Kirjoita tämä teksti suomeksi siten, että asiat tulevat kerrotuksi mutta teksti ei ole kopioitu, Älä käytä brändinimiä. Kirjoita teksti yhtä pitkäksi, mutta erilaisella rakenteella kuin alkuperäinen. Alkuperäinen teksti: ” This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.When to stop crate training may seem counterintuitive to research as crate training is a valuable tool for so many reasons, right?It teaches our furry friends good behavior, helps establish a routine and limits accidents inside the home, especially during their early stages. However, there usually comes a time when your pup can transition away from a closed crate and become more independent. Puppies Buzz (left) and Missy (right) in their crateBut determining when to stop crate training can be a bit of a challenge as every dog is unique.For instance, both my Boxer mixes and my Feist mix graduated from crate training when they were about 2 years old while some of my client dogs were done earlier, and others much later.So in this blog post, I’ll explain what exactly that meant for all of them along with key factors to consider and insights on when to stop crate training your furry friend.Assess Your Dog’s Crate Training ProgressBefore I dive into today’s topic, let me clarify that I assume you’re on board with crate training your puppy to help establish house training routines and prevent destructive behavior. That being said, this blog post does not cover how to start crate training your puppy, but what we can tell you here is that our favorites crates are the ones by Midwest homes! If you’re interested in learning how to crate train your puppy in 5 easy steps, please click here. For tips on how to stop your puppy from barking in his crate at night, click here.Your Dog’s Age and MaturityNow, as puppies grow older, they become more reliable with their bathroom habits.Once you notice that they start to display trustworthy behavior when you leave them alone, you can start gradually reducing their crate time.Below, I’ll outline several key factors that will help you evaluate if your pup has reached a stage where they can handle increased freedom.Potty TrainingThat’s your first prerequisite on your road to stop crate training.Does your pup consistently display reliable bathroom habits and doesn’t soil their kennel while crated?This includes their time spent in the crate while someone’s home as well as when they’re home alone.Of course this implies that they get frequent, age-specific bathroom breaks and aren’t stuck in their crates for too long.For Missy & Buzz, I brought them home with me when they were 8 weeks old. I put them up in their Midwest crates when I left them home alone, but also when I was home and couldn’t actively supervise them. For example, at night, when I was in the bathroom, busy cooking dinner in the kitchen or doing laundry.When I fostered and later adopted my pup Wally, he was a little over one year old and I was told that he was reliably house trained.However, I wasn’t entirely sure if the stress of being at a new home wouldn’t cause him to forget some of his house training, so I crated him following the same parameters as I did for Missy & Buzz. While they were fully potty trained when they were about 7 months old, I still kept them in their crates when I couldn’t actively supervise them until they were 2 years old.I followed the same time line for Wally, my rescue pup. Read on for the remaining puzzle pieces on your way to stop crate training your pup besides the potty training one!Your Dog’s Behavioral DevelopmentMoving on beyond accidents, I recommend you observe your dog’s behavior both inside and outside the crate. 1. Excited TinklesWatch out for excited tinkles! That’s what I called it when the pups occasionally peed a little when someone came over to our home. While Missy & Buzz were house trained as far as not taking bathroom breaks inside, they still had those excited tinkles when the maintenance staff from our apartment complex came over to fix something. As that was the case on a regular basis – don’t get me started on that topic – and we had wall to wall carpeting throughout most of our place, they stayed in their crates when people came over. Maybe it would have helped for maintenance to ignore the pups, but they all loved dogs, so that wasn’t happening. With Missy and Buzz, their excited tinkles stopped almost overnight when we moved from our apartment to a house. They were about 1.5 years old at that time.We still had occasional maintenance visits, but it was nowhere near as frequent as we did at our apartment. The person who came over was also really calm and did follow my instructions to ignore the pups! For them, it was probably a combination of less excitement that came into the house and their natural progress in maturing.One of my client puppies, Madison, also had excited tinkles whenever I came over to walk her during lunch.She had them for a long time too, probably for about a year until they stopped. Morkie client puppy Madison in her crate2. Counter Surfing & FightingWally on the other hand neither had any stress-related accidents nor any excited tinkles, but he was counter surfing every chance that he got. So until I taught him that behavior was a big no-no, he stayed in his kennel when I couldn’t actively supervise him. Some of my client pups had a thing for clearing counters and tables too, which is why they remained crated as well although they were potty trained. I specifically remember Sasha, Bella and Chester with those problems!The picture below features Chester in the bottom crate and Bella in the top crate. Chester, Bella and MacyThey stayed kenneled due to counter clearing issues, but also because they would start fights with each other.Macy, who’s sitting in the front, was their senior by about 5 years. She had earned her freedom from the crate when she had slowed down inside the house, which happened at 5 years of age. Out of the three, she was definitely the calm, wise grandma pup – at least until it was time to play with her favorite ball outside! That’s when her puppy energy came back.Rescue puppy Sasha, pictured below in the right crate, also put her paws up on the kitchen counter whenever the chance presented itself. Additionally, she was a wild whirlwind inside the house and egged her adopted sister Myia on, so they both stayed crated when they were home alone. I watched them until Sasha was about 3 years old and she still hadn’t graduated from her crate by then.Myia (left) and Sasha (right) in their respective crates3. Destructive ChewingThankfully, none of my personal pups chew(ed) on inappropriate items but I had a few dog walking and pet sitting clients who did. For example, I remember my client pup Stanley, a German Shepherd who was house trained in record time but remained crated when home alone until he was about 2 years old. His issue was that he would chew anything soft in sight, including his crate mat.He eventually stopped, but I remember him having to stay in his crate without any bedding for a while. By the way, if you scroll back up and look at Chester (the bully) in his crate, you’ll notice that he’s in there without any bedding as well.He had the same issue as Stanley, so both had crate time “just” with dog chews. GSD puppy Stanley in his crate sans beddingHow Do I Transition My Dog From Crate To Free Roam?So while it may take some time for your pup to outgrow their behavioral quirks, sooner or later they’re usually ready to move on.However, I don’t recommend you stop crate training abruptly!Instead, it’s best to introduce gradual freedom in a controlled manner. 1. Increase Crate-Free Time When You’re HomeBegin by allowing your pup short periods of supervised time outside the crate while you’re home with them.Monitor their behavior during these supervised sessions.You’ll want to make sure that the space they have access to is safe and doesn’t set them up for failure.So for example, if your pup has a history of counter surfing, don’t leave tempting food sitting out. Or if you know that your pups have a tendency towards excited tinkles like Missy & Buzz did, don’t give them supervised crate-free time when you’re aware of a scheduled maintenance visit.Then observe how your…
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