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So I feel it's time to give my pup more freedom with regards to being left OUTSIDE of a crate when no one is home.

He's been in the cage whenever we leave. He's almost 9 months old, and has not had an accident inside the house in about 2 months (and even THAT accident was an effect from his neutering -- peeing uncontrollably) So probably longer than 2 months...

What is the next step for giving him more freedom, hopefully leading up to free run in a period of time undisclosed (based on how he does)?

Thanks!
 

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Try putting up a baby gate so he only has access to one room, or one area to start with. Also watch what you leave out in those rooms, he's still at an age where they can be rebellious, and he may (or may not) find things to chew during your absence. It's not only the potty issue you need to worry about.
 

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Start slow.....10 minutes ( then check on him ) make sure you go away from the house (if you stand outside the door - he will know!) I've read that the most destruction (if it is to be done is in the first 10 minutes after you leave):rolleyes:

Make sure you let him out or take him for a walk before you go so he can go to the bathroom.

If he makes it through the 10 minutes without any problems - up it to 1/2 hour - etc.

Leave a favorite toy in plain sight -- does he have any Kong toys -- they keep your dog busy and his mind on other things other than you.:)

Good Luck!
 

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First off, at 9 months you are about to enter the wonderful world of the bratty teens. During this stage they tend to forget everything you have ever taught them - including housetraining. So giving a teenage dog more freedom during this time is not always a good idea. That's not to say that you still can't prepare him for the day that he can roam free. My suggestion is to start him out in one room, gated off from the rest of the house - maybe the kitchen - for a short periods of time. So maybe an hour or two when you run some errands, on the weekends, etc...and then gradually move up to where he can be in that room successfully for the amount of time that he's usually in his crate before opening up another room. Then I would repeat the same scenario for the new room and so forth.
 
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