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At what age can goldens have free run of the house?

11785 Views 29 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Brads035
Just wondering at what age do you wean the golden from the crate to having the freedom to be in the whole house all day? Or a larger portion of the house? I'm thinking it's a gradual process right? Like you could leave the house just to walk to the mailbox and see how the dog does, followed by longer periods of time etc. Our puppy is due to be born around November 13th and since I've never crate trained a dog before, but I will be now, I'm just wondering how long on average this process is or takes. I know every dog is different, but I'm curious about bladder maturity at what age etc, as I don't want to keep the dog in the crate too long during the day or too confined for too many months. I understand that the dogs come to like the crate and will go in on it's own leaving the door open, I'm just wondering about when to leave the dog with more freedom in the house? I still might have a couple of rooms with carpeting gated off initially until we build up enough trust. But that will come later.
Thanks in advance,
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Every dog is different... Mine are still crated at ages 4,4,3,2. I actually could leave 2 out of the 4 out, but dont think its fair, so I dont.
Depends on the dog. Some at a few months, some never. Only my 12 year old Whippet has full run of my house when I'm gone, and when I am home, there is a gate keeping all but him (he can jump it with ease) out of the living room because they step on the baby (six months, crawling stage) and chew up his toys lol. This still gives them the big back bedroom where I sleep, the spacious game room, the hall, kitchen, etc, and they can watch us. Of course when baby is asleep for the night I take the gate down and they can play with daddy and whatever until I go to bed.
Yep, it just depends on the dog. Merlin was crated at night until about 7 months old, but during the day I think it was around 11- 12 months at least before I really felt I could trust him. And I still baby-gated rooms off for a while.

You have plenty of time to think about that once you get your puppy! Don't feel bad about crating. It helps with potty training and keeps them safe too, from getting into things they shouldn't and eating things they shouldn't.

Good Luck and looking forward to pictures! :)
Rookie is 2-1/2 and he still doesn't have free run of the house. He's only allowed upstairs very rarely and only when he's with me. At night, or if I'm not home, he is gated in the kitchen. He's probably ready for a bit more freedom, but I'm reluctant to mess with success.
Rosie is about 4 1/2 months old. She is mainly kept in the kitchen and family room. We only let her upstairs or in the basement if we are with her and able to watch her closely. If I'm going to be upstairs for more than a few minutes, I always put her in the crate. I'm not worried about her peeing on the floor...I'm mostly worried that she might chew or eat something that she shouldn't. She's a pretty good girl, though, and I feel like there will come a day that I can trust her to run free in the house. I'm not sure when that day will be here, but I think it'll happen sometime! That being said, I believe she truly enjoys her crate time. I never had to put her in the crate today, since we were all hanging out at home, watching football games. Still, she wandered in there for a couple naps. We left the crate door open, so she was free to leave whenever she wanted, but she stayed in there sleeping for an hour or so.
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All of my dogs, up till now, were never crate trained and had full run of the house from a very early age. Jake is crated. He has been left out of his crate for 20 minutes while I went to the store once. When I got back he was staring at the door with this look of abject horror on his face. Since then I haven't left him alone outside of his crate because, even though he fights going in, I have a feeling that he feels more secure in there.

As for night time... he's a bed bug. He never ventures from the bed though. He also never leaves the same room I'm in when I'm home either. Could be a very big part of it :)
Like everyone else has said, it all depends on the dog and how much confidence you have that the dog will be fine outside of the crate. Tucker is 14 months old and he only recently starting sleeping outside of the crate at night. I work from home, so he has free access to the house all day. We used baby gates when he was younger. The only time he is really crated now is when we leave the house and don't take him with us. I'm not at all worried about him having accidents since he hasn't had a single accident in the house in almost a year, but he is a very curious dog and we don't feel 100% confident that he won't get into something that he's not supposed to when we're not home. It's for his own safety. Crate training is very, very effective. I couldn't imagine raising a puppy without it.
My dog Winslow is 10 months and is crate trained. We are just now leaving him out of the crate (downstairs only) on short spurts. 1 hour was the longest. He did great. We are thining about leaving him all night but keep the crate door open if he wants to sleep in there.
All of my dogs have had free run of the house by 9 months. Layla is our challenge, she is 10 1/2 months and not at all trustworthy yet, she is by far the most destructive pup I have ever had... I think she may be in her crate forever LOL.
She is only crated at night, and when we are not home, otherwise she does have free run of the first floor.

The good news is she provides tons of comic relief around here, and we love her so much.
Caleb's about 1.5 and he has full run of the house when we're home. (Except sometimes we close the bedroom door because he likes to steal pillows off the bed. :p:) I think around a year we let him have full access to the house. At night he sleeps in his crate with the door open. When we leave, he goes in the crate because he gets anxious when left home alone. He does fine in his crate and will usually just fall asleep.
Jasper never could be crated. He actually injured himself trying to get out and that was the last time I tried to crate him.

Jasmine was crated until she was 1 1/2 or 2.

Danny finally graduated from the crate when he was 1 1/2. It was a slow process and I believe he was sleeping out of the crate at night for about 6 months prior to that. But he would eat the window sills, baseboards and chairs if he was left out when he was younger. Heck, he did it when we were home!
It depends on the dog.

Rusty was 5 years old when I bought my house, so he was ready to go.

Nikita took a Golden-Average 2.5 years.

Comet was quick. 2 years.

Dakota was my problem child. He took almost 4 years.

