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What'd I do?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got a puppy because we wanted another dog, happened to meet this one through her foster mother who works with my fiancee. She is largely well-behaved, but still a puppy. She urinates in new places, but is fine most of the time afterwards; she is still learning and being trained, but has responded well to what we've done so far; she likes to chew things she shouldn't; the biggest problem is that she cries when she thinks she's alone.

When we leave the house and when we are asleep, she is in her crate. Overnight she has no problems, but during the day, when we leave the house, she cries and cries, and chews the pad that she has in the crate. It's a problem because when she goes to the future in-laws' house, future grandmother in-law is usually asleep, or wanting to be. I assume she's experiencing some anxiety, but I don't really know how to deal with it. Suggestions?
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
Stay the course and buy a chew proof pad for the crate. A radio or tv left on might help but don't count on it. Try to keep absences short at first then gradually lengthen the time out. Give the pup a Kong or similar item with a treat inside to keep them busy when you leave.
 

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What'd I do?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Andrea138 said:
Put the crate someplace where future GIL can't hear the crying. Extra exercise when she's out could help, too.
I'll suggest it, but they live in a small house with few options for large crate storage. As for exercise, it's difficult. Our other dog is a 9-year old lab who can't keep her busy very long, and she won't play with humans. Leash walks aren't quite enough. When I'm home, I let her out every hour or so.
 

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Mehpic
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8,162 Posts
get a used waterbottle. put some change in it. when the pup cries, open the door and throw the bottle into the room. she'll associate the noise with her crying and won't want it done again. may take a few days.

what kind of pup?
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Long term, a confident dog is a good dog. Give it a job, give it adequate socialization (with dogs and humans) and teach it solid, basic obediance skills. When you've taught your dog to heel, sit, stay, downstay, come, etc., it's unlikely to have further anxiety issues. Positive-reinforcement training only, of course.

Special treats that happen ONLY in the crate, along with tons of praise and attention while she's there are important to the process. The crate has to become a fun place that she wants to be, not a jail to be endured while the center of her universe disappears.

Feeding exclusively in the crate can be helpful, but not always.

What kind of crate do you have? Some dogs prefer wire, others the plastic style.

Consider keeping a radio on for her. Near enough to the crate, it doesn't have to be very loud to help calm. Someone in the next room need barely hear it, if at all. Use whatever she'd normally hear while you were around.

That doesn't solve the immediate crisis, but there aren't many magic bullets to behavioral issues. You may need to rethink the MIL dogsitting strategy in the short term.
 

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Clear Lake, TX
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3,269 Posts
danl1 said:
Long term, a confident dog is a good dog. Give it a job, give it adequate socialization (with dogs and humans) and teach it solid, basic obediance skills. When you've taught your dog to heel, sit, stay, downstay, come, etc., it's unlikely to have further anxiety issues. Positive-reinforcement training only, of course.

Special treats that happen ONLY in the crate, along with tons of praise and attention while she's there are important to the process. The crate has to become a fun place that she wants to be, not a jail to be endured while the center of her universe disappears.

Feeding exclusively in the crate can be helpful, but not always.

What kind of crate do you have? Some dogs prefer wire, others the plastic style.

Consider keeping a radio on for her. Near enough to the crate, it doesn't have to be very loud to help calm. Someone in the next room need barely hear it, if at all. Use whatever she'd normally hear while you were around.

That doesn't solve the immediate crisis, but there aren't many magic bullets to behavioral issues. You may need to rethink the MIL dogsitting strategy in the short term.
+1
All good advice.

Also, here's a Google search on dog separation anxiety solutions.
 

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Pedal Master
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2,511 Posts
We just went through the same thing with a new pup. Wait it out and don't give in the the crying. The pup will eventually calm down and realize you haven't left forever. It took us a week or so of not giving in, but now she's awesome.
 

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What'd I do?
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the search tig, I wasn't sure what to search for, but I found a good article in there. The encouraging news is that when I came home after three hours, she wasn't making a sound, where before she cried until she was actually out of the crate. The big reason I was worried is that my family has had a couple of dogs that cried and could never be taught that everything was OK.

Thanks all.
 

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Soon to be banned
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14,475 Posts
danl1 said:
Long term, a confident dog is a good dog. Give it a job, give it adequate socialization (with dogs and humans) and teach it solid, basic obediance skills. When you've taught your dog to heel, sit, stay, downstay, come, etc., it's unlikely to have further anxiety issues. Positive-reinforcement training only, of course.

Special treats that happen ONLY in the crate, along with tons of praise and attention while she's there are important to the process. The crate has to become a fun place that she wants to be, not a jail to be endured while the center of her universe disappears.

Feeding exclusively in the crate can be helpful, but not always.

What kind of crate do you have? Some dogs prefer wire, others the plastic style.

Consider keeping a radio on for her. Near enough to the crate, it doesn't have to be very loud to help calm. Someone in the next room need barely hear it, if at all. Use whatever she'd normally hear while you were around.

That doesn't solve the immediate crisis, but there aren't many magic bullets to behavioral issues. You may need to rethink the MIL dogsitting strategy in the short term.

On all points, I second everything danl1 said above. Especially the positive reinforcement and working.

At first my lab cried at night in her crate. So, I took an old t-shirt that smelled like me and threw it in her crate. She didn't cry after that.

Good luck!
 
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