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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Pen or crate?

So my puppy is 5 months on Monday. She originally was left in her crate or pen when I left and this was pretty good she did good about 2 - 3 hours I brought her home at 11 weeks in her crate. I used to have her in her pen when I worked at home and was working on being in the crate when I left and she was in the front room. However around 16 weeks old we had robbery in our building and had a bunch of crime in our neighborhood and it led me to not want to leave for a while as well as I was sick for about two weeks. So essentially after not leaving her alone for 2 weeks and bringing her everywhere with me i knew i had to get back to training or she would never be ok alone. She is always ok alone in the pen or crate as long as Iím here. So since she was 19 weeks (the last 3 weeks)i have had her in an xpen and leaving for 2 hours in am and 2 hours in pm. Based on recommendation from the trainer. She sleeps for about 1 hour 15 min then she wakes up and cries and cries and paws. She settles every so often Like cries on and off and paws the pen for like 30-45 minutes then will go back to sleep a while (which could be anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes) sheís very confident, isnít afraid of anything or anyone (Dog or people) sheís very curious so the trainer says the crying is trying to get her way so just leave her.

Now I realized I have a situation - essentially I plan to have her in the pen or crate when I leave always. I feel better knowing sheís safe. Sheís now been being trained in the pen with the crate in the pen with the door off but she hardly goes in there. She does sleep in her crate with door closed all night from 9pm -7:30am and rarely has to get up to pee.

So here is my dilemma. I have to go to my family for Xmas and sheís gonna have to be in the crate if i leavd my moms or my brothers and started thinking about if someone ever had to pet sit her and I really want her to be used to being in her crate when I leave as I canít carry the pen everywhere. So now that Iíve been training her in the xpen do I just switch to the crate? I would like her to be able to use both so that if I leave for a while she can be in the pen or crate. I just donít know if itís nlh best to pick one method or can they be trained to use both. I feel like I need to stick to the crate so she always knows thatís where she goes whether sheís at home or someone elseís house. But now sheís 5 months and I have spent the last 3 weeks training her in the pen. Can I just switch to the crate or am I now going to stop my progress.

Thoughts on what I should do.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 05:20 AM
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With my pups I’ve always set up their crate inside of their playpen. I leave the door of the crate open to the playpen almost all the time after they have learned to accept being in the crate. I keep the crate a happy, fun place by giving them treats in there putting a stuffed Kong in there and giving their favorite chews in the crate. If you switch her to being in the crate in a positive way she should be fine. Make it comfy for her and don’t force her in it all at once, try feeding her in it and treating her in it so she associates it with good things happening in there.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 09:43 AM
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I have two crates for Henry. I took the door off one and that one I keep in his expen. He has a bed in the expen as well. Sometimes he'll go in to his crate, mostly if he wants to sleep. But if he's in his pen and just wants to watch what's going on in the kitchen or play with toys, he'll use the bed. The second crate is in my bedroom and that's where he sleeps at night. So he's comfortable in both the crate and the expen.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 06:00 PM
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I don't have any good ideas other than research old threads in the forum. Good luck! Know that people are probably thinking of you even if they don't reply . . .

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thatís an interesting thought. Why wouldnít people reply?? If they are thinking of me? lol
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 11:12 PM
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They might be busy on a Saturday before Christmas, or they might have the initial reaction I had which was, "I don't have time to read and respond to a long, challenging post right now," or they might think, "One of the experts here will surely reply so I don't need to . . ."

I think you could probably switch back to your crate focus without too many ill effects. Regarding the whining after 75 minutes, you might want to go back to the basics of Separation Anxiety prevention. Make coming and going as low key as possible. Confine your dog, then putz around ignoring her for a while before leaving for a short time without saying goodbye, then return without saying hello and putz around a bit before taking her out to potty only if she can sit calmly before you pick her up or open the door to her crate/pen. Gradually increase time away while interspersing short times so she never really knows how long you'll be gone but figures out you'll always return.

Hope that helps.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding. I think the piece I am missing is changing up the time. And adding more timewhere I go long and short. Thank you that helped. The rest Iím doing.

Also - thanks for the tip on crate in pen and outside pen - Iím doing that too.

So for the person who recommended can you also leave your baby if you go somewhere else?

My challenge is I have to go to my moms On Xmas. Iím teaching her the pen but she does sleep in her crate at night. I will have to leave my moms house when sheís in her crate and no one will be at my moms house. Is it ok that sheís never been to someoneís house before and be left in the crate at 5 months? Any recommendations on what I should do so she isnt traumatized. I told my family I donít know how i can come if I have to leave her in the crate at my moms for like two hours for church. Should i just leave her in the crate and let her cry in a new place? I feel so bad like it will be too scary.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-17-2017, 10:46 AM
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You have one week. Seems like you could work on getting her to enjoy her crate a little each day to make it less scary when you leave her for two hours a week from now. Do you have a clicker? If so, click at the moment she does what you want, then follow with a treat. The clicker marks the behavior, and the treat reinforces. Without a clicker, you could just say something short to represent a click (Yes! or Take! or tongue click)

Click/Treat when she moves toward the crate.
Then when she touches it.
Then when she puts a paw in.
Then when she goes in.
Then when she turns and looks at you.
Then when she stays in there and looks at you.
Then when she stays in there when you take one step away.
Two steps.
Etc.
When she lets you close door then open right back up.
Close door, count to one.
Two.
Three.
Lock door, open right back up.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Move crate to different part of your house.
Take crate into neighbor's house.

There are all sorts of things you can do in this week to make her feel more excited about her crate.

Also, figure out what treat she's wild about that she can have only in the crate. A pig's ear, for example. That could distract her from your departure and keep her busy for part/most/all of the time you're at church. A stuffed kong could work too, although I never figured out what exactly to put in a kong to make it last without being too filling. (Others?)

Please let us know how the week goes and how it goes at Christmas. (Also, can you get there early to practice with the crate before you leave for church?)
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:56 PM
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How is it going? Merry Christmas!

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 01:03 PM
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For me, it's not one or the other. I want my dogs to settle and relax, whether they are in their crates or gated in my office. (We don't use an ex-pen after they are fully potty trained, but my office is not large, and contains toys, beds, a litter box and water bottle. SO they have everything they need)

They also all settle contentedly in their crates, as that is where they are confined at shows and trials, in hotel rooms, or other places when we travel.
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