Gilmour - ????? He's only 9 months old, but from what I'm seeing he's going to be somewhere between Comet and Dakota. Possibly leaning more towards Dakota only due to his voracious appetite for chewing things.

I have a dog door, so the potty part isn't an issue. All of mine are based on chewing/destruction of household items.

And I must say, while he didn't work out here for other reasons, Rip, the Rescue I had for almost a month, had the absolute best house manners of any dog I've ever seen. He was only about 1.5 years old.
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Emma Rose is almost 8 months old and we have just started leaving her out of her crate for a few hours at a time when we aren't home. Fortuntately for us, she has never chewed on anything she isn't supposed to except her sleeping bed.

We keep all bedroom and bathroom doors shut so really she only has access to the kitchen, hallway and the den.

Usually when I walk in the house she is curled up on the couch fast asleep.
hi, i have a 4 month old golden named Dakota. we got him at about 7 weeks and for a while we didn't have a cage at all. Because of this he got very good without the cage early, but it was difficult too get him too like the cage once we started using one.

Even now though i let him sleep outside of his cage and he does fine. While people are not home though he is a little stupid and will get into things he shouldn't such as shoes or the toilet paper roll. Ive already started trying too ween him off of the cage during the day though, while i shower i let him roam and he is usually very good(although i hear him and my 9 year old dog penny barking back and forth sometimes.).
At night though he is very good and will sleep till about 9 and when he gets up he wakes me up so it works out perfect.
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Bailey has free run of the upstairs and she is 5 1/2 months. I only crate her if I leave somewhere during the day. Otherwise, if I don't crate her, she will go downstairs and eat the all cat food and most likely cat poop.

We just recently started let her sleep out of the crate at night. She is doing very well and she always tells us when she needs to relieve herself outside. She doesn't really destroy anything either. Maybe a toy here and there, especially if there are feathers attached to the toy.
i would say 9 m also we felt lucy was trustworthy. when we come home now she is lounging on the bed wagging -such a rough life...... dogs are so funny & cute! : )
Casey is 2 1/2 and we use the "big crate" when we are at work during the day (baby gates, closed doors to the rooms where we do not want him to be.) He is fine in this area (kitchen, halls), but I would be hesitant to give him more freedom right now--when we have tried "trial runs" he has not passed!! Boys generally take longer than girls. Our female was OK at one. He is a good boy usually (Obedience trained, CD, RE guy) but does not like to be left alone. Whenever we are here, at night or holidays, he is fine. They are all different. Train the dog you have!
our guy is 6 months this saturday and only crated at night and when we leave work until 12pm when his grandma comes to feed and take him out. when she leaves, she puts up a large baby gate to keep him confined to our kitchen/dining room combo. today is the first day we told her to remove the big baby gate and let him have the small family room in back also (carpeted). he's done really welly the last 2 months with virtualy no accidents so we'll test him.

at night he can only come into the living room or upstairs with us. since he's not allowed on the couch in that room, he usually bails on us when we watch TV and goes back to his family room to nap on that couch.

came home last friday and didn't see him in the kitchen, i look into the family room and i can see a tail wagging over the back of the couch. homie then comes squeezeing back through the gate to say hi to me in the kitchen. he also got into the buffet and tore up some tissue papers from teh boxes in there, knocked over apotted plant on the table while trying to reach a new toy we put up there. so him finding a way to sneak into the family room isn't much of a surprise. funny stuff.
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Hi everyone. This is my first time on the forum, and this is the topic I wanted to discuss. Our puppy Lucia will be one year old next month. For the last two months, she's been allowed to spend the night outside of the crate, in our bedroom. That has been no problem (she's sleepy by then, plus the bedroom is pretty spartan; not much to chew on).

However, we have yet to leave her free in a room/area of the house while we're away, and there are items in the other rooms that, at one time or another, she has chewed on or pulled down from their place. Sometimes she does it out of frustration (like if she wants a toy that she knocked out of reach under the couch, she bites the couch). Other times, she's doing it for my attention (and I've been learning how to correct her with the minimum attention or physical touch so that it isn't gratifying).

The closest we've come to leaving her unattended in the house is taking a shower without crating her, and I've been pleasantly surprised that when I emerge from the bathroom, I find her laying in the living room, chilling out.

I'm thinking about slowly transitioning to leaving her in a living room/hallway area while we are away. It's not that I'm in a big hurry to do it, but I'm a little worried that if we wait too long, there'll come a point where, instead of just a natural transition, it will cause an unwarranted sense of temptation to get into trouble. The best comparison I can think of is if you have a teenager who is so tightly supervised and so forbidden from drinking that when he turns 21, he goes wild for a couple of years, whereas had he not felt like he was being controlled so heavily, he might not have desired it quite so much; it wouldn't be so tempting. So, first question: does that idea even make any sense? Do dogs do better handling more freedom if it happens gradually, naturally, and while they're still youngish? Will doing it younger increase the chances that she doesn't realize all the trouble she could be getting into, and just accepts it as down time?

Next question: Should I wait until I haven't seen her try to chew on or take anything she should't have when we're home before I even start the process of leaving her uncrated (which might not be for a while)? Or could it be that some of her naughty behavior, aimed at getting my attention, will not even come up when I'm not home because she knows she won't get attention for it?

Finally, when the time is finally right, what suggestions do you have for transitioning her? How long to start with? What precautions should we take? To what extent should we chew-proof that space (beyond what we've already done)?

Sorry for such a long post, and thanks if you're still reading!!
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