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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lolly is now 6 months old and is completely house trained and hasn't chewed anything she shouldn't except the odd sock and a pair of shoes! (I hope I'm not speaking too soon!!!) I work 2 days a week and up until now my husband has always managed to organise his work diary so that he can be home for half the day while I work. This hasn't always been easy for him. So up until now Lolly has been left n her crate for a maximum of 4 hours (I think she once did 5 hours as was an emergency)

At night she loves to snuggle on a her spare doggy matress in our bedroom while I go to sleep and then hubbie takes her out for a last wee and puts her in her crate downstairs when he goes to bed. She knows that when I'm in bed she just has to go to sleep too.

My hubbie is reluctant to carry on organising his work diary as it really isn't easy for him and we now feel Lolly could be left a bit longer for just two days a week but I really don't want to leave her for that long in her crate. So we are beginning to think about letting her stay out of it. I was planning to leave her home alone out of her crate while I go out, gradually building up the time to see how she copes or to see if actually she would be happier in her crate.
We both also wondered about just not putting her in her crate at night. So I was wondering what everyones thoughts are and when others stopped using a crate?

I know that it's not ideal to leave a dog for more than 3 hours but I do have to work just those 2 days where she would potentially be alone for just over 7 hours. I have also ensured that I don't work 2 consecutive days.
 

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Janet - sounds like Lolly is doing super! You guys have really worked hard to train her and keep her happy!

I have to work two days as well. I haven't used a crate at all, I use a puppy pen, and keep a potty pad in that for him. My husband was coming home for a while midday to let Chip out b/c he has to poo at that time since he's still young. But when he's a bit older, I plan on giving him the run of the kitchen (his pen is in the kitchen now), and then eventually the house.

Do you have a smaller area that you can test perhaps one day? And maybe check in on her briefly to see how she's doing?

Also, what about leaving the crate with the door off so that she can go in there when she wants to since that's what she is used to?

Good luck with trying things out!
 

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Luna's crate is in our (quite large) bathroom and when we go out we leave her there with a stairgate at the door so she has the entire room to eat kongs and play and her crate to sleep in. We regularly leave her now to get used to it and so far all ok, but the max we've left her is 2hrs so far. We won't be leaving her properly until mid Oct when she's almost 5mths old.

So, firstly don't beat yourself up about leaving her. You have to work, like I do, and as far as I'm concerned Luna will have two good walks a day and lots of love & attention when we're there which is more than some dogs get when the owners are home all day and she'll soon know no different. So start with leaving the crate door open in a room you trust her in and leave her for increasing periods of time and go from there. You may find she doesn't need her crate, but at least she can make that decision herself. She'll be fine and everyone says they sleep most the time anyway!!!

Harri x
 

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When I have to leave Treacle, I leave her in the utility with her crate door open, a kong filled with goodies and her toys!
When I get back she is asleep in her crate - toys left in same position and Kong uneaten!
This tells me that when I am not around, she is happy to rest and enjoy the peace and quiet!
I bet Lolly would be the same as she sounds like a happy well trained girl!
 

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I think the important thing Janet is that Lolly feels safe and secure. Her crate is a safe place, but as you say, she will need more space when she is left for 7 hours. I would definitely recommend confining her to one room or even a section of a room.

I bought a baby playpen from Mothercare and by joining it to Basil's crate I have created a run for him. I am also lucky (in this instance!) in that I have a long narrow kitchen and so I will move on to opening out the playpen and giving him a section of the kitchen. Although Rufus is free in the kitchen and Basil would adore to just snuggle up with him, I want to wait until Basil is older before I leave them alone together.

As Harri said, I would still leave her crate there and in position but with the door open. Change should be gradual.

Some people carry on using their crates forever for night time. JD put their pack in individual crates overnight. I stopped using one for Rufus when he was 14 months. I would have got rid of it earlier but as the summer hols were approaching I wanted to be able to crate him when we were in France. It's when you're in other people's property that it becomes a worry!! On holiday this summer before we picked up Basil, Rufus slept in our bedroom next to my side of the bed. He was so good bless him. :)

You'll find a routine that suits you and Lolly. All dogs are different and you know Lolly best of all. She'll be fine but watch out for those Cockapoo kisses when you get home!

Karen xx
 

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I agree with Karen so long as shes confined to one room she'll be fine,if its a utilty then thats great .
My friends cockapoo is left to have the run of the kitchen which is usually fine but the other day Dudley got in the cuboards and emptyed out gravy granuals all over the floor.I think they destroy things etc when their bored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your support and advice.

