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.
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.
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”?