- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Does your dog have free run of the house...

May 23rd, 2007, 06:48 PM
...when you're not home? If so, how old was s/he when you were comfortable allowing this?

We have a 6-1/2 month old puppy. She has been excellent with the house-training for a number of weeks now. I work at home - I run dayhome, so I'm in the house, but puppy is upstairs while I work with the kids downstairs. I have been giving her more alone time out of her crate while I'm not around. I'm just wondering at what age most people would let their pet have free run of the house when they're not around, or if people generally crate their dogs when they're not home.

May 23rd, 2007, 07:00 PM
I'm probably in the minority, but my Petey has free roam of the house at all times, whether I'm there or not. He was however a rescue dog and this was one of the exact reasons I was drawn to him. I wasn't overly particular on sex or breed or even age. I just wanted a dog that didn't have to be kenneled and that got along with cats and kids. (Because of my situation and crazy work hours). I spent two months searching petfinder, looking specifically for dogs that could be allowed free reign in the house. I took the first week off work when I got him to give him time to adjust to me and the house and started out testing him by taking short little trips (1 minute to the mailbox and eventually up to a 3 hour shopping trip) and never had any problems with him. But I do realize I was pretty lucky in that regard. I did the same thing with my previous rescue dog, Max. Growing up, we did the same thing our dogs as well. Petey was one years old and Max was two years old, so I never had to deal with that true "puppy" stage, although a 1 year old pointer is still pretty much a puppy. :) But I have heard that it's best to wait on this until they are around a year old or so. However, I have no idea if that is true or not. :o Sorry I don't have very good advice for you, but I'm sure others will! Just wanted to say that all of my dogs have always had free reign. All were slowly tested and trained and we never had any issues with any of them. :lovestruck:

May 23rd, 2007, 07:07 PM
We rarely leave the dogs for more than two hours at a time. We have six, between the ages of about 4 and 5 1/2. On those few occasions when we're both gone, one of the dogs is crated because she has a 2-hour bladder and if she can hold it longer if she's in the kennel without free access to water. Another is crated only because she is an insatiable licker--she tends to lick the other dogs' ears raw if no one's there to stop her. :rolleyes: The other 4 get full roaming privileges. :D

We've always heard as a rule of thumb that a dog should not be allowed free run of the house when alone until at least the age of two--but of course, different dogs mature at different rates.

Mocha's mum
May 23rd, 2007, 07:12 PM
Mocha has free run of the house. I crate trained him when I got him, and graduated to a room with a baby gate, and now, he just hangs out in the house. The longest he's been alone is 5 hours....either me or my hubby comes home at lunch time to take him for a walk...

May 23rd, 2007, 07:14 PM
I hate crates , but I did have to do it with Nelly (foster , from a puppy mill) but today is the second day she was free in the house while I was at work and everything went fine (with the help of tabasco sauce on one window frame :D ) you have to start slowly, 1 hour alone , 2 hours alone and so on.

May 23rd, 2007, 07:20 PM
Yes, all 3 dogs are free in the house when we're not home. I keep the doors to my room and the bunnies' room shut so they can't get in, but otherwise they can roam around the house. All of our dogs were adults when we got them though.

Sable was a real chewer when we first got her, she would even pull magnets off the fridge and chew them! Unfortunately she was also terrified of the crate, and by the time we had gotten her completely comfortable in the crate, she was over her chewing phase.

Everyone on the family works different shifts, so the dogs are usually not alone for longer than 2-3 hours at a time.

May 23rd, 2007, 07:39 PM
Cooper was 12 weeks old when we got him and he was crated when we were out of the house. But we rarely left him alone and never for very long. When we had had him for a few weeks we started leaving him gated in the kitchen when we were out but he had free run of the house when we were there. Eventually we started allowing him free run for short periods when we weren't home. I would almost maniacally "baby proof" the house first.

Now he has the run of the place and is a very good boy when we aren't home. But we sort of worked up to that.

May 23rd, 2007, 07:43 PM
Willow has free run of the livingroom and kitchen, the bedrooms and bathroom are closed off. She was left with just the kitchen until about six months ago. She has a destructive habit, that's why the limitations. If I leave the bedroom door open she brings my slippers out to the livingroom, not destroying them, just cuddling with them, if I leave the bathroom door open she goes in the garbage. I still have to be careful about leaving things on the coffee table or my shoes in the kitchen. :rolleyes:

May 23rd, 2007, 08:10 PM
Bobby and Amber have free run of the house when I'm away (which is not very often) - except for the computer/spare bedroom (aka junk room)... They are not allowed in this room and I trust them not to go in it. Both were crate trained until they were about 6 mos then it was a few minutes left alone - and gradually the time was extended. They can now be left alone in the house for several hours - the longest time they have been alone is 5.5 hrs. and that only happened once. Most of the time it's from 1 to 2 hrs.

May 23rd, 2007, 08:24 PM
All three of mine have free roam, as do the cats.

As puppies, I kept them in the bathroom until I knew they were housebroken, after roam.


May 23rd, 2007, 08:29 PM
I still have to be careful about leaving things on the coffee table or my shoes in the kitchen. :rolleyes:

With Nelly, I don't leave anything on the coffee table and there's no shoes she can reach (she once modified one of my sneakers, to make it fashionable , you know , the ones you can slip your feet in it ? :D )

May 23rd, 2007, 08:51 PM
i just had too do the home alone thing with george and loves being left alone(too old for the energy of beathoven)they where both mess and no destruction.....but that was only the first tim beathoven was ever left alone in 2 years.

May 23rd, 2007, 09:03 PM
With Nelly, I don't leave anything on the coffee table and there's no shoes she can reach (she once modified one of my sneakers, to make it fashionable , you know , the ones you can slip your feet in it ? :D )

:laughing: I have a few pairs of those new fashionable shoes!

May 23rd, 2007, 09:12 PM
Well when Shelby was small we made the mistake of not getting a kennel and she destroyed everything if we left her alone.
We still have our coffee table with the corner gnawed off (souvenir lol).
We did the baby gate thing for awhile,but she'd jump it.
Eventually she got out of chewing and we never had issues with her having accidents in the house. She will actually ration how much water she drinks if we are not home!! Yes very clever.
We actually had to drive 4 hours away once (8 hours total driving) and we were SUPPOSED to have a responsible friend let her out and when we were halfway home I phoned to make she he'd let her out and he forgot!!!
So we get home after being away about 12 hours total...and she was dancing to get outside :D she had hardly touched her water and never made a mess. Felt so bad for her.
She has the strongest bladder I've ever seen.

As for Shamus we kennel him....I'd just rather be safe then sorry you know?
Would rather clean out a kennel then steam my rug or replace furniture.
He also has been a dream to housebreak. :cloud9:

May 23rd, 2007, 10:07 PM
Dracko has the whole house to wander around in when I'm gone and he never does anything wrong. The cats do, too, of course.

May 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM
Riley outgrew his kennel when he was about 7 months old. He loves to sleep on our bed so now when we are out we gate him and Lucy into the bedroom. So far he has actually been pretty good and just goes to sleep on our bed. I wouldn't trust him with full access at this stage as he goes nuts when he sees a squirrel in our back yard (common occurence) and still feels the need to bark at activity he can see from our front windows. Plus, he is still a bit destructive so the bedroom is a good compromise.

May 23rd, 2007, 10:44 PM
it really depends on the dog... both of mine were pretty reliable out of the crate around 10 months old, both had a "relapse" of chewing all kinds of things, so both went back into the crate for a few weeks and tried again... and again.... now both are fine, we work 9 to 6 and they don't touch a thing.

Maika however gets bored and chews up random stuff if she doesn't have access to the balcony (we leave the door open) so on those days, we still crate her. She's 1.5 years old, the youngest of the two. :dog:

May 24th, 2007, 04:47 AM
We crate Jag.for the reason of with the kid next store and his trouble.and there have been breakins in the area if some one broke in they would get some chompings on.don't want that.

May 24th, 2007, 09:28 AM
Our puppy is just over 6 months old, and we got her at 12 weeks. We crate trained her, and she would sleep in the crate at night, then stay in the downstairs bathroom with a baby gate barrier when we weren't at home during the day. She was housetrained very quickly, but is a chewer.
Recently she outgrew her crate, so we had her sleeping in the bathroom with the baby gate. Last week, she figured out how to climb over the gate so things have changed. She now sleeps on a dog bed beside our bed at night (we find she actually settles there more easily and sleeps longer). She also escapes during the day, so we've had to be careful to keep chewable items out of reach...her first day loose, she chewed a sweater, a necklace, some pens, a recharger cable, game board peices, clothespins and a paper bag. Luckily she's not inclined to chew furniture, so as long as we don't have things lying around for her to chew, we've been doing ok.

May 24th, 2007, 09:37 AM
Cider is loose in my bedroom when I'm out. Which is a graduation from being crated 6 months ago. Parents are pack rats, there's always tempting stuff in other rooms. Bout a year ago she figure out the stufties on my computer were mine, and the ones in the toy basket were hers though, so she could have short periods of time in my bedroom alone.

May 24th, 2007, 10:00 AM
Harley (age 4.5 yrs) has had the run of the house ALL the time. He has never chewed or had "accidents".

Buster (age 1 yr old) on the other hand has proven to be more of a challenge. I got him when he was 9 weeks old and he behaved for a while and then the "teenage yrs" started. About 2 months ago, I got Buster a crate!! He stays in his crate if no one is home during the day (only up to 5 hours). I have several pair of shoes that have been destroyed, the bottom of my sofa has been destroyed and a few other odds and ends have disappeared. I know it's my own fault for not crating him when he was young, but I have learned! He loves his crate now and I am back to buying shoes to replenish my stock! Aldo Shoes LOVES me now! :laughing:

May 24th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Winnie has the whole house to herself and always had. She never destroyed anything. She is left in the house all day while I'm at work in the company of my 5 cats. My neighbour goes in 2x a day to walk her, talk to her and play.
she is 9 years old so she really would rather just sleep and eat.

May 24th, 2007, 11:21 AM
My neighbour goes in 2x a day to walk her, talk to her and play.

Is this neighbor thinking about moving to Sherrington by any chance ? :pray: