I am a first time lab puppy owner as of a week ago. He is 11 week old chocolate, and for a puppy his age EXTREMELY well behaved. My question is about crating. He lives with my girlfriend and I and we have very different work schedules. I have weekends off where as she gets her days off on different and varying weekdays. For the weekdays that niether of us have off, we have arranged for him to be walked with a neighbor. Before that neighbor gets there wer plan on having him in the crate. This means that he will have been in the crate all night. Let out and played with in the morning for 2-3 hours then put in, walked by the neighbor for an hour, and then crated again. Dinner, then play again, then more crating. This to me seems like an awful lot of crating. I have puppy proofed my kitchen and am willing to accept damages in that room. My questions are these.
1. Is this too much crating?
2. If so when would be the better time to let him have run of the kitchen...while the pack is away at work, or at night?
I worried if he is in the kitchen during the day this will throw a serious monkey wrench in housebreaking. I worried if he is in the kitchen at night he will be awake and howling all night long. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.
I wouldn't worry to much at all. I have a 14 week old and her monday-friday grind is..
6:30am wake up and come out of the crate
8:00am back in the crate because both me and my wife are at work
12:30pm back out....I get to come home for lunch
1:30pm back in the crate
5:30-6:00pm back out because I am home
11:00pm back in the crate for the night
She is used to it by now and all I have to do is say "go lay down" and she gets in her crate.
Read my blog http://blog.justlabradors.net/petals/
Having recently been through this with my pup I'll see if I can help.
General rule of thumb... a puppy can "hold it" for their age in months plus 1 hrs. Sooooo.... 12 week old is 3 months, they can usually hold it 4 hours at a time.
When Ender was 12 weeks old we started crating him 8 hrs per day, 4 hrs at a time... we are keeping that schedule until he is old enough to make it the whole day. We make sure that once we get home in the evening he is given plenty of exercise and attention... (we don't crate him in the evening unless we need to go somewhere)... and he used to be crated at night... (he is trustworthy during the night now).
This worked great for him... he quickly settled into "our" routine and I've really not had a problem with him acting out. I think he gets plenty of exercise since he has never exhibited any destructive "bored" behaviors.
We also take Ender to doggy day care 1 day per week. He comes home exhausted... I mean REALLY EXHAUSTED from playing with the other dogs for 8 hrs at a time that it gives us a "free night" where we don't have to concern ourselves with giving him lots of exercise and attention.
So... if you are crating at night... and for 8 hrs or so during the day (with a break)... that doesn't seem like too much crating to me.
Allie is crated anywhere from 4 hours to 15 hours in a 24 hour period.
Allies current routine is
5:00am Uncrate for breakfast
6:45am crate for work
11:00pm Crate for bedtime
Weekends: Crating varies
5:00am Uncrate for breakfast
6:45am crate for work
5:00pm Uncrate for Dinner
11:00pm Either crate that night, or allow to sleep on doggy bed
Weekends: Uncrated as much as possible
If your crating more than my winter schedule, your on the brink of not providing enough exercise for your dog. When we are in our winter schedule, we have to play with her for like 3 hours a night, EVERY night. As your puppy grows the exercise level is going to increase, else you will start noticing things torn up (puppy trying to tell you its bored).
Thanks,<br /><br />Brian<br /><br /><br />CGC, TDI Certified
Shamrox, does Petals actually sleep until 6:30 a.m.? Besides Potty breaks of course? What I mean is that our Sadie and us have near the same schedule as you and Petals, except that by 5:00-5:30a.m., Sadie is up and wants out. Sometimes we'll ignore her (while we're still trying to sleep), and eventually she falls back asleep, but most of the time she is up, and stays up! We feed her at 6:00a.m.Originally Posted by shamrox
Your routine sounds fine to me.
For the first few months my dogs follow a simple schedule. Either they are crated or they are out in the yard. There is no reason to allow a young pup free range of the house until it is FULLY toilet trained. At 11 weeks, puppies need LOTS of rest and should be sleeping most of the day. If they are roaming around they won't sleep and will get overtired. Keeping to a simple crate/outside/crate/outside schedule also minimizes the risk for accidents in the house. As the pup becomes more trustworthy, you can start allowing access to certain parts of the house.
Exercise is not a priority for young puppies. Right now, the only exercise he should be getting is in your house and yard playing with you. After his vaccinations have been completed you can start taking him on SHORT walks. I prefer "walks" to be socialization trips --getting the pup exposed to other dogs, people, new sights/sounds/places. Socialization trips will tire a pup mentally and are absolutely essential if you want a well adjusted adult dog.
Letting your pup roam the kitchen is something I would hold off until a.) the pup is FULLY toilet training and b.) he is over the teething stage.
Thank you for all the responses. They definitely help ease the mind. Yesterday was his first day on his weekday schedule (I took the first three days of his arrival off) and I think it went pretty well. It's apparently monsoon season in the northeast so we only went outside only to do "business" but had a good play sessions indoors. I've noticed a catch 22 with regards to end of the day activities. Everyone says pick up the water at 7pm, but keep him active so he is tired for bed. Well, he gets very thirsty if I keep him active for 2-2 1/2 hours before bed but he can't have any water. My solution last night was to let him chew and rest in the kitchen but I kept all the lights on in the downstairs. This way he wasn't able to take a nap (loves the dark) and he wasn't too overworked and needed water. When he did beg for water I gave him a small ice cube to lick and wet his mouth. It worked great, he slept through the night and no accident this morning. I woke up to my alarm clock this morning instead of a barking puppy for the first time since I've had him!
Yea!!! So glad you had success!!! ;D