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View Full Version : Free reign of house...how old?



aleethomas
19th February 2007, 08:58 PM
How old was your cav before you started leaving them along in the house all day without being confined to certain areas or in a crate?

When will I know that she is ready to be left out? As this would be ideal at some point for us. We have a 700 sq. ft. condo so there isn't much that she can get into. I know she isn't ready yet but we leave her out for 20 minute errands and she's been fine. Either sits in her crate or waits by the door. Just wondering around what age we can start gradually increasing her time out until it becomes all the time.

judy
19th February 2007, 09:14 PM
hi.. how old is she now?
if you're already leaving her, she must not be too young..on the other hand, if she's staying by the door or in the crate, maybe she is pretty young.

When i did it, i didn't really have any particular age guidelines. i read in a puppy training book that you gradually increase it, as you are already doing, to see how long they can be trusted. Of course, you puppy proof the house so that there's nothing they can get into or destroy. You wait, of course, until their housetraining is pretty reliable with only the rarest misstep.

I think Zack was around 8 months old when i started leaving him free in the downstairs part of the apartment while i was at work, or sleeping upstairs during the night. It could've been older, but that seems about right. I kept the upstairs gated so that he didn't have access to the cat box or the cat's food. I started just leaving him out when i'd do errands. Then i started leaving him for about 3 or 4 hours while i was at work and would come home for lunch. There was never any problem with it. Once in a while, he'd chew a ballpoint pen or some little thing, my fault for leaving things around, but generally he would leave them alone so i'd not think about it, he never peed or pooed in the house, he would just lay in once place all night when i was sleeping, but he would do some playing while i was gone during the day, he has lots of toys.

At some point, i started leaving the gate to the upstairs open so the cat could come up and down while i was at home, and that was OK for many months. Then one day, he had catbox breath, it was the worst and it lasted for a couple of days. :yikes So now i keep that gate closed and just bring the cat out when i'm here.

Before i started leaving him out, i transitioned him from just the crate, to the crate surrounded by an xpen in the kitchen, to just being in the kitchen with baby gates, and then finally, free in the downstairs. He hated being put in the kitchen so much, he acted depressed. I was happy when i was able to leave him free in the house.

Lindsay
19th February 2007, 09:15 PM
At the age of NEVER :lol: :lol: :lol:

Spencer does fine by himself, but I will never be able to trust Izzy. She has a destroy-fest on my couch cushions when I leave the house. It just depends on the dog. Spencer was able to stay out by himself and behave when he was about 8 months.

Good luck! :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

aleethomas
19th February 2007, 09:25 PM
Like I said she's still too young to be trusted. She's 17 weeks old. I've only left her a few times when I know she doesn't have to go potty and I need to run to the car or this morning when my boyfriend drove me to work. (he was gone 15 minutes). Our place is totally puppy proof and she's still not big enough to get on the couch by herself so she can only play with her toys or hang out in her crate. (as you can see we have a very exciting place!) She hasn't had an accident for about 2 weeks so I'm hoping we're getting close to being potty trained. Although she still doesn't let us know when she has to go, we know and she will potty on command. I've started leaving her in a gated off hallway for half the day and no accidents in there yet for being left for 5 hr period. I think we'll continue with this since its working and when she gets closer to 8 months or so start increasing her time out alone.

laurenlyn1
19th February 2007, 09:49 PM
i don't think i'll ever be able to leave brady out by himself. i have stuff out that he can get into and he hasn't trained me well enough to put that stuff away. i just feel better if he's in his crate and i know he can't get into anything that can hurt him. if the kitchen was cleaned up nice and i knew he'd be fine in there i might be able to let him stay in there while i was out. but it's not clean and there's stuff that he can chew that i don't wanted chewed. oh well. he gets free roam when someone is home though. sometimes we block off the stairs so he can't up upstairs because then he'd probably come running down with some underwear or tissue. :)

Alison_Leighfield
19th February 2007, 09:49 PM
To this day none of my dogs have the free run of the house when I am out.

Not because they can't be trusted but for their own safety.

I normally settle them down in their beds and give them the kitchen/breakfast room/conservatory space only. I leave a few "safe" toys and also their water. In that area I know they can come to no harm for a few hours.

They know and understand the routine and seem happy with it when ever I go out. :D

Alison.

