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FORUMS > Training and Behavior < refresh >
Topic Title: How long can I leave my new puppy in her crate?
Created On Sat July 01, 2006 2:39 PM
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Jared
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Sat July 01, 2006 2:39 PM
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We just added a new puppy to out family and we have just started to crate train her.

What I am a little unclear about is the length of time I can, or should, leave her in her crate.

If we leave for the day, do we leave her in her crate the whole day?

Should she sleep in her crate the whole night, or it OK if she sleeps in bed with us?

We have an older dog (8 years old) who doesn't use a crate at all. Does this effect things?

Any advice would be great.

>>>Jared
 
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Shiplesp
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Sat July 01, 2006 7:43 PM
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Hi Jared,

In general a puppy can stay in his/her crate one hour plus however many months he/she is. A two-month-old puppy can therefore probably stay in a crate for three hours without needing to potty. (One caveat on all this is that sometimes small/toy dogs can have problems holding themselve that long, and you may need to shorten up this estimate for your small dog.) The exception is at night. Puppies can often stay in a crate much longer (often through the night) pretty quickly. The key to this is knowing your puppy. Successful housetraining means that you never leave your puppy so long that he/she has an accident in the crate. If you leave the puppy in the crate when you are out for the day, you will need to make arrangements to have someone come in to take the puppy out to potty and for some exercise. I had a dog sitter come in mid-day until my puppy was about 10 mos. old, when he seemed to be able to "last" the day (that was about the same time that I started leaving him out of his crate because he was reliably housetrained and no longer destructively chewing).

If you *can't* have someone come in to take your puppy out, you will need to give it a place to releave itself. An X-pen with the crate inside of it, with some puppy pads in the x-pen will keep the crate a clean place and give the puppy an appropriate place to do its business that is not its crate. That's not ideal if you want to teach your puppy to go outside, but it is realistic if you can't take the puppy out when it needs to go.

As far as sleeping goes. Lots of folks I know co-sleep with their puppies for a bit in the very beginning - until the puppy seems settled into its new home. Then it's into the crate (which is in the bedroom) for the night.

Enjoy your puppy! Susan
 
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colliemom
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Tue July 04, 2006 8:45 AM
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The only thing I would add is that "all night" depends on your habits, not the pup's. For safety's sake, if you are an early-to-bedder, not in the habit of Leno or Letterman, you may wish to have a middle of the night wake-up-and-go, just as little babies need a feeding about 2:00 a.m. It's tough to be cheery and hop around the back yard saying "Do your business, what a goooood puppy!" But it helps, and won't last too long if you don't reward with play afterward. If, on the other hand, you have night owl tendencies, the 2:00 a.m. run is the "beginning of the night" for you and the pup, and a 6:00 a.m. run would be in order.

The only thing nicer than snuggling a puppy is snuggling a two-foot baby. The same cautions apply, though. Make sure the little guy doesn't fall off the bed, or you don't roll over and squish them!
 
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