We crate trained our puppy since he was 2 month old. Today he is 11 month. While we at home, he is free to go around. But when we go out, we put him in his crate. He doesn't have a problem with that as he is used to it. However, at some point, we would like to start leaving him free around the house. What is the way to do that? What age is the best? I have to say that currently he is a bit "playful". He might occasionaly jump on the couch, eat the socks or slippers or do something else.
Evgeny & Niki
there is not age. some dogs are great from the get go (i.e. as soon as they have no more accidents in the house).
You have to test it out. start with short periods (20 mins) and make sure there is nothing "dangerous" at their disposal and be ready for potential issues (do put away valuables!). You may even want to limit their space to a single room you can "dog proof" or basement (washroom is a bad idea as it contains lots of harmful products!).
From there you will either learn if they are ready (i.e. nothing out of order) or not (complete mess) or somewhere in between (i.e. goes for shoes - keep shoes locked!)
Do not assume because he is ok for 20 mins it will be good for 8 hours though, slowy expand the time frame. Also, sometimes they are great for a few weeks (even at 8hrs) then start acting up. This happened to me, he was fine for a few months then suddenly three days in a row he was getting into things - so back in the crate for awhile.
For example, my boy now has free reign (it took a few tries) BUT I have to put bread either in the fridge of in a LOCKED cupboard (child locks) - food is his weakness. Or if I leave a jacket/shirt where there was treats/food int he pocket the shirt is a goner (he chews it to get the crumbs). Rather than crate for these small issues I put shirts in my room (closed door) and propery put food away (his food too must be behind a closed door!)
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Milly is 2 and is still limited to 1 room when we go out. All that is in there is her bed, her toys, her water bowl and my exercise machine in the corner.
She has always been fantastic (at least for the last 8 months) but I am too afraid to give her the whole house. Maybe next year when she's 3 I will try it
Diesel was in his crate for quite a while having failed his initial test at 2. He is nearly 4 now and is a very good boy when we are gone.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Great, thanks for the help!
Off-topic - seeing all of these pics with labs in snow make my a bit envy
Evgeny & Niki
Rookie will never have free reign I'm afraid and he's almost 3 years old. Rider's been good since 7 months old and he's almost 7 years old. Rookie is just too destructive for his own good.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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