Question about kennel--do you ever STOP using one? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question about kennel--do you ever STOP using one?

Hi all, I'm a first time German Shepherd owner. Our puppy is just 3 months old and we currently kennel her when we sleep and whenever we leave the home without her to keep her safe from chewing up the house My question is, do you continue to kennel your GSD in to adulthood? If no, when did you no longer feel the need to kennel them?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:00 PM
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We just stopped kenneling our 7 month old at night a couple of weeks ago. The kennel is left open in case he wants to go in. I don't trust him to leave him out of the kennel if we have to go somewhere though. I don't know how long it will take for that.

Riley was never kenneled and at 6 months we left him in the house while we went somewhere for about 4 hours. He did poo by the back door, but that is because he could not get outside.

Barkley and Cloey were never kenneled. They have been left in the house alone many times without destroying anything.

I think it depends on the dog.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:23 PM
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I used a baby gate to confine my puppy during the night and by the time he was 5 months old I was able to take it down - he slept on his bed without any problems. He still gets crated when he's home alone, at 2 years of age, because he's a chewer and this way I know he isn't getting into trouble. The firewood is a huge draw, lol.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:27 PM
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My dogs earn their way out of their crates. I try short time frames at first and see how it goes. Different for each dog.

My Lab needed to be crated for years cause she couldn't be trusted not to get into the trash or chew up stuff. Interesting my GSD's seem to be more trustworthy at around 6 months. But really need to take each dog as an individual and start slowly. I usually see how they go with the crate up and in place during the night but I don't close the crate door.

If that goes well, then I try short trips with the dogs left out.


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:34 PM
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It took a few years for Kaylee, raised from a puppy, to be allowed out while we were gone. We left her loose while we slept about six months earlier. About eight months before we trusted our adopted adult boy. The crates are in the basement now, because I wanted to reclaim the living room, but we still use them. Once or month or so we crate them for a while just to keep them used to it. It was nice to be able to do when our AC went out over the summer; it was cool still in the basement so we kept them there.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:37 PM
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Probably never. My dog is a trouble maker when he's bored. Seeing what he does when he's IN THE CRATE, I can only imagine the disaster I would come home to if he wasn't.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:42 PM
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My GSD started sleeping outside of his crate when he was 4 months old but I wouldn't advise that for most puppies, lol. As far as leaving the house though I doubt they'll ever be outside their crates... I've got 4 dogs, mostly I don't trust them to not bicker while we're gone plus we have cats and my GSD thinks they are fun to play with(my cats do not feel the same). It's just to keep everyone safe and out of trouble.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:44 PM
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Sinister was crated at night until he was 6 months old, then I left the crate door opened but he still slept in it. He was completely crate free when he turned 2 years old. He's been free ever since.

Draco has never been crated at night, he is free in my room. He is only crated while I am away at work, he's only 6 months old so I won't even attempt to let him be crate free until he is at least a year old.


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:49 PM
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Oh I guess I should add, he's been sleeping OUT of the crate since he was 3 months old. He goes in and out all night as he pleases, and has never destroyed anything.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:46 PM
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Mine earn the right to be out of crates too. The adult girls are always loose. The male puppy is crated when I can't watch him. He's 10 months old.

I keep a crate in the dining room, and the door is always open. All the dogs use it as a dog bed. And I have 3 other crates set up in my dog room, just in case I need to kennel everyone. I know a lot of people don't like crates, but mine are so handy. Going to dog shows, visiting relatives...

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