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I was able to leave the house with max out of crate around 6-7 months. Luna was about a year old that we could leave the house with her out of crate. I had to restrict her once agin for a short period of time when she chewed a piece of our rug but after that she was good. If at night they were out at night loose around much younger around 5- 6 months but would be enclosed in my room.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
You may want to get through teething first before you give them free roam. At 3 months old, I presume he hasn't started loosing her puppy teeth yet? When he does, he will become much worse at chewing on things and will need constant monitoring again.


Also, GSD puppies seem to go through their "terrible twos" in the mid to later stage of their puppyhood after they become almost fully grown. So I'd say anywhere from 6 months to a year, give or take a month or two. They seem to become more hyper and less likely to follow commands leading to disobeying and even challenging your authority. One of the best ways I have discovered to deal with them besides just the everyday behavior of making it clear that I'm the Alpha, is regressing their independence and stepping up training. More crate time, more training time, less free roam of the house. Less overall freedom. I don't use the crate to punish, but the regiment and that understanding of being out and about is more of a privilege to be out and about in my territory rather then their territory seems to give me more calm and contained pups.


I'm on my 5th Shepherd and it wasn't until about the one year mark that the crate went away completely. And I started gradually at that by letting them remain out and locked in the room at night and progressed from there.
Great post! Thanks for putting all that info out, I'll keep that in mind for sure.

Great thread, thanks for starting and sharing! I've been wondering this myself. Got a 5x10 dog run I'll set up in the basement that I think she'll really enjoy but I was thinking at the one year mark to start giving her more house freedom while we're gone.

Mei does the same at night. Walks in and plays right down in the kennel. She hates snuggling when she's tired anyways lol.

Glad Murph is doing great. Pictures!!
Hey Mei! Good to hear from you. I definitely want Murph out as soon as possible. I live in the most dangerous/violent city in the state of Texas which is one of many reasons I went with a GSD. Here you go...

 

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I agree with Dutchy. The purpose of the crate is for the safety of the dog. My house has way to many things that a dog could eat or chew on that could be harmful, so my 6 mos old pup is only out when he can be supervised. He seems quite content and comfortable in his crate (it's a full size one that he can grow into). We are very gradually giving him more freedom. I also teach him "place" (a mat) so that when I'm doing chores, etc. he knows there is a safe spot outside of the crate for him to go to and stay. I don't use it all of the time. He also gets regular outside play and exercise time which is essential. This way my house doesn't get destroyed and he stays safe. I don't think there is a magic age, but especially during those teething times I would keep the pup crated or supervised.
 

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Bud ate ANYTHING I put in his crate with him for his entire life. I used to feel horrible because he had to be crated if he was unsupervised. When he got really old and I was struggling with urine burns I was terrified that he would eat the pads I put in there. Apparently 13.5 was the magic age for him, I sincerely hope you have better luck. :laugh2:
Thanks, I hope so too. With the old guy, for some odd reason, it was less stress on me to let him run loose. I guess because he was so well behaved and I trusted him 100%. I worried more when he was IN the crate. Just like you, I felt horrible if he was in the crate for more than 2 hours during the day. So far with this pup, it's the complete opposite. I just hope he grows out of this "eat anything and everything" stage. The 1st 2 months with him was rough. I couldn't even walk him without him eating pebbles, mulch, bark, grass, trash, leaves, bugs, etc. Every other minute, I would be reaching into his mouth to pick out things before he could swallow them. The result of me reaching into his mouth constantly getting things out when he was younger is that now he's resource guarding/food aggressive. He's bitten me when I reached for his frisbee. And he doesn't like me near his food. So, when my houseguest leaves in a couple of weeks, I'm going to contact a GSD trainer (he also teaches Shutzhund). I've got other little problems that need to be "fixed."
 
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