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I have an almost 5 mo. old GSD male. He sleeps in crate overnight in our room, then goes outside in the mornings while we get ready for work, at noon when I come home to let him out/feed and then after 5 pm when we get off work. My questions are:

1. After turning 6 mos. old and needing only two feeds a day, I will most likely not come home at noon (having to leave him 8 hrs straight in crate) Is crating for so many hrs. safe/ok? IF NOT...

2. Is it time when he turns 6 mos. to leave him home alone in
backyard considering it's a safe place and partly covered?

I will have to make a decision SOON...
 

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Personally, I would not leave my dog outside unsupervised, even if the yard has a privacy fence. There are just too many variables. Dogs can get bored and dig their way out. Someone could leave a gate open. Neighborhood kids might throw things at him. He could bark at passers-by and annoy the neighbors.

I just wouldn't do it.

If you want to leave him loose, I would leave him loose inside the house, if he is ready for that. Some dogs can be trusted loose in the house at a relatively young age - others cannot be trusted loose in the house, even when they are older. So this very much depends on your dog.

What I would do, is start by leaving him loose in one room - like the room where his crate is - and block access to other rooms using doors or child gates. Remove things that are easily destroyed, and leave him for a short period of time, maybe half an hour the first time. See how that goes. If there's no destruction, try it for longer periods of time and in more rooms. If there is destruction, he may just not be ready to be loose.

If he's not ready to be loose, then there are options other than just leaving him crated. For example, he could use an X-pen around the crate, so that he would have some room to walk around and play with his toys.

Also, if you need to crate / gate him in a small area for a longer period of times, like 8 hours, set aside some time in the morning for a nice long walk and some play time. 8 hours goes by a lot faster if your pup is tired and napping, than if he's got tons of energy and is looking for something to do. You'll also need to take time when you get home from work to walk and play again, get some of that energy out.

Leaving your pup something to do that works his mind can also really be helpful. They make treat balls that you fill with treats, and your dog has to move them around to get the treats out. It's important that your dog gets mental stimulation, not just physical exercise, and this is one way of doing that.
 

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I know probably the majority of people don't feel too highly about leaving their dogs outside when they aren't home, but we live in a verryyyy country area, & have a large backyard & 2 dogs (9 month old GSD & 2 year old golden retriever). Our GSD has a very large doghouse outside in the shade (backyard behind the house) & a 30 foot chain drilled into the dog house so she can't rip it out. We were going to buy a kennel for outside but our yard is at a slant & wouldn't be possible. She has food & water outside all day, & is usually left out for 6-8 hours. This summer we will be moving the chain to a little longer than 30 foot runner from tree to tree, & then add her 30 foot chain to that so she can run around more since she will be older. She loves it & gets to rough house with the Golden (theyre chains touch just enough to play without getting tangled).

I feel that she is safe, she has never broken off of it & there is nothing for her to get tangled in. I guess it's up to you.. but that's what we do.

OH. Since it's winter, she is inside her crate or penned in a room with a baby gate when we are not home. (Usually crate, not ready to be loose so much). She has a Kong toy & it seems to keep her occupied.
 

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Kong...rubber toy that you can fill with natural peanut butter or other tasty treat.
Treat balls...toy that you can put cookies or other treats in. It has small openings that the dog can work on getting the treat out of through the day.
 

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Many dogs love either of these options.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
got cha. looking at some online as we speak. Will try either xpen and these toys or leaving him in small area in house with toys. I am so glad I joined this site. Your help is soooo great!!!
 

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I'd keep my dog safely crated in the house before I ever left them in the yard and even worse "chaining them up".

My sister lived in a rural country area and always left her dog outside when they left. She had a fenced in yard. She came home to a mauled dog one day and despite weeks of treatment he did not survive the injuries. To this day they still have NO idea what happened or what attacked him.

That is just my honest opinion.
 

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I won't leave my dogs outside when I'm not home. Two neighbors near me do this alot - with one their dog would always get out and someone would find him and bring him home or he'd go back on his own (he liked to dig under the fence), well last time he got out he went the wrong way up the street (towards the busy main road) and was killed by a car. My other neighbor keeps having their smallest dog get out while they are at work - so far the dog keeps running towards the rest of the plat and not towards the main road, but one day I'm sure she will wind up like other dog. Nope, I don't trust leaving dogs outside when no one is home. I don't go outside with my dogs every time they need out, but I'm never out of the house when they are outside. Too many possible bad things that can happen.

