Full run of the house when gone: how to know when to trust? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-28-2014, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Full run of the house when gone: how to know when to trust?

My two have calmed down...A LOT now, around the age of 4/5. Is this normal?

They have nearly full run of the house and no longer are crated at night or when I'm gone...can they regress?

I can honestly say it took Zeeva a good year to be fully potty trained and that was with inconsistency. Now sometimes in the middle of the night she'll tell me she needs to go to the bathroom by scratching the door (and I didn't train her that).

Maybe it was the big move and the new home? It's nice but I do worry when I'm gone that they might do something dangerous or regress with their potty training. Has anyone experienced this? Going from complete trust around the home regarding potty training and not doing anything dangerous/destructive to requiring crating again? Is it better to never trust them and crate or to sort of take a risk and let them have some freedom? How do you judge their capacity to handle freedom?
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I would never allow my dogs full run of the house, all of the dangers, plugs and wires just for starters. From your message i read that you will never fully trust them and will always worry about what they are getting up to. My dogs all 4 are confined to the kitchen, all possible dangers are removed, theres nothing left lying about otherwise it will be destroyed. They have their beds, toys (kong filled with treats and sealed with peanut butter and then frozen), each other, plenty of water, if its a hot day I leave the window open for them and the radio. My dogs are happy and they sleep, the neighbours never complain and they dont even bark when i come home. When I did let them have run of living room and kitchen I lost track of the destroyed stuff cos the next time it would be something else I hadnt thought to move and it was getting far too expensive. Now i know they are happy, secure and safe and that means we are all happy. Good luck!!!
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I worked with my boys slowly over weeks and months to increase their 'free' time. I learned how to dog proof the rooms they have access to based on what I would come home and find lying in the middle of the floor. I bought wall shelves and moved treasured chewable items up out of reach. The worst that ever happened was a chewed wooden spoon fetched outta the kitchen sink. Now the dishwasher is loaded before I leave the house.

I would suggest if you think there's no way to fully dog proof the area they would be out in, to perhaps modify another part of the home to contain them. Got a hallway with access to a bathroom or laundry room that can be baby gated off? Close doors to areas you don't want them in. I'm a bit of a softie and will bend over backwards to give my boys their freedom.

I think the other half of leaving them out involves doggy appropriate distractions. Puzzle toys, safe chewies, kong wobbler, and general toys. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Back in 2000 when I got my first dog I restricted his access till he was potty trained. His first day at home he destroyed a remote control. In retro spec it looked like a chew toy.

Eight hours was to long but that was it no potty accidents no couch eating, no counter surfing perfect. New puppy same deal..well the Boxer/Pitt mix did go nuts on a new bundle of paper towels and toilet
paper left on the floor!

Those were my Bully Mix and Boxer and Rocky my GSD 7 months same deal was allowed out with those guys and no problem at all.

The one thing they had in common was Sit Stay Down and recall, I never used a crate had never seen one!
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie2320 View Post
Personally I would never allow my dogs full run of the house, all of the dangers, plugs and wires just for starters. From your message i read that you will never fully trust them and will always worry about what they are getting up to. My dogs all 4 are confined to the kitchen, all possible dangers are removed, theres nothing left lying about otherwise it will be destroyed. They have their beds, toys (kong filled with treats and sealed with peanut butter and then frozen), each other, plenty of water, if its a hot day I leave the window open for them and the radio. My dogs are happy and they sleep, the neighbours never complain and they dont even bark when i come home. When I did let them have run of living room and kitchen I lost track of the destroyed stuff cos the next time it would be something else I hadnt thought to move and it was getting far too expensive. Now i know they are happy, secure and safe and that means we are all happy. Good luck!!!
Question: you don't think its dangerous to have 4 dogs confined to one room? Even a bigger kitchen puts them on top of each other and then treats and toys are thrown into the mix ? I think that could be dangerous.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't allow full run of the house unless someone is around. Chey got into clothes detergent that was up on a washing machine and was sick for a week and Abi gets into everything, even things that should be too tall for her to get into.

There's too many hidden nasties that I think are hidden that the pups find their way into. I'd rather be "mean" and keep them kenneled versus them getting into something. Chey got into the detergent and if it weren't for noticing we were down a lot of the little Pods things, we never would have known and wouldn't have done a vet trip until it was too late.

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Old 03-01-2014, 01:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I haven't had one that has gone backwards. Once they earn the right out of the crate they have free roam of house. I have 5 dogs and only one in a crate. I put the garbage can away because the oldest has always had an issue with that, so I just remove it and that takes care of that. Robyn does grab my shoe and sleeps with it, she doesn't eat it, but she keeps it right by her. The cats also have free roam. Every now and then I come home to them curled up together. They don't have accidents or eat anything while I'm gone, if they did I probably wouldn't know who it was anyway.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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mine has had full run of the house ever since he could hold it for more than 4 hours. i find that when people are home then he is lively and is a brat to get attention but when he is home alone he'll just nap and content to lay around. now at 10 months he is home from 8-5 with no problems. my house is one of those houses that is cluttered with all kinds of stuff laying around too.

i think CONSISTENTLY showing them when they are little what they can or cant play with is important. fair but firm is also important. exercise when you are home with them is probably the most important.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lisl finally has free run of the house when I'm not home after three previous failed attempts.

I don't think she was mature enough to handle that amount of freedom when she was younger, but she is now 16 months old and is doing fine.

She has been potty trained since last February, but I couldn't trust her not to get into things while on her own until a month or so ago.

In fact, on Thursday of this past week I finally folded up her crate and stowed in in the garage. It's always there if needed, but I don't anticipate that happening.

I have worked very hard with Lisl to teach her what was hers and what was mine and that she is never to touch anything in the house that doesn't belong to her. She's very smart and I'm glad that it has clicked with her.

There is a lot of stuff here for her to get into if she really wanted to, but she's been a very good girl for me.

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Old 03-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With all but one of my four dogs, they had free run around 6 months old. I just removed the dangerous/expensive items from their reach and went from there.

Although many people on here do not agree with my methods, I have found that it works (for me and every dog I have ever had) to correct behavior after you get home. For example: I come home and the dog ripped to shreds the bag of newspaper. I would point to the paper and say no, or bad. It worked by 6 months of age with every dog except Daisy, simply because she loves trash. It took her until about a year to leave the trash alone if it was put up (she can reach it, but it takes more work). If I leave it down, at 4.5 years old, she will still get in it every time.
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