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How much freedom to you give your young Cairn?


Barney's Mom
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I wanted to take a general concensus of all of you Cairn owners out there who have a young dog, age a year or less. How much freedom do you give them in the house? If you allow them to have the run of the house, what do they do all day to occupy their time without getting bored and destructive? Obviously we have lives and cannot be activity directors for our little pooches all day!

And for the rest of you owners out there, how old were your Cairns when they finally could be let go in the house without getting into serious trouble?

Barney's freedom consists of crate at night, leashed or gated in the kitchen, in a lap in the family room or leashed, or in a wire crate near us while we watch TV. Just wondering if by 11 months he should be better adapted to the house that he won't go into devil mode the minute he sees something interesting and decide to "keep" it or rip it to shreds, one or the other!

I guess this is another side of my age old question.....when will I have a normal dog??

Thanks!!

Mary

Barney's Mom

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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I don't trust a dog for more than a few moments out of my sight until 2 or 3 years, typically. OK, I let them out my sight, but I don't blame them if they do something "bad" if I'm not actually watching them. My fault!

Somewhere around 3-5, depending on the dog, I might actually trust them uncrated when we leave the house for a few hours. Some dogs: never. But around 3 most of ours seem to have mellowed out tremendously.

I suspect you have a normal dog. Gosh, you may even have the teen rebellion ahead of you. (Sorry!)

A dog enters adolescence at about the age of 5 months, and doesn't leave it until 2 and a half or 3, depending on the individual dog. The most challenging age is usually between 8 and 18 months (which is when most dogs are surrendered to shelters).

-- PetStyle: Adolescent Dogs

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We have a 2 story house. Most of our activity is on our 2nd floor in our loft which serves as a family room and office. Our dogs spend most of there time in this area as well as our master bedroom and bathroom (bathroom is where their food and water is kept). We keep all other bedrooms and bathroom off limits unless we are in that room.

When we are not home, they are ocnfined in our large master bathroom where they can play and look out a window at the neighborhood. They mostly sleep of course. We will never let them have full rein of the house when we are NOT home.

When we are doing chores throughout the house we typically keep them on the same level of the house as us. When we are upstairs, we put up a gate so they can not go downstairs. But they can roam freely anywhere on the upstairs level. Same with the downstairs. When we are down, they are allowed anywhere downstairs. We have realized that gates will always be a part of our lives.

Both dogs sleep on our bed and are confined in the bedroom with us at night so no one can wander off.

This has been a general rule of thumb since Darcy was about 5 months old. Although when she was that young, there were close eyes kept on her. Darcy is now 2. Bailey has been with us 4 months (he is 1.5 y.o.) and he has done well with this also. The only time we've had any distruction when they are roaming the house and we are not watching them is if we leave opened mail/loose papers/receipts, their play toys, or other random things like napkins, etc on our coffee tables.

Good luck!

Kate, Darcy & Bailey's mom
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Bentley still doesnt have the run of the house, he's a yr and a mo. old and always looking for entertainment of some sort, ie. taking socks from the laundry basket , tasting leather slippers, chewing wooden baseboards and anything else he put in his mouth when we are not looking. Although I must admit is he getting better every day. I still crate him at night and when we go out. When I'm home to watch him I let him roam the kitchen and livingroom, but close off the bedroom, bathroom and spare rooms. I'm looking forward to the day I'm not saying "where is he now?"

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Cricket is 10 months old or so..

Cricket is crated at night in our bedroom and crated in the kitchen if we are not home.

Other than that, she has free reign of the house. She is not destructive and most of the time she can be found watching the red squirrels and birds from the back of the couch or from the bed in our guest room.

Once in a while she will do something like get up on the dining room table but those occasions are rare.