I was planning on leaving the crate there with the door open. I doubt she will go into it though as she very rarely does of her own accord. Very occasionally she has gone in when we have guests and the only other time she used it lots was just after she was spayed when she wasn't feeling well. I suppose that does show me that she feels safe and comfortable in there.
I husband came to bed really late last night (he's still jet lagged) at about 1.50am and asked whether to just leave Lolly where she was but she hadn't done a last wee so we decided to take her down and put her in her crate. He did but left the door ajar. She stayed in it, probably not realising the door would open!!!

So I think I will do as you all suggest and build up the time slowly and see how she gets on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well we left Lolly for an hour on her own yesterday out of her crate. I asked her to go in it before we left and gave her a filled kong but I only half shut the door. We came back and she was out of it with something chewed on the carpet. It turned out she had found one of my daughters nail files!

She must have thought all her Christmases came at once last night when we left her sleeping in our room. We took her out for a wee at 10.30pm and then both went up to bed. She followed us up and settled down to sleep. I didn't hear a peep out of her until 7am when the alarm went off and I got an excited greeting from her!

And today I left her for 2 hours out of her crate (having had a good look around to make sure there was nothing about she may take a fancy to and chew!) She was fine and we got a lovely greeting as usual when we came home. I think we are well on the way to getting rid of our crate!
 

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Janet - sounds like that is going great! Congrats!

We just put up a wide baby gate to block off our kitchen from our family room since I'll be leaving him just in the kitchen eventually till he graduates to the whole house. Kind of a pain to have it there somewhat permanently, but I was tired of moving the wire fence we propped up every day!
 

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Sounds like she is doing great! I've never used a crate and as our house is open-plan, Dylan has access to everywhere when we are out. He has never done any damage or chewed anything, apart from maybe a couple of things when he was very tiny. I think mostly they tend to settle down and go to sleep when they are left alone. You seem to be making the change gradually and controlling it well, and I'm sure she'll be fine.
 

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We no longer use a crate for 14 week old Bess. She sleeps on our kitchen sofa with Maisie ... they are happy and we don't hear a peep out of them at night. They both have beds in there too which they also use.

There is a stairgate to keep them in the kitchen at night and we know there're safe. :)
 

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I'm glad you asked this question as I've been pondering it for a while. We've just returned from a week away and while Obi was with the dog sitter they didn't use the crate and he slept cuddled up with their eight year old dog on his bed. I didn't have the heart to put Obi back in the crate last night after a week out of it so he is now on his own dog bed in the kitchen. So, I guess the choice was made for me! However, our kitchen is open plan to a larger family living space and at the moment I have a temporary fence set up using the rails of my daughters old cot bed as it's quite a large opening. I am getting fed up of having to hop over it but might have to keep it until I can trust Obi not to chew my daughters toys.
 

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We no longer use a crate for 14 week old Bess. She sleeps on our kitchen sofa with Maisie ... they are happy and we don't hear a peep out of them at night. They both have beds in there too which they also use.
I'd like to do that with Izzy and Phoebe, my only concern is that Izzy is not yet reliable with toilet training, she has been dry at night in her crate since day 3, I'm just a bit concerned that it will go backwards if she's out and can wee on the floor. Any thoughts on whether I should just go for it or leave her a bit longer until toilet training is sorted properly? I don't want to start leaving her out the crate, and then have to put her back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh Clare - I just noticed the new picture you have of Obi on your pita pata. I can't believe how much he's changed! He looks so grown up!!! Looking forward to seeing him on Sunday at St Albans.
 

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We started leaving Betty in during the day last week - she is out with our dog
minder for 3- 4 hours in the middle of the day. On the first few days we did
have a couple of little puddles by the back door but by Friday ( and yesterday) we were puddle free. She has use of the hall and kitchen - neither of which are particularly large but she seems just fine and is all
working out well.
 

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Chloe is still in the kennel at night (only) at a year old. My biggest worry about letting her sleep out of it is that she will bark and growl at noises she hears in the night. She considers herself a watchdog already and I don't want her to bark while the kids are sleeping. I am not sure how to tell when/if she is ready to be sleep anywhere else beside her kennel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I thought I'd update this thread. The crate has now gone and I have my corner of the living room back again! Lolly sleeps in our bedroom at night and is really good. A couple of times she has come over in the middle of the night to have a little look and ask if its morning yet and then when she gets no response takes herself back off to her bed!
During the day on the 2 days I work she has been really good, having the run of the living room and kitchen. Luckily for me I have a superstar of a sister-in-law :star::hug:(MillieDog) who has been popping in at lunch time to give Lolly some attention and garden time! Nothing chewed and no puddles :D
 

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Janet - sounds like it is working out perfectly! I hope to get my corner of the kitchen back from my pen soon! :)
 
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