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Need Advice Re: Time At Work


Guest amanda3784
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Guest amanda3784

Hi everyone!

 

I have only had Henry 3 days and I feel like all I do is post questions here! I hope it gets easier!! :)

 

I have a question regarding the time I spend at work. Unfortunately my husband and I have fairly long work days, and I underestimated how much it would upset me to leave Henry in the crate. I honestly have not been able to concentrate at work thinking about how bad I feel. :( I have hired a dog walker to take him for a 15 minute walk and bathroom break, and he also gives him water. But I can't help but think about him all cooped up and uncomfortable. (Even though the crate is big and has his toys in it).

 

My question is: Would it be all right for me to leave him out of the crate? I'm not worried about him having accidents. My worry is him eating something that will harm him. I have tried to "dog proof" the house for him, but you never know. Is it dangerous to let him out but leave him with the muzzle on? The muzzle still allows him to drink and breathe (obviously) without any problems, but it prevents biting and chewing. Is that just as bad?

 

I know I should have thought this out more clearly, but I figured the crate would be fine and now I feel terrible.

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Leaving him loose in the house and muzzled should be no problem at all, Luna does it all the time when we are staying with my parents.

 

Try not to beat yourself up about leaving him, and remember that he spent a lot of time crated at the track. It's probably harder on you than on him :)

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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Guest Jacks_Human

I leave my boys loose in the house and muzzled when I'm not home.

 

Same, for the first few months. Then I realised that Jack doesn't need the muzzle. When people have stayed through the day with him (or when I'm home with him), he simply snoozes the day away and occasionally plays with a toy. Then when 5PM rolls around he wants to eat, play and do his business, and then cuddle.

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Guest jaws4evr

A 15 minute potty/walk break mid day is more than a lot of 9-5 work families dogs get, so don't feel too bad :). Make sure to spend quality time with outings and walks and mental excercise when you ARE home and he should be happy!

 

We only crated ours while we were away until we'd tested her loose in the house over short periods of time, stepping up the time intervals. Now we leave both of ours loose in the house all day with no muzzles and no issues over 3 years.

 

You can start with leaving him loose in the house muzzled, and start testing him with short times while you'er away with no muzzle and see how it goes.

 

Make sure to continue your "home alone" training since being left alone outside the kennel is different than inside... ie make sure to ignore when you leave (and for a significant time before you do leave), and for a significant time when you get home.

 

For the first bit it should help to make suer he's good and tired before you leave too. A brisk morning walk should help him "settle in" for the day.

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I completely understand your anxiety. We got James a few months ago and that's exactly how I felt. We had him crated all day, with a 30 minute break by the dog-walker, but I felt so guilty. He would be absolutely inconsolable when we got him from work until we left him out of his crate, despite the fact that he loves his crate. We did not feel comfortable with him roaming the house while we were away (he'd had potty accidents while in foster care), so we gave him several weeks to learn that the entire house was his den and that his den was not to be messed in. Well, he eventually figured out how to free himself, but much to our delight, he did not mess in the house. After that, we gave him the whole first floor to roam, then only after we were certain he was ok did we give him the whole house. He's happy as a clam now. And, it's SO much better coming home to him happy and out of his crate, where he can greet us at the door, as opposed to crying and barking in his crate.

 

You're not missing much by being at work, I promise. On days where I've stayed home sick, James just lays around all bored like. He whines for food since I'm there, but he's no worse or better as far as I can tell. I'm sure he likes me being there, but he's ok if I'm not.

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I would start with very short periods out of the crate, maybe over the weekend when you can come and go. Give him something to do (like a stuffed kong) as you leave. Whether he transitions easily to being outside of hte crate depends a lot on him. Some dogs do fine with it, some get into "trouble", some prefer the safety of a crate. I'm not sure how long you're gone, but if you find the crate is what works best for hte time being, I wouldn't feel bad about it assuming the crate is large enough for him to stand up straight and turn around in and he is getting ample exercise, mental stimulation and play while you are home.

 

You can also close off or baby gate off sections of the house initially so he has less exploring (he may view a spare bedroom or den as a place to potty for instance, while he might not the main room where his crate is or your bedroom if he sleeps there).

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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If he seems fine in the crate, no signs of anxiety, don't get all sentimental and nuts about it. At the racing kennel (and if they've been in an adoption kennel) they are in their crates most of the time except for turnout periodsl, that's what they're used to, and they sleep most of the time anyway. You can wean from the crate if you want, but there's no point in rushing it after three days -- if your dog likes his crate you are, in fact, very fortunate. I still crate Beth when I'm out after four years (although I am not gone eight hours) -- prevents mishaps and she is in fact much calmer and more content there. And I have no worries in a strange place when we travel, or when she needed to be on crate rest for some weeks after an injury. When I get home she generally doesn't even come out of the crate right off until she's finished her nap -- the rare times she is eager to leave the crate are signs that she has to "go" really urgently.

 

You are doing the right thing with the dog walker. Beyond that, the crate is your problem, not Henry's. It is a blessing to have a dog who crates well; don't discount it!

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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We crate Dillard when we go out. I am not interested in finding out whether he will destroy or poop. I'm happy and sometimes when I come home and open the crate, he comes out to greet me and then goes back in. I never leave him for more than 6 hours. If it is going to be longer, the dog walker comes or he gets boarded.

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We have had our grey for almost three months now. I have seen and heard of greys sleeping on their backs and walking back in to sleep in their crate- but not ours. If I dont put him in there, he wont go. There are times I ask him to get in, and he trots away. Our Hammer crates really well, dont get me wrong, but I can tell he would rather be out. Before I go to work, I grab a treat, he knows the routine, he walks right in. Then he tightly curls in the corner and gives me sad looking puppy eyes. He doesn't make noise or anything. When I get home, he greets me like I am the world, and I love it :beatheart I plan on soon to little by little leave without him crated but I still want to wait a little while, until I am confident he knows this is his home and he is safe. We have had very little problems with him adjusting, and by reading all of these posts, I am very thankful!!

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I'm not worried about him having accidents.

 

Aren't you a little bit worried? I would be hesitant to let your guy have the run of the house until he was reliably housetrained. Reliable = No accidents for at least 30 days. You might want to start by keeping him confined (vs. being crated all day). Keep him in a smaller room, like your kitchen where the floors will be easier to clean if he does have an accident. Try that for a few days, and if he isn't going to the bathroom in the house, then the idea is that you gradually expand his freedom room by room. I really recommend doing it this way... we gave Truman too much freedom early on and ended up having to rip all the carpeting out in our downstairs. It was a huge expense and also a huge setback in the training department.

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Guest Wasserbuffel

Ditto to what PrairieProf said. I still crate my grey, and she's been with me for nearly three years. I could leave her loose without a problem, but she's going to sleep all day anyway, so she might as well stay accustomed to the crate for the times when she needs it. She gets a cookie every single time I crate her, which helps a lot as she's always quite eager to go in.

 

If I were you, I would take it slowly with letting your boy loose. He might well be just fine, but if he's not distressed by the crate, it's better to go slowly to make sure. Also, I always, always, always have a dish of water available for my grey in her crate. Hers is a little metal bowl that bolts onto the bars, but I've seen some who use a small bucket with a handle attached with a caribiner.

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I'm retired so am home a lot. I crated Annie when I went out, though, to the post office or store just because I was told it was the thing to do. She **hated** the crate and cried. On the third day post-adoption, I pretty much said, "Screw it," and let her have the run of the house, unmuzzled, and that's the way it's been ever since (she was adopted July 2011). I can be gone for 5 or 6 hours and though she's sad, she's always been fine. She doesn't chew, doesn't cruise the basket or counters and doesn't eat the cat. :--) It's the same way when I visit friends and family. She's never crated and never muzzled in anybody's house.

 

I think I lucked out with Annie Bella but maybe not. The posts on here tend to be about problems, whether health or other things, so there may be a lot of Greys who are as easy as Annie is.

Edited by Feisty49
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I never crated, not even in the beginning and have never had one accident or anything chewed (I don't muzzle) so it is definitely possible. I run both my dogs in the morning off and on leash for 40-50 minutes before work and then feed as I go out the door. They are perfectly fine to sleep after this until I can come home at lunch to let them out again. I would try to confine him to one area to see how things go, but many greys actually do better out of the crate. That is great you have a dog walker in the middle of the day :)

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Partly it depends on what the consequences of him doing damage are. For us we always, always crate a new dog because we rent. Any damage would be a HUGE problem for us.

 

Now putting aside damage and emotional trauma to yourself if you were to come home to find things destroyed... think about the consequences to your dog. For me, the health and safety of my dogs is something that I have control over, and having a dog ingest something that could require lifesaving surgery is just not worth my feeling guilty about crating (not that I do, I love crates). Personally I would feel way more guilty about my dog being in a position where he could die than I do about using a crate. It is important to protect your dog from your house as well as your house from your dog until you know him well enough. Summit was crated for about 3 months after we got him. He was a bounce and had been loose with his former owners for about 2 years. But no way I was taking chances on a new dog. After 3 months he graduated to being gated in our bedroom for the rest of the year and a half that we lived in that apartment. Part of that was just that he really only spent time in that one room anyway. Now that we've moved to a new house he has full reign of the house.

 

New puppy on the other hand. In a crate the majority of the day. If I'm not standing over top of her playing or training, she's in her crate. She probably spends close to 18 hours in her crate when everything is said and done. I feel no guilt. It keeps her safe. It keeps our house safe. And it keeps my mental health safe!

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest jenniferk

First, congratulations on adopting Henry!

 

I got my grey 7 months ago & also worried because my husband and I are both gone all day. I nearly cried at having to put him in his crate because he hated it. However, it was part of our adoption agreement, so I did it. After a few days I figured out that he was afraid to step over the lip at the entrance of his crate, and once he got used to it, he was fine. After 30 days with no accidents (my rescue group advised waiting that long even if he never had an accident), I let him out of his crate during work but left him confined with baby gates to two rooms because of my cats. I work from home 1 or 2 days a week so I know what he does during the day: sleep! And even though I no longer put him in his crate & close the door, he continues to sleep in it while I'm at work and during the night. He usually only sleeps on his nicer bed outside the crate when we're home. I was hoping that we'd eventually put the crate away when he stopped using it, but he still really likes sleeping in his crate so we're keeping it as long as he uses it. So, as long as he's not showing signs that he hates it, don't feel bad! 

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And it keeps my mental health safe!

 

Amen! I'm seeing some crate-haters in this thread :lol Crating a dog isn't mean or punishing in any way. It's a tool to help your dog learn boundaries and rules. Even though neither of mine are crated anymore, our house would probably look like a kennel if we weren't consistent about crating in the beginning.

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Why are you crating him? Is he destructive?

 

We bought into the myth that newly adopted greys need cages. We caged Murray in his first two days here with us. He broke out of the crate during the day. He could have really injured himself getting out. On the third day, he tried to bite Burke as Burke put him in there. Murray never needed to be crated, and we gave up on locking him in on that third day.

 

FWIW, Murray has only one canine tooth left. The other three were removed during his first dental. These teeth were all cracked to the roots from his previous years of crate chewing. Not all hounds are comfortable being locked in cages all day long.

Edited by 45MPHK9

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All dogs are different!

We've had crate lovers and crate haters and some who could take them or leave them.

 

We have no crates now, but all three are muzzed if we're not home for safety reasons.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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I too work long days and always felt bad crating the dogs. Dizzy lasted 2 days crated, she barked constantly so I crossed my fingers and left for work and there now issues at all when I got home that night and she never had an accident in the house. Baylee was another issue, the 1st day her crate was wet, the second day her crate was collapsed when I got home and the third day I zipt tied it together and as I was leaving she was trying to break the crate. I left her out for fear of breaking her teeth. She made out well, she did have urinary issues but that seemed to be related to allergies, once that was resolved she was great in the house. I feel more comfortable knowing that when I am at work the are being good and comfortable. Some dogs need to be crated and others dont. Do what works for your dog.

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It has come out above but I'll repeat it: all dogs are different and you must be very sensitive to what is best for yours. Do not follow any proscription but rather observe and make wise, safe choices. I recommend recording him in the crate to see how he does. If he is relaxed than don't mess with it. It has only been three days and some dogs panic when given the run of a house alone.

 

FWIW my boy was terrible in the crate, absolutely went to peices, nearly injured his mouth and feet trying to get out. He was OK but not geat confined to part of the house. Better with the run of the house with a muzzle on. But best of all, perfect in fact with the run of the house and no muzzle. I filmed it all.

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It totally depends on the dog. Razzy is still crated and we have had her 1 1/2 years. She has pee accidents and chews a lot of things that she's not supposed to. She has not earned her way out of the crate altogether yet. So don't feel bad! :)

Jen & Theodore
Forever in my heart: my girl Raspberry & my boys Quiet Man, Murphy, Ducky & Wylie
www.greyhoundadventures.org & www.greyhoundamberalert.org & www.duckypaws.com

 

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I didn't seen any indications in the OP's post that Henry is anxious or distressed about being in the crate. It seems like more of a problem with the owner's perception. To confirm whether your dog is ok crated, I'd suggest setting up a video camera or webcam to see what he does when you're gone. I would be willing to bet that most dogs sleep the majority of the time and aren't upset or uncomfortable at all.

 

I believe that crates are great tools for establishing good behavior, preventing problems, and keeping dogs safe in our homes. Obviously if your dog is one who does get upset in the crate and risks hurting himself, you need to look at alternatives. But if your dog is fine in the crate, there's no reason not to take advantage of this tool. And while there are exceptions, most dogs can be taught to relax in the crate, and many even learn to love their crates if going in is always rewarded.

 

All of my hounds are fed in their crates, and are crated when I'm not home. They eagerly run into their crates on their own at feeding time. On my days off, I sometimes leave them crated for a couple hours after they eat while I do chores around the house that are easier with them out of the way, and they have no problems with this, waiting calmly and quietly until I'm ready to let them out. There's nothing inherently 'bad' about crating. I'd much rather know that my dogs are safe and not getting into trouble when I'm not home.

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