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We started letting Kiara in our master bedroom and bath when she was about 2 /12. She did so well, that we started letting her have more freedom. If it wasn't for the one cat we had then, she would have been free all of the time. When she started messing w/ the cat, we'd babygate her back to the kitchen and breakfast room or put her in the sunroom which has glass doors looking into our family room. Abbey is 3 and still doesn't have the freedom the others have and has to be supervised. I have to watch her and keep her from eating small objects, like cat toys! :mad: I still can't get over this one toy mouse that she vomitted up. It was over 4" long! Little Hannah has the most freedom because she doesn't touch anything, but maybe the Lab's toy, and she's not bothered by our two cats. She's pretty much had her freedom since she was 2, maybe younger. She's always been w/ me. Even when I'd be doing the laundry, I'd just plop the pile of clothes on the bed and set her up there next to them. She's just sit there watching me fold them. As a pup, I'd pretty much just set her down and she'd stay. Now she just follows me from room to room. In fact, she's laying next to my feet right now. If I can't find her, I usually look at our recliner couch and there she'll be napping. When I go out, I do babygate all three in the kitchen area. Kiara usually goes into the breakfast room to nap and Abbey & Hannah like to curl up together in the kitchen. If I'm going to be gone for a while, I still crate Abbey. She was the only one to ever chew the walls when left too long. I don't think there is a magical age. I have 3 totally different Cairns, all unique, all very special to me.

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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Once the girls graduated from being in the xpen w/linoleum, i strung the xpen across the archway going into the rest of the house, we used that for a long time, just keeping them in the living room so we knew what they were doing. Now at 2yrs they can roam while we're home, but they are almost always by me (we're a pack!) like now....or they are on the back of the chair in the family room staring at the woods waiting for critters to show up. WHen I move, they move. Like Beth, they help me with laundry etc. Ellie likes to help prewash the dishes when i'm loading the dishwasher! :) Sometimes Dori likes to go off by herself, she hates the fireplace going, and then we'll find her on my pillow on the bed. I've only left them out running free for 1/2 hr at a time, like running to the store. Yesterday Ellie finished my soup for me, wasnt that nice of her to make sure i didnt get anymore calories!!!! THey both sleep in bed with me, and crate in the family room while we're gone through the day. I always figured it's just safer for them being crated while we're gone and piece of mind for me.

Terry, mom of Dori and Ellie Mae

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Scruffy may be an "anomaly" as she has never been a bit of trouble. Scruff initially had a crate in the kitchen and she stayed in there at all times when we did not have her "tethered". When she was 5 mons we started to leave her crate opened, and the kitchen was blocked off so she had full run of the kitchen. We always found her in the crate and I can state she never had an "accident". She did so well with that freedom, that we eventually allowed her full run of the home but keep all doors closed, bedrooms, bathrooms etc. Granted we live in a small 2 story town home.

Now that we have added Sparky, we may not be that liberal. Sparks is not Scruffy and is more mischievous. Now we keep Sparky crated whenever we are gone and have once or twice allowed them full run of the kitchen when we were gone. That has worked well and no damage or mistakes. I am blessed with good housebreaking skills so that is not my fear. Wires, cables, electrocution, one of those things that you just can not puppy proof and simply miss.

My goal is that by the time Sparks is 9 mons to one year, we can leave them with full run of the home with doors closed. We will see....

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Currey is 14 months. We have a two story home, and he has had full access to the ground floor, save the laundry room, since about 9 months when we are home. At night, he is gated in the living room/kitchen area and is free to sleep wherever he wants in that area. Lately, he prefers to sleep from about 11 pm to 9 am, and we've had no worries at night. He recently learned to jump the baby gate to the upstairs, so we have given him access to the hallway and have begun to keep doors shut up there, because he cannot be trusted without accompaniment up there still. Mostly, he just wants to be where his people are, so he only tries to go up when I do. When home alone or in my office alone, he is crated. I leave him for 20 - 30 minutes while running errands at work, but I don't blame him for the fact that the molding got ripped off the wall in my office - I know that such behavior is my fault for leaving him unsupervised! My family had a Westie who was crated when left alone for the full 13 years of her life. It just seems safer that way. I've slowly been introducing Currey to more extended periods of time in rooms upstairs when I am in them because I think the biggest problem is that the "forbidden" places are just super exciting, so I'm trying to remove his zeal for getting into them and going wild.

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WOOF! Eli here. I was crated and carefully observed until I was about 9 months old. The Alpha B kept lots of yummy toys ALL over. I gradually earned her trust and have never really destroyed anything of value. :halo: I have earned free reign. My big problems are that ear-piercing bark and demanding to run in and out all evening. Oh, that and I don't come much when called unless I feel like it. :devil:

WOOF!

