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I have a 6 month old almost 7 month old airedoodle. He is crate trained. We have had him 5 months now. We have 2 crates. One in the living room for during the day and one in his bedroom where he is dog bed is for the night. We work typical hours 9-6. Our puppy is crated during the day. This was for potty training and not tearing up our house purposes. We have a dog walker that comes M,T,TH to let him out of his crate and to take him on a 30 minute walk. He goes to daycare on W and F. We are at a point where we think he may be old enough to not have the dog walker. (something has to give. this is getting incredibly expensive to do dog walker and daycare. Ideally, we would like no dog walker and daycare once a week or maybe twice) Our end goal is to be able to leave him in the living room and put up baby gates at the kitchen and steps to block it off and let him have space to roam. Question, how do we get to this point? Would you say keep crating him as we train him to not have a mid day break and once we get pass that point start leaving him out for longer periods of time OR start leaving him out for longer periods of time and continue with the dog walker letting him out each day? We would also like for him to not have to sleep in a crate but just in his dog bed. I'm nervous he will potty in the middle of the night or be roaming around the house eating socks. lol. Help! FYI, we won't completely get rid of the crates. We know that is his safe space. We just want to be able to leave the door open in case he wants to walk around.
 

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I would not trust a 6 month old puppy loose in my house for any length of time if my life depended on it.

My handling of this is typically to start leaving the dog uncrated and loose around the house while I do SHORT errands, first. Going to the post office or gas station, picking up a gallon of milk, and build from there over about 6 months - grocery store trips for full runs that take an hour and a half or two, and onwards as I can. I would definitely *not* try and transition him out of hte crate and away from a mid-day potty break at the same time. Get him used to being alone all day, work on very short periods of alone time and build toward being out all day.
 

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Thanks! We have started leaving him out for short periods when we go to dinner and grocery store but we usually do this after a day of daycare when we know is he is super tired. So we should gradually get him to use to more time out of the crate first before doing anything else?
 

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I would start with crating him for the whole day to see if he can hold it. He should be able to, but you won't know until you try.

Then I would allow him out of the crate at night. This is typically much easier than during the day, because you're right there and he should be asleep anyway. I would keep the bedroom door closed so he can't wander off and get into things.

Once you have both of those things down, you can try letting him out of the crate during the day. I would start for short periods during the weekend while you run errands, and consider setting up a camera (I use a laptop webcam with Skype - free and easy) so you can watch and see what he's up to. If you know for a fact that he just sleeps, that will help ease your mind.

He's still very young, so be prepared for him to stumble at any of these stages and need to go back to the crate. No big deal, just wait a few months and try again. My adult didn't sleep out of the crate until 8 months, and wasn't loose during the day until 1.5 years. We had zero incidents, and I'm happy I waited a bit longer until I was more sure of him.
 

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I have a dog that I could have sworn will never get out of the crate. She was a little over 1 YO when we attempted it and it was successful. We started with leaving her out when we ran quick errands and eventually prolonged the time she was let out of the crate. She was crate trained but we haven't used a crate for about 2 years now.

Every dog is different but if your dog doesn't need middle of the day breaks then you can stop the dog walker/daycare all the time. Zoey is left from about 8:30 to 5:30 and is OK and has been since about 6 months old (we adopted her at 4-5 months old). As for nighttime, she sleeps in our room with the door closed and she doesn't have a need to roam. Only when one of my sons come home late does she want to go out of the room and that isn't all the time ... usually when she hears the fridge or closet door opening LOL! Now, my sister's dog can't seem to hold anything at all and usually has to go during the day and sometimes at night; my sister swears she puts her dog out and a lot of times she'll find pee or poop when she comes back from errands ... that would be a nightmare for me!

I would test your dog during a day off to see what happens if it is let out of the crate for a short while just make sure wherever you put it is chewproof!
 

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Typically I advise people to crate during the day for at LEAST two years, and my mentor still crates her 9 year old dog during the day. I think 6 months is WAY too young to let loose, but as elrohwen said, he should be able to hold it all day without needing the dog walker. Start gradually, maybe have the walker come later, up to within an hour or two of you coming home from work at first to make sure he doesn't have an accident in the crate.
 

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Typically I advise people to crate during the day for at LEAST two years, and my mentor still crates her 9 year old dog during the day. I think 6 months is WAY too young to let loose, but as elrohwen said, he should be able to hold it all day without needing the dog walker. Start gradually, maybe have the walker come later, up to within an hour or two of you coming home from work at first to make sure he doesn't have an accident in the crate.
IME, most dogs are fine somewhere between 1 and 2 years. Of course there are exceptions, but I haven't met many dogs that would need to wait until 2 years old. I do agree that 6 months is quiet young. I would maybe start leaving a dog that age for an hour or two, or uncrating at bedtime, but I wouldn't expect a pup that age to be ok uncrated for a 9 hour work day.
 

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Lincoln started staying out if his crate while I was here at about 6 months, if he got really rambunctious and couldnt settle down, I tethered him, he quickly learned that if he wanted to have freedom, he would have to be good and play quietly or chew on his nylabones, he now takes out all his energy on his chewies LOL. He will be a year in 3 days and I still crate him when we are out, he stays loose at night and when I am home, though.

