How Long Is Too Long In Crate Training?

I just bought a puppy lab. I keep her in a crate. I wake her up 7:00 am take her out, feed her give her water, and then take her out again. Then she is in her crate 7:30am-5:00 pm as soon as I get home I get her out of her crate and feed her and take her out again. Do you think she is in her crate too long? I just thought since she is fed, watered, and warm and has toys she will be fine.

A crate is not a substitute for human companionship. Use of a crate should be limited to no more than eight hours, less for a younger animal. If your work schedule is longer than that, consider getting a dog walker to exercise Puppy or Doggy for you midday. There are also Dog Day Care centers cropping up! Make sure he has fresh water, a sturdy bed and safe toys (rotate toys daily so he always has different ones and a different combination).

This does seem like a very long time to be leaving such a young dog, you should try experimenting to see if he can be trusted to be outside the crate. If you think your dog is able to behave uncrated, begin testing by leaving his loose for five minutes while you walk outside. If that works, increase to ten, fifteen and so on. Should he begin to misbehave, continue using the crate.

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