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raising young pups


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Chatting over coffee with a friend, we got into a big debate about raising pups. Thought I'd post here to get others opinion....

The discussion goes like this:

When raising a young pup. How much time does the pup need to be kenneled (left alone)?

I keep my dogs in the house with me, they are crate trained but after a certain age I do not crate unless there is a need. They are not left out in a yard unsupervised and I am almost always home with them. I would crate any of them when going out, if they were to get into any bad habits, but they mainly sleep and wait my arrival. for a pup I will crate till I feel it is safe.

Friends opinion is, I spoil my dogs and that takes some of their instinct out. Besides socializing he thinks pups should be put "up" so they keep their excitement for only sheep. At least for the first year. He does not mean "no" socializing, but when not training or socializing(what little training you can do on a young pup) they should be left alone in a kennel to just be a dog. I agree that they need processing time and should be kept quiet at certain times(after training).

Question I am posting...

How many open handlers keep there dogs/pups in the house? Do you think a pup from the right lines can make it to open levels and also be kept in the house as a "pet"?

I will not be training my new pup on sheep till he's mature enough to handle training pressure, but I also think that making him feel safe in all environments (anything/where I can think to expose him I will be doing)at a young age will help his confidence more than take his drive away for sheep. Do you think growing up in a house with other dogs and children is undue pressure on a puppy who is mainly going to be used to trial?


Happy Holidays


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Hi Kristen,

All my dogs are in the house, I am home with them all day and enjoy a very close relationship with them all. I dont think it is the house vs kennel thing that is the issue, but more importantly how you relate to them when you are with them. I have also trained dogs to the open level that lived in my kennel. Not as many of those, but then I usually dont keep the outside dogs long enough to get them to that level.

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I keep dogs and puppies in the house. They're bred to be keen and I'm not worried in the least that keeping them around in the house will spoil them for work. I just like dogs and enjoy having them around. I'm not going to give that up just in case it might affect them somehow on stock anyway. But I haven't found it to be a problem.



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Hi All,

Thanks for your input, I agree, they are bred with their keenness, and living in the house with us has not effected any of my other dogs in a negative way that I can see. Except maybe my house keeping. The article in the latest Working BC by Bruce Fogt on raising a great pup is a good one. I plan on keeping my new puppy crated more than I would have, or at least till I feel he is bonded to me over my other adult dogs.

Thanks for your thoughts...I will be passing them on to my friend. Who keeps his dogs in a kennel except his oldest bitch....who he thinks he already spoiled.

Have a wonderful Holiday.

Kristen Reker

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