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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Would love any words of wisdom...
Chewy has been staying in an expen with some toys and some treats (filled bones, kongs) and a crate inside the pen for snoozing while we are at work. Our dog walker comes every morning and afternoon to take him for a walk or a play date with a neighborhood puppy. So he isn't alone more than about 2 1/2 hours at a time and gets a lot of exercise and fun time.(I work freelance so I don't work long hours) For the last few weeks, after I leave and before she gets here Chewy throws a "poo party". We think he eats some of it, which I know is "normal" but more so he "paints" with it...hence we call him Poopcaso. We spoke with a behaviorist and he said that essentially Chewy thinks he is our equal and is angry when we leave and this is why he does this. Chewy has also become quite a rebellious "teen". His training was going very well and he would almost always listen when we said stay, sit, come etc. but we have also noticed that he hasn't been listening to us as much in the last 2-3 weeks. He just turned 6 mos last week. We were told by the behaviorist to start leaving him in his crate (not expen) and only leave him with a filled bone/kong but no toys. I would love to return him back to the expen at some point if this works. Does anyone have any advice on how long we will need to have success with the crate before we can return him back to the expen? Or any other advice? Will he grow out of this? You can be brutally honest...I know I probably have a bit of a spoiled one on my hands. I have also talked to the Vet but if anyone else thinks this behavior is something we should be more concerned about, I would love to know that too. We want Chewy to grow up to be a well adjusted and good canine citizen. He is my first dog so I am flying a little blind here.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 10:32 AM
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Hi Erin,
At 6 months old there is no reason that he cannot stay in the crate while you are gone. When you are home, does he have free reign int he house?
I only use the xpen when they are puppies and cannot hold it for the 2 1/2 hours. Once I know they are old enough and can hold it, they go in the crate while we are gone. They normally dont soil where they sleep, so chances are he wont do anything in the crate and wait for the dog walker, or you. There is no way to control this poop issue without confining him to the crate. My guys always LOVED going in their crates & had no problem being in there. In fact, my Laila is 11 weeks old, and I have been making her xpen smaller and smaller and I will start keeping her in the crate while we are gone. she will learn to hold it better.
It sounds to me like he is bored in the xpen - crate him up - and see what happens.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your advice! He does have free reign of the apartment while we are home. He pretty much sticks with us in the kitchen and living room though. He goes in and out of his pen while we are there. He often relaxes in his crate while we are at home so he is familiar with it. We started leaving him in the crate with the door closed and feeding him in there while we were at home over the weekend so he would get used to being confined. He didn't seem to mind it. When I left this morning he whined a little, which is typical, but didn't seem to be too bothered. I think I missed the expen vs crate in Puppy 101. Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease! Fingers crossed Poopcasso is a thing of the past!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 01:34 PM
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Hi Erin,

My thought would be: Does Chewy do his business outside before you leave him in the morning? When does he eat? Normally first thing in the morning when he goes out, he would do his job. If he is eating right before you leave, not such a good idea. He's building up to have the urge to go after that. You can feed him when you get home and watch him. If he's then only eating once a day, it will not hurt him according to our vet.

There are products you can buy that make eating his own poop very unappetizing. Try that; however if it's only 2-1/2 hours before the dog walker comes, I'd leave him in his crate and return him there. This does mean that he'll need some exercise during the day when you have the time.
When he grows up some, you can then try again with the x-pen.

Keeper is a year old and is trained to a potty pad but has never used it whrn we're gone when he has the run of the house. He just holds it. At six months, Chewy might have some trouble holding a poo. Does he pee at the same time or only poo? Change some things around in his schedule and see what works. He'll be fine and he's adorable.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Shirley.
Thanks for your advice...so far so good with the crate...no accidents and he seems to like it in there...don't know why I didn't think of this weeks ago. Oh well!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 10:15 AM
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I'm so glad that's working for you!

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