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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

I wanted to pose a question to all of you dog/puppy parents out there: at what age did you stop crating your puppy at night?

Milo is about 4 and a half months old. With the weather being so hot, he was very uncomfortable in his crate so he would take to sleeping in the living room right under the AC. I didn't feel comfortable putting his crate in there, since I wasn't sure we would hear him if he had to go out, which was really the only time he'd whine at night. We have a dog door and a fenced in yard, and he has taken to letting himself out when he needs to go. We haven't had an accident in about a month, I think.

After that, we went on a 4 day camping trip where he stayed in the tent with us. Needless to say, the crate has become obsolete. I feel like we should get back to crating him at night, since he's so young, but there really haven't been any issues with him free ranging the house at night. He's only destroyed one pair of headphones (very early on, and immediately threw them up), and he hops up on the bed around 6 am to cuddle until we get up. If we abandon the crate training now, do you think it will impact him long-term?

Thanks everyone! I'm curious about your experiences with crate training at night, any similar issues out there?
 

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I don't think it'll impact long term if you stop crating at night. We tend to stop when the puppies are around 6 months old and have been accident free for at least a month. We do a trial run on a Friday and Saturday night and see how it goes (so if we lose sleep, we can catch up cause it's the weekend). I'd make sure they only have access to one room though. So if you plan on leaving them uncrated but wanting them to have access to the dog door, it might pose problems.
 

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We quit shutting the crate door around 6 months old for Rukie. We did close the bedroom door at night to keep him with us. He's also not gotten into things except an occasional sock or the dish towel to carry around, but never tried to eat. He moves from the bed to the tile in the bathroom to the crate throughout the night with no problems. He likes his crate so we've kept it in the bedroom
 

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We never crated at night.. at all actually. My bed is rather tall and she cuddled with me and didn't try and jump off. Because she had a UTI and we needed to go out often I woke up anytime she started to move around and took her out. But I used to put my kids in bed with me too so I've had lots of practice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should amend my previous statement, we didn’t think he was getting into anything but we’ve recently had to had a fecal float test done, and the vet tech said it was about 50% feces, and the remainder was a mix of grass, hair and some kind of foam (I think from the previously mentioned headphones). I’m not sure I want to crate him again but I think we might start limiting him to the kitchen and bedroom at night just so he doesn’t cause any trouble.
 

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That depends on the dog. The dogs sleep in our bedroom with us, so it is easy to keep an ear out. Hazel was probably 4 or 5 months, but she loved her crate and used to run right into it. It was a small puppy crate, so she just outgrew it.

If the puppy was going to eat socks or chew up rugs, then I'd crate for safety. Also, if they are just loose in the whole house, then I'd wait longer.
 

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OK, I may get flak on this one but Buffy is nine and Thor is three. I just let them both out of their crates for the day. They slept in their crates. Just my way of doing things and I do have my reasons.
 

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Does anyone worry their dog will fall off the bed at night? Bella sleeps upside down in her crate and while I wouldn’t mind having her free and probably on the bed, I worry she would roll onto her back and fall off the edge! Also she will go into heat soon and her crate will keep her more contained at night She is 9 months old.
 

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Catgondek you have a point! My last golden was almost a yr old when I brought her home. She slept... well attempted to sleep on the bed with me the 1st night and heard a thud when she fell off. Same thing happened the next night, apparently she sleeps really sound! After this she stayed on the bed with me watching some late night TV but as soon as the TV went off she was off the bed. I kept doggie beds next to mine and this is where she slept from then on.

My current pup was so young and distant when we started and slept right next to me, in the middle of the bed. She never made any attempt to get down until she was big enough to get on and off the bed by herself. She also had to go out every hour during the night and it was just easier for me. Every family and every dog is going to be different. The goal is to keep the dog (and house) safe and do what works for you. There is no "one way" to raise your pup.
 

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I think it really depends on the dog. To me, we crate at night to primarily keep the pup SAFE and to aid in housetraining. I would not consider letting a dog sleep out of the crate if they are still chewing stuff, getting into stuff, etc. And I would make sure to carefully puppy proof the room he will start being out in at night.

My current dog hated the night crate, and all she ever wanted was to be out. She was not a destructive dog, and it just happened that when she was 5 months old, I got the flu and was flat out in bed for two days. I had no choice but to let her sleep with me on the bed during those days (so I could keep an eye on her, as I could not and would not crate her 24 hours a day) so I puppy-proofed and baby gated my room. She was so good during those days that I tried leaving her out at night, and we never looked back. She never even got down off the bed all night, and would sleep til I got up. So she was ready at 5 months.

My previous Golden was crated at night til 9 months (though she was probably ready to be out before that - she just loved her crate! I left her out also when it was just too hot one night, and that was that!).
 

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I have put my pups in crates at night (in my bedroom) until they can show they won't chew up everything in the room. Most of them have been out by around 6 mths old. My latest pup (Taffy the golden lab) will be 6 months tomorrow. I have been trying to have her not go in her crate at night but no luck so far. I let her have a nap on the bed with Stevie (my golden) and I in the afternoon and it goes well. At night, she walks in our bedroom goes over to her crate, pushes the door open with her nose and in she goes. It's the funniest thing I've seen from her. I leave the door open to let her know it's ok to be out but she likes down and that's that. What a character.
Tomorrow Stevie is going to throw her a 6 month birthday party :)
(Whoops, 2 duplicate notes in a row, not sure what I did).
 

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I've always had my pups sleep in their crate close to my bed until they are about 6 months old and can show they're not going to chew anything in the room. My lab pup, Taffy will be six months tomorrow and I would like to trial letting her be out. She will lie with my golden Stevie and I on the bed in the afternoon and she does great. Strangely at night we walk into the bedroom and she walks over to her crate and pushes it open with her nose. In she goes. I leave the door open to see if she'll come out, but no way that's her spot for the night. Having said that she's very vocal about getting out in the morning. Silly girl, she doesn't realize it's time for freedom.
Tomorrow Stevie is throwing a 6 month birthday party for her.
(Whoops - duplicate note to above, not sure how I did that).
 
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