Eli B)

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My girls have zero unsupervised freedom at 11 months! It's not because they are destructive though (that phase passed) but they find trouble - eating strange things they find in the yard, peeing on my new carpet (just because they can... not mentioning any names.... BRYSTAL!) - or I'm worried they'll do something stupid like fly off the couch at the wrong angle and injure themselves! They remain crated when we're away, they remain crated while they sleep at night -and they do not have full access to the house - we have 3 stories - and they are only allowed in the family room and kitchen at this time - I let them out one time in the formal living room and dining room and I thought they'd either pee under the grand piano before I could catch them - or tip over the collectibles curio so they lost their speeding priviledges in those rooms... they just aren't mature enough yet to master other parts of the house... maybe on their 2nd birthday - although to their credit they are growing up beautifully - but still have that monster terrier in them.... HA!

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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Yoda is 13 1/2 months now. We leave him with access to the living room, Dining room, kitchen, hall and bathroom all day and evening. He can go outside (double fenced yard) just about any time he asks. In nice weather when we go somewhere for a few hrs. he stays in the yard, gate locked. in bad weather he stays in the house and has since about 7 mo. The only problems have been picking at the carpet where it meets the tile (there were some threads sticking up). We put something over the spots and that was it. I did run all elect cord in pvc conduit as a preventative measure, not that he had bothered them yet :thumbsup: . Most of the time my wife or me are here with him tho.

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Well, Missy my first Cairn I let have the run too soon. I didnt know better, just married ,she was our first dog starting our marrage etc... Well, Missy was about 6 months when I said ok, she can have the run. Well we came home and she found corners to the carpet and she pulledddddddddddddddd a string in so many places. She hit all the room.

Needless to say we had it all pulled up and had wood floors. That was her only thing she liked to destroy, carpet but I cant forget newspaper either. After wood floors, she continued to have the run with no other problems. She was a sock eater so I had to watch like a hawk.

Kramer he is now 2. I call him my dog from heaven. I think Missy blessed me with a little boy who loves the world and loves to please. Kramer is so different, Kramer is a good boy, he was left to have the run at 6 months.

He never chewed furniture, nothing. Again, I stress, he is so totally different. He was also very eay to train. We crate trained him and even now he loves his crate. I call it his apartment. Missy was a true Cairn her personality, temperment, her drive of prey etc... Kramer saw a mouse in the summer when we were walking and just stood there looking at me to come look. Now, if that was my Missy that mouse wouldn't of had a chance. So each Cairn can be different. Either way, Missy was Missy, Kramer is Kramer and I love them both, each just have a different personality and that most likely comes from Missy being puppy mill, Kramer being from a great breeder.

I love them both the same, my girl just had some issues, thats all, but she is my little angel forever. She will hold a special place in my heart that no other pet can replace. :halo:

Edited by Missyforever17

Rhonda,Kramer & Angel Missy "Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog". "It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are" Missy Rainbow Bridge Memorial
/>http://www.indulgedfurries.com/petdiabetes/memorium/missy2.htm

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We had Scout in her crate until she was a little over 2 years old. She stayed in the crate at night, and when we were gone. She had free run of the house when we were home (but not until she was housebroken) but we kept a close watch on her. Like Brad, we did not punish when somethig was destroyed due to not watching Scout.

Whe Scout was a little over 2 years, she started spending time out of her crate, until she was out all the time. Scout was a chewer and destroyed many shoes, purses.....anything leather! She stopped chewing items when she turned 2.

Finch, who never nipped, or chewed ANYTHING was taken out of the crate when she about a year old.

At first, we left our two in our finished basement while we were gone. They now have the entire house to roam. Scout is almost 5 and Finch is almost 3.

I think it all depends on the dog and how they behave when alone. Some dogs are ready early, and some will always be crated.

