Hi everyone!

My name is J.T. And my wife and I just welcomed a 8-wk old chocolate lab named Gal to our family. She is the most beautiful girl we’ve ever seen!

That being said, she is exhibiting behaviors different than we’re used to because it is our first lab. We’re attempting to began introducing her to her crate.

We have a set up that is similar to what worked for our family Aussie. A large crate with a divider that brings it down to her size for now, and a large topless pen coming from the front of her crate creating a large play space leading into the crate. We leave them both open during the day to get her accustomed to it and she’s been great with it. Comes and goes, plays in it, eats in the pen and the crate, has napped in both.

Here’s were I enter unfamiliar territory. The moment I close either, even for a short time while we’re in sight, she doesn’t whine like I’d expect, she gets frantic and panics. The first time we tried to leave her in the crate and let her whine it out for a little with us out of sight, she soiled all over the crate and herself, and was terrified when we retrieved her. So we attempted to leave the crate open the next time but shut the pen. This time we went outside for about 10 minutes to speak to our neighbors about something. When we returned she had found the section where the pen clipped shut and rammed herself through, getting stuck half in and half out (hopefully not for the whole ten minutes, poor girl).

Now, even as an experienced dog owner, I feel like a terrible dog dad who has no idea what he’s doing.

I know each individual dog has specific emotional needs, but I’m looking to you guys and gals for any advice as to why my perfect little girl is continuously rejecting even minor crating and also separation.

Thanks All! I assume I’ve come to the right place!