Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern California
Dogs Name: Eli
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Eli my doberman has full run of the house with a dog door that leads to a yard completely fenced in with privacy fencing. He and my old girl Ginger have the house. When Eli was a puppy I put him in a 6x6 pen in my garage. The garage had windows and was comfortable. I put a covered dog house, blankets and lots of toy and chewies for him in there. He was fine with blankets, he didn't chew them. I also built the pen over a 7 foot plyboard base so he wouldn't be on the colder garage floor. I worked out well and I was able to come home lunch and walk him, play with him etc. When he was about 10 months I couldn't come home for lunch anymore and I hired a pet sitter for lunch. About 2 months before we moved into our current house I arraigned the indoor garage pen to have access to the dog door going out to a huge dog run 30x20.
He was crate trained at night as a puppy but I'm not a fan of leaving dogs for more than 4 hours during the day in a crate. I know some people must do this but I didn't want to. When we moved I put in a dog slider door and I confined him to the family room with the dog door. The first couple of day he brought sticks from outside in but that stopped soon. Eventually he was allowed freedom in the entire house. He was never a super destructive dog. He did chew dog beds, then, not now. He did rearrange pillows on the couches but overall he wasn't bad at all.
I now have a collie pup who is 7 1/2 months old. In the new place we have an awesome set up for him. He has a large dog run (don't know the exact size but large, with privacy fencing also. I have a separate bird room which is divided in half, the pup has a dog door that goes out to the run and then he can go inside the bird/dog room where is is air conditioned in the summer and lightly heated in the winter. I have a coolaroo bed, toys, water and a big blanket for him in there. It has worked out so well! He is not house ready and I don't want to leave him alone with Eli since they are both males. My husband built the bird room/dog room with the dogs in mind along with the parrots. When my puppy was younger, until he was 5 1/2 months old he lived in the nook in the kitchen. I had a pet sitter come at lunch, feed and play with him. Then when he was old enough he went to the run/dog room area. I wish I didn't work full time but I do so I had to make it work for us, for the dogs. I get up at 4:30am so I have time to run the dogs at the field and train, from 6:00-6:40 and yes we start in the dark and yes BRRRRRRRRRRRR but only for husband and me not the dogs. LOL.
So, a lot more than you asked for LOL. I think it all depends on how long you will be gone and how destructive your dog is, how much you can train and exercise when you are home and several other factors.