I have a 5-month-old Golden Retriever who has been crate-trained. I was wondering at what point I could let him out of the crate while I'm away for short periods of time. He's not destructive and did very well with housebreaking and other training.
I have a 5-month-old Golden Retriever who has been crate-trained. I was wondering at what point I could let him out of the crate while I'm away for short periods of time. He's not destructive and did very well with housebreaking and other training.

Start with 1/2 hour alone, and confine him to one room. If he does well, you can slowly expand the time and the area.
However... your dog has yet to hit adolescence. What you see now is not necessarily what you will get in a few months.
Did you see my other post when I told the Madigan Story? In short, my 5 month old perfect puppy had the run of the house for 4 hours at a time. However, my
7 month old horrid adolescent could not be let out of the crate for even 1/2hour when I wasn't home or she would tear something up.

Proceed with caution. :}
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said in rec.pets.dogs.behavior:
I have a 5-month-old Golden Retriever who has been crate-trained. I was wondering at what point I could let him out of the crate while I'm away for short periods of time. He's not destructive and did very well with housebreaking and other training.

Now, in a safe room.
Where does he sleep at night?

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Do you have a pressing need to take the puppy out of the crate? If not, don't. As Leah has already said, the adolescent dog is a whole different bag than a baby puppy. They can begin to mark (males, un-neutered), chew on dangerous things like lamp cords, tear up furnitue, chew on woodwork, and more delightful activities.

One thing to keep tucked in the back of your mind is that the dog is a den animal... the crate is the den.. the dog's private place to retreat when life is just too hectic (kids, visitors, spring cleaning)... and source of security when alone.
And if the dog Ever has to spend the day or night at the vet's, or has to be boarded, it will be a much less stressful and comfortable stay if s/he is used to crate time.
Note that often after surgery for injuries, or when ill, the vet will prescribe crate rest... for very specific reasons, one of them being prevention of ruining the surgical repair and another being enforced rest. A pup that was in a puppy kindergarden class I attended with one of my guys had to have hip surgery at about 6-7 months of age; he had to be on crate rest for a LOONG time.. months. Many of those fantastic agility dogs you see on the final on Animal Planet have had knee ligament injuries, and have had long periods of crate rest; even more of the dogs that didn't make it to the finals have also had orthopedic injuries requiring crate rest. So have many just plain pets.

A crate is marvelous help when travelling, too. I have even gotten rooms in no-pets motels because I had crates for my dogs! The crate is like a seatbelt in the vehicle, too. And once you get to your mother-in-law's or to Aunt Marian's, having the crate may be the only reason you are welcome with your pet. And if you have an accident, your dog is safe from fleeing in fright mode, or from being shot by police so the EMTs can get to you if the dog goes into fight mode. And the dog cannot get in your way while you are driving. You also have better control of the dog at rest stops and can prevent the dog bolting out of curiosity when the car door is opened and being killed or lost..

Many dog fights start over food. When you have multiple dogs, feeding them in crates prevents problems from ever getting started. I feed in crates, and when I travel, my guys eat better because they are eating in a familiar place.
So, as long as the dog has adequate exercise and free time in house and fenced yard, a crate is a Very Good Thing.
Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia
Any time now. Start with short periods and extend as earned. Is he free at night? Thats a start if he isn't already.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
Start with 1/2 hour alone, and confine him to one room. If hedoes well, you

can slowly expand the time and the area.

and leave him a kong or something to chew to keep him occupied. Alison