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Discussion Starter #1
I have three dogs:
Mom - Georgie - a little over three-years-old, full-blooded Black Labrador
Beef and Gracie - Georgie's pups - they are about eight-months-old, half Black Lab, half Golden Retriever.

They are indoor dogs. All are kennel trained. Georgie is out of the kennel during the day, while I am at work... but the puppies remain in locked in. I come home at lunch to let them out and play, and they are free to roam the house anytime I am home.

As the puppies have gotten bigger, I've wondered when the appropriate time would be to let them have the house to themselves (along with their mom). They do not seem to mind the kennel, but I would like them to be able to "spread out" a bit for the hours I am gone.

They are potty-trained, fairly well-behaved (expect they want to run and love on anyone they see), and are overall smart dogs.

Georgie was fine being let go and alone... but three can be wild!

Thoughts and comments are appreciated!

Jim
 

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Lab puppies home alone? Oh NO!!!! I wouldn't do it. They're in the terrible teen phase. I wouldn't trust a lab until at least 2-3 years old, if then - lol! My late labs were great as adults, but as puppies - NO, NO, NO... Did I say no - lol?!
 

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I don't know, just how fond of your house are you.
Ha, so very true. 8 month old pups of ANY breed might be questionable, but 2 Lab puppies loose together? You might be lucky to still have walls and a floor, let alone any furniture.

Not before at least 18 months IMO. Although I do not leave any dogs loose together so my answer in a way would be "Never" but I know plenty of people that do successfully leave their adult dogs loose alone together.
 

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Haha....my BF has been wanting to try to let our almost 8-month-old puppy out of his crate to see how he'd do when we're not home for short periods of time...normally Kobi is well behaved and doesn't chew on things, except his toys...however....

One day my BF was In our office/loft working and Kobi had his normal full run of the house. Suddenly, my BF heard a loud *RRIIIPPPPPP*!!!!

It turned out Kobi got a hold of a thread on my sheets on our bed (to his credit, I was about to throw the sheets out because I noticed that morning they were beginning to fray)!! My BF texted me to tell me...I responded, "so do you still think Kobi is ready to be out of the crate when we're gone??? Lol"

I'd been telling him its too premature...my BF now believes me! Haha
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Labs are easier if you have an ACD to keep them in line.
What is an ACD?

*******************

Thanks for all the comments and feedback everyone! I have grown up with Labradors, and am fully aware of their capabilities. However, my dogs were always outdoors - we had a nice pen, dog house, etc... so this indoor stuff is new to me. When it was just Georgie (the mother) and I, no worries. She is very laid back, and I have no worries about leaving her alone and out of the kennel - and she has been that way for over a year. But, now with the puppies... yeah, this could be interesting.
 

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I don't know, just how fond of your house are you.
Hahahah.... good one & a good point.
I stay home with Roman most days... starting to slowly leave him alone to sleep & wander around the lower level of the house (TV on... he loves TV)...

1/2 hour at a time before checking up on him.

Roman
RomanWW.jpg

P.S. Roman has a fondness for carpets.... can do a 12X12 in seconds.
 

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You just have to try, I guess!

Jackson has been reliable loose in the house while we're not home since he was 5 months old. One day I just decided to leave him out with my dads dogs and he was fine, and that was that.

I would do short periods of time first, obviously.
 

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To go cold turkey. Nope, would not do it. Now if you want and while you run to the store or gas station see how they do loose, maybe. You could work up to leave loose in morning, crating in afternoon and switching back forth. Two big growing loose pups in a house unsupervised for 8 hours might get an award of a video clip on America's Funniest Video or win the Bad Dog Award on Animal Planet.
 

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OK... Roman is left alone downstairs for officially 1hr 15 mins...
I got curious and went down to check on him (was sleeping)...
Which in turn I praised him, left but he followed me up 5 mins later...
For food & treat of course.

So far so good.
 

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OK... Roman is left alone downstairs for officially 1hr 15 mins...
I got curious and went down to check on him (was sleeping)...
Which in turn I praised him, left but he followed me up 5 mins later...
For food & treat of course.

So far so good.
 

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Molly (probably lab/weim mix) was about 2-1/2 before she got the run of the house, and then it was a major leap-of-faith.

She's been doing very well, BTW, but you have to be careful not to leave fuzzy slippers that look like chew toys laying around. ("Hey! Where's the sqeekers in these things??")
 

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I have been letting my Basenji and my flattie mix puppy out, baby gated in the kitchen together. But we also have a doggy door so they can go out and go potty.

I love baby gating! I make sure there is nothing they can tear up on the floor, and let them at it.
 

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We started leaving Hamilton gated into the living room alone at about 8 months. This was because he learned how to break out of his expen and I didn't want him getting hurt. He learned a week before I lost my job, I was like "You couldn't hold out another week!??" Now we alternate between leaving him gated in the living room and crated when we leave him alone, but he doesn't get run of the house with no one home. Just not worth the risk.
 

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Maybe start with giving the pups a gated area where they have a bit of room to roam. If they don't destroy anything within their area, expand it a little. You could even leave something destroyable that you don't care about within their area to see if they go for it before giving them the opportunity to destroy something that you DO care about.

I agree with all of the above: I wouldn't let them have run of the whole house cold-turkey.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Last night was a test... I had two evening meetings, so I came home to let the dogs out to pee. They had the living/dining/kitchen area, and a hallway, for two hours. I begged them to be good, and they gave me that knowing look as though I was the stupid one for even asking...

I came home a couple hours later, and no messes, chewed up furniture or anything! Sweet!!

Yes, it was a test, and I would not probably do it for longer... but it's nice to know that a couple hours things were safe.
 

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Alannah is a perfect angel when we are home (even if we are outside doing something like washing a car and she is inside alone). She will go downstairs by herself and play or watch birds out the sliding glass doors, etc. Sometimes she sleeps on our bed at night, sometimes in her bed next to me, and sometimes she'll go sleep out in the hall (i.e. she could run around at night cause havoc if she chose to but she doesn't). Yet I am way too scared to leave her out of her crate when we are gone. She is 10 months. I just worry that anything could happen and she could hurt herself and I wouldn't know until we got home from work. It will probably be a long time before we try leaving her out of her crate during the work day.
 

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I remember when my, then 9 month old, Lab mixed foster was allowed home alone uncrated. We went through about 200+ dollars worth of Bed sheets (thats approx 10 sets at $20 a piece) inside of a week because she kept destroying them, Never touched anything else only the fitted sheets.. Boy was I glad when the crate finally came in (All appropriate sized crates, belonging to the shelter, were already on loan or being used at the shelter and for some reason every pet shop in the immediate area were sold out).
 
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