and move from there. The only reason I don’t want to do it for both is because I know my younger will tear things apart. I don’t want to well…”punish” my older one because of it. I will wait until my younger boxer is 1, and see what I can do about getting both of them out of the kennels. It’s just hard when my younger one had a kong toy and his deer antler in front of him, and decided to chew my sandal up instead! Lol….kinda. As a rule though, they tend to only chew what is theirs. I will start my little experiment tomorrow. 🙂
Post # 12
We adopted our corgi. He is 7 years old, and we don’t crate him during the day. He doesn’t like the crate. :/ I’m pretty sure there was some misuse of it with his previous owners because the moment he goes in there, he seems really, really sad. Instead, we have a baby gate that blocks off the upstairs from downstairs, and he just hangs out downstairs. He’s never so much as nibbled on anything in our house that wasn’t his, so we don’t have any fear that he’ll chew on anything. He can also hold his bladder pretty good too, so we don’t worry much about that either.
Post # 13
@StephieBee: Awww…first off, thank you for adopting…that’s amazing. My boxers don’t necessarily hate their crates (especially since the ex left and I “decked it out”), but I would like them to be able to walk around freely. My older boxer can hold his bladder extremely well, but I don’t know whether to attribute that to being in his kennel (which didn’t really matter before) or him being a big boy. I’m just afraid that the MINUTE I let him out, he’s gonna hose this place down! Hehe
Post # 14
@angustia: Haha – that’s totally valid!! It’s hard to know until you try. We have had 2 accidents with our Dean, but it wasn’t his fault; we made him hold it too long and he couldn’t help it anymore. Once was shortly after we got him, so we were getting used to how long he could go at night without going potty. The other time was when he was on his super funky night sleeping schedule – we took him out at around 4:30-5am that morning, and stupid us, we should’ve gone home at lunch to take him out. Instead we got home at our usual time and he had peed near the fireplace with some drizzle on the carpet. In all honesty, I wasn’t suprised, and I felt like such a bad doggie owner for making him wait that long. Lesson learned, and we have a good handle on his eliminating habits now. 🙂 No more accidents!
Honestly – we go SO lucky. Our paperwork from the shelter said he was potty trained… and after a few days at home with him after getting him, we could see that, yup, he was totally potty trained, no matter how sad he was that he missed his old family.
Post # 15
@StephieBee: That’s amazing! Some dogs revert back to puppy-dom when they change homes/miss their old family. You’re right…I guess I should just start trying some things and see what happens!
Post # 16
My dogs are 3 and 1 and I still put them in the crate when we aren’t home. They also sleep in there at night because otherwise they want to sleep in our bed which makes the bed about 1,000 degrees! 🙂 The older one never chewed on anything until we got the younger one a year ago and she has followed in his lab footsteps with wanting to chew anyting that stands still. So to the crate they go!