When did you leave your GSD out of the crate full time? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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When did you leave your GSD out of the crate full time?

Hank is crated for 9 hours when I am at work. He has slept out of his crate in my room with me at night almost since the first week I brought him home with no problems at all. Last month when he was 10 months I started leaving him out an hour here and there when I left the house and worked up to 3 hours one day again with no problems except he seemed a little overexcited when we got home. When he is in the crate and I come home he just lays there and watches me calmly until I open the crate door. Anyway, I decided a few weeks ago to leave him out when I went to work and it lasted about 4 hours until I got a call from ADT that my alarm was going off. Of all things to get into, he had nibbled the wires on the teeny tiny alarm sensor on the sliding glass door. So back in the crate he went. My question is what is the average age members of this forum left their dogs out of the crate full time? My goal was to have him out by one year. Thanks for any input!

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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:29 PM
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Wolfie is a little older than Hank and I am just starting to leave him out of his crate at night. I haven't tried to leave him alone in the house yet. I still think he's too immature, and he has never given me a reason not to trust him.

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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:33 PM
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Riley is 6 years old and the only way we can leave him out of the crate when we're gone is if we hide everything in the kitchen, rearrange all the trashcans in the house behind closed doors and lock child lock the fridge lol. he hasnt slept out of his crate in a few months either but thats because he prefers sleeping in there now than outside it. Shasta is 14 months old and still not reliable outside her crate at night so i'm REALLY not chancing it while we're gone and wont hear her getting into her mischief.

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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:35 PM
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when he was a baby he slept in his cage until about 9 or 10 months. out of the cage all day...14 or 15 months. but EVERYTHING needs to be out of his reach and he only has access to the kitchen and bedroom. i tried when he was a little over a year and he ate a hole in the drywall in the kitchen, so after that it was back to the cage for a while. mine was also crated during the day while we worked and it just got to the point that he and i both hated it (as soon i turned on my blow dryer to do my hair he would hide under the table), so i gave it a little more time and then tried again. ever since then he's been good. but believe me...these dogs will find something you don't even think twice about and get into it. gotta love 'em. good luck!

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:38 PM
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Both Onyx and Karlo were crate free at around 7 months.
But my dogs have all proven themselves not to be destructive and are good when left alone.
They do have accidents now and then...not sure who but our lower level is the destination. We had severe storms roll thru the other night and in the morning there was a potty spot. Luckily I have a good steam cleaner. I think it was Kacie as she is storm fearful. Karlo would have shot it all over, and he has never ever marked in the house.
I would do the short segments of time and see how it goes. I did the overnight cratefree too before leaving the pups alone when we work.

I have three dogs, so it gets a bit more complicated when there may be some 'feeding off each other' w/ naughty behaviors. I also worried a bit about fighting, but my dogs only posture or show attitude when I'm around. They never do it when my husband is watching them. Same goes for my African Grey, he makes a horrid noise when I'm home, never does it when I'm gone(I was away all last week and my husband said he didn't do it once!)
I also keep garbages in cabinets, no food left on counters, but we have a basket with chips and snacks, the dogs have never tore into them whatsoever.
They have gotten into the room where the cat food is, that is about the extent of their naughty behaviors and it doesn't happen very often.

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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:40 PM
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Frankie is within a few weeks of Hank and I definitely don't leave him out yet. I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home all day with him and the kids so the only time he is in his crate is when we go to the store and at night. He just chews things he knows he's not supposed to. He won't do it when we are home but I have tried to leave him for an hour or so and I almost always come home to chewed up toys or my flip flops...he has chewed up all but one pair. Not a happy mama. Also dangerous for him. I have recently started letting him sleep in our room during the night and am going to leave it at that for awhile...with the baby gate up at the door. I am curious to hear the average others have let theirs roam free.

Edit: I have tried to pick up anything that I think he will get into but he will get into the "goodie" baskets.

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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:41 PM
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I stopped crating Stosh at night or when I left when he was 11 mos, but it was when he had gotten shot in the face and he was snorting blood out of his nostril. I was afraid to keep him confined and not able to get in the proper position to sneeze or snort. He was in no shape to misbehave but he hadn't been destructive ever before.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:46 PM
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All of mine were able to sleep out of crate at night at 5 months. Out of crate during the day (alone) is a different story. I test them at a year but typically for mine it's around 15 - 18 months before they are fully trust worthy alone all day.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:02 PM
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Kopper was able to stay out of the crate with us gone at five months, but I have a very strong suspicion that Rocky keeps him in line and regulates if he tries to tear up anything. I've never heard of another pup being left out that young, and Rocky's bossy like that.


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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:24 PM
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I stopped crating my pup at 4 months or so. Only had a couple incidents, once he chewed on a chair and once he chewed up his dog bed. He is 17 months about and I leave him for 9 hours in my apartment while I am at work and he is just fine. He also isn't a chewer and he has a very mild temperament indoors.
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