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My v, Lucy, is 10 months old. I crate trained her for the first 9.5 months. I wanted to try leaving her out of the crate while I was at work. The first couple of weeks she did fine and now she has decided to destroy anything that is not typically in the room. In the past couple of weeks, she has destroyed 2 pairs of sunglasses, all of my remote controls and one of them twice, my wallet, my Blackberry, and a hat. I don't want to have to crate her anymore because I feel bad for her having to be in a cage while I'm at work. I have a dog door and originally I wanted to let her have the run of the house and the yard but she was jumping in the pool all day, running in the dirt, and then tracking it into the house. I feel bad enough that I have to close the dog door and not allow her to have access to the yard. I really don't want to put her back in the crate again. She doesn't touch the couches or coffee tables or TV's but if you leave a remote on the coffee table or your phone out, then you can kiss it goodbye. Any suggestions?
 

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What length of time is acceptable to leave them in their crate? I have been shooting for 4-5 max. However, this is pretty tough because it forces me to go home everyday for lunch and I live 25 minutes, each way, from where I work.
 

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Depends on age. At 10 months you should have no problem leaving him in there for 7,8 hours - if need be. As always; pickup the food and water 1 hour before crating and walk him before crating.
 

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Our guy is in his crate when we are not home and he is 2.5 yrs old. He has been crated since the day we picked him up from the breeder. He loves his crate.
 

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satellitebeach -- "They chew 'til they're two." Lucy is only 10 months old, and still a baby.

You made the same mistake I once did, giving her her freedom way too soon. Eventually you will be able to trust her. Once they turn two, things change! But until then, the crate, or some other confined space, is your best bet. You're not being mean. It is safer for her, too.
 

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We let Mischa have free reign of our living room and kitchen when she was about 9 or 10 months old.
She was also totally fine at first, then after a couple weeks started chewing pillows and her own bed. We had to crate her again after that. We figured our couch, or tv could be next.

It's funny, if I have a day off work, she's totally lazy until about 1-2pm, then it's time to run! :)
I figure even when not crated, she'd probably sleep for the majority of the day, then an hour or two before I get home, she'd start her chewing out of boredom.

I'd prefer to leave her free to roam as we do if we go out for a few hours without her on the weekend.
She has never done any damage at all if left for a few hours. I guess we'll wait until she's 2 to try the full day again.
 

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If you decide to reduce her crate time, I recommend you start small and short. Try leaving her in a familiar room for a few minutes while you go down the hall to see how she handles it. Work your way up in terms of length of time, distance from you, and less familiar settings. Recognize that you will have some setbacks.

Savannah can now handle being in the office by herself for around 2 hours once a day. She can handle being alone in the car for about half an hour multiple times a day (windows down, in the shade, on cool days). She can handle being in the bedroom for around an hour and in the living room for about 2 hours - not on the same day, yet. If she is sleepy, all the lengths of time get a little longer. She is not allowed to walk from room to room yet - she is still trying to master the concept of off-limits rooms. During the learning process, she has shredded packing paper from under the bed, the cover on her bed, numerous towels and toys, and one of the rear seatbelts. Overall, not too much damage, but certainly some. The seatbelt, in particular, was expensive.
 
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