Multiple dog owners: leaving dogs uncrated at home alone - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Multiple dog owners: leaving dogs uncrated at home alone

I have read a lot about this and the advice I've received varies wildly, from my trainer watching our 2 together and saying they're fine to start leaving alone uncrated to people on this board saying NEVER do it, it will end in a blood bath.

Crating would be fine, except one of our dogs has SA that is mostly better, but is exacerbated by being in a crate. Since we've brought home Osa 2 weeks ago, they've been alone for 1-7 hours crated together. We audio record each time we leave. Regen still has about 3-5 minutes of whining and trying to get out of the crate each time. Osa cries on and off once she finishes her Kong for about 30 minutes, and then both dogs are quiet the rest of the time. However, they both are pretty anxious when we get home.
When we leave Regen uncrated and crate Osa, she cries even more.

We are trying to figure out what to do that will be best for them. We need to be able to leave them alone 4 days a week for about 8 hours a day, and we can't afford for Regen's SA to get worse again, as daycare isn't a financial option on one teacher salary anymore.

Regen and Osa have not showed any genuine aggression since the first morning they were home together, and that was a horrible combination of the dogs next door yapping, both dogs having upset tummies, and my husband and I bungling the interaction. Since then, they have played, cuddled, shared toys, and ignored each other. They have had snarky interactions when Regen wants to play and Osa doesn't, but they stop at Osa saying "leave me alone" and Regen going off to play with a toy instead.They do play fight and play chase, but after having several more experienced GSD people observe, they said that it is pure play and not aggression. did you make the call about leaving dogs uncrated together? Or are there solutions we aren't thinking of? We had set up an extra tall baby gate to gate off the mud room, but both dogs can jump it. **** agility classes!

Regen, rescue female GSD born 4/09, adopted 4/30/2010.

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aka "Osa," WGSL GSD female born 7/08, brought home 12/24/10.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:08 PM
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I've left my two females uncrated for about 3 years with no problems. They do get along, but now and then Onyx will show dominance to Kacie. If Kacie challenges her, then there will be a fight, but so far I've diffused it. When I'm not around I don't think they behave that way.
I added a male puppy Karlo to the mix almost two years ago. He was crated til he was about 7 months and then he was also left out with them when they are all alone. He is intact, they are both spayed.

We have had only one time where an indoor potted plant was dug up. Other than that, no problems.
Adding him to the dynamics(uncrated) was a worry, but the females are fine with him and they all play quite well together(other than Onyx tries to herd Kacie constantly when they are outside) When we are gone, they usually just sleep anyway.

I still have a crate set up and one of the dogs will rush to it when I leave, not sure how long the winner stays in it, but it is kind of funny that the crate is still a place to rest.

Try some short alone times and build up to test them, maybe set up a camera when you first start doing it. The separation anxiety would be my main concern.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:17 PM
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We leave Jax and Banshee out but can not leave Jax and Sierra out together. If I only had a dog for a few weeks, I wouldn't leave them out together alone yet. Maybe loose in different rooms but not together yet.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:19 PM
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I agree with Jane's advice.

It's also hard to say in your situation, since you have now two adult dogs, and have only had Osa for two weeks. I 'think" I would probably still give them both some more crate time when unsupervised because just 'because' of the short period of time you've had her.

I , on the other hand, have had all my dogs from puppies. My gsd's and female aussie were always allowed free roam of the house when I'm gone (well once they got a little older right now I'm down to the two girls, Masi (gsd) and Jynx (aussie) and Jag, male aussie. The girls have free reign of the house. Jag will never have free reign of the house with any other dog because he's a 'crap' stirrer and also has displaced aggression if a "bug" flew thru the room, so unsupervised never, and always crated when no one is here.

I like the short period of time with a camera set up idea

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:24 PM
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I'm from the UK and there is much less of a crate culture here and I would say that it is mostly the norm to leave family dogs together uncrated. I left my 2 entire male GSD's together alone for 15 years without any problems. And currently leave my 2 males together now with the run of the house (2 years and 14 months)

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:50 PM
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I never leave same sex dogs loose together. I have Slider & Faith loose in their bedroom while Brusier is in his crate. Mac. who has serious SA, has the run of the rest of the house.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 05:17 PM
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I have three females that are not crated when we leave the house. No blood so far.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 05:19 PM
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When we brought Cash home from the shelter, he submitted to Rocky immediately and was submissive to him always thereafter. As big and rambunctious and playful as he was, he was always sweet with Rocky and deferred to him. Therefore I had no problems leaving them uncrated together and there were never any problems. I think you just have to take the individual dogs and their relationship and make a judgement call on it. As a matter of policy I never leave foster dogs uncrated.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 05:21 PM
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We've got Jazzi, who is a five year old Lab, and Killian, who is a 6 month old GSD. Killian is crated when we leave, mainly because of his chewing habits, and Jazzi stays out. Jazzi has proven herself to protect the house so I know that what were doing now, works for us. They can play rough from time to time, but if I would leave, I'd never worry about them getting into it with each other.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 05:51 PM
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As I'm a foster home, I get new dogs in all the time and have to deal this all the time. You have only had the new adult dog for a couple of weeks which is not enough time for the two dogs to have completely adjusted to living together or the new dog to adjust to her new home.

I would spend a lot of time walking them together and spending calm time at home with them loose together. I would not leave the new dog uncrated yet as it's just too early.

If they are good now, I would start leaving the new dog loose at night first to see how they do. After a month or so, which is usually a good amount of time for them to settle down, I would start trying to leave them home alone loose for short periods of time and then increase it with success.

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