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lizandhector
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Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to get everyone's opinion about when is an appropriate time to start allowing more freedom for your pup outside of the crate when you aren't home. I read somewhere that they should be at least a year to be left outside the crate. What are anyone's opinions? If you do leave you puppy outside the crate, at what age? And how does it go? Thanks! :)
 

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I adopted Callie not too long ago, when she was 12 months old, and tried crating her when I was gone. It didn't go very well, as she barked and whined non-stop, so I eventually moved her to the kitchen and blocked her in with a puppy gate. She had a lot more room to move around, yet she was still confined to a smaller space. That worked out for about a month, until she started jumping on the gate and knocking it down almost every day, to the point where I started leaving her home alone to roam about free for short periods of time, and I would gradually leave her alone longer and longer, to where I knew that she was ok. I've been letting her roam now for awhile for prolonged periods of time and she seems to be doing fine - no destruction of any sort, no accidents, etc. She seems to be much more relaxed as well in terms of her separation anxiety!

I would probably try a similar approach with your little one, in terms of "weaning" him out of his crate slowly, before letting him roam free. But it's just a suggestion! :) Hope everything goes well!
 

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Nancy
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We went from crate to gated laundry room at around 3 mos. Next will be gated kitchen. Hank doesn't chew and he's housebroke but the problem we are starting to have is counter surfing and not sure with the holidays coming and lots of goodies around if I want to move to the next level just yet. He's still crated at night.

edited to add: This is when we're not home, when we're home he has full run of the house.

Hank is 4.5 months. I don't think there is a magic age, each dog is different.
 

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Marcy
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We did not lleave them alone out of the crate until Abby was 15 months and Finn was 18 months. But my husband works out of our home so crate time was not too long.

At night they both started sleeping out of the crate and in our room at about 4 months. They loved that.
 

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We leave Bailey pretty much since the beginning in our kitchen/dining room downstairs when we are upstairs. Sometimes she's down there alone for 1-2 hours (when we are still sleeping or doing other things). Only when we are out of the house, I put her in the crate. She's never in there for more then 3 hours. When she was 12 weeks old we (my husband...) accidentally forgot to put her in the crate and she was all by herself for 3 hours and when we came back all was intact and she didn't even pee anywhere, I was so proud of her.

She's not a chewer just does some counter surfing, so I have to make sure nothing is too close.
 

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I guess it would depend on the dog...I'm not a great fan of keeping dogs in such confined spaces for long periods of time (a couple of hours is acceptable) and much prefer the option of a safe/gated room. The dog shouldn't be left in a crate for longer than they can hold their wee/poo as that would be very uncomfortable so it shouldn't be a problem to leave them in a safe room for the same amount of time. My GR was never crated as a puppy and instead was left in the kitchen. She wasn't a chewer so it was never an issue. Totally depends on the dog!!
 

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I started leaving Flora out of her crate at around 4.5 months. Never had any problems. She's not 11.5 months old and can be left alone for 7 hours with absolutely no issues. It all depends on the dog.
 

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BonnieM
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Coby was around 6 months when we started to leave him out of the crate. We did it slowly, leaving him out, at first, for half an hour while we were gone, and worked our way up. It took several months before I was comfortable leaving him for long periods. I agree with the others, though...each dog is different.
 

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Riley was 6 months old when I started leaving him out at night. He was good and he was not really a chewer. I tried leaving him out when I went to work and he got into lots of trouble. He finally could be out all the time when he was about 13/14 months old.
 

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I often wonder when it will be safe to let my 2 pups home alone during the day. They get along weell, but I still have to supervise since play can sometimes get too rough. Right now, My son is home to watch them while hubby and I are at work. But there will come a day, and I hope soon :) that my son will be working and not be home. I hate to think I will have to crate for 6 or 7 hours at a time. Anyone with similar situation (2 young dogs) and leaving them home alone during the day?
 

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I ♥ Bailey and Annie!
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Bailey has been crate free since she's been 100% potty trained with no accidents. It was around 4 months of age. It depends on the pup. Bailey is very calm and does not destroy things that are not hers.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Rigby doesn't have a crate, and neither does Brooklyn. When I leave Rig is loose in the whole house, and Brooklyn is in the master bedroom. Holiday, Starlite, and Spirit are crated in the master bedroom. I don't trust a five month old GSD, and I just feel better knowing the other two are safely crated. Their crates are huge- big enough for Great Danes- and they have water buckets and soft bedding and lots of safe toys. Plus, the longest I leave them is usually two to three hours. For things like Thanksgiving which I think will take five or six hours, I will run them really good that morning, so they'll be wiped out when we have to go. I don't enjoy such holidays too much for that very reason. I get antsy after about a couple hours of leaving the crew.
 

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lizandhector
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all the opinions! Our pup is 5 1/2 months and it is good to know that others have started to leave theirs out this early. I think we will start out slow in one room and see what happens. The other day when I left for work, she just gave me the saddest look because she knew it was time to go in her crate. It just broke my heart! I think we will start seeing how much we can trust her. Thanks so much!
 
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