I have 2 YMs Jake & Ben. My boyfriend is currently away working so Ben spends more time than ever in his kennel while I am at work. I'm worried that he might be spending too much time in there but whenever I leave him out of it he gets into things and it seems to stress Jake out. I do come home and let them out for about 40-45 mins half way through the day. The kennel is big enough for him to turn around and stretch out in and all he seems to do is sleep while I'm gone. Am I worrying for nothing? How long is too long in a kennel?
How many hours are they in the kennel for?
Have you considered doggy proofing a room to let them loose in? at least that way they have the option of moving about. If you exercise them before you leave and when you get back I can't imagine they would cause too much trouble.
IMO, 40-45 minutes a day probably isn't enough.* Labs up to about a year old need about 5 minutes of vigorous daily exercise -- running, fetching, swimming -- for each month of age.* Some Labs (like my Puff) needed two periods a day of that amount.
And Labs a're very social animals, wanting, needing to be around people and/or other dogs.*
If you handle these 2 things -- more exercise, more socializing -- that will decrease or eliminate most undersired behavior.
99% of the complaints such as you mention are due to a lack of exercise and socializing.
But for 90% of Labs, do NOT EVER leave food out on the counters or trash containers containing food remnants they can get into.* NO amount of exercise is sufficient to keep these Labs from discovering those delights.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
He's in the kennel for about 8 hrs all together with a break half way through. I think I'm going to test him out and see how he would be in the bedroom. Maybe there's too many fun things in the basement. He's so strange - if I'm home he'll sleep all day, and if I put him in the kennel he sleeps all day but if I go and leave him out he turns into the Tazmainian devil - regardless of the amount of exercise. I don't even have to lock the kennel door, I just have to tell him to get in his kennel and put a bowl of water in there.