Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Jack's mama
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

We have a nine month old golden boy. I was curious as to what would be a good age to start leaving him home alone uncrated. He only chews his toys when we are home and is pretty well behaved. We walk him for a mile in the morning and a mile in the evening. We were thinking of starting slow...leaving him home alone while we get the mail and seeing how he does with that and working it up from there. I do come home at lunch every day. Just looking to see when others started this and what worked or didn't work.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
That's exactly how I started with Our Penny. Short trips to the mailbox then made it longer and longer. She never did anything except sleep on the couch until we got home.

She was 4 months. She's 7 1/2 years old now and still just sleeps until we get home.
 

·
In the Moment
Joined
·
20,515 Posts
Certainly all depends on the dog. As mentioned above, start with short amounts of time and gradually lengthen it if all is well. That being said, our girls were crated when we were gone until they were about 18 months. For long periods, I still crate our springer Cody (who is 4)..... he still loves to get into things if we're gone for very long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,448 Posts
Mine were never crated but in a similar way Tilly was restricted just to the kitchen when left alone as a young pup then you just kind of have to judge the individual dog...luckily Tilly or Harry haven't ever chewed so they were trusted from very early on. Making sure they are tired before they are left really helps...tired dogs sleep, bored dogs chew!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
When Cooper was a pup he graduated from his crate to being baby gated in the kitchen. When all was good in the kitchen for weeks he then graduated to having the run of the downstairs. He was always a very well behaved pup. I think he was out of the crate by 6 months old for sure. He was never left for very long periods of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
We actually took Brutus' crate down today...it was like taking down a crib, bittersweet :)
We went from keeping him in the crate to restricting him to the kitchen area than slowly moved the gates giving him a little more freedom very slowly. Now, at 1 year he does perfectly in the house when we're gone. We just have to make sure the bathroom doors are closed-he likes to get into the trashcans.
Exercising them before you leave is the key. That way they'll sleep the whole time and won't even know you're gone. AND you won't have to pick up the million pieces of your favorite rug that he decided to entertain himself with while you were out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
we started Cody off slow too and by the spring he was ok with us leaving him alone. I can't even remember how old he was exactly, maybe 8 months?
But he has never been a chewer. His only bad habit was jumping at the table for food.
One time(a long time ago) I left him for about 30 minutes and the fish tank was pushed all the way to the edge of the table. My kids tapes pipe cleaners to the fish tank and he pulled on them moving the fish tank to a dangerous position, lol
Thank goodness he didn't pull it off, and I wouldn't have even thought that he would have done anything like that.
 

·
The Missouri Crew
Joined
·
13,683 Posts
All of mine are still crated while im gone... 2 are 4 years old and 1 is 3 years old and the other one is 2 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
It does depend on the dog. Penny NEVER chewed anything that wasn't hers. I spent a lot of time worrying about the dining room chairs thinking as soon as I walked out the door she'd make a beeline. Nope. No interest.

If I had multiple dogs as Maggie's Mom does, I'd probably be much more cautious too. I think they can be 'partners in crime' where what one doesn't think of, the other one might.

But still depends on the dog(s).
 

·
Jack's mama
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone! For those of you who exercise your dogs before leaving, how long or far do you take them in the morning? We walk him for half an hour but I'm not sure if that would drain enough energy. When my husband works from home he says Jack mostly sleeps all day anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Penny and I would play or walk after DH went to work...maybe an hour of leisurely playing or strolling. Penny is not high energy...extremely excitable YES, but she ran down/lost interest pretty quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I started leaving Sam uncrated at 6 months but he has chewed his way back into his crate this week. He was limited to the kitchen and family room but after he chewed a whole in the wall this week he made our decision easy. Went to Petsmart and bought the extra large crate and now he has to be in it if we aren't home. He too got a walk every morning and my pet sitter comes in mid day. He has an older brother to play with too and toys to chew but I guess boredom just takes over and the urge to chew!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I started leaving Sam uncrated at 6 months but he has chewed his way back into his crate this week. He was limited to the kitchen and family room but after he chewed a whole in the wall this week he made our decision easy. Went to Petsmart and bought the extra large crate and now he has to be in it if we aren't home. He too got a walk every morning and my pet sitter comes in mid day. He has an older brother to play with too and toys to chew but I guess boredom just takes over and the urge to chew!
Might try the bitter barrier spray. It only took my Sam one time chewing on some barrier sprayed shoes to learn the smell and stay away from it.

On a side note, the first time I used that stuff after I sprayed it I at some vanilla covered raisens, not thinking I would have that stuff on my hands. Well lets just say it was the most bitter thing I have EVER tasted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
There is no set age. It just depends on how much you trust your dog. If he still chews on your things or could destroy something when you are watching him, its probably not time to let him have free rein of the house. I would probably start by giving him free rein of a room for short periods of time then work his way up to more freedom like other people have said.

My GR, Bella, is currently 12 weeks and a few days. I let her have free rein of the house whenever I am home, or I'm going to be gone for an hour or less. I always take her outside to the bathroom before I leave for any period of time. If I am home she rarely leaves the room that I am in unless she wants a drink of water. I am slowly working up the time I leave her alone in the house not crated. She's still only 12 weeks so she is not able to hold it for really long periods of time.
 

·
Inactive
Joined
·
11,326 Posts
It totally depends on the dog. I'd try some trial periods in a somewhat confined area at first. I'd also be really cautious starting out a trial at that age because a lot of dogs experience a huge increase in the desire to chew. The teeth set in the jaw around 8-10 months, and it can cause extra chewing behavior.
 

·
Lucy & Dory's Mom
Joined
·
2,760 Posts
Lucy was never a chewer. She stayed in her "room" until she was about six and a half months old. Then she had the run of the downstairs, but not our bedroom. Then she had the run of the whole downstairs. She's been trusted with run of both up and downstairs since she was a year old, at least though. She likes to go upstairs and look sadly down at us as we leave. I don't know why, but she really likes to hide upstairs while we're gone.

Of course when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold or wet, she spends at least half of the day playing outside. Lately she's been spending the whole day outside, except for a brief Mommy visit at lunch, which makes her a much happier pup. She's always more depressed seeming when she has to spend day in and day out inside while we're at work.
 

·
Marcy
Joined
·
8,914 Posts
Let's see, Abby was I believe 15 months and Finn was 18 months before they were left out of crates when we were gone. But we didn't have to push it, because my husband works from hme a great deal of the time.
 

·
Shoob&Sheeb n Slater too
Joined
·
79 Posts
Our Shoob was out of the crate very early. Sheeb wanted to stay in, so we left it open for two years. She was kinda lost without it even though it was open. Now Slater is finally free of it but we keep it there and open. He does stay in the open crate most of the time but otherwise all is good to go. Guess its an individual thing.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top