Mason is now 16 months old and doing great. He is still a rascal, though. Is there an age when I need to stop crating him when he's unsupervised? I don't quite trust him 100% yet unsupervised, but someone was telling me he's old enough to stay gated in the kitchen. Mason loves his crate and has no issues with it. Is there a certain rule of thumb as to when to stop crating? Is it considered cruel to crate an adult dog?
Some people never have a choice. Their dog never learns enough self control to be uncrated. You can try to slowly work up to a room uncrated if you'd like, in small increments of time..
Cider had to be crated till she was 2.. Then she graduated to free in my bedroom for 15 minutes, half an hour, etc. Now I can work and she's no issue. I don't see us moving from this step anytime soon though, and I'm fine with that.
~I'm changing my naughty ways to naughtier ones..~
Houdini's Apple Cider RNCL Stanton Acres Out Of The Ashes
Whether or not crating is cruel has more to do with how much time the dog spends in the crate than the age of the dog. At least that's what I think. Some dogs just can't be trusted. One of my mom's dogs who has severe separation anxiety had to be kept in his crate during the day until he was 12 or 13 years old.
My dog started with his crate, then the bathroom/laundry room, and now he is free in the entire house when we are gone during the day. Give him as much freedom as you think you can trust him with. You say he's not 100% yet so keep him in an area that can be blocked off with a baby gate, where there is nothing the dog can destroy or that could harm him, if possible where there is NOT carpet :). Keep the crate in that area. Add or take away access to more space based on his behavior.
My boys are over five and I crate them when I'm not home for their safety. They can find things to get into that you would never think they would. I have a house plant that my dogs never even went by until the other day I was talking on the phone and I see my dog reach out and bite at the plant. If I wasn't there he might of chewed on it and gotten a stomach ache.
I'm not real big on long hours in a crate, but a couple hours can be used for a little nap without causing any problems.