I would like to allow Lexie to sleep on her bed at night and not in the crate.* I was thinking of simply leaving the door of the crate (Which has her bed in it, and is next to my bed) open one night and seeing what happens.* My hope is that eventually I can then remove the bed from the crate and then remove the crate altogether.* Is there a slower or better way to ease her into crate-free nights?
That sounds like a good idea to me...leaving the door of the crate open and see what happens. Or putting his bed outside the crate, have your bedroom door closed so he can't get out, and see if he'll just sleep on his bed.
With ours, it just happened. One night at bedtime, when he was about 6-7 mos. old, he was in our bedroom with us. His crate was in the living room, where he slept at night, and stayed when we were at work. I told him to kennel up, but he didn't head to his crate. So I just told hub let's let him sleep in the bedroom tonight, and see how it goes. We closed the bedroom door so he stayed in the room. He slept on the floor, and it was fine. That was the end of sleeping in the crate at night for him. He's slept in our bedroom every night since then.
I slowly started leaving him out of the crate during the day when I went somewhere....15 min., 1/2 hr., 1 hour. He'd never chewed or destroyed anything in the house before, and he didn't then either. By the time he was 8-9 mos. old, we quit using the crate completely.
I started the transition to crate free (only two of my dogs were ever crate trained, but I trained the other two in exactly the same way) by completely puppy-proofing one room of the house and allowing them free range. Slowly, providing there were no slip ups, I started allowing range over different sections of the house. Before long they were free to roam the house.
My advice would to just go ahead and try it. Make sure you remove anything chewable from your room, shut the door hope for the best! make sure she is well exercised before you try it and I bet she will sleep through the night.
A baby gate can help you. You can block Lexie into your (puppy-proofed) room at night and sleep without worrying that she's downstairs and into something harmful. As she gains trustworthiness, the baby gate can be moved to 'expand' her world. And if there's a slip up that results from giving her too much freedom too quickly, you can backtrack to where she's good.
Shannon and I placed Allie's bed in our room and closed the door. It was very effective except now shes jumping into our bed every couple of hours. At first i was catching her and re-enforcing bed. But now shes more sneaky because I dont wake up until I go to move my legs and notice the obstruction (Allie) at my feet. So what your doing will work, but if you dont want em on the bed, you need to figure out how to defeat this action im struggling with. Any ideas on how to finish this process?
Since Corby is crated for 4 to 6 hours during the day, I was keen to stop the night-time crate use (I know, he probably doesn't care, but I do!). We did it cold turkey. I put a big old comforter on the floor next to his crate, and left the door to the crate open, and the door to the room closed. There's nothing he can get into, but he seems to sleep like a log anyway, from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. I also sleep soundly, so I don't know if he's going into his crate or not! I started this about two weeks ago and we've had no problems. He'll be 4 months old on June 7.
Thank you for your replies and encouragement.* I will leave her crate door open tonight, but leave my bedroom door closed at least for tonight.* Hopefully I am worrying for no reason and she won't jump on the bed or anything else she isn't supposed to do!* I'll let y'all know how it goes.*
At about 8 months we started leaving Kimba's crate door open at night. The first couple week he tried to wake me as the sun came up but I told him to go lay down (this is our settle command) and he did. Now he will not move until I get up, he will not even budge when my hubby gets up before us. Just wanted to point out, Kimba does not like to sleep in the bed and does not try. He prefers to still sleep in his crate most of the night with the door open. Early in the night and early am he prefers the floor. Just not a bed dog. he loves to lay on it during the day or when we are not in it, the minute hubby and i get into the bed, Kimba is off.