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I have a 14 week old BC X, and I work 10 hour shifts. For now, I have been crating him at night while I sleep (6.5-7 hours), play actively with him (or go for gentle, age appropriate walks, or work on training sessions for 5 minutes at a time, etc) until I leave for work at 2 pm. He gets half his breakfast (all kibble) in his dish to eat after he toilets outside, then I use the rest as positive reinforcement for any and all good behaviors I see during from when we wake up (930 am) to when I leave (2 pm).

I tried to keep him in an exercise pen in the kitchen on the waterproof flooring, but I felt the long hours and his inability to hold it were setting back the progress on potty training, so I fenced off a 15' X 15' area in the front yard, added a large dog house and plenty of shade, as well as an auto-waterer. Before I leave for work, I mix up his afternoon meal (1/2 kibble, 1/2 wet food), stuff a Kong, and set out his chews (all natural animal chews, no stuffed toys or plastics, etc for when he isn't supervised). I leave him in the outdoor X pen and he seems to LOVE it! He never barks, whines or shows *any* separation anxiety. (In fact, he doesn't cry in the crate either, whether I am around or not!)

I come home at midnight and he is calm and happy to see me. He has had plenty of fresh air, lots of open space to laze in the grass, bugs to chase (his favorite thing ever!), a corner where he toilets, his food and fresh water.

Does this seem unreasonable? If the weather is awful, I have crated him, and come home on my lunch to let him out. There is virtually no risk of theft or anyone harassing him as I live in the country and my yard is several hundred yards off the road which is rarely traveled. He is too large for birds of prey to harass, etc. He is fully vetted too. This is not a permanent solution. As soon as he can be bed trained (sleep in bed with me without risk of pottying), I will no longer crate him at night. As soon as he is fully house trained, he will be allowed loose in a portion of the house to be determined later.

My questions are:

Is it bad to leave him outside in good weather? It seems to me that an indoor X pen would be more confining and less fresh air, etc. Any advice on transitioning to indoor days? How will I know he is ready?

How long until I can reasonably try to allow him sleeping in the bed? He is still not quite big/brave enough to jump out of the bed. How do I go about this change?
 

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I think if it works for you and he has adequate access to the necessities (shelter, water, etc.) then it's fine.

I have an X-pen/partial yard situation for my 13 week old puppy right now, Dutch shepherd so definitely a high energy working breed. He enjoys it and self entertains for about 15-30 minutes before he whines and scratches to come in (I always ignore until he is quiet or self entertains again). I mostly put him out there for little morning or midday potty breaks. But just sharing my situation as an example, I am looking to switch or do away with that system soon because he is a busy body and I am wary that, especially as he grows, he will find a way to break out. I also don't plan on neutering until around 2 years of age and that plays into it too. Now, I do plenty of training and exercise so he is not your typical bored dog with nothing to do. But because of his personality I wouldn't trust him. If I wanted to keep him outside for any period of time in the near future, I would not be satisfied with anything short of a totally enclosed kennel.

My biggest concerns for your situation would be 1. If he changes through adolescence and shows more desire to escape, and 2. loose dogs getting into his enclosure. But again, it really varies and you seem to have put a lot of consideration into it.

Lastly, when he matures he may be able to hold it for 10 hours indoors :)

ETA: 'When' depends on each dog but provided you trust him in every other way (won't chew, destroy things, etc) I may suggest 1 years old for testing if he can hold it for 10 hours. It is SO dependent on each dog though. I've heard of 6 mo puppies who can basically hold it through a work day. You may also consider having a midday dog walker type person come for 15 minute visits and gradually having them come later until you are sure your dog can hold it.

Regarding the bed, I know plenty of folks who let their puppies sleep in their beds day one. In those cases, they are sure they want that habit for the long term (they generally will prefer sleeping with you if you let them).
 

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If its working, sounds like a good setup. Dogs seem to prefer to hang out outside anyway if you aren't home.

That being said, I would seriously consider getting a larger kennel that can be locked and secured against robbers. I don't know where you live, but in our area people have been stealing dogs from fenced yards in broad daylight, both in town and out in rural areas.
 

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Sounds to me like your setup is working and doesn't sound bad. Just keep as is unless when he gets older a a problem arises.
I have a kennel run in the backyard. The issue at 1st was they would escape now I have escaped proof it and they don't anymore. But all 4 rotate from back yard to house
 

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My concerns would be--

at 14 weeks, is he actually "fully vetted" because most states don't require rabies vaccine until either 4 or 6 months. Without a rabies vaccine at the appropriate age, being unattended outdoors is a serious risk. Not because rabies is a huge risk per se, but because ANY unknown bite/knick would have to be considered as a possible exposure.

Digging. Chicken wire footers, paving stones and such depending on your soil and topography.

Climbing. A kennel with a roof would solve this. A good kennel with top would also help reduce concerns of large wildlife intruding. You might be surprised at what a hawk considers prey, maybe coyotes are in your area etc.

Sudden weather changes. You do mention only good weather days, but depending on how changeable your weather is, it might be worth erring on the side of caution. Around here, I have gone to work with it 80 degrees and sunny and come home to snow. With a good quality dog house, lightning and high winds would be my concerns compared to just temperature.

Chasing bugs- if those bugs include or might include wasps, hornets, even bumble bees then you might want to consider being there to supervise. Any snakes around?

I'm not saying an outdoor setup is automatically bad, just that there are a lot of location/climate specific things to consider along with dog temperament issues.
 
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