Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:29 AM
I have done both. And still do, depending on the dog. Growing up, our dogs would howl and whine and throw a fit everytime they were put inside a crate, even for a few minutes. Now all my dogs get crated for at least a few months. My oldest dog (3 years) was crated at night until he was over 6 months and I could trust him not to pee in my room at night. He now sleeps on my bed or next to my bed, his choice, and has free reign of the house while I am at work. He was two before I would let him roam the house with me gone. Loved his crate, would wander in and sleep even with me there.
My middle dog is just now 9 months and I have had him for 4 months. He still stays in a kennel when I am at work, but since I was comfortable with his house breaking he sleeps in my room with me and has run of the house at night. When I leave I tell him "into your room" and he will run into it. Give him a treat or bone and he is happy.
My current baby is between 3 and 4 months, and sleeps in the kennel at night and, if not outside, while I am gone. He is still getting housebroken and still teething, so no freedoms yet (had him three days). Loves the kennel, will often bolt down the hallway and run into the kennel, giving me a look of "bedtime, close the door."
For my puppies, they will remain kenneled until I can trust them not to pee inside or destroy anything, but free reign after. When they stop using the kennel I will take them away, but in the three years since I got my oldest dog, a kennel has not been put away for more than a few months. They dictate when they are through.
Not professional advice, but my experiences with kennels.