With the Kong toy I like to fill it with peanut butter and bananas and then freeze it overnight. That's their favorite combo. I also bought a rubber orange ball that has one hole in it at Petsmart that I fill with Cheerios. They roll those around to get the cereal out. I tried the everlasting treat balls and they just don't last long with my dogs so I'm not buying any more refills.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I will not leave him outside, that's for sure. I don't trust him enough to stay inside alone. So I am looking at either xpen or leaving him in one room in the house with toys. I think the xpen will be the best choice because he is so young still. Is SIX MONTHS a good time to leave them in an xpen or small room? or is that too young? Sorry for all the questions, but as you all can imagine, I want the very best for him!!!!
 

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Again, it really depends on your dog, but I don't think 6 months old is too young to be left alone - especially in a gated-off room or with a crate/x-pen set up.

We started leaving Kaiser alone when he was about 5 or 6 months old. He wasn't crate-trained, but we used baby gates a lot when he was younger. But when he was 5 or 6 months old, we started leaving him alone gradually. We'd leave him loose in the house for maybe 5 minutes and my husband and I would go outside and come back in 5 minutes later.

We gradually worked up from that and we have had no problems at all. He's 2 years old now and we've never had a problem leaving him - he's been alone for up to 8 hours. We do leave a Denta Stix for him when we leave - it's sort of like his signal that we'll be coming home eventually!
 

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"or even worse chaining them up". would people PLEASE stop making others feel like scum for tying their dogs up??? I am soo SICK of this attitude. If YOU dont like tying, then DONT tie.

If the dog is in a safe place, has good shelter, access to shade/water in summer, good length of chain, and not left in a mud puddle or something, what is the issue?? Not everyone can have their dog in the house at ALL times. Geesh. Same thing with kennels. I think people have seen horror stories with owners tying their dogs up on 3 foot chains to a pole with no access to water, etc. Those are just that. Horror stories with idiots who should not own a stuffed dog, much less a live one. That is the fault of the PEOPLE in situations like that, NOT chaining.

Listen, use what ever works for you on containing your dog. The main things to me are, is the dog safe? Is the dog secure and wont get loose etc? Does the dog have shelter if it rains? Does the dog have shade if it is hot and sunny? Is the footing the dog on okay? (meaning, no mud, etc) Is the space the dog has to move around in okay? And people, what do you think your dog does all day when you arent home? You think they do jumping jacks and jog around? No, they lay around, maybe chew a toy, sleep, get up, stretch, maybe walk around a bit, lay around some more, sleep, chew a toy, scratch, etc. I mean, i watch my dogs when I "am' home, and thats all they do when im not playing with them. What do you think they do when im not there??? So, why is it such a big deal if they are sleeping and chewing on your couch.. or in a kennel, or tied up, as long as they are safe and secure and comfy??

In my life time, i have kept dogs all three ways. Kenneled, tied, and in the house. And i have seen other people who have done all three things..or done just one..etc. You know what I found?

As long as the things i talked about were being met ( dog is secure/access to water/shelter/decent amount of room/etc..etc...)
the main thing was the TIME you made for your dog, and what you did with your dog. When i lived at home as a kid, we kept our dogs tied. Parents worked, i was in school. But, I swear i had the smartest, most active dogs on the street. You know why? I would make the time for them. After I did homework, i would take them out and be gone for HOURS. To parks, walks, etc. I was lucky I had two dog crazy older friends that lived near by. We would go out to fields and train our dogs, run them, go hiking through woods, etc. I joined training classes, etc. My parents had to go looking for me at times i was out with those dogs.

But yet, i would see dogs that were in the house. Oh yes, they were house dogs. But, they didnt get to do HALF the things my dogs did. Why? The owners just didnt take the time.

Now, dont say im the exception. No, im not. See folks should know better than that. The horror stories are what makes me the news. Or, your neighbor down the street who maybe ties his dog to a pole and leaves him out in the rain is easy for you to see. BUT..dont assume all people who tie their dogs or kennel their dogs, do nothing but leave them tied and kenneled all day in the rain/snow/sun with no water, and never do anything with them other than throw them food once in a while. THAT IS NOT TRUE, AND IT'S INSULTING AS ****!

I guess my point is this. Just like training, we ALL can have differences of opinion on how to house our dogs. In training, some say use only positive methods. Some say use compulsion. some say use a mixture of both. Some say use a clicker. Some say clickers are stupid. Some say pinch collars are cruel. Others say use them. some say Ecollars are cruel. Others say use them.
Thing is, all these methods can be good at certain times and for certain situations, and have their place depending on YOUR situation and YOUR dog. And to put people down because they use one of them, to me is wrong.

