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To Crate Or Not To Crate?


locket
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Hello all, it's me again!

Our Jack has suffered separation anxiety since we got him, a little over 2 months ago. We tried the DAP collar and it has worked to some extent and we are quite happy with the results.

However, he is acting so confusing to us. Here is our morning routine. DH leaves well before me, so I do the walking, then we come back home, I give him his Kong in his crate while I pick up my things (he gets in on his own), get dressed and leave (takes me between 5 to 10 mins). Sometimes he barks upon finishing his Kong then goes right back to sleep for up to 6 hours. After that all hell breaks loose and he barks and barks and barks, paws at the door of the crate, sometimes bites the bars, shreds blankets. He can lay down for 10 to 20 minutes then it all starts over again. He is crated for as long as 9 hours and twice per week it is less than that. He doesn't need a pee break as when we get home, he gets a walk and we sometimes walk for about a mile before he pees/poos.

However, yesterday he managed to 1. Get his teeth stuck in the metal bars (for about a minute, EEEEK) and 2. Escape from his crate.

Out of his crate he walked around, took his Kong and finished it, found a pig ear and ate it, then walked around some more. He did not settled. But he did not get into trouble either.

We said fine, the crate is obviously getting dangerous, let’s try him out of it.

Well since I left this morning it has been nothing but walking around and maybe settling for 10 minutes, walking around some more, barking and so on.

So to crate or not to crate? I don’t want him to be miserable crated, but at the same time, he is obviously lost in our house.

I would like to add that right now he is muzzled, left loose in the house with access to the living room and kitchen and our bedroom, but all other rooms are closed off.

Thanks for the advice!

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Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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I would recommend doing what you're doing now, with the muzzle. Keep in mind that they can still get into stuff, even hen muzzled, but it seems like it would be dangerous to crate the poor guy.

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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Wouldn't go back to the crate -- just not a good option for dogs who try to escape (can be big vet bills and/or dead dog :( ) and who fuss a lot. Does he have a nice big comfy bed there?

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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No more crate. He could really injure himself.

 

You might try baby gating him in a smaller area - bedroom or living room, wherever he's most comfortable. If he's having trouble with accidents, then put a bed in the kitchen or another easily cleanable place. You might also get a DAP plug-in diffuser and put it in this room, along with the collar.

 

And, while it might not work to change his routine at this point, I would hold off on giving him his Kong until right before you leave the house. That way he has something to work on for a few minutes after you leave. If he's finishing it too fast, try freezing it overnight. Most can get to a kong just fine while muzzled, but you might try him without it if he's not chewing destructively.

 

Leave the radio on some soothing music or the TV. My dogs watch ESPN, but some like the cooking channel or Animal Planet!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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That doesn't sound like separation anxiety to me - just regular old "my routine changed" anxiety. I would definitely try to keep him in a smaller space - my hounds only have access to one room with nice comfy couches and beds during the day - we babygate off the kitchen, put up chair barriers to keep them out of the dining room, and keep the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. Also, make sure that you dogproof the area so he can't get to anything too dangerous to chew on. I think over the next couple of days, if you keep a consistent routine, he'll start to settle down.

 

Another thought, how much exercise does he get? The best piece of advice I ever received from this forum for my pups when they were younger was, "For any behavioral problem, try more exercise first."

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Batman (racing name CTW Battle Plan) adopted May 2011, passed away July 2017

Buffy (racing name CTW Bathsheba) adopted Oct 2012

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The no crating was really what we thought, but seeing him howl an bark today while loose when he has been fine crated is somewhat of a surprise.

To answer Batmom, he had a big plushy blanket an a polar blanket, but he was destructive sometimes so we held off on the bed. He did chose his crate over his dog bed sometimes when we were home though...

Thanks Muddgirl :) We might just try limiting his space until he gets the routine change. Today he got a 30 minutes walk before me leaving, and we are living in a hilly area so that ads up as well. He usually get 3 20 to 40 minutes walks a day, depening on the weather + some training around 5-10 minutes twice a day.

I watched the videos of today and most of the time he is standing on our couch (any ideas while we are at it to protect leather couch? hahaha - it is not a worry however, they are over 25 years old) or in our bedroom (I can't see on the camera). When I came home however, he had a big scratch inside his hind leg. I thought initially it was just blood from a scab but when I tried to clean it, he snapped at me. I have no idea for the life of me, how he got it...I had removed everything that could potentially hurt him. Could it be his muzzle?

Also should we do some alone training while we are transitioning to a loose grey?

Edited by locket

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Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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I'm older and we grew up without ever using crates for our dogs, it wasn't even a consideration. I did have one on hand for when my girl came home, in case she was one of those "devoted to her crate" dogs but, thankfully, she wasn't and I quickly put it away. But what I did is expand her run of the house in increments. The whole house all at once is kind of overwhelming for many. Start with one room plus your bedroom (I assume he sleeps with you or at least in the room). Good luck!

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Yes he does sleep in the same room as us :) One room plus bedroom would be all the living room (where his bed and crate is), the hallway and bedroom (plus another bed of course!). That mean blocking off the kitchen. We could try that tomorrow.

We initially crated because he was ramming the front door. Thankfully we are over that!

Thank you :)

23786382928_141eff29e1.jpg
Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

He still has separation anxiety, you need to accomplish alone training. Doesnt matter if you use the crate or not, he still has issues with being left alone. Go through the steps of alone training and hopefully it will extinguish his anxiety. He doesnt seem like he has horrible SA, so the alone training should hopefully progress quickly.

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Don't leave things like pig ears for the dog when you are not home. They can swallow pieces that are way too big and generally it's just a bad idea.

 

Try giving him the Kong as you're walking out, not before you get ready.

 

You're basically defeating the purpose of the Kong if you give it to him and THEN spend 10 minutes getting ready to leave.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Regarding the scratched leg - More than once (several times in fact) Mercury has come in from outside and later, I've found a small scratch or scab on his foot or leg. He's actually cutting his legs on the snow! Y'know how the snow can get crusty on top and you break through it, even a few inches? I think that's when it's happening.

BTW, I'm envious of your webcam abilities. I've been going through heck trying to get mine to work, and it's internal to the PC!

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Missing my heart dog Liberty, the world's best blackngreylabhound

 

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Susan, we don't leave anything laying about, he found it when he broke out of his crate, it was in a closet, in a bag and the bag was suspended to a coat hanger. We are all wondering how he got it!!!

About the Kong, I started handing it a bit beforehand as he started associating it with me leaving and was just running away. It is fixed now though so maybe I should be back to : as soon as I leave.

Mercsmom : wow! Mine is internal to my laptop and I connect via Teamviewer so super easy! And it can also record, so added bonus! If the webcam stop working though..uh oh, I am in a bad position hahaha I am not that tech savy :P

23786382928_141eff29e1.jpg
Cynthia, with Charlie (Britishlionheart) & Zorro el Galgo
Captain Jack (Check my Spots), my first love

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