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Old 11-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Free reign of the house?

I am scared to give my 12 month old boy free reign of the house when I go out. If I leave for 5 minutes, the first thing he does is pull my bedspread off the bed and onto the floor, every time. Who knows what he would do if I stayed out longer. So I have to crate him every time I go out, which is starting to seem cruel. Any suggestions on how to go about giving him free reign of the whole house? Should we be at that point at 12 months old? It would be so much easier for both of us. Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why do you consider it cruel now if it was fine with you before? Why would it be easier for both of you?

At 12 months I'd say it depends on the dog. If your dog isn't ready, he isn't ready. There's no should when it comes to how they act unsupervised. Some dogs can never be trusted without being crated.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know the benefits of crate training a puppy, it just seems to me that he should be past that by now. It certainly helped with housebreaking. I just feel terrible keeping him in it so much now that he is older, that's what I meant by saying "easier" . Thanks for your reply.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My first dobe, chewed the love seat apart and a corner off the wooden coffee table.
- so she didn't have free reign, till 12 months old
My second girl, was perfect (in whole house) since 4.5 months old, unsupervised (no cage, no baby gates)....all leather furniture, to wait & rest on.
- my first dog was born in 1977, my second benefited from me having more training skills, in year 2000

Cwinifredg - where does your dobe sleep, day & night ??
This will allow me to understand, the normal privileges, your boy is use to...and put the "bedspread trophy" into more perspective.
- then I will try to offer a correction game plan
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dieter sleeps in his crate which is on the floor right next to my bed. He is not allowed on my bed, and rarely tries to get up there anyway. When I am home, he is usually out of the crate with me watching him like a hawk, and him following me around like a velcro dog. A game plan would be most appreciated!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I live with 3 Dobermans...two 8-year-olds and one 3-year-old. Moe (8) can be left loose and has been able to be loose before he was even a year old. He doesn't bother anything and is totally trustworthy. D'Va, my other 8-year-old, is another story. As soon as I would think she was trustworthy, she'd prove me wrong...something ended up destroyed (often sofa cushions). I can maybe leave for an hour to an hour and a half and not crate her and things are okay, but for the most part, if I'm gone longer than that, she's crated. She's safe and I don't come home upset because something is destroyed. Jordan (3) is notorious for destroying dog beds and eating stuffing so, again she is crated for her safety and to keep mom happy when she comes home. If your boy is pulling the bedspread off your bed, block off or close the door to that room, leave him for short periods at a time and build up to it. But, if he turns out to be a "destroyer", then the safest thing for him is to be crated; otherwise, if they eat stuffing or something else, you'll risk obstruction. Personally, I don't think it's cruel if it's for their safety.

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Old 11-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cwinifredg View Post
I am scared to give my 12 month old boy free reign of the house when I go out. If I leave for 5 minutes, the first thing he does is pull my bedspread off the bed and onto the floor, every time. Who knows what he would do if I stayed out longer. So I have to crate him every time I go out, which is starting to seem cruel. Any suggestions on how to go about giving him free reign of the whole house? Should we be at that point at 12 months old? It would be so much easier for both of us. Thanks!
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Originally Posted by Cwinifredg View Post
I know the benefits of crate training a puppy, it just seems to me that he should be past that by now. It certainly helped with housebreaking. I just feel terrible keeping him in it so much now that he is older, that's what I meant by saying "easier" . Thanks for your reply.
Don't feel terrible, it's not cruel, and some dogs actually find it LESS stressful to be in a kennel while you're out. My 2 year old, who is the most obedient you could imagine, does not do well left for more than a few hours. 2-4 hours and she's fine, more than that, and she gets bored, get's anxious, stir crazy, and my neighbor who we're good friends with has told me that she barks and whines a lot too, which she never does in her crate.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Elka didn't have free reign until she was closer to 18 months, I'd say.

Even now, we tend to leave the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs (several people in the house work overnight shifts periodically, and sleep during the day, so don't need their doorknobs rattled by a Dobernose.)
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the advice. You are right, if it's fortheir safety, I shouldn't think of it as cruel. And we have already had a bout with obstruction. He shredded a towel and ended up having a 13 inch shred removed from his intestine. He completely recovered, though my bank account hasn't yet!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry to piggy back but I have similar issues with my 1.5 yr boy. We've always crated him when gone but lately he goes crazy when we leave the house. We can hear him trying to escape. He loves to get in to it do he's not crate shy. If we leave him out he and our other Doberman tear stuff up but playing rough. Any thoughts?


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Old 11-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhackett View Post
Sorry to piggy back but I have similar issues with my 1.5 yr boy. We've always crated him when gone but lately he goes crazy when we leave the house. We can hear him trying to escape. He loves to get in to it do he's not crate shy. If we leave him out he and our other Doberman tear stuff up but playing rough. Any thoughts?


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From the sounds of those two, I'd be real hesitant to leave them alone together...think of what one can do and then times that by 2! You could try separating them by keeping them in different areas/rooms or with your 1.5 year old boy, you can try putting an ex-pen around his crate so he can go in and out of the crate but still be confined. With my younger girl, she suffers from separation anxiety so I will put yogurt and kibble in a Kong and freeze it and then give it to her when I leave...this has helped her a lot.

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've only had one Doberman who was completely trustworthy at a year--he actually had the run of the house at 7 months--actually he had the run of three rooms. I do not EVER EVER leave dogs uncrated or in the same room with another loose dog. I've known too many people whose dogs got into scuffles and managed to damage the house and each other (several times to BIG vet bills) and I'd rather be very safe about it.

So my dogs graduate from crates when I'm not there to ex-pens if I'm not there to a room or half of the house. Depends on the dog.

Most of them are reliable by two--I've had a couple that never were--so they stayed crated. The Australian Shepherd who wouldn't have thought of getting on furniture (not allowed in this house) could be counted on to have been lounging on the couch, chair or bed while I was gone. He was babygated in the kitchen--with a dog bed and an open crate.

Bear in mind that there aren't many of us who would consider a year old dog anything except still a puppy.

I've raised way too many puppies over the years--so I'm pretty slow to allow things like free reign of the entire house. One of my dogs would be fine except for the fact that there is a Malemute who is walked about 9 times a day by an idiot who has him on a 25' flexi and allows him full length of it--that allows the Mal to get from the sidewalk to my front window and comes and growls and barks at my dog through the window. UGH--my dog is pretty dog friendly but he takes a dim view of this--barking back is one thing but I have visions of the moron and his Malemute getting him so jacked up he tries to go through a plate glass window and kills himself doing it.

He generally goes with me if I'm out but if not he's in a room that has no access to the front room and is baby gated in there.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My guy is 12 months as well. He does not have free reign of the house but mostly because he would bother the cats too much (loves to lick their bums and nose punch them) as well as the fact that he is still an adolescent pushing his boundaries and we don't want him to think he owns the house. We did not crate train however, but he is blocked off to the front hall and front office where his bed is, by a baby gate. He is blocked there as well at night due to his over possessiveness of me and because he has not yet learned that he gets up on my terms and not his own in the mornings.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Kratos does not have free reign why because, my house would be torn apart plus he terrorizes my smaller dogs who do have have free reign well only calypso has complete free reign because she wont a.) kill the cat b.) eliminate all over the house c.) destroy all the interior. I do not crate Kratos instead i had an indoor kennel built for him.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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At 12 months he is still considered a puppy bigger dogs do not mature as fast as a smaller breed. Then you still have to go through the teen age phase and since Doberman s have the nick name of Dober goat it is much safer to keep them crated. Buddy stayed in his crate until he was 2 years and 4 months old for his safety being on a fixed income I had no monies to replace furniture. Or worse if Buddy were to eat something and get an obstruction surgery is 3-5 thousand dollars if you get them to the vet in time. Trust me the crate is your best friend to your pup. Good Luck
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My oldest dobe, Ginger, was 14 months old when we got her. She chewed on the furniture if we weren't watching. She was crated while we were gone until she was 2 yr. old. Then we started letting her have run of the house for short times. We can now leave her for an 8 hour shift and have no worries. Her half brother Sampson, who is 8 months old can't be left alone in the house even if both my husband and I are home. I don't see him being trustworthy until he is at least 2 or maybe never. Depends on the dog. Crating is not cruel, it could be livesaving for the dog so it does not ingest something it shouldn't.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Tesla is 2.5 years old and lovingly nicknamed the Dober-goat. She still doesn't have free rein in the house. Not sure if she ever will..... Not sure she would even enjoy it as she seems to fret by the door if I walk out for two minutes whereas she settles beautifully if she's in her crate.
just sayin........
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When Silas was about a year old, we moved from a crate to an x-pen, leaving him in a larger area to move but with no access to couch or anything shreddable. That might be a good in-between for you.

Silas was about 2 when he got freedom outside of his x-pen, but even then it was limited - he had free access to the kitchen and living room only. Once he turned 3 he was even more trustworthy. At age 4, we still close our bedroom door when we're gone, but the dogs get free roam of the rest of the house. It should be noted that they've never once gotten in even a minor scuffle.

My prior dogs were females and not Dobermans. They were both safe before a year old. From what I've read here, I think Dobermans are more oral and take longer to house-proof as a general rule. If your boy has already had an obstruction surgery, I wouldn't even hesitate to contain him.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If your pup is still destructive then you cannot. As others suggested you can try a larger space such as an x-pen. Also, how long is he crated. I swear by my dog door. Eli was 14 month when I let him have freedom in the family room. It had the dog door plus I gated it so he could only be in that room. I have lucked out with him as he is a fantastic house dog. I have a new pup and he is 6 1/2 months old. I was giving him free time in the house WHEN I was home and even that he really isn't ready for as he ripped a couple of dog beds. He doesn't eat the stuffing but the ripping ruins them for the other dogs. So, he is now back in his corral in the nook area (gives him freedom but it's safe) or he is on a tie down in the family room. Each dog takes their own time. I've had some dogs ready for house freedom by 4 months but others not until close to 2 yrs old. Sierra, Strider and Maggie, aussie, GSD, GSD both had freedom by 4 months, housebroken and naturally good. The others not so much.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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New here and keep seeing GSD..what is a GSD?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kekly View Post
New here and keep seeing GSD..what is a GSD?
German shepherd dog


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