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Transitioning from pen/crate to free at night

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by BryanAndLarrysMama, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. BryanAndLarrysMama

    BryanAndLarrysMama Premium Member

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    So here's the scenario...
    From the time we brought the boys home at 8 weeks old they have been in bed in their pen at 9pm and let out at 5:30am to go potty. Like clockwork. No mistakes, nothing. But it has always meant that my husband and I have had to go upstairs to the 2nd floor to watch tv or work, etc., because the boys would fuss (at first). They just turned 2yrs old on the 16th.

    We want to let them some sleep in the bedroom on the dog beds we have in there (they come in and crash on the beds when I do my yoga LOL). They have two large dog beds. It would be great if they could just stay up with us and have a last run out at about 11pm or midnight, then come sleep on their beds in our room or have free range of the house. In other words, no more pen and lockdown at 9pm.

    Have any of you transitioned your dogs from a crate or pen to free-range night dogs? I'm quite sure they'll hold their potty until morning or end up asking us to take them out if they have to go, I'm not too concerned about that part. They've never actually had an accident anywhere in the house except by the back door when they've either not felt well or simply couldn't hold their potty because it was way too long for them to hold it. And they've never soiled their pen. Such good boys.
     
    Sandy in CT, Piper's mom and Sharon7 like this.
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    All my dogs transition from crate to free once they’re house trained. Most sleep in their beds on the bedroom floor but don’t be surprised if the boys decide to join you on the bed. A few of mine are bed sleepers; others prefer the floor. They all sleep through the night, sometimes I have to wake them up!
     
  3. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    Spitfire has free run (yes he is the 'good' one on this). Angus cannot be trusted. He eats and collects things. Just the other day I was in the restroom and come out to find a sock missing. Yep it was in the toy pile on his bed. Figured it was there or in his Angus cave under the coffee table. It would be nice to give him free run but I might wake up on the floor with the mattress eaten....
     
    Ann, Sandy in CT, RikyR and 2 others like this.
  4. BryanAndLarrysMama

    BryanAndLarrysMama Premium Member

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    His "Angus Cave"? Oh this just made me laugh right out loud. I can completely picture it! My Larry is a sock thief, too! He wants you to catch him with it so he can run away with it and throw it in the air at you. LOL
     
  5. BryanAndLarrysMama

    BryanAndLarrysMama Premium Member

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    Oh that's good to know! Thank you! The boys get hot and end up flaking out on the kitchen floor rather than their beds, so I'm not sure if they'll make it up on to the bed (they've never tried but I have a feeling we'll be dive bombed by a 39lb Larry in the middle of the night). LOL It should be interesting to see if they sleep through the night or decide to wake us up in the middle of the night to potty. It's okay if they do, I suppose. But I have a feeling they'll sleep through the night. I think the worst will be Bryan deciding to run and get his squeaky toys to play at 2am! LOL
     
    Ann, SheepOfBlue, Sandy in CT and 2 others like this.
  6. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

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    Blueberry is now 8 months old and she’s been out of the crate for 2 weeks. Granted I have a baby gate at the doorway of the bedroom so no roaming allowed but she’s pretty good. I do have a motion camera so I can check and see how much she moves around at night (or the other 2 dogs lol). She’s still pretty young so I wouldn’t trust her for awhile but my 3 year and 6 year old get free reign.
     
    Sharon7, Ann and Sandy in CT like this.
  7. Sandy in CT

    Sandy in CT Premium Member

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    My dogs are crated nightly for bed. I had crate covers made from a woman on Etsy. They have 1 panel on a dowel that flips up for daytime, but night-time it goes down and they know they are in there till morning. They don't seem to mind, are happy to go to bed every night - of course they know nothing different.

    Although I sometimes like the thought of having them up in our room, I sleep so lightly as is, I am not sure I would get a decent nights sleep. Plus, our bed is far too high and there are already 3 of us there with me, hubby and Rusty the orange kitty. I keep telling hubby we need a lower bed - king size of course!

    Let us know how you make out!
     
    Piper's mom and Ann like this.
  8. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    Oh Angus is a everything thief. But he will give it to you if you just tell him not yours. He loves his cave as if he has something it is harder for Spitfire to steal stuff from him and attack if he is there. He has Spots he likes and all are protected from attack LOL.
     
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  9. Wendy C

    Wendy C Forums Enthusiast

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    I’m with Sandy only we do have the king size bed! lol. We tried Cooper when he was younger (he is almost 2 1/2) he has never enjoyed a dog bed and continually moves around the room. They say dogs sleeping with you is good for your blood pressure...that didn’t work for me. He was up and down and never seemed to settle. When in his crate not a peep until morning and he goes in willingly not forced. He is walked at 10 p.m. and I’m an early bird up between 6-6:30. Every dog is different. All you can do is try it. I told hubby maybe we will try when he is 3! lol
     
  10. BryanAndLarrysMama

    BryanAndLarrysMama Premium Member

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    I can absolutely see this happening. I'm a super light sleeper, so it'll be interesting to see if I sleep through the night. Hubby can have a car crash through the window and he's snore through it. LOL The boys are so used to their bedtime in the pen down on the main floor (in the kitchen), we know that if this some how doesn't work out they'll just happily go back to their pen. We're fortunate that we've always worked from home, so if we end up losing some sleep we can have a snooze later in the day. LOL

    I'll come back with an update. Thank you all so very very much for sharing your experiences and insights. Only Sheltie owners know Shelties. I appreciate this forum so much!
     

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