|Barked: Tue Nov 13, '12 10:10pm PST |
|I got Farley as a pup when I was 16 and didn't know much about dog training. I really didn't know or understand the value of crate-training. So, unfortunately I never accustomed him to a crate. He does have one, a soft-sided canine camper, and he does use it, and knows his "kennel" command, but I never close it up and leave him in it. It is there for him to go in and out of when he pleases, and that's it.
When we leave him, he has the entire house to himself (it's *almost* always dog-proofed and certain doors are kept closed). I make sure he's exercised and I leave him with a treat ball when I go, and he's usually fine. Now and then, he will find something to get into, but very seldom.
I see nothing wrong with crating a dog while you are away from home, providing the dog likes the crate and is comfortable staying in it for the period you will be gone. I also know people that use X-pens and I think those are a great idea too. I don't worry about it with Farley because he is quite good with the whole house to himself (less stressed than if left in a confined space) but it certainly depends on the dog. There is lots an energetic bored puppy can get up to when left alone
ETA if you do want to try leaving your dog loose in the house when gone, make sure it's totally dog-proofed (Farley sometimes gets into things I didn't even KNOW I had). Block off certain areas if they are off limits, give pup some exercise before leaving and it's always nice to leave the dog with a safe toy to keep them busy while they're alone- Farley loves his green StarMark treat dispensing chew ball, it comes in 3 sizes and is the only treat ball he hasn't been able to destroy yet. Farley doesn't have separation anxiety but it is nice for him to get a fun toy/treats when we leave, so it makes a positive association with us leaving.
Starting off with shorter periods of time can be useful, and slowly increasing them depending on your dog's progress. It sounds like you really want to give it a shot, so I say go for it.
Edited by author Tue Nov 13, '12 10:20pm PST
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