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We would like to get to a point where our dogs are able to be out of their cages while we are at work. I goto work at 530 and come home around 730, then I leave again from 0900-1130 and 1330 till 1700. My wife works 0730-1500. So the longest time they would be left alone in the house would be 2-3 hours tops. My only problem is my chocolate lab likes to chew on the corner of the wall. I constantly correct him if I catch him and hand im a toy. Is there another way? He also likes to chew on our coffee table and chair legs. My wife is getting very frustrated as am I. I know he is still a pup at 7 months old but there has to be something I can do. Any suggestions? I also know he is too young to be left alone, I jsut want him to get used to it for short periods of time. Thanks again.
 

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Some dogs are never able to be left out alone. Your pup needs time to grow up and calm down, so I would not suggest leaving him out any time soon. As often as someone gets home to let them out, I would not worry about it for a while.
 

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Nellie was crated until she was 2 years old. I had a dog walker come in the middle of the day to walk her. The next 6 months I baby gated her in the kitchen during the day just to make sure she was trustworthy. Before I crated her she did some major damage to my home. A 7 month old is too young to be left out. Labs are notorious chewers and will get into trouble out of boredom. 2-3 hours in a crate is nothing; most dogs sleep most of the time.
 

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I think 7 months is too soon to expect a puppy to have so much access. Oona was crated until she was
1 1/2 and we took 6 months to gradually break her in to having full access to the house. We gave her more and more freedom as she proved she could be trusted to be on her own. I knew it was time to start because I would be at home and I would find her in the crate asleep with the door open.
Olie
 

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Oonas Dad said:
I think 7 months is too soon to expect a puppy to have so much access. Oona was crated until she was
1 1/2 and we took 6 months to gradually break her in to having full access to the house. We gave her more and more freedom as she proved she could be trusted to be on her own. I knew it was time to start because I would be at home and I would find her in the crate asleep with the door open.
Olie
This was EXACTLY our experience. At 1.5 years we would go to the store and leave him home, then it got progessively longer - it took a few months but now he can be home, with full run of the house, for upwards of 8 hours with no problem.

If the dog is still chewing I recommend a fairly significant walk before you leave - a tired dog is a good dog! Our dog was/is generally too tired to get into trouble! :)

Good luck!!
 

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Belle is a lifer in her ex-pen when I am not at home (and even at night sometimes when she decides to be a little twit). Hoss, can be free anytime, and was trustworthy at about 1 year old. Kodi, had her 'home alone' priviledges revoked when she was about 1 1/2 years old.

How about puppy proofing a room (kitchen or laundry room for example) and giving your pup more freedom that way?
 

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Cinnamon was allowed run of the family room and kitchen at 8 months old and the whole house at 2 1/2. But she never chewed the furniture or walls. Leave him crated until he decides not to chew the wall and table. If Bitter Apple doesn't work try some spray deordorant. If that doesn't work try some Tabasco sauce. I know you will have to clean up the wall after the Tabasco sauce but it should stop the chewing.
 

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Rider had free reign at 7 months...so it's not necessarily too young. BUT it sounds like your dog is no where near being trustworthy. If you are going to try it, do it in baby steps...a room, an area, then the whole house with the notion that if something happens, you always go back to the crate and try again later.

If he is chewing on the wall while you are with him, it sounds like he's extremely bored and needs more exercise. That is the only way Rider got free reign is that we exercised him a lot in the morning and night, so he spent the majority of his time during the day sleeping. A tired dog is a good dog.
 

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I echo that a tired dog is a good dog. Tal is 10 months and I have let him have free reign of the house when I am home. He has proved to be trustworthy, with very few exceptions, so once I move and he is acclimaed to the new place, I am thinking of gradually leaving him home alone with free reign.

I take him to daycare once a week (which I will loose in our new place :( ) but I walk him, training and lots of exercise. Exercising not only tires them out, its good for them mentally and physically and it gives you time wit them to bond. Good luck and let us know how he progresses!
 

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When to leave your dog out of the crate is based on the individual dog. We were able to let Maggie and Dasiy have free roaming priveleges at 16 months. They were not destructive chewers by nature and we lost a few socks and a couple of kitchen towels along the way.

If you are comfortable with them out of the crates when you're home, you can test them for short periods of time. Maybe a half hour ,then an hour etc. If they get into trouble while your home, I'd wait. You can' t correct behavior after the fact and you'll just be frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know he isnt ready to be left alone all day. But It would be nice to leave him out of his crate if I run to the store or something, no mroe than 30 min. He is good about that. But If Im gone more than an hour or so..the remodeling begins. I have caught him doing it once. The only reason I know its him and not my dashcund is he has the paint on his nose when I come home :) I guess I need to invest in a larger crate. Thanks for all the responses.
 
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