Where do your dogs sleep?

Whenever we had fosters, all dogs in the house were crated when we weren’t home or when we were sleeping. When we just had Pyrrha, though, she got free reign of the house during the day and at night. Pyrrha is one of the most trustworthy dogs I know with house independence, mainly because she’s fabulously lazy and not the slightest bit mischievous.

By Juju's bed

But since we added Eden to the household, we’ve gone back to crating both dogs, whenever we’re absent or sleeping.

This is fine, because we train all of our dogs, fosters or permanent, to love their crates, but one of the girls’ repeated points of tension with each other is when I come home to let them out of their crates. Pyrrha gets very agitated by my re-entrance and often takes it out on Eden with growling and snarking. To mitigate this, I let them out of their crates and into the yard separately, but it’s always kind of a pain. And I wonder if this would be resolved if they both got to be free when I came home.

The girls

That said, I don’t think Eden is ready for full-house independence when we’re not home, but her foster told me that he didn’t crate her at night (and this was back when she was only 4.5 months old, and notably crazier). She is still very much the puppy, and endlessly curious about things, so for her safety (and the safety of our shoes and houseplants), I still think it’s smart to crate her during the day when we’re not home.

But. I’m debating with the idea of letting both dogs choose where to sleep at night and keeping the door to their room and their crates open, so they could sleep in their crates if they chose (which Pyrrha probably would, although they both love that little rug in front of the French door, as pictured above).

What do you think?

Where are your dogs when you’re not home or sleeping? If you made a transition from the crate to house freedom, how did you manage it? How did you know your dog was “ready”?


13 thoughts on “Where do your dogs sleep?

  1. Honey has free run during the day. But we crate her at night because otherwise she’d hog the bed and I’d never get a moment’s sleep.

    When i had two dogs, I always treated them the same in all ways. In hindsight, it was a bad choice.

    But I observe many of my blogging friends with more than one dog treat them differently based on the circumstances. Some dogs are crated. Some dogs are free.

    Carrie of Tales and Tails is a good example.

    Why not try leaving Pyrrha free while you’re out and crating or otherwise confining Eden? It might be just the solution you’re looking for.

  2. I was crating Boca at night and when I wasn’t home until I officially adopted her, but have been transitioning away from that. The situation seemed okay temporarily, but as a permanent household member I wouldn’t be happy with how much time she was spending in the crate. Ruby spends her days when I’m at work in the kitchen/dining area with a dog gate at the entrance to the living room. I also have another dog gate at the foot of the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. I felt apprehensive initially about leaving the gingerdogs alone together, but during my time off last week I left them for one hour, then two, then three, and yesterday they spent the second half of my workday in the kitchen. Nothing was amiss and I expect they slept the whole time! So, our new routine will be Ruby in the kitchen and Boca in her crate for the morning, then either myself or the dog walker will leave them in the kitchen for the afternoons. They both sleep in bed with me at night, which I love. The other morning I woke up to them beside me with their heads nestled together and their front legs intertwined. Of course they moved as soon as I reached for my phone.

  3. Our dogs both have free run of the house at night. Bear our 12 y/o senior GSD mix has slight separation anxiety so we shut them in the master suite when we are gone or he will try to go through the trash, find treats/food and generally be a pain!

    I also wouldn’t feel bad about letting P out during the day while Eden stays crated-there’s no rule saying that both girls have to have the exact same permissions/privileges. We base rules on our house by the pups levels of responsibility in any given situation. 🙂

  4. Giving her freedom during the night is definitely a safer test than when no one is home, so I say go for it! Limit her as much as possible by closing a few doors. Good luck 😉

  5. You may consider just confining the dog who actually needs to be confined (i.e. Eden). It’s easy to get trapped in this idea of being “fair” (that is, feeling that it is “unfair” to crate one but not the other, so in order to be “fair” to the dog that still needs the structure of the crate, you end up crating both; in trying to be “fair” it often works out the opposite.) It’s not always the new dog that needs it, either. My Malamute mix, Dakotah, was twelve years old when I brought in Tucker, my Powderpuff Chinese Crested. Dakotah was still in a crate at that time, because he was terrified of thunder, and the thunderstorms where I lived were the stuff of legend. Tucker was ten months old when I got him, and he was crated for about a year and a half, and then he earned his liberty from it, while Dakotah still stayed crated. When Dakotah passed away at sixteen (we had moved by then and he wasn’t crated any longer) , and I got Phoebe (Brussels Griffon/Yorkie mix) who was six months at the time, she was crated for about six months until she was reliable in the house and didn’t need to be crated any more.

    BTW, hello – I just found your blog yesterday, and I love it! 🙂

  6. At our old house, Faolan was crated at night, and when we weren’t home, because he sometimes wouldn’t hold it otherwise. Neeko and Bruce would be baby gated in our back room during those times.

    Our current house has a finished, walkout basement, complete with a doggy door. When we are not home, the dogs are sequestered to the basement, but Faolan is no longer crated, because he has access to the doggy door. They sleep wherever they choose, and prior to us turning on the AC last month, they mostly slept in the basement, as it was a good 10 degrees cooler than the main floor.

  7. Nikita has slept on our bed since she was young. We only crated her when she was a puppy. Bella has a little doggie bed next to our bed which she sleeps on at night, and she has her own little bed in the living room too. Nikita has never gotten into anything and has always been a good girl. Bella, however, gets into the flower pots dirt when I am not at home, but I just moved the plants, problem solved. Both our dogs have full run of the house at all times.

  8. Kaya & Norman sleep in the bed with me(unless Norman is too lazy to get off the couch to come to bed) and Zoey sleeps on the floor by my bed or on the dog bed. They’ve always had free reign but I lucked out with them not being very mischievous as puppies and working from home so I could supervise a lot. We only started giving them unsupervised free reign with Zoey though once they were 100% okay with each other with us present.

    I would suggest starting out super slow. Maybe you can leave Eden with the crate open but in a contained area separated from Pyrra at first. Also, start with short increments when you are only going out for an hour or less. You could even try sitting outside for a while, give her free reign of the house and check back every 20 minutes to see how it’s going.

  9. When Elka was younger and NOT reliable, she was baby gated in the kitchen/downstairs bathroom area, which was appropriately puppy proofed (or at least appropriate for her). As she got older and more reliably housebroken, we let her sleep with us (and only 1 blanket got chewed!), and that’s where she sleeps to this day. If we’re up and around, or at the store or whatever, she can choose between couches or our bed.

  10. Our dogs only get house freedom for 30 minutes; like if we need to run to the store or something. Once we left them at home for an hour and nothing tragic happened. But we have a dog area set up in the garage with a door out to their own fenced yard – that’s where they usually are unless we need them settled for the night and realize we need to run a quick errand.

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