Linda'nQuincy
19th February 2007, 10:01 PM
Quincy is 10 1/2 months old, and we still leave him in the x-pen, in the kitchen, when we leave for a few hours. He has his bed, toys, a treat, and water. Although he is 99% accident free, I would still be concerned about what he might find on his own while investigating every nick and cranny of the house during our absence. He never seems at all traumatized when we return--just sits up in his bed, yawns, and then walks over to the x-pen door to be let out. :)

Karlin
19th February 2007, 10:09 PM
Like Alison, I never give my dogs free rein in the house either.

As for dogs loose in the house -- :) -- as most dogs are not fully reliable (eg housetrained) until close to a year this is when I allowed the dogs access to the whole house when I AM home. However I never give them full access when I am out of the house -- not with all the things they could get into. Also Jaspar is too anxious if left with the whole house to run around in. He is very happy in a single room.

So when I am out, they all go into one dog-safe room. I give them all a treat and leave them chewing that as I close the door. They happily run to the room when I get out vertain treats on the assumtpion that I am ging to leave them.

A dog much younger than a year (and even well over but this is especially true of a dog under a year with puppy behaviours) can chew cords, get into cupboards, catch its collar on something, knock over something... too many things for me ever to trust a dog with the whole house.I even know of a case though where someone's dog jumped up and knocked over a 50 gallon aquarium. :shock: Others may have a more dog-proof set-up than I have.

There isn;t really such thing as a puppy or dog proof house though. You'd be surprised at what they can get into -- and what can make them seriously, or lkethally, ill -- anything from pulling strings out of a carpet and eating them to chewing up a sock to medications to electrocuting themselves on a cord or socket... I had enough close calls with Jaspar to totally revise my sense of 'dog-proof'. A truly dog proof house is one with nothing in it, like a kennel with just a few safe toys.

Also just be aware that at 17 weeks she is very unlikely to be anywhere near to housetrained. But she is doing well to be accident free for two weeks. It will be at least 6 months more likely before she is say 90% housetrained and in my experience you can expect accidents up to around a year and the occasional 'oops' throughout their life -- if they are ill, or you forget to take them out, or are on medication etc. :thmbsup:

ppotterfield
19th February 2007, 10:35 PM
First, I have to laugh with Judy because I have the same problem with the cat food. I cannot let my two free in the house even when I am there because they make a beeline for the cat's food. Buddy and Hadley both love his food. The cat is 16 years old and can no longer jump up so while I used to leave his food on top of a counter away from the dogs, it now has to be on the floor. Given his age I do not want to confine him more than I have to since he has really never been confined inside. Second, even if I did not have the cat food problem, I would never leave my dogs free in the house when I am gone for their own safety. They are left gated in the kitchen and the "dog" room (which is a small room, meant to be a pantry or utitility room, next to and opened to the kitchen). There is plenty of room for them to move about and their crates are right there. That said, I live in an older home, which has three floors and a basement, with lots of things that could get them in trouble, safety-wise or with me. If I lived in a smaller space or could more easily "dog proof" the space, I would consider increasing their territory. JMHO,

molly
19th February 2007, 11:39 PM
Mine range in age from 1.5 to 7 yrs. old. We have baby gates across a couple of door ways so that when we go out we can restrict them to just the kitchen/laundry room and large hall. Gives us peace of mind that they are safe and if they do get sick, no carpet. Like Karlin, ours were about a year old before they had free rein when we are home.

Kodee
20th February 2007, 12:44 AM
Like I said she's still too young to be trusted. She's 17 weeks old. I've only left her a few times when I know she doesn't have to go potty and I need to run to the car or this morning when my boyfriend drove me to work. (he was gone 15 minutes). Our place is totally puppy proof and she's still not big enough to get on the couch by herself .
I dont know about that... Kodee is 11 wks and pulled half her body up onto a bench, table and couch today. I will leave her in a xpen while I take a shower, but not a second loose. Even in the xpen, I remove certain toys when she is alone, like the tennis ball that took all of 5 min for her to shave bald!

Karlin
20th February 2007, 01:40 AM
ike the tennis ball that took all of 5 min for her to shave bald!

