There is no magic "age", he can stay loose in the house when you're gone when he's trustworthy. It might not be as easy now to crate train him...if he'd been sleeping in a crate, doing time outs in a crate, having treats in a crate, he would already look at the crate as his den, his space. Now you'll have to start from scratch to make those things happen so he does not view the crate as a punishment or confinement. There must be a thread here on crate training, check that out or look on line. We ALWAYS should be able to control a puppy's environment. Keeps them safe and out of trouble. Don't buy into the theory that crates are cruel, crate training is one of the most important and kindest things you can do for your dog. You will reap lifetime benefits! Thanks for coming here and asking!
mom to seraphina blue & the cashman
miss jeni-take-a-ride, rescued 7/07
shangri la's great white caesar, rescued 4/09
hearthside's cinderfella (RIP 4/20/09)
shep von bellefontaine (RIP 6/9/10)
voodoo lily (dsh) & cricket (african grey~RIP 7/13)