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I have to laugh....what is it about Cairns and SOCKS???? Barney guards a stolen sock like it was a piece of MEAT! :twisted:

I have to make sure there are no socks lying around or dropped from the laundry basket or he will get all snarly if I try to get the sock back. We are in dog training now and she is showing us the positive reinforcement method to get him to leave things. One mistake I made was to try to take it out of his mouth. Bad thing to do with Barney.... He is getting slightly better. He is so much work in the training department, but hopefully all our efforts will pay off! I am finding the positive reinforcement is working well for Barney. But I can't help thinking of all the food I am dumping into him to train him! I feel like I am going to have to add another 2 miles to my walk so he can burn off the extra calories!

After reading everyone's posts, I am so amazed at how with so many Cairns there are so many different personalities. What makes one Cairn non-destructive and another destructive, within the same household? Why does one Cairn chase anything that moves (that would be Barney!) and one not chase anything? Does gender make a difference in their personalities to some extent? In my pre-Barney research on Cairns, one site said that males are more affectionate. Not sure on that one....Then they say look at the dog's parents. Barney's Mom was the sweetest dog in the world. She jumped up next to us and wanted to be petted. I hope Barney grows to be like his Mommy....

Amazing creatures.....

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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The two Cairns I've owned from puppyhood both had complete freedom from the time they were 6 months old, day and night. Rudi I got when he was 1-1/2 years old and he had never anywhere but in a dog kennel and kitchen. I had him about two months before he was allowed unsupervised in the house.

However - I dog proof my house and I have always had dog flaps that go from inside my house to a secure run or garden outside. Plus, I've been lucky that none of the dogs I've owned have been into chewing on the furniture or baseboards or wires.

That's not to say there's been no destruction, but I'm willing to put up with a bit as long as it's nothing harmful to the dog. I had a Yorkie who was a demon of a hunter and a house that was full of mice. She would literally scratch through plasterboard to get at the mice -- fortunately most of that happened in an attached garage.

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My two are about 18mths they have free run of the kitchen, family and lounge rooms and can go in/out to fenced back yard whenever they want through the doggy door. I have just recently sometimes, been leaving them out of their crates but locked in kitchen and family room when we go out, (they aren't allowed outside if we aren't home.) I let them into my bedroom but not the kid's room, and yes like so many other cairns they LOVE socks! They will pick one up and run out the doggy door and play tug-o-war with it, swapping the sock for a treat usually works. I guess I've been lucky with the chewing phase cos my two never chewed the furniture only things that got left where they could get them - I had to explain to hubby on several occasions that it was his fault his things got chewed cos he didn't put away.

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My two are now coming up to 10 months. When I'm in they have full access to all the house. Mostly they are little angels but I do worry if I haven't heard them for more than 10mins as it usually means that they have found something to chew!

Since they arrived at 10weeks old they have never been restricted when I am about. However, this has caused some problems because they cry if they are shut in a room when there are visitors or I am trying to vacum.

When I'm at work they are shut in the kitchen with their crate open. Kitchen cabinets have suffered some chewing from this! :twisted:

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Well, I have a lot of kids, as well as our new Cairn. She is crated at night and when we leave. Other than that, she has free rein of the house, but all the bedroom and bathroom doors are shut. We have to watch her so she doesnt chew on toys, ect. She is turning to be a lap dog, already I see. She is still in puppy mode and sleeping a lot, though. She is 10-weeks-old.

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We have a two story house, so whatever level we are on...she is with us. We rarely crate her when we are home unless I take her out to go potty and she doesn't go...cuts down on the accidents. Otherwise, when we leave her home alone...which is rare...she is confined to the the master bathroom. There is very little she can get into and we stock the room full of toys and dog chews.

Last night was the longest she had ever been left alone without any supervision. It ended up being almost 8 hours in the bathroom!! We were only going to be gone 1/2 that time but had a family "emergency" that kept us out. When we got home I was afraid to look in the bathroom--for fear of the number of "piles" and "puddles"...NONE. I was so impressed. We took her outside and she went potty right away! I'm the proud and beaming mommy :) I would never give her run of the house--especially because her favorite activity is chewing electrical cords!!!

At night time she snuggles up with Dan...we have never had a problem with her having accidents during the night, but sometimes she will wake up early morning-ish and I will take her out and put her in her kennel so she doesn't continue to lick our faces and chew our toes! Sometimes she will jump out of bed and just go sleep in her crate, by herself. Guess she's more comfortable there!

