View Full Version : leaving dogs uncrated

Love my Cavaliers
27th July 2008, 04:14 PM
How old are most dogs when they are left uncrated when the owners leave the house? I have Cavaliers who are 4, 5, and 7 (so I have done this before), but I can't seem to remember when I let them have the run of the house. I know that my 7 yr old was absolutely amazing - didn't really chew, great with housebreaking, etc. And we got the 4 and 5 year olds within 3 months of each other (half sisters) so I just kept them together until the younger one was ready - however, I did put them together in one gated room instead of a crate after the younger one turned a year. Now I have a one year old also (born 7-1-07). He is absolutely not ready to be out of his crate when I'm gone. He loves to go and pick up whatever he can find on a chair, the floor, wastebaskets, etc) He drops it when I tell him to, but he's certainly not trustworthy on his own. I have just let him out of his crate at night, but he sleeps in my laundry room with my 4 and 5 year olds (although the 5 year old is crated now since she is 6 weeks post decompression surgery for SM - I don't want Oz (the puppy) to disturb her while she's sleeping). The 7 year old gets to sleep with Mom and Dad (lucky guy). So, just wondering what others' experiences are about timing of their dog being trustworthy. Thanks,
Bev, along with Oliver (bl):paw:, Riley (my b/t SM baby):paw:, Madison (ruby):paw:, and Oz (the great and powerful tri) :paw:

27th July 2008, 05:12 PM
I don't ever advise giving any dog the run of the house when owners are not home. If you wouldn't leave a three year old with the run of the house when you are gone, the advice of every single vet and dog trainer I know of or have read is: NEVER leave dogs alone in a house with access to anyplace they want. Like a toddler they can get into serious trouble thinking they are having fun. Or can get very anxious left with so much room to roam in when you are not there, and again, get into serious trouble -- at best causing costly damage, at worse, injuring themselves or worse.

I don't like crating when I am out (and though they are crate trained, I have never crated them, except when I was housetraining, at night when they are boarding, and when traveling). I simply put the dogs into a single room that is comfortable and has nothing they can get hold of that could be risky.

Just consider everything that could injure or kill a dog in the average house and are just the things a bored dog -- or especially a group of dogs spurring each other on -- could get into: cords, appliances, falling off high objects, knocking things over, chewing shoes, socks, toys, glasses, or any small item that could cause a blockage and require costly emergency surgery, medications and poisons in accessible cupboards, poisonous houseplants, human foods that could kill a dog from chocolate to instant coffee to chewing gum to raisins -- on and on and on. For just the same reason that no one leaves small kids on their own, dogs shouldn't be left to roam unsupervised either. :thmbsup: They are not wise enough to know not to chew through a cord or eat a packet of raisins.

Many people put them in the kitchen (if there are baby latches on cupboards); a utility room, in an xpen, or in a spare room. Mine just go in a spare room when I am out..

27th July 2008, 06:06 PM
My boys were never crated and Alfs had been fantastic.I do not let them have the run of the house though when i go out,they stay in the kitchen and thats at nite as well The pup has to go into the utility at nite becos its safer and it gives Alfs a break.I have nothing against crates though.

27th July 2008, 06:16 PM
Kosmo got free run of the house (with all of the doors closed, no cords, etc) when he was 1. He was definately ready but he's very docile and I left the crate door open.

Faith was a little older, but I started working with leaving her out at 1 as well. I would leave her out depending on how long I'd be gone.

My house is set up so that there are three medium sized rooms and then a small hallway upstairs, so really, with the door closed, it's like them having one giant room.

murphy's mum
27th July 2008, 07:47 PM
We let Murphy have the run of the house when he was 14 months old. We tried him at a year, but he chewed our bed. So he went back to the kitchen, until we tried again:)

27th July 2008, 08:29 PM
Some times when i have gone out just to pop to the local shops i leave Alfs out,but thats becos hes older now.Mind you the first thing he does is gets on the sofas and on my very exspensive cushions.Mmmmm

27th July 2008, 10:38 PM
I always leave Dizz in the utility room when I'm out.On the one occasion I let her have the run of the house she shredded the Christmas presents under the tree that I'd spent hours wrapping.She gets up to enough mischief even when she's being supervised.

27th July 2008, 11:08 PM
rubys been great at not chewing shes been crated since a puppy but i only shut the door when i was house training her we have a not so bad size kitchen and utill room joined i have a safety gate at my kitchen door so she has the run of the both with everything up at arms length which i made sure of, i dont let her upstairs has my daughter suffers with chronic asthma and has to have the room dust and hair free but shes been great she still loves to sleep in her crate which i keep up and open of course and when shes had enough she toddles in by herself but i find it easier to keep the hairs at minimal as well has the tiled floors are easy to brush hairs up she has a fenced garden at the side as well so i think thats plenty of room and were in the kitchen all the time with her anyway

27th July 2008, 11:44 PM
Each of my dogs is crated in individual crates when we leave the house and during the night. Most of the time there is someone home so they don't get crated often (except at night). I could probably leave Gem uncrated, but the other three are real stinkers and I would rather be safe than sorry. My guess is that they would probably just sleep, but the exception to rule is what worries me.

Cathy T
28th July 2008, 01:05 AM
I started leaving my guys uncrated when Shelby was about 1 1/2 and Jake 2 1/2. They have access to the family room and kitchen only. The rest of the house is closed off by a baby gate and the dog door is latched shut.

28th July 2008, 04:02 AM
Pixie was amazing at only 4 months. I never let her have the whole house though, and probably wouldn't do that with any dog. When we were gone, she only had the kitchen, which gave her access to the outside through her doggie door. I only crated her from about the time we got her to about 12 weeks, then she had the house when we were watching, and the kitchen when we were gone (if she couldn't go along).

28th July 2008, 07:41 PM
I still crate Dante (1 year 4 months old) every time I'm out with no one else home (someone is almost always home, usually it's 1-2 hrs a day at most that he has to stay in the crate) and during nights, although I know it's no longer necessary during nights cause he's been 100% reliable for about a year already. I don't particularly expect to ever be able to let him have free range of the house with nobody home though, as he's got a bit of separation anxiety and is much calmer and safer in his crate compared to being left alone in the whole house or even just one room. But I'll evaluate that as things progress, right now I consider it a huge improvement that I can leave him alone in the house for just 10 minutes without destroying our doors.

29th July 2008, 03:06 AM
I have three, a Husky, a Cavalier mix, and a Cavalier. The Husky didn't get the run of the house until she was 8 years old :) One demolished couch taught that lesson well.

The two younger dogs housetrained easily and are really great about chewing only their toys. They have never been destructive. They get to meander about the family room and kitchen-dining area when we are gone and have since they were 5 months old. They are coming up to three years of age. Their crates are in the kitchen with open doors if they choose to sleep there, but usually they take their place on the padded window table and wait for our arrival back.