I am the proud owner of a 9 week male Chocolate Lab. I've had him for about 2 days now, and we are crate training him. He's adorable, and never cries and has not soiled his crate (yet). This is my question:
I always let him out for about 15-30 mins. right after every meal to pee or poo. Then I let him in the house and let him play only in the kitchen for about 15 mins., and then back in the crate for 3-4 hours. After that it's straight outside to do his thing again, back in for play time, and then back in the crate again...same routine for the whole day before he has to go to sleep again.
Is this an ok routine? Is it ok to leave him in the crate for this long? How long should i do this for? How long does this normally go on for? When can i let him roam free in the living room? Sorry I'm a new puppy owner, but I've been reading all your posts, and I find all of you to be very helpful. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. I just want him trained right.
This is what I did. We put Petals in the crate for about 3 or 4 hours then i would come home for lunch and let her out for like 45 min. then I would go back to work for 3 to 4 hours and would come home. I would let her out of the crate and I would hang with her outside the crate for the rest of the evening. I would put her in her crate around 11:00pm for the night. At first I would have to wake up to let her out around 3:00am, but now she makes it thru the night. Here are some things that you will need to know:
1) Puppies pee all the time....so don't be suprised if they want to pee like every 15 min.
2) Start a pattern with him...before you let him go out make him sit, or try the bell method, you will be suprise how quick he will learn to ring the bells when he needs to go out.
3) Make sure the crate is just large enough for him to laydown and turn around in. If you make it to large they will pee in one corner and sleep in the other.
4) Labs are very people orientated dogs, so keeping him in the crate all the time is not in your best interest. Let him out of the crate when you are home.
There are a lot more people will add....these are some that have helped me
Thank you very much for the feedback. When I let him out of the crate, i normally would confine him to the kitchen, which is pretty small. Would it be ok to let him roam around my living room, considering I will be supervising him at all times?
Tether him to you -- Loop his leash onto your belt -- and the go about your daily chores. He'll do better getting used to your house with a (supervised) chance to investigate. AND you'll be able to read his signs that he's gotta go and get him to the lawn PRONTO!!
I would only crate during the day for short periods while you're busy w/something involved. Or out of the house for short periods. And at night, of course.
First question....is someone home during the day with the puppy? If so, then I believe that 3-4 hours of crate time is unneccessary. Crating can be overused and can cause socialization issues ( our Indie was overcrated and is mentally stunted, extremely fearful, and ball obsessive - it has taken us two years for him to accept strangers, both human and animal, without excessive fear; for him to realize he does NOT have to have a ball in his mouth for attention etc.)
I have only used the crate with our Callie (6 months) and since someone was home almost constantly with her, we followed the schedule below.
Rise and Shine at 6:00 a.m.; out for potty time and a little romp. Usually, she would sleep again near wherever I was located after the romp. After the wakeup, it was potty time again and then breakfast. 10 minutes after breakfast it was outside again. This would usually take us to about 8 a.m.
Crate time was from 8 - 9 or 9:30 a.m., this was the time that I did any chores that required me to have less attention to spare for Callie....by crating her, I knew that she was safe, my shoes and furniture were safe, and that she would not potty.
This also gave me a mental break from the constant "where is she...what is she doing" thoughts that run through your head with a puppy in the house.
Release from the crate was time for potty and then a romp; back inside for a nap out of the crate....wake up required another trip out to potty....etc. throughout the day. Puppies sleep a great deal of time and as long as you are nearby to immediately take them outside upon their waking up, it is not necessary to crate them for naps.
I crated her for an hour or more several times each day, usually when I began to stress about her safety ( company or the big dogs were too rowdy) or when I got too tired mentally to keep track of her every move. the result is that only one pair of shoes were sacrificed to the puppy and no furniture was chewed and we now have a house trained puppy who learned how to hold her waste for longer and longer periods while crated.
Now, if you work outside the home, then crating for hours each day would be a neccessary thing and would require someone coming home or coming in as a hire to feed and potty the puppy. So, the answer to your question depends upon the answer to mine
The general rule we used was if we couldn't stand there and watch Oona and everything she was getting into she was in the crate. At nine weeks old your puppy is sleeping most of the time anyway. We never used the crate as a form of punishment and Oona came to view the crate as her space. When she was about a year old I would have to go find her and there she was asleep in the crate with the door open.
Things seems to be progressing...I think. We left Cholo out of his crate whenever we were around, but left the door open. We made sure to fit his crate with some old comfortable pillows for him to sleep on. He sleeps near the door at first, and when he's really tired, he voluntarily goes into his crate, and sleep there with the door still open. He's coming along really well, and I just want to thank everyone for their advice regarding this