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Hi All,

First time dog owner here (14 week old Pit Lab mix), with questions about crate training in general & at work.

1. Our little puppy seems to be very happy in his crate. He will go in and out of it throughout the day, lay in it, he loves it in there! During the work day, we wake up with him around 630 for him to use the bathroom (he sleeps through the night) and then run around and play until around 10:30 when I have to go to work. This is literally 4 hours of nonstop playing and running around in the dog park. From 10:30 to 1:00 he is in the create and then my girlfriend comes home and plays with him for another 45 minutes and he goes back into the crate until about 3:00 which is when I come home for my break. We play for about an hour and then he is back in his crate until about 630. Are these 2 - 3 1/2 hour segments too much for him? On camera I can see that he wines for about 5 minutes after we leave, goes to bed, and then wines about for another 5 minutes through the time period. I want to be sure that is normal.

2. My dog will only sleep in the crate overnight if the crate is moved closer to my bedroom. Once we move it over he is absolutely silent and happy snoring away. Is this normal as well? Do I slowly move it back to the living room as time goes on?

Really looking forward to seeing your answers, I have a feeling the crating is okay, but I just want to be sure and put my mind at ease.

Ps. Is it also possible that I should crate him for longer intervals? It seems as soon as I get home its a rush to get outside to not have an accident.
 

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I think you're doing better on crate time than most people who work. It doesn't sound too much. What I wonder about is the "4 hours of non-stop playing." That sounds like a lot for a 14-week puppy. Maybe consider making sure he rests regularly, maybe put him on leash and walk him sedately for 5 or 10 minutes every half hour or so?

Yes, it's pretty normal for a puppy to be quiet at night when close to his people and cry when not. He's a baby, can't he be close now, maybe start edging him a little further and little further as he gets older?

A rush to get a puppy outside when he's been crated for a while is normal. I used to grab mine up and carry them outside until they were too heavy for me to do it. No, I wouldn't come home and leave him crated knowing you're home. Avoid accidents, get him out right away.
 

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Your crating schedule sounds pretty good actually. It's a lot better than my dogs got as puppies.

Yes, take him out right away when you get home, and carry him outside it that's what it takes to avoid an accident. As he gets older he'll be able to hold it longer.

We started out with the puppy crate in the bedroom and slowly moved it farther away as the puppy got older. It seemed to work well. Keep in mind your puppy is still very young and is still getting used to his new home so it's normal to not want to be alone right away, especially at night.
 

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What is acceptable depends on your dog. I had a gsd that I crate 9.5 hrs per day. Evening & weekends where dedicated to her entertainment and exercise, plans were made around this. A good life. She had no issues.
My current dog only sees the inside of a crate for training and hotel visits.
 
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