Our yard is large and fenced in so she has the run of it...we never leave her outside by herself though because she has already got out of the fence once and I'm not taking that chance again. Other than that she pretty much knows the "pecking" order and behaves pretty well.

I must say...what Bradl said about the "teenage" years kinda worried me!!! I'm thinking, she's been pretty great up until this point...what's going to happen now. Guess she will start stomping around and slamming her kennel door!!! :)

Amber

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We're the Cairns of America

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Max just turned 1 yr. on Feb. 6th. When we are home he has the run of the main floor but the door is shut upstairs. Same goes when we are upstairs, he stays up. We watch him all the time and if he chews something that's not his it's our fault. He loves the kids toys, slippers, socks, and tissues in the bathroom garbages. He will go into the bathroom and steel the kids bath duckies and chews the beeks off them. He sleeps on our bed at night. He won't jump off it and is a dear little sleeper. He sleeps better than my kids. When we are gone I no longer crate him. I leave the door opened and he has run of the kitchen/family room. Everywhere else if blocked off. Fortunately we have a pocket door to upstairs and living room and doors to playroom, basement. I do a clean sweep of anything on the floor and he's not had any problem. I leave him his kong with yummies and when we get home he's usually asleep on the mat by the door or in his crate. Our door is glass so he can look our the door. He did not like being confined to his crate when we were gone. He seems much more relaxed being out and settles quickly. When he was crated he got sooo crazy I would often come home and the crate was actually moved a foot or so. He would go nuts the whole time we were gone. My neighbors would hear him. It's a little work cleaning up before I go but he seems happier. I guess that's what happens when you are home most of the time. My last cairn was free to the whole house but not until he was about 2 yrs. and you had to make sure all socks and garbage cans were picked up. My kids think it's normal to have the garbages on the back of the toilets and not on the floor. Time will come Barney's mom. They are just like kids. They all have their own unique personality. Keep up the training.

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Haha. That part about your kids thinking it's normal to have the garbages on the back of toilets cracked me up! That's exactly how it is around here too!

6amigos.jpg3amigospose.jpg3amigos.jpgRoscopuppy.jpg3amigos2.jpg

We're the Cairns of America

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Kirby is a year and two weeks. She has run of the house when we are home, but there are rooms we keep permanently closed off-bathrooms, and a "fun" room where we have too many temptations for a pup-knick knacks, and books, and other things that to her look like toys. Also, if we are going to be on one level of the house, we still babygate the other level off, so we aren't constantly running after her.

Kirby was crated until she was 11 months. When she was 9 months and had not had an accident in 3 months, we let her sleep on the bed. Once she was comfortable with that, we started with short stints with her just in the bedroom. Keep in mind our bedroom has a bed and dresser, and that's about all she could get her teeth on, and she has never chewed our furniture or drywall-we are VERY fortunate.

Now she's in the bedroom when we are gone at work. She has some toys, treats, and water, and seems to sleep the day away until we get home. The transistion time seemed to be key, as she is much less excited when we get home-it's more like "oh, you're here. Well, let's go to the bathroom and have dinner" as opposed to: "you'rehereyou'rehereyou'rehereyou'rehere!!!" when she was constantly in her crate.

I cannot imagine ever letting her have the run of the house when we are not home-she still likes to get into trouble. Really, she gets to be in the bedroom only because it's the only room she's consistently left alone. Otherwise, she would STILL be crated whenever we were gone.

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Crunch at 7-9 months old had free rein. Gus.....home alone and free rein? Maybe never. LOL. See my post earlier this year.

Trying out freedom for Gus

The two are always out when we are at home. They seem to follow us from room to room. Barney's mom, it is so true that all dogs are different with different personalities.

Edited by brin145
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Mine were not left uncrated until about a year old. I have a big wire crate Lab size that I leave them in while at work, and when I can't watch them they are outside are crated. Here is the hole in our carpet, thanks to MS Harley. took only five minutes, My son said you have to watch her all the time I thought she was house trained, she is housed trained just not chewed trainedpost-291-1171934448_thumb.jpg

Liz

Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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