Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?
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Thread: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

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    Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    Have any of you discovered a good process for transitioning your dog to sleeping outside of the crate? Otto is now 10 months, which is the arbitrary age at which I said I would assess his readiness for crate-free nighttime! I think he is ready. He hasn't had an accident since he was 3 1/2 months old, he doesn't chew furniture or his bed, and he only shows interest in getting on our bed when I use the vacuum cleaner.

    I left his crate door open last night to see what he would do. Once he finished his kong and realized that he wasn't closed in he wandered the room a little bit before going right back into his crate and plopping down, at which point I gave him a muted praise party without moving on the bed. He stayed put all night and only emerged after I finished getting ready in the morning .

    What is the next step? Do I just wait for him to try sleeping elsewhere in the room? This whole process is probably more for me than for him. He loves his crate. I'm going to have a more traditional work schedule this summer, and I would feel better about it if he could go without the crate during the night.

    So, the gist of this long post is: how did you transition your dog to sleeping sans crate?

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    Senior Member Conard10's Avatar
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    Re: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    Just like your pup, our's was fully housebroken and never chewed anything in the house. Unlike your pup, our's HATED the crate! While she would go in the crate when we asked, she would never decide on her own to enter her crate.

    We actually did the transition very early, around 4.5 months. Her crate was always in our bedroom so we just closed our bedroom door, left the crate door open and placed a nice doggie bed in our room. Just like we thought, she immediately choose the doggie bed instead of her crate!

    It worked out just fine. She's a year old now and we don't need the crate at night or when we leave the house.

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    Pai
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    Re: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    Nea actually prefers to sleep in her crate. So we never transitioned her out of it. Why do you want to phase it out (especially if your dog likes it), can't you just leave the door open all the time?

    "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~Roger Caras

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    Senior Member RaeganW's Avatar
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    Re: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    One thing I found helpful for convincing my adult dog that no, we don't poop in the new apartment was to gradually give him more freedom. So he starts in the crate, then gets the crate + an entry way sectioned off by an Xpen, then a larger area defined by the crate, Xpen, and corner of the room, and so on until he had the whole room.

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    Senior Member Labmom4's Avatar
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    Re: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    I removed the crate and put the dog on a tie-down (a short indestructible leash thing) in the same spot his crate had been, next to my bed. I kept him on that for a few weeks and then removed it and he picked his own spot in the bedroom after that.
    ~ Teri

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    Re: Transition to sleeping outside of the crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pai View Post
    Nea actually prefers to sleep in her crate. So we never transitioned her out of it. Why do you want to phase it out (especially if your dog likes it), can't you just leave the door open all the time?
    If he wants to sleep in the crate with the door open forever, that is fine by me! As I said above, I'm the one with weird hangups about the crate. Despite crate-training every dog I've ever had, it still makes me feel a bit guilty to keep him penned up. I know that it is really silly of me, but it is what it is. My idyllic image of domestic doggy bliss includes his own comfy bed at the foot of ours as opposed to a crate. The only rational reason for wanting to get rid of the crate in the bedroom is that it takes up quite a bit of space, especially with the door open. I don't want to remove the door because we are most certainly not ready to go without it during the daytime, and I never want to completely phase out the crate (vet, travel, etc).

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone! Last night he curled up in his bed before wandering back into the crate for the night, so maybe he will slowly extend that pre-crate relaxation time. It's not a big deal if he doesn't, though. As long as he is not being naughty at bedtime or while I'm sleeping, I am very happy!

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