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Thread: 8 week old puppy and dog door

  1. #1

    Default 8 week old puppy and dog door

    Reintroducing myself and our 8 week yellow lab Camel. We have successfully trained Camel to go outside using the dog door, he picked it up within the week he was home. However, we have two crates, one upstairs in the bedroom and one downstairs by the dog door. We have a play pen downstairs near the dog door that we have a section that swings closed to give him his crate door, dog door and food and water bowl.

    He has done extremely well with house training so far, the one accident he had was our fault. My wife took the week off to introduce Camel to our family but goes back to work this coming Monday. We have been crating Camel upstairs at night, taking him out every 2-3 hours, i am a light sleeper and his whines wake me up. During the day we open up the play pen and he takes himself to potty through the dog door when he needs to.

    My question is when we both head back to work, i dont know how i feel leaving him with unfettered access to the back yard. While fenced off, hes still a baby, and its a decent size at a quarter acre. He has his bathroom area and is really good about going there (generally). What are your thoughts? Leave him crated or let him access the dog door during the day?

    Also he really seems to prefer sleeping on the porch right outside the dog door. I am a bit of a night owl and he sleeps out there and comes in when he gets cold or thirsty.

    We love our furbaby and want him to be safe. I feel that while he can take himself out and come back in, is it too early to leave him unsupervised having yard access for the day? What about night time, are we doing him justice crating during the night or leave him downstairs with access to his crate there?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sunny California


    LOVE the name "Camel" for a yellow lab! Sounds like you're doing a great job with him so far. As for whether he can have access to the yard during the day, it really just depends how puppy-proofed the area is. If you choose to crate him during the day, you'd likely need to either come home mid-day or arrange for a dog walker to come in so he has a potty trip... at his age, 8 hours plus in the crate would be way too much! If you're confident the yard is safe, indoor/outdoor access would be best, but if you don't feel comfortable that he's safe out there, you guys will be a nervous wreck all day at work, which wouldn't be good at all! Even if he has access to the yard, you might want to come home mid-day or have a neighbor check in on him for a least a few days just to make sure everything's okay. If you're on the fence about whether to do the crate or the yard, you might want to do the crate option with mid-day potty trip for a few weeks, then start leaving him out in the yard once he's matured a bit and spent more time out in the yard (which will likely make you feel more confident about leaving him out during the day).

    The overnight stuff is really just personal preference... if it were me, I'd probably have him in the crate in my bedroom overnight, just so he gets to spend more time with his family (especially if he's alone all day while you're at work). However, if you find that the nighttime crate training is a big struggle and he seems happy to sleep downstairs, that's fine, too!

    Let me know how it goes!!
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