But as far as when you are gone, if something ain't broke, why fix it? if he does well in his crate while you are away, then I would stick with that, some dogs can never be out loose unattended (I think Lincoln might be one of those dogs) and that's fine. It doesnt mean you failed as a trainer or owner, some dogs just arent trustworthy LOL.
 

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Kris is still crated at night and she is over two and half years old. She goes to her crate at night on her own so don't see any reason to change things. I also have my three little dogs sleep with me at night so everyone is happy with this arrangement. Kris goes with me 90% of the time if I go out except when it was really hot out this summer, then she stays at home outside. She is very well housebroken and does not get into things but as she is quite happy in her crate I have no plans to leave her loose in the house with the little dogs although she gets along with them fine.
 

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Kris is still crated at night and she is over two and half years old. She goes to her crate at night on her own so don't see any reason to change things. I also have my three little dogs sleep with me at night so everyone is happy with this arrangement. Kris goes with me 90% of the time if I go out except when it was really hot out this summer, then she stays at home outside. She is very well housebroken and does not get into things but as she is quite happy in her crate I have no plans to leave her loose in the house with the little dogs although she gets along with them fine.
LOL "hot".

Lincoln stays out during the day when I am here, BUT ... my apartment is fairly small with only two rooms (its set up like a studio apt) and I have the bedroom gated off. So if the OP has a larger house, they might want to have the puppy drag a leash around, or tether them to something so they cant wonder off and tear something up or, potty LOL. I would crate him at night and while you are away, though.
 

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Lincoln started staying out if his crate while I was here at about 6 months, if he got really rambunctious and couldnt settle down, I tethered him, he quickly learned that if he wanted to have freedom, he would have to be good and play quietly or chew on his nylabones, he now takes out all his energy on his chewies LOL. He will be a year in 3 days and I still crate him when we are out, he stays loose at night and when I am home, though.

But as far as when you are gone, if something ain't broke, why fix it? if he does well in his crate while you are away, then I would stick with that, some dogs can never be out loose unattended (I think Lincoln might be one of those dogs) and that's fine. It doesnt mean you failed as a trainer or owner, some dogs just arent trustworthy LOL.
This is where we are at with our corgi and the guilt is getting to us. He just cannot, cannot be left alone for literally 5 seconds. It's exhausting but I don't think he'll ever be trustworthy ever, which really sucks.
 

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Forget the guilt trip because you are gonna give him plenty of quality time that will add everything needed in his life.

There are more than a few dogs that when left alone destroyed a room etc in a home plus severely injured themselves with their hooligans. Add to that more than a few dogs that owners have dumped after home damage done.
 

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I think 6 months is too young to be loose in the house all day unsupervised. I think Obi was about 13-14 months when I stopped worrying about him being loose. We started leaving him loose for short periods (10-45 minutes) from about 7 months though.

Not a big fan of crating all night and all day though. If you can have him loose at night that would be a little better. During the day I would personally opt for a small restricted are where he can have toys and move and stretch a bit, like a gated off kitchen or similar. But I would still start with short periods before leaving him all day.
 

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To those of you who started leaving dogs unattended around 6 months, what kinds of dogs do you have? I have a 6 month old Australian shepherd and I can't even imagine leaving her loose! I tried leaving her uncrated during the night recently and woke to several destroyed items so that's off the table for the moment. I was only half awake and thought she had one of her toys but it turned out to be my shoes....
 

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Nice, mellow dogs, it's not the breed of dog it's the individual in the breed.
...I wouldn't call my Border Collie Mellow. What she is, however, is a dog who has a clear understanding of rules and routine, a strong (innate) desire to follow them. Which also pretty well sums up the other dog I left out about then, who is God-Knows-What.

That said, my GSD mix is STILL crated when we're gone and he's nearly 3. I would not trust that dog further than I can throw him if there weren't eyes on him. And I can't lift him, much less throw him.
 

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I have a 6 1/2 year old papillon that cannot be left loose. Just half a year ago she decided to chew up my door frame in my brand new house. Fun times! I don't really think breed matters too much. On the plus side since Mia is short she can only reach the bottom of my door frame (but she can climb to reach things you'd swear are out of her reach). My other papillon never chewed anything. Mia has chewed more than any dog I've ever own- large and herding breeds included.

I honestly am tempted to try Hank loose because he's really good and basically only shreds his toys (... and my comforter). But my one concern is that he'd hassle the papillons while they are in their playpen. And Hank can also jump the x-pen so I could see him jumping in with the papillons and them getting angry. So... Idk. I think my three will probably be crated while I'm gone permanently. I feel a little guilty but then I realize that Hank basically just sleeps while I'm gone no matter where he is.

I've also thought about gating Hank in the bedroom but I think he'd rather be kenneled where he can see Mia and Summer.
 

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I did try Hank loose last week for 15 minutes while I sat in the yard with my ear against the window and I could hear him doing mad sprinting up and down the hallway for a lot of it. So that also discouraged me. lol
 

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Nike has the same drive to please, it's just it gets lost when she sees something interesting. It comes in waves at the moment lol. But that's part of being a puppy. I get lots of flashes of the brilliant dog she's going to be, in between moments when I can't get eye contact for half a second because she's just overwhelmed by a situation.
 
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