Wow, that's impressive! :lol:

Because of the dogs, I have to feed my cats on a shelf next to their cat tree. Jaspar however has figured out this week that he can jump onto the first level of the cat tree. :roll: I am sure it is only time before I find him relaxing 7 feet up on the top shelf, having finished off the cats' bowl of dry food. And that is why I'd never leave them wandering around the house! :lol:

Cathy T
20th February 2007, 01:47 AM
I didn't leave mine free in the house until Jake was over 2 years old and Shelby close to 1 1/2. I have a puppy gate that closes off my family room, kitchen and my office. I have been very fortunate in that neither mine is very curious. When I leave they settle down on the couch or lay on the kitchen floor...and that's where they are when I come home. I would say my house definitely is not puppy proof....which is why I crated them up until this age.

Caraline
20th February 2007, 02:27 AM
:yikes Never! :yikes

Now I know CKCS are probably not as destructive as Boxers but my husband & I learned our lesson one cold night when we went out to dinner. We left the dogs in the house for only 2 $%*@ hours. When we got home, they had totally destroyed my favourite lounge. All the big pillows had been ripped up & turned into confetti and they had actually dug a huge hole in the base of the lounge right down to the floor.

:sl*p: My husband & I knew we had been bad & stupid to leave them in, so we silently & looking like stunned mullets, walked around with huge green garbage bags and collected up the mess.

So out little troopies only get left inside the house unsupervised, with kiddy doors & barriers in place.

judy
20th February 2007, 03:00 AM
:....When we got home, they had totally destroyed my favourite lounge. All the big pillows had been ripped up & turned into confetti and they had actually dug a huge hole in the base of the lounge right down to the floor....

:yikes

This reminds me of my friend's dog, he was mutt from the pound, about the size of a small lab, one time Don was visiting his parents' apartment, and they all decided to go out to dinner, and they left Beez in the apartment, as Don had always left him home at his own place. When they got home, there was a hole dug all the way through the FRONT DOOR and Beez was gone. It waz like, a FRONT DOOR, a big thick heavy door. I'm not sure how they found him later. this was a very long time ago. I wasn't there so it still is hard to believe, except Don had no reason to make it up. After that, Don's vet finally persuaded him to have Beez neutered, the vet said Beez must've smelled females outside and just plowed through that door.

by the way, in my first post i should've also said, i do think it depends on the dog. Dogs sure do differ in whether they are safe to leave alone or not.

Kodee
20th February 2007, 06:06 AM
:yikes Never! :yikes

Now I know CKCS are probably not as destructive as Boxers but my husband & I learned our lesson one cold night when we went out to dinner. We left the dogs in the house for only 2 $%*@ hours. When we got home, they had totally destroyed my favourite lounge. All the big pillows had been ripped up & turned into confetti and they had actually dug a huge hole in the base of the lounge right down to the floor.

:sl*p: My husband & I knew we had been bad & stupid to leave them in, so we silently & looking like stunned mullets, walked around with huge green garbage bags and collected up the mess.

So out little troopies only get left inside the house unsupervised, with kiddy doors & barriers in place.
At least the lounge could be replaced. Years ago a friend of mine got her first car, a brand new Toyota. She put the dog (under a yr but over 6mths) in the car to go to the groomers plus made one small in/out store stop. When she got to the groomers and opened the back door, the dog had chewed off the entire leather padding on the door straight down to the steel :yikes She complained for the next 4 yrs while she drove her "new" car. :oops:

Caraline
20th February 2007, 07:38 AM
:lol: Oh my!!!

Charleen
20th February 2007, 10:45 AM
Jolly is 8 months old. Starting at 6 months old, I have tried a few times to leave him free in the house with the adult dogs. I have been gone between 1-3 hours. Every time he failed the test.

His favorite activities have been: digging all the dirt out of the house plants and spreading it all over the floor, chewing up all my decorative pine cones and his newest game, pulling all the paper towels off the towel rack and chewing them into little bitty pieces. All his hobbies have been easily cleaned up with a broom, but have proved that he is far from ready for this privilege.

The adult dogs range in age from 2.5-4.5 years old. They are reliable in the house while I am gone. Merry is the youngest of this group and she has been well behaved in the house while I am gone since she was 18 months old. They have a dog door to a fenced area, so they let themselves out when they have to relieve themselves or just to bark at the wildlife. (I live in the country).

Fraggle
20th February 2007, 11:50 AM
If I'm going out for any length of time, Bella goes behind her puppy gate in the kitchen with her bed and some toys. I know now though that I can trust her for short periods of time, up to an hour, in the house without being confined. She sits on the mat in the hallway and waits for us to come home - she's so sweet! :lotsaluv:

She managed 2 escapes through the bars of the puppy gate as a puppy. Both times she located an chewed up my expensive Aveda hairbrush, nibbled a few skirting boards and left me a poo trail that Hansel and Gretel would have been proud of! :lol: Not too bad really - could have been MUCH worse!

