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?