Just like how you house your dog. Now, for me, inside and outside works for me. I have kennels, and my dogs spend time both in my home, and kennels, kennel when im not home. Im not a flaming idiot, so yes my yard is fenced, locked, and fairly secure against other animals and thieves. So are my kennels, which are not on bare ground, and are covered and locked. So, a combination of in the house, and kenneling works just fine for ME..for ME..thank you very much. So, i dont need anyone telling me what a bad owner i am because i do this. Not saying anyone is, im just making a point.
If it works for you and your dogs, be it having them in the house tied/kenneled/part time house, etc...that's all that matters.

Sorry to rant on, but that just fries my butt a bit because i've actually seen people ripped apart for tying, and now they have some laws trying to get passsed in places where you cant tie your dog over a certain amount of time. People, I KNOW there have been folks who have done stupid things in regards to chaining. ****, there have been people who do stupid things in regards to EVERY aspect of dogs, are you kidding me? But, you let stuff like this go..where does it end?? Soon , they are going to tell you you cant kennel either.
Dogs are our friends, companions, etc. We love them like family. But, they are NOT human, and dont need totally human type living conditions. Im surprised with all this human intervention and coddling and foo foo-ing off dogs in terms of everything from housing, breeding,, etc..etc..etc..etc... that dogs arent a shell of what they used to be.

Oh but wait, they are.
 

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Originally Posted By: niecy"or even worse chaining them up". would people PLEASE stop making others feel like scum for tying their dogs up??? I am soo SICK of this attitude. If YOU dont like tying, then DONT tie.

If the dog is in a safe place, has good shelter, access to shade/water in summer, good length of chain, and not left in a mud puddle or something, what is the issue?? Not everyone can have their dog in the house at ALL times. Geesh. Same thing with kennels. I think people have seen horror stories with owners tying their dogs up on 3 foot chains to a pole with no access to water, etc. Those are just that. Horror stories with idiots who should not own a stuffed dog, much less a live one. That is the fault of the PEOPLE in situations like that, NOT chaining.

Listen, use what ever works for you on containing your dog. The main things to me are, is the dog safe? Is the dog secure and wont get loose etc? Does the dog have shelter if it rains? Does the dog have shade if it is hot and sunny? Is the footing the dog on okay? (meaning, no mud, etc) Is the space the dog has to move around in okay? And people, what do you think your dog does all day when you arent home? You think they do jumping jacks and jog around? No, they lay around, maybe chew a toy, sleep, get up, stretch, maybe walk around a bit, lay around some more, sleep, chew a toy, scratch, etc. I mean, i watch my dogs when I "am' home, and thats all they do when im not playing with them. What do you think they do when im not there??? So, why is it such a big deal if they are sleeping and chewing on your couch.. or in a kennel, or tied up, as long as they are safe and secure and comfy??

In my life time, i have kept dogs all three ways. Kenneled, tied, and in the house. And i have seen other people who have done all three things..or done just one..etc. You know what I found?

As long as the things i talked about were being met ( dog is secure/access to water/shelter/decent amount of room/etc..etc...)
the main thing was the TIME you made for your dog, and what you did with your dog. When i lived at home as a kid, we kept our dogs tied. Parents worked, i was in school. But, I swear i had the smartest, most active dogs on the street. You know why? I would make the time for them. After I did homework, i would take them out and be gone for HOURS. To parks, walks, etc. I was lucky I had two dog crazy older friends that lived near by. We would go out to fields and train our dogs, run them, go hiking through woods, etc. I joined training classes, etc. My parents had to go looking for me at times i was out with those dogs.

But yet, i would see dogs that were in the house. Oh yes, they were house dogs. But, they didnt get to do HALF the things my dogs did. Why? The owners just didnt take the time.

Now, dont say im the exception. No, im not. See folks should know better than that. The horror stories are what makes me the news. Or, your neighbor down the street who maybe ties his dog to a pole and leaves him out in the rain is easy for you to see. BUT..dont assume all people who tie their dogs or kennel their dogs, do nothing but leave them tied and kenneled all day in the rain/snow/sun with no water, and never do anything with them other than throw them food once in a while. THAT IS NOT TRUE, AND IT'S INSULTING AS ****!

