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When to stop crate training?

April 30th, 2007, 08:26 AM
Cody, our Cocker Spaniel is 10 months old now. We have been crate training him since we brought him home at 10 weeks. He sleeps in the crate overnight, and I put him in whenever I have to go out. He goes in quite happily, and usually just lays down and goes to sleep. I am wondering how to judge when the time has come to stop using the crate. I have left him alone for up to an hour loose in the house, and we've had no problem. He has always been excellent about pottying :thumbs up , no accidents since he was pretty small. I would love to get the crate out of my kitchen and recover some floor space!

April 30th, 2007, 09:52 AM
Sounds like you are on your way to eliminating the crate. Keep testing him home alone for longer periods of time. At night you could have him tied to your bed on a short (2ft) leash until he gets the message that he is to stay there.

At 10 months he isn't done maturing and sometimes dogs will regress or go through chewing stages again. So if he has a bad moment - know that it might just be part of that regression. Go back to the crate for longer stints and start weaning him again.

The beauty of a well crate trained dog is that once they have the skill they have it for life. You might not need the crate for a long time but then decide you do and he should be fine about it.

Ford Girl
April 30th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Hi, our golden is 7.5 months old, she too loves her crate, it's in our bedroom, from day one she has loved it, she goes in there willingly and never makes a peep, she sleeps thru the night, takes naps in there, she also has an Xpen in our living room that she spends time in when we can't supervise her, she also goes in there on her own, for some rest time and peace and quiet.

Over the last 3 weeks we have let her decide at night, if she wants to sleep on the floor on her pillow bed or in her crate, she varies the choice night to night, our bedroom door is closed so she can't wonder at night. We do have to pick up the garbage can, socks, underwear, anything we dont want chewed.

We've only left her alone in the house for 15 minuties at a time, she just hit adolencece so we do not trust her alone for too long, just when you think they are growing up and well behaved, they will shock you with some bad behavior, trust me!!!

The theory we are going on is...She loves her routine and crates, so why change it? It gives us a piece of mind and gives her security. We do plan on leaving her for longer periods during the day but not until she earns it and prooves she can be trusted. I think it varies by breed and personality as well, she is a power chewer and would make tooth picks of my furniture!!! To date she has not distroyed a single thing..."knock on wood". The time will come when she has free reign, but not for a while.