Enriching out of crate time - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Enriching out of crate time

Unfortunately I have to work a full-time job five days a week, so I cant spend as much time with Stark as I would like to. He is in his crate at night while I am sleeping and at work. Ive been trying to stay up later so that he is out of the crate more, because I feel guilty leaving him in there all night and while Im at work. But, he has adjusted very well to his crate, he willingly goes in it and settles right down into it. I think he has accepted it as his den. I usually dont go to bed until about 12am. So he is up with me at 6ish and goes potty, follows me around while I get ready for work. Some quick cuddle time, then I give him a filled kong for his first meal in his crate about 630. He is let out by my younger brother about 10am, and then I am home again about 3pm for the day. Deoending on what I have to get done, he may stay in the crate until about 5pm. Between doing laundry, cooking dinner, picking up the house. I just cant watch him every second while I am trying to do those things and I dont want to create bad habits because I let him out of the crate while I cant really supervise him. But every night about 6pm we go to the park or to my dads neighborhood. He always has off leash time, we walk in the woods or play in the stream. We throw the ball, then we have some on leash time where we practice focused loose leash walking. We do some training while we are out and at home. He gets brushed, nails fussed with. I am usually working on something, getting him comfortable with the bathtub, vaccuum, or working on a new command. And some tug/ in house time. Then bed about 12 am. He doesnt always seem worn out, but while we are out playing he will glady take a stick or a toy and just lay down and chew with it. I have yet to experience a case of the zoomies. So, he doesnt seem like he has too much pent up energy from crate time. But, I am wondering.... what else can I do to make his out of crate time more enjoyable for him? We are going to be going a puppy class starting next week, and once a week we are visiting my friend and her dog for a playdate. I guess I am just feeling very guilty about all the time he spends in the crate. i cant wait until he is old enough to not have to be crated and I wont have to feel so bad.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 10:42 PM
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In order to get him out of the crate faster, keeping him on a schedule/routine for potty will help lotsIt looks like you got this down pat!! The puppy class will be an excellent experience for you both too Sometimes puppies can sleep through the night without a crate, so this is another option. Mine was sleeping with me at 4 months and that made me feel less guilty too. By the time mine was 7 months she was out of the crate permanently and this is because she is let out every 4-5 hours. You will find ways to feel less guilty and you will only know what will work when you try it You do quite a bit with your puppy and I don't think that he is suffering

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2012, 07:16 AM
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I'd have him out of the crate as soon as you get home - I assume he's house trained. He'll more than likely just follow you around, and it'll give him chance to get used to you doing the everyday things - like the laundry, the vacumning etc.

I also leave the door of the crate open at night.
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