Bruce H
20th February 2007, 01:04 PM
Of our 12 there's really only 3 that we let have the run of the house when we leave for a few hours. If I remember, it was probably at the age of 2 or 3 that we trusted them. There might be one or two more that would be OK, but they like their crates, so why tempt fate?

The one thing we really worry about is the dogs chewing on cords plugged into electrical receptacles, even when we are home. We can replace furniture, but we can't replace a dog that is electrocuted. Quite some time ago we replaced all the outlets that we plug cords into with GFI's. Makes me feel a little better, but I still can't help but think what if the GFI doesn't work like it's supposed to?

coconut
20th February 2007, 01:19 PM
freddie is 5 months and has being left some of the time in the kithen by himself and he sleep in the kitchen at night in his basket it is puppy friendly and he is doing brill has not destoryed anything so far!!

My ma started this while i was on hols and he is doing alot better!

judy
22nd February 2007, 07:35 PM
....The one thing we really worry about is the dogs chewing on cords plugged into electrical receptacles, even when we are home. We can replace furniture, but we can't replace a dog that is electrocuted. Quite some time ago we replaced all the outlets that we plug cords into with GFI's. Makes me feel a little better, but I still can't help but think what if the GFI doesn't work like it's supposed to?


What's GFI?

Maxxs_Mummy
22nd February 2007, 07:44 PM
As Maxx has never been a chewer, except for when he was losing his baby teeth & has never been naughty in the house in any way I gave him free reign from about 6mths. But then he is the exception.

I am home most of the time anyway and wherever I am, then the boys are too (can't even go for a wee alone :roll: :lol: ). If I am going out for the day then either someone is home with them or they come with me/us. It doesn't really give them chance to do much damage !

However, when I had my GSD I had to shut her in the kitchen/utility whenever I went out or she would find some naughtiness to get into or something to chew. She was like an overgrown puppy until we lost her at 5 - if she ever got upstairs she'd destroy the bedding and shredded more than one duvet when my eldest left his door open :roll: I think we had to replace everything in the house as she ate her way through it all and we tried everything to stop her. The messiest was definitely a huge bean bag though - I came home from the shops to find polystyrene beads stuck to the ceiling :yikes :lol:

judy
22nd February 2007, 07:52 PM
i had a puppy once long ago (Frank) who chewed through electrical wires during her chewing phase, more than once. she wrecked the stereo for example.

what i never understood was, why didn't she get shocked? she chewed through to the wires.

we also were overly optimistic (nice word for dumb) enough to leave a jigsaw puzzle in progress within her reach.

Molly's mom
22nd February 2007, 07:53 PM
When Molly was about 4 months old, I stepped outside for about 10 minutes. When I cam back in, there sat Molly with a couple of carpet threads hanging from her mouth. :sl*p: I immediately knew what she had done. (In front of the couch a week or so prior I had spilt some milk, but had used vinegar/water and my carpet shampooer to get it out).

Anywho Molly had pulled the carpet threads out down to the carpet backing, leaving a appox. 3"x4" hole :yikes

Fortunately I was able to cut a piece out of a remnant and glue it in to this day my dh doesn't know that it even happened ;)

Needless to say that was the last time Molly was left alone.

She's almost two now and we crate her if we are leaving the house.

Bruce H
23rd February 2007, 03:19 AM
GFI stands for Ground Fault Interrupter.

It's that electrical outlet that most houses have at least in the bathroom with the test and reset buttons. I don't recall all the details, but it's designed to keep a person from getting electrocuted if they touch a bare wire. Supposedly, if you touch wires from a cord plugged into a GFI, all you feel is a very slight tingle for a split second before it trips and shuts off the power to the outlet. Some day I'm going to try it to see if that's really true.

It used to be only required in bathrooms, but it's now required for outside and garage outlets and any outlet within a certain number of feet of a sink such as a kitchen sink.

Judy: that's really strange that you had a puppy chew through a cord and not get shocked. Although I suppose she might have been shocked and it didn't hurt her. Can't tell you how many times I've been zapped over the years.

Although my wife Kris may say it would tend to explain a few things :lol: