Hi Everyone....sorry this is long ~
I really appreciate your input. I have a 2 1/2 yr black lab....who is a velcro dog (if I'm in the bathroom, she's laying right outside the door; if I'm in the kitchen she's in there too; if I go outside, she goes too). I've had her since she was 8 weeks old and she has always gone to my mom's house for doggy day care. For the past 6 months I have lived with my mom to save to buy a house...we only used the crate at my mom's house for a month or so and she didn't want it there any longer. Well....occasionally my adorable lab would counter surf while she was home alone with free rein of the house (she's eaten coffee grounds from my son's work back, tortillas, full loafs of bread, chocolate....if she could reach it, she would eat it!). We play fetch with her multiple times a day outside and she usually gets her deer antler to chew when home alone...we also do hikes on the weekends, and she goes lot's of places in the car with us (when it's not too hot out).
Well, this past weekend we moved into our new house. Sunday I left her for an hour while we ran to the store....when I got home she had gotten a carton of salt off the counter and it was everywhere, ate a bag of licorice, went into the kids bathroom and ripped lotions/cleansers and things out of the plastic bag they were in and made a mess all over the bathroom and hallway. Today, I told my son that he's to crate her if he goes anywhere....he left for an hour and put her in her crate, when he got home the top of her nose was bloody and raw.
Tonight I took her to the vet for shots and to discuss her separation anxiety. The vet is going to prescribe her doggy Prozac and valium, but said she really needs to be left outside while I"m gone. She has never been left outside while I've been gone (I know, I know...my girl is a little spoiled), and prior to living at my mom's house she would be crated if I went out for a few hours (NEVER all day). I don't know that I trust her out back all day...will she bark nonstop and piss off my neighbors??? Will she eat plants back there that she shouldn't (still waiting for gardner to come and chop back lots of the trees/bushes that are in the backyard)?
Finally....my question is...is it possible to re-crate train her? Between my schedule and my sons, she wouldn't be crated for more than 3-4 hours at a time. If it was longer, I could always have my mom stop by to let her out to potty and play fetch for a few min.....OR ...do you suggest getting a dog house and leaving her out back while I'm