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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I am new here, I have a 7 month old ACD got him a month ago and he had been kept outside. We didn’t have a pen built yet so we kept him in the house. He really took to potty training and sleeping in a crate. We had the crate in our room so that if he needed to go out we could hear him. We got the pen built and his dog house built and decided to connect it to our basement door as it comes in to a totally tiled area and can be shut off from all the other rooms and basically be a room just for him. We are also putting in a doggie door in there so he can go in and out when he wants. We moved his crate down last night and he went in and laid down with no problem. But after about 10 mins of realizing that I wasn’t in there he started crying and howling. My husband went down and took him out and he went potty. He put him back in and it started all over again. This went on for 3 hours. We finally decided to just put him outside in his pen, he has a house, water and food. And he seemed to be happier out there. Should I just let him stay out at night now? Or should I push the crate training. I would eventually like it to where he has his crate with the door open if he wants to come in and sleep or he can be out side once the doggie door is in. During the day he is in the house with us, we do a lot of walking and playing for exercise.
 

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My only concerns with being out in a pen at night are possible escape and weather. After that it is personal preference.

My dog was crated/kenneled at night until the last two years. Now he is free at night and sleeps where he wants (usually nearby on the rug or in a crate with bedding that is always open).

I noticed the last two nights the cover on the couch was disturbed.. so I think he has been doing couch time part of the night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. Part of his pen is covered by our main floor deck so he is protected from the weather. When we built his pen we dug down for the fencing we used so he would have to dig really deep to get out. I am not comfortable just yet letting him be loose in the house at night. I am hoping we get the door in today and see how that goes tonight. Fingers crossed. He does not like when I leave or am out of sight even though my husband and kids are with him. We are trying everything we can think of to help with the separation issues.
 

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As long as the outdoor pen is secure and he isn't barking or bothering neighbors, I don't see why he couldn't stay in the outdoor pen at night if he seems to enjoy it. My only concern would be if inclement weather moved through, or if you live in a place that gets very cold in the winter, meaning you probably wouldn't be able to leave him outside overnight in the winter. Or, if you live in a place with large predators. They might see a dog in a kennel as an easy meal. I know my dog would be up all night barking at coyotes and whatever else moves through our yard at night...

Anyways, is there a reason you don't want the dog to sleep in your bedroom at night? Does he need to sleep in the tiled area in your basement? If not, you could start to allow him more freedom at night. For example, start by leaving the crate door open at night, but perhaps close the door to your bedroom. Then when he's shown he's trustworthy with that amount of freedom, leave your bedroom door open, but make sure to close doors to other bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Eventually, the goal would be to not have to worry about closing doors and such, and you could eventually remove the crate from your bedroom and put it where ever it is you want to keep it.

Remember, though, he is only 7 months old, and lots of dogs are not 100% potty trained until they are closer to 1 year old. He might not really need the crate at night anymore, so you can leave it downstairs, but you might want to restrict him to just your bedroom so you can hear him if he gets restless.
 

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When you don't have to be anywhere, leave and come back. I suggest ignoring the dog when leaving and returning (others will say differently). The object is to show him you always come back and both leaving and returning are non-events.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your response. His pen is secure and we live on 25 acres so don’t have to worry about the neighbors. I was hoping to have it where he saw that tiled area like his bedroom with his bed and toys and everything but having access outside if he needs to go out. Also a comfortable space for him if we have to go out of town for the day, or have people over who are comfy with him being out. That way he can be outside or inside whichever he prefers.
 

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Dogs tend to like to be where we are, so if its important to you that he sleep in his own "bedroom" you would probably have to work on training him to be there. You might go about doing that by incrementally moving his crate out of your bedroom and very, very slowly to where you want him to be. Like, a foot or less at a time, slowly. If it doesn't matter overly much to you and you don't really mind where he wants to sleep (once he's trustworthy, of course), then I guess I wouldn't push it and not fight that battle. It's up to you and your personal preferences.

You can work on acclimating him to his "bedroom" much as you would a crate. Feed him his meals there, give him special treats for going inside, play crate games. Here is also a video from Kikopup on separation training, if you're interested:


I believe the intro says "for young puppies" but it works for adolescents or adult dogs, too.
 

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I don't understand the "had to move" part. Why can't he be in the crate by the bed at night and in the pen setup when you have to leave during the day? If what you want is a dog to be in an outside pen all the time, why have a dog?
I thought the dog was in and with them all day??
Maybe I missed something??

If the dog is going to live mostly in this set up and not with everyone when they are home I agree.
 

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Dogs are social creatures.
In single dog households the dogs people are his pack.
Is there a reason the dog cannot continue to sleep in the house near you?
Dogs, at least in my experience, love their crate.

Uncle Foster
 
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