Graduating from a Crate
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Thread: Graduating from a Crate

  1. #1
    fburke is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultGraduating from a Crate


    I am considering graduating Willow from her crate. she is 1 1/2 years old.

    I am wondering if maybe she will be a little calmer if she has a little more freedom. My house is set up kind of cool that I can put her in my office which is quite large itís about 12 x 27 this is where her crate is now and pretty much dog proof. If she is good can open the door and giver her another room that has a futon in it but still keep the door leading to the main part of the house closed and my downstairs bathroom door closed itís kind of a split level house.

    I have noticed lately that when we fist come home she is wild but once she has been out for a while she calms down.

    Iím starting to wonder if itís more to do with being cooped up in a small crate for hours at a time. She has not had an accident in the house for long time with the exception of a few days of the runs when we moved which wasnít really a surprise.


    My biggest fear is scratching at my doors. I have an expensive French door in the room, and all of my inside doors are solid wood. My wife would hang both of use if she destroys them.


    This is a picture of my office where the table is is where her crate is this was taken by the previous owner before I moved in. this is taken with the French door to the back of the picture taker.

    any advice or personal experiance with this?



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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    How old is Willow? I would start out with short time periods and work up to longer times. See how Willow does with 1/2 hour to an hour. Alot of destruction can take place in a short period of time. Make sure there is nothing out in the room that can harm or be swallowed. And let me say, there are some big things that can be swallowed by a lab! Good luck!

  4. #3
    fburke is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    Lucky for me so far she is more of a chewer than a swallower. She has chewed a few things in her time but so far not furniture wires or the like. And usually she leaves the carnage of her actions to show us.

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  6. #4
    Merlot_1 Guest

    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    My two will soon be two years old and have been uncrated for about a month, now. Getting in the garbage can and counter surfing still goes on, and I try to keep cell phones, remotes and other little tempting items out of reach on top of the refrigerater. Try leaving the house for a short time, 15 minutes, and see what happens.

  7. #5
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    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    I agree with others...try leaving for short periods of time and see how it goes. I did that with Tal and he did just fine. I suspect the reason Willow is a little "wild" is because she is glad to see you. Whether you leave or return be very casual about it and don't make a big fuss. Even though Tal is uncrated now when I am away, he stillgets excited when I return....whether I've been gone 30 minutes or 6 - 8 hours!

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    I'd say de-crate her and let her run free. I've never crated any dog I've had and yeah, while they have more opportunity to get into trouble or destroy something{just make sure you have plenty of detroyables laying about}, this is also time they're using up all that energy and getting tired! My Toshi is always playing and wearing herself out and sleeping alot. She's been going like 40min - 1.5hrs of play then just falls over tired for a few hrs. Does that all day, and when it comes time for me to sleep and I lay down, she's rather calm and won't bug me unless its time too potty.

    Sure she has her moments of sliding over my face or laying on my neck but that doesn't bother me, shes just looking for some lovin...hehe

  9. #7
    MyLabsMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    Quote Originally Posted by Toshi
    I've never crated any dog I've had and yeah, while they have more opportunity to get into trouble or destroy something{just make sure you have plenty of detroyables laying about}
    What about destroying her stomach and ending up with an obstruction and $4000 surgery? It's not the belongings I'd worry about - it's your dogs health.

    fburke - As the others have said, I would try out small trips leaving Willow out. As far as your doors, can you gate? We actually have a gate INSIDE the door jam of our front screen door. That way, I can leave the door open, so they can look out, but they can't scratch at the screen. We use the tension spring gates and fit them inside the door jamb.
    Brenda from Connecticut

  10. #8
    Labs4life is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    I've been crate free since January/February. My girls were about 18 months old then. We started out with 2 hours of freedom then increased to 4 etc. We left the crates open during the night,in the beginning they would spend half the night in and half the night out.I'd suggest starting with small steps and go from there.

    My two are not chewers,they leave the garbage alone and don't countersurf. I would like to take credit for training them not to do these things, but it's just not in their nature to surf.

    The only mishaps we've had since they have had the run of the house is that they are carriers. They like to bring items from one room to another. They don't chew the item just re arrange things. I find things that were upstairs downstairs and visa versa.
    The Constitution is suppose to guarantee everyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the Constitution does not guarantee everyone equal outcomes.
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  11. #9
    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    I posted a reply on this topic earlier today in a different thread.

    https://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...html#msg717399

    Good Luck!
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

  12. #10
    TangerineFizz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Graduating from a Crate

    I recommend testing the waters by leaving her out when you go grocery shopping, errand running, renting movies etc. etc. Then move up to larger bodies of time if she's doing well in those situations.

    Abby's been crate free for a month, but she still gets into some trouble here and there. Yesterday, it was a kleenex box and the garbage upstairs she got into. She knocked the baby gate down that blocks her entry to upstairs, and had her fun then.

    Last time we tried the uncrating, we did it gradually, all was going well, so she was uncrated. Things were great for 2 months when suddenly, she decided to eat the couch and an armchair. Back in her crate she went for another 8 months.

    I'm hoping that this time round she can control herself, but I gotta tell ya, I'm not overly optimistic. There was one day last week where she pulled the skirting off the couch. (I suspect she was trying to get her toy that was jammed there, but still.........)

    Good luck.
    Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.

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