Crate/yard situation - help needed! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Crate/yard situation - help needed!

Hi everyone

My wife and I got our first pup together, his name is Enzo and he is now 12 weeks old. When we got him on the 24th we let him sleep in our room on a coolaroo bed with our bedroom door closed. I did not get much sleep during this time as he was very restless. We then got him a crate and for the past three nights he has been sleeping inside the closed crate, outside our room in the living room. Last night he was a bit more relaxed than the first time and only had to go once for a pee break at about 2am. I can confidently say that he is potty trained and will go out of the house to relieve himself (although I wish I could train him to poop in a specific area).

Now we have both started working again and cannot spend the entire day with him as we have done over the festive season. Our offices are close enough to go home over lunch time to check on him. We have a smallish yard with grass all around our house and a porch which has a roof where we keep water and toys. I am not concerned about leaving him in the yard by himself during the day (from searching the forum seems to be a topic with varying opinions), although I want him to grow accustomed to and accept the crate as his den. I don't like the idea of him in a crate for most of the day and therefore prefer him to be out and in the yard. So my questions:

1) Should I move the crate out during the day so he can chill in there if he wants? Or is it better to leave it in one area inside? Should we consider crating him for half of the day?
2) How much time should be spent playing with him during the day so his energy is spent by the end of the day?
3) How can I get him to go to the crate voluntarily? He is being fed inside the crate but does not seem to like it very much (yet). Sometimes a few treats or toys will do the trick but he doesn't stay there for very long.

Thanks and hope you all have a wonderful 2017!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 09:18 AM
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I'd worry about leaving him outside so young and vulnerable. Dog theft happens. I'm not sure of the weather there. And what will he get into?
Being crated for half the day then out at lunch and back in isn't bad.
I'd crate him inside now and as he gets older and matures, I'd do outside on trial run. Letting him build up to a full day.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 11:34 AM
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Unless you have a kennel in your backyard that the pup can be safe from the bad weather and other dangers like pet thieves and other animals. A sectioned off room or area in the room where your pup cant get into trouble, extra large crate or a xpen where your pup has some more room are some other options.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 01:06 PM
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I will say, leave him inside, you never know what will happen outside.

For playing, we do make sure we spend between 2-3 hours with Zik on weekdays and up to 4 hours on weekends. You can play a bit before work and when you are back in the evening.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 05:25 PM
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If it were me and I wanted to leave a pup outside I would probably do it in a kennel with a lock and kennel decking or papers. And be sure he is acclimated to the weather and has protection from rain/sun/wind...depending on conditions
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cloudpump View Post
I'd worry about leaving him outside so young and vulnerable. Dog theft happens. I'm not sure of the weather there. And what will he get into?
Being crated for half the day then out at lunch and back in isn't bad.
I'd crate him inside now and as he gets older and matures, I'd do outside on trial run. Letting him build up to a full day.
In our area, hawks happen. Smaller animals get snatched out of their yards.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 07:25 PM
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No way would I ever leave a pup or any dog by himself outside. Many dogs are stolen, even GSDs and even out of outdoor kennels. There are too many unknowns outside.
Don't feel bad for crating him a few hours a day. at least you know he is safe. And once older he can maybe have the run of the house. Just check out CL where you can see how many dogs are lost or stolen.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 07:33 PM
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Our local animal control officer told me that gsds are one of the number one breed of dogs stolen.
Maybe crate him during the day and let him sleep out of crate in your bedroom at night. That way he isn't spending 16 hours a day crated. This works out good for my dogs. You just have to puppy proof your bedroom.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 01:00 AM
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I would be inclined to keep him inside until he is a bit older, then I would let him stay outside.
I know the weather by you is generally ok - our dogs in JHB stayed outside all the time, they only came into the house for a few hours in the evenings when we got home from work.

Our little guy is now 10 weeks old, and he is currently kept in the house during the day. My folks are coming for a visit and will be here until he is 5 months old, whilst they are around he will be outside with them during the day and in the house when they go out, and after they go back home he will then start being kept outside during the day whilst we are at work.

I plan on taking him for walks, do some training and play some games for 1hr in the morning before work and then for a couple of hours in the evening after work.

He went for his injections today so I've got 10 days to wait and then I can start taking him out for walks.
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