I guess my point is this. Just like training, we ALL can have differences of opinion on how to house our dogs. In training, some say use only positive methods. Some say use compulsion. some say use a mixture of both. Some say use a clicker. Some say clickers are stupid. Some say pinch collars are cruel. Others say use them. some say Ecollars are cruel. Others say use them.
Thing is, all these methods can be good at certain times and for certain situations, and have their place depending on YOUR situation and YOUR dog. And to put people down because they use one of them, to me is wrong.

Just like how you house your dog. Now, for me, inside and outside works for me. I have kennels, and my dogs spend time both in my home, and kennels, kennel when im not home. Im not a flaming idiot, so yes my yard is fenced, locked, and fairly secure against other animals and thieves. So are my kennels, which are not on bare ground, and are covered and locked. So, a combination of in the house, and kenneling works just fine for ME..for ME..thank you very much. So, i dont need anyone telling me what a bad owner i am because i do this. Not saying anyone is, im just making a point.
If it works for you and your dogs, be it having them in the house tied/kenneled/part time house, etc...that's all that matters.

Sorry to rant on, but that just fries my butt a bit because i've actually seen people ripped apart for tying, and now they have some laws trying to get passsed in places where you cant tie your dog over a certain amount of time. People, I KNOW there have been folks who have done stupid things in regards to chaining. ****, there have been people who do stupid things in regards to EVERY aspect of dogs, are you kidding me? But, you let stuff like this go..where does it end?? Soon , they are going to tell you you cant kennel either.
Dogs are our friends, companions, etc. We love them like family. But, they are NOT human, and dont need totally human type living conditions. Im surprised with all this human intervention and coddling and foo foo-ing off dogs in terms of everything from housing, breeding,, etc..etc..etc..etc... that dogs arent a shell of what they used to be.

Oh but wait, they are.
It's a safety issue. Chaining is not the safest way to contain your dog while you are gone. If you feel comfortable with it then more power to ya.
 

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I have the same schedule I am gone for 8 hours a day but I cant come home to exercise my pup. He also sleeps in his crate at night and the rest of the day he is with us.
From the very start Max had to stay alone for eight hours. I stressed the first week more than Max. We did not crate him though, we puppy proofed our garage, left the lights on, left the radio on and had interesting toys kong(with kibble inside)soccer ball(its to big to roll anywhere he cant get to it). Now I hide a few treats around and he has to find them. I also walk him in the morning before work. This has worked very well and he loves going to the garage in the morning. Even on the weekends he wants to do the same routine so we do it and just bring him in after and hour or so. When it starts getting hot outside we are going to get a portabel cooling system and a kiddie pool.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I ask you, when you first started leaving your GSD home alone within a gated area for 8 hrs, did your puppy hold it in or did it have to do it in the area? just wondering?
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hmm. i may be able to help u out on that one. the mom-in-law works about 5 miles away from where i live. she comes during the day on her lunch hour to let tyson out. MOST of the time. he has gone the whole day (8-9 hours) without going out and has held it. how old is ur pup?
 

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I would never leave my dog/puppy outside unsupervised. Sure when I at home, I will let my older dog (2 yrs old) outside to potty and roam a little bit by himself. I do keep an eye on him, and he cannot be there for very long alone. My puppy, 12 wks old, NEVER goes outside alone, she is either with me or my DH.
So I would say to leave him in the crate for the whole day
I would think, if your dog can hold it all night already and several hours during the day, you can try leaving him in the crate for the whole day while at work. I think I did this with Cody at 5 mths or so... one time he peed in his crate and after that my neighbour took him out for another two weeks and then I tried again. He did fine. Ever since he has been home alone in his crate without anyone letting him out during the day.

I always leave kongs and nylabones for him in the crate too so he has something else to do than sleep. Now we are getting him adjusted not being in the crate but loose in the house..
 

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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outsi

Originally Posted By: niecy"or even worse chaining them up". would people PLEASE stop making others feel like scum for tying their dogs up??? I am soo SICK of this attitude. If YOU dont like tying, then DONT tie.
Then again, most of us like our pets and chaining up is cruel and very dangerous.

Some cities have laws against having animals chained up, theres a reason for that.
 

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Originally Posted By: niecy"or even worse chaining them up". would people PLEASE stop making others feel like scum for tying their dogs up??? I am soo SICK of this attitude. If YOU dont like tying, then DONT tie.

If the dog is in a safe place, has good shelter, access to shade/water in summer, good length of chain, and not left in a mud puddle or something, what is the issue?? Not everyone can have their dog in the house at ALL times. ...
No I will not stop advocating against chaining and for containing a dog within the house whenever possible.

An unattended, chained dog is not in a safe place.
 
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