November 24th, 2011, 02:19 PM
My puppy is almost eight months old and after a very bumpy start on the housetraining trail, she's doing great now. It's been over a month since she's had an accident in the house. She is kept in her crate when we are sleeping and at work. My question is this: At what point should I give her a little more freedom when we can't watch her? What length of time should we start leaving her out of the crate alone? I'm worried that if she has an accident in the house because we've let her have some freedom, it will set her way back in her house training. She can't live in a crate the rest of her life. What have the experienced dog people found worked for them?
November 24th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Go slowly and see what happens. BE aware the "accident" may not be mere poop on the floor. It might be chewed up drywall or, worse, a puppy deathly ill from eating the wrong thing.
What we did: Outside for 15 minutes, dog alone loose in house. Yep, a pretty small starting step. And one puppy panicked because she could see us leaving out the window. We extended times by 15 minutes till we got to an hour and then by hours. That said all our dogs have been trustworthy alone and loose in the house by about one year old.
How long is she crated? Supposing a normal work day plus commute comes to about 9 hours, that's an awfully long time. It is thought too long confinement may contribute to joint ailments, especially in growing dogs, the rash of UTI we see now and neuroses. What about putting the crate in a pen or a gated room? Or doggy daycare or have someone come in a let her out? I'm basing these suggestions on my previously stated supposition so sorry if you are not crating too long.
November 24th, 2011, 09:13 PM
She's in her crate through the night while we sleep. Out in the morning and all day with me till I go to work at 4. Daddy comes home an hour or two later and she stays out till bed time around 12.
November 24th, 2011, 10:23 PM
All of our dogs used their crates until they well beyond 2.
We've only recently started to let our year & 1/2 have free roam but the crate is still set up in her spot to go in and out of at free will.
I agree with Longblades in that it wouldn't be only relieving accidents but the unwanted chewing of valuables. Several months ago, our little one managed to get her cute muzzle on 300 dollars--cash! :wall: :evil:
If you get her use to the crate as her comfy little nesting place, she'll enjoy going in and out at her leisure but would recommend you keep the crate up for a while still. :thumbs up
November 25th, 2011, 08:38 AM
She's in her crate through the night while we sleep. Out in the morning and all day with me till I go to work at 4. Daddy comes home an hour or two later and she stays out till bed time around 12.Oh wow, you are so lucky to have a schedule like that.
Something I didn't mention. Our current boy was gated in the kitchen. He was not clean overnight till 4.5 months. After he'd been clean overnight for about a month, so around 5.5 months old, I decided to let him have the run of the house at night. We are both light sleepers so figured we would hear if he got into trouble.
The first night he slept on the floor beside me all night. EAch night after he settled down on his bed, on the floor, at the foot of our bed. No roaming, no mischief, just a good, good little boy. However, the biggest change was in his daytime deportment. He calmed down so much it was amazing. No more running from room to room frantically checking as if to see what might have changed in the night. Which he had previously done all day. It was as if, once he had the freedom to run and act all hyper and crazy he no longer felt the need to do so.
Now, he was still only a puppy and I still leapt up to check if all of a sudden I realized, oh no, he's quiet and he's not with me, and did often find him happily getting into something he shouldn't. But those times were much reduced. He chose during the day, as at night to stay mostly by my side.
A warning, I don't know of anyone else who found the same thing or even tried it. So no guarantees. :)