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new foster peeing in crate


smt
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We are new to fostering, though did have a VERY EASY greyhound for 9 years, who we lost last year to cancer.  So using her as a basis of comparison is not going to be useful for us as we figure out the foster ropes.  I am in frequent contact with my group's foster rep, and she is very helpful, receptive to my questions, and is providing lots of recommendations, but I am posting here just to get other's thoughts.

We have had our foster girl a week today, and she is not quite two years old, somewhat timid (though is coming our of her shell), and is pretty well adjusted on many fronts.  She eats like a champ, walks great on a leash, has tootsie roll poops, navigates hardwoods without a problem, sleeps through the night and has a sweet disposition.  However, she also struggles to be in a room alone, follows us everywhere, and cries/borderline howls when she is left alone.  We crate her when we leave, and for the past three days, she has peed in the crate.  She has not been crated over 4.5 hours.  

Here is what we have tried:  feeding in crate to develop a positive association, leaving a frozen kong with her, putting toys in the crate, withholding water an hour before crating, making sure she has plenty of opportunity to pee just prior to crating, tested for UTI (was negative), placing a blanket over the top of the crate, and leaving the radio on the classical station.

Any thoughts on our protocols, what may be going on, etc.?   We just want to do right by her and make sure we are thinking of everything that might be helpful.  We want her to be as well adjusted as possible when she goes to her forever home so as to increase the chances that the adoption sticks.  Thanks much!

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This is probably separation anxiety. My second girl, Lola, did this and the only thing that worked was intensive ‘alone training’ and getting rid of the crate. 

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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I got a video of her in the crate freaking out.  I put her in there to eat breakfast while I showered this morning.  She howled and was biting at the crate when I got out of the shower.  She was only in there 20 minutes, and had just gone on a 2 mile walk.  She peed in the crate in that short time period as well.  This is the 6th day in a row of wetting the crate.  I sent the video to my foster rep, and she confirmed SA.  She is trying to find another foster home with another grey to see if that helps her.  I feel terrible leaving her to go to work, because I know she is going to be distressed and trapped in a crate with wet bedding.  I don't know what to do, though. I don't trust her to leave her out.  She has shown interest in chewing on furniture, and even with the muzzle on, I fear she will be able to destruct or soil the house.  We don't have a mudroom or such to gate her in.  Our house is pretty open concept.  

I have a question about alone training.  What is one to do when they MUST leave their dog, knowing the dog will be in the throws of SA?  Doing full on alone training seems to require someone who can be with the dog all the time as the training is building up.  Otherwise, each time the dog MUST be left alone and panics (to go to work, etc.), you are back to square one.  As I see it, to successfully do alone training entails a) someone who can be home all the time with the dog while the training is occurring over time and/or b) has the financial resources to pay to put the pup in doggie day care throughout the course of the alone training.  Am I missing something?

 

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7 hours ago, smt said:

I have a question about alone training.  What is one to do when they MUST leave their dog, knowing the dog will be in the throws of SA?  Doing full on alone training seems to require someone who can be with the dog all the time as the training is building up.  Otherwise, each time the dog MUST be left alone and panics (to go to work, etc.), you are back to square one.  As I see it, to successfully do alone training entails a) someone who can be home all the time with the dog while the training is occurring over time and/or b) has the financial resources to pay to put the pup in doggie day care throughout the course of the alone training.  Am I missing something?

 

If the question here is, "what does alone training protocol say to do?" I think the answer is, yep, be home all the time during training or send them to daycare. :wacko:

Obviously, in reality that is not practical for very many people, but what is truly necessary really depends on the dog. A week is not a very long time, whether you've been doing alone training or not. Our dog did a lot of whining/howling and hoarding of our belongings during the first couple weeks of having him (he was not fostered and we could not do true alone training), but after 2-3 weeks he just got accustomed to the fact that we were coming back. Now, he wasn't peeing, or destroying the house, and he wasn't crated, so it isn't the exact same situation, but there is something to be said for just doing what training that you can and giving it time. Some dogs have severe SA and won't get over it without some kind of drug intervention, a dog-friend or serious, long-term training, but I think a lot do get used to a schedule once they are settled.

You might do some short term (like while showering) testing of how she is out of the crate - and if she can chew much of anything through the muzzle in that time then she needs a different one.

Your girl isn't settled in yet, so there's that, but if you aren't doing a foster-to-intentionally-fail situation, it might be best to move her to a foster home who can help her transition a little more slowly (people home more or with another dog). Ultimately that may be better for the dog and for her future family - knowing what a dog needs and finding a family who can meet that is the best thing a foster home(s) can do for all parties involved.

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There is no rule that greys have to be crated.  Being shut in the crate might be some of the problem.

I shut Grace in her crate for the first night only and after that I left the door open so she could go in and out as she wanted. She is quiet happy to have the run of the main room when she's left alone and at night (she sleeps downstairs).

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Update:  The foster coordinator decided to move the pup to a foster home with another GH after seeing the video I took of her, along with the daily crate soiling.  She has been there 2 days and according to the new foster mom, she has done ok in the crate, which is in a room where their other GH stays during the day and in which she has her eyes on him all day.  Apparently he is a pretty lazy boy and once down for the day, does not move:P She has had a few accidents in their house, which was never an issue with us.  I chalk that up to everyone learning the new routine.  It seems easier to work with housebreaking, especially since she has a history of success in that area, than to work with SA when there is no other dog around and both humans work, requiring the pup to be totally alone for up to 5-6 hours a day.  We hate that we could not see her through to adoption, but also believe we have done her a service by allowing for the discovery that she must be adopted into a home with another dog in order for the transition to be smooth and increase the odds that the adoption succeeds.

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9 hours ago, smt said:

also believe we have done her a service by allowing for the discovery that she must be adopted into a home with another dog in order for the transition to be smooth and increase the odds that the adoption succeeds

You are 100% correct. You, and anyone who makes this tough decision to let a dog go to a better situation, is ultimately doing what is best for that dog. That's not a failure on your part, it's success for that dog :)

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Thanks Bizeebee.  It is strange duality . . . the wanting to succeed at being able to walk the whole journey with a dog, and the recognition that sometimes, that is not in the cards, through no fault of anyone.  I posted another thread about the reality of fostering without a resident GH to help a new foster dog make the transition from track to pet.  I hope to get input from others, mainly on the degree to which we should expect that a number of dogs will struggle to make it as a solo dog in a home where they are alone for a portion of the day.  I do feel like we are doing a good deed in trying to get that figured out on the front end, for both the rescue dog and the prospective adopters.  Just wondering, though, what we should expect by way of "fresh off the track dogs" ending up with SA vs not.  Will we be looking at 50% who will have SA?  25%?  10%? 75%?  Getting that question answered is what is front of mind right now.  We are up for the challenge, regardless.

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