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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure that this has been asked before but i didn't see it so here it goes.  I have a rescue fawn boy named Baxter and he is a little over a yeah and a half old and we rescued him in June of 07.  When we first got him, we never thought of leaving him home without being in his crate but now that he has been with us for the past 8 months and he knows that it this isn't a temporary home, can we leave him home without crating him so he has more room to move around the house or should we keep doing what we are doing?  sorry for the runon sentence.

My worry is that he will ruin one of our couches (I've seen the pics that some people have put up) even though he has never chewed on anything other than his toys and bones.

just curious.  I will post a picture of him when i get  a chance tonight.

Cheers Baxter's dad....  


 :drinker:
 

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Most will say to keep him in a crate so he doesn't harm your stuff let alone himself. There are so many things that a dog could get into when they are home alone.

Personally, I can't leave my two out by themselves for 10 minutes, let alone a whole day. My old Boxer, Harley, could be left alone all day and not destroy a thing...he would mark his territory a lot though.
 

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How often is he crated now?  I believe trust is earned.  If you leave him alone, how does he react?  You could gradually leave him in a safe area of the house for short periods of time and see how it goes.  It really does depend on the dog.  Some people can't even leave their dog in a room alone, and others can take off for hours.  I would say for puppies they probably should be crated if possible for their own safety.  From what I've seen here, I think most people do gradually remove the crate as the dog gets older.  At what point to start trying is up for debate.  As we all know, boxers can act like puppies for 2+ years.

I will say, I think a big part of the decision is the lay-out of your house.  If you have an area that has few valuables and is safe for a dog, I would say it's worth trying at some point. Where as if you lived in an apartment or small house where there is not a safe area, then you may never be able to remove the crate.
 

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I've thought about this with Odin. I've left him alone... not crated for about an hr at most... just from going next door to the neighbors. Though 99.9% of the time he is crated if we leave. I feel that he's earned his our trust... but I do know that depending on the time length he would most likely get bored and start looking on counters and in rooms to cause trouble. I also would love to give him this chance.

When growing up, we NEVER crated our dogs. Nikki ran free through the house... even when gone most of the day. We'd come home and she'd come running down the hall wanting some lovin' and then of course to go out and do her business. THOUGH... a chihuahua can't get into as much stuff as a boxer. Her now living with us... Odin goes up and she roams free... which I feel horrible about... but I just worry Odin's going to get into something he shouldn't... and maybe even harm himself.

I would think the crate would be best. You could test him though by leaving him out while you go to the corner store or something... like we do with Odin. BUT I wouldn't be comfortable with leaving Odin out of his crate for more than an hr.
 

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He is in his crate every day from 9am until about 4 to 4:30pm when my girlfriend gets home from work.  The rest of the time he is out of the crate with run of the house.  we do close off the guest rooms because we don't want him laying on the beds.  We live in a good sized townhome so there is def some space where he can't do too much damage if left alone.  

How much time would you try as a starting point?
 

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Wow thats a long time to be in a crate.  Personally I would rather my dog ruined some of my stuff than be stuck in a crate all day.  

First I would pick a time when he's tired/sleeping....this is the absolute best time to leave a dog alone, when they are relaxed.  If you run out the door while they are burning around the house with a bone in their mouth, you're setting them up for failure!  You want the first alone experiences to be pleasurable for them, not anxious and panicked.  I would try running to the store and back (10 to 20 mins) and see how he is.  If you come back and he's tearing apart the trash or something, you know you may have rushed it.   If you come back and he's asleep or curled up, that's progress.  If you come back and he didn't damage anything but he seemed like he is anxious and couldn't just go to sleep while you were gone, you may want to leave a kong for him the next time you go out.   Just go slowly and see how it goes.  That's my advice.  I went through separation anxiety with my dog so it's sorta a similiar process.

9 times out of 10 I leave my puppy alone, he's fine.  But that 10th time he decides to rip into the couch.  So I do crate him now when I have to leave.  I do plan on giving him more freedom when he's older and I have a better area of the house that is safe for him.  He's almost never crated though, I work from home and bring him wherever I can so he's not left home very often.
 

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i feel that it is best to crate when you or someone isnt there to watch the dog. Lots of things to get into and lots of messes to bemade!
 

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To crate or not to crate really depends on the dog. My first boxer, Buster could not be crated due to severe seperation anxiety, so he actually did better left out of the crate, but that's a whole other discussion!
I rescued Maddie at 16 months and would not dare leave her uncrated until she was about two. She had her own issues though. She had NO training when I got her, and she wasn't even house trained, so it was kind of like starting from scratch with her. She will be 3 next month, and I really don't crate her at all anymore. I still have it out because she does like to go in their to nap, but I really don't have a need for it anymore. I still have some surprises when I get home occasionally, but nothing too major that I feel I need to crate her again.
When you feel you are able to start trusting Baxter with full roam, do it very slowly. I would start with 10 minute intervals, gradually increasing the amount of time that he is left alone. Leaving a tv or radio on sometimes helps, and a very inportant part is making sure they are exercised before leaving them for any amount of time. A tired boxer is a well behaved boxer! Make sure Baxter has plenty of good chew toys to help alleviate the boredom. Peanut butter filled kongs are great for that!
Good luck and I hope Baxter proves to be a very well behaved pup!
 

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Its all up to you and your comfort with the idea of the dog running around the house. Misty has been crated since we got her up until her 8mth. After that i bought a gate and she spend her time in the kitchen from roughly 7am 5pm(we learned the hard way the first day to keep the counters cleared and give her plenty of toys).  
Over the weekend i had to move the gate since we have a newborn that is getting ready to start crawling, so i moved the gate from the kitchen to include the kitchen and the hallway. When we got home yesterday our entry rug ended up in the kitchen torn up. Overall she has been pretty good provided no stuff is left out within her reach.
 

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I've yet to find any gates that can contain Oggie.  He can jump one, so I stack them up.  But then he just knocks them over.  I just got the generic baby gates though.  If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!
 

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I have always crate trained my dogs until they have earned my trust. We start out by leaving them out for like 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, and kept adding time to that. My hubby and I work so Lucy is crated for sometimes 9 hours but Sam has free reign of the house. I hate that we have to crate her that long but someone has to earn the kibble money - we also have a dog sitter that can come by in a pinch to let them out if we need to.
 

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Once a dog is house broken, about 6 months old usually, I use the ex-pen with him.  It gives him a lot more room than a crate to stretch out and play in.  It does, however, keep him from chewing my sofa, chairs, etc, etc.  I recommend using a 48 inch high one.  I have bought a kennel aire brand and also a JB wholesale one and have been happy with both.  They are big enough to contain two dogs comfortably together also.  It is a wonderful alternative.

Nano
 

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Samson isn't crated anymore, course he's 11, but I crated him for a good 6 mos when I got him due to severe SA...Now, he's fine, he just naps on the couch while I'm gone..Angel however I still don't trust at 2 1/2, so she is still crated, altho Marq & I have been talking about trying out to see how she does when we leave....

What I would do is start very slowly and like Sully said, do it at a time when your Boxer is tired..I always tell mine where I am going and when I will be back...Say "Baxter, I'm going to the store I'll be back in 15 mins"..No fuss, just get your stuff and go out the door...Get in your car and drive around the block..See how that goes, then try for a bit longer every few times..See how that works and you will have a good idea if it's ok to leave him out when you are gone....
 

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im really happy we reintroduced the crate to Jessie.  i put her bed in  and she just chills all day
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks...  your suggestions are greatly appreciated.  I will be back to tell you all how it went.

Cheers Baxter's dad


:drinker:
 
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