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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have a question for all of you with older dobermans....

I want to start trusting Coco to be outside of her cage in a couple weeks or so, during the day while my boyfriend and I are at work (only two days a week since he works 24/48's). When did any of you guys start trusting your dobes to be outside of their cage during the day (while you aren't there)? Also, I'm looking at dog gates because I plan to block her off into either the kitchen or the living room. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what kind of gate works well with dobermans? I already know she will jump on it and she will be pretty big so I plan on getting one that is "extra tall". Coco is eight months now and very rambunxious (sp?) so if I leave her in a cage all day while I'm gone (with multiple potty breaks thanks to my wonderful neighbor and sis-in-law) she will not sleep at night, which I don't blame her. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
 

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I consider a puppy to at least a year of age. If she's rambunctious then likely she will be rambunctious out while you're not home. I didn't even THINK of letting Nina out of her kennel until she was about 1 1/2 years old.
Here's a story to think about:
My husband felt (without consulting me) that Nina was old enough (8 months) to be let out of the kennel in the basement. He blocked off the doorway from the rest of the house (a great dane sized metal kennel) and left here with some workout equipment, our bookshelf and some records (vinyl). I came home to a doberman puppy at my front door (inside on the steps). I go downstairs to find at least 50 books shredded, the workout bench seat torn and destuffed, and a broken vinyl record. I figure she snapped the record, which makes a horrific sound, and jumped/climbed the kennel. Needless to say, she was NOT ready to be out....for many reasons.
To this day she has to go back to the kennel. For months she'll be great, and one day we'll come home to a window sill chewed or the corner of a step. Not cool.
 

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We're at 14 months and my wife has just started leaving her for periods of time during the day... Think the longest so far has been two or three hours and she's been perfect... Wife say's when she has come home she's fast asleep in her open door crate.

Now, I'll say she's been a great puppy and dog so far. Has never chewed anything that she hasn't been "given" to chew. Doesn't jump on the furniture and she does like her crates in the house.

PS- When there have been days when she's been in the crate and slept most of the day... I find a really good tug session tires her (and me) out quickly.
 

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My first dog could not be trusted till 12 months old.
- earlier she ripped the bottom out of the loveseat (down to the metal springs) and chewed the top corner off a wood coffee table

My second dog, was good at 4.5 months alone...but I had a lot more training skills myself, by then.
- whole house was unrestricted
- tested her first 30 minutes alone (while I told my son, try 10 minutes max...lol) / then 1 hour / then 2-3 hours straight

If Coco is eight months now and very rambunctious (corrected sp):
I would think your not ready yet..."home alone" before 1 y/o, may be a bit early.
 

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I would try an xpen for now. It will give her more room, but keep her away from things to get into.
 
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Haley at 9.5 months is crated except for when she's exhausted. If she's beat and I'm running out for a few I will let her stay in the living room. At night she has earned the right to the kitchen. She has been awesome with it and I make sure she knows it. 3 weeks now, zero issue -knock on wood.
 

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Silas took longer than our other dogs. My past non-Dobe females were ready at 10-12 months or so. At one point we thought he was ready, did short trips, thought he was good - maybe at 10 months old? - and then one longer day came home to shredded couch pillows. :(

After that we used actually two x-pens to keep him in a larger area, and off the couch! It was a pain, but we did it until he was 2 1/2. He might have been ready a little sooner, but we had Scout and we weren't sure how she was going to be - so she was crated in his old huge crate, and he had the x-pen set up next to her.

And I will say, I did everything right - exercise first, leave chews, etc. He was just a sucker/nibbler. I also got him from the breeder at 8 months old - not sure how much/if that affected this at all.

It was one of the most annoying things that I was not prepared for with this breed, so I wish you luck! :D It's nice now to just be able to get up and leave without a huge production. Now the routine is to turn on NPR, give each a bully stick or other chew, and leave. Yay!

Edit: I would wait longer than you think, because you don't want to start a habit, or let them get into anything scary to swallow. Thankfully Si didn't swallow any of the couch fluff/foam.
 

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My Coco was fine once she was about a year old. We started off very slowly though by only leaving her for 10 minutes, then 30 minutes and so on. Each time we came home and she had been fine we upped it a little. She has not used her crate at all since she was about 1 although I still have it folded up behind the couch. She always liked her crate but loves sleeping on the couch more when we are not home lol. My hubby doesn't like her on the couch but I have been happy she has not eaten the couch so I may be a little more lax than he:). It takes a lot of time for them to learn and for you to trust them. We also have a cat who tolerates Coco. Coco loves Tiki and is always excited to see her. What is funny is that I always come home at lunch to let Coco out. A lot of times I come home to Coco asleep on the couch and Tiki asleep on the back of the couch above Coco. I think they like each other more than I realize lol. Good luck!!:butfly:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all of the replies and ideas. Looks like we will be waiting a couple more months before we try anything, and we will take it slowly. We have an xpen and used when she was younger and smaller.. it was great! but now she is MUCH to big, tall, strong,etc for it. While we are home and are cleaning the house, we block off the kitchen with part of the xpen and she just jumps right over it (this is why I was looking into a tall doggie gate), so now we just put her in her cage. We also haven't been to training in a couple weeks due to her being in heat for the first time (nightmare!) and she is almost a completely different pup without it! I still train her at home, but its just not the same as being around other dogs and people while training! lol And we need ideas on new things.. I can tell she is bored. Next week we should be back to training thank goodness!
 

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I lucked out with Eli. He basically stayed in a large kennel with a dog house from the time he was 4 months old. At about 11 months I could leave him in the house for trips to the market, short things. I think he was about 14 months when we moved here and started leaving him for the dayout in the living room. He respects gates, it is another nice thing about him so I gated the hallways so he had access to the kitchen family room only. I ALWAYS, without fail ran him (played fetch) and trained him in the mornings and I got up extra early to do so. I left him with stuffed bones and a couple of chewie toys. I put a shocking strip on the couch because I didn't want to risk my couch just in case. He was fine. Again, I feel I lucked out with Eli in that way after reading about all the destruction from other dogs. I also took Eli for long hikes or lots of fetching when I got home from work and even bought glow in the dark balls to play with in winter, he needed to burn off energy and this worked for us. This is our routine to this day but on a really bad winter day or a day when I am just beat he is fine if we skip, we try not to though. He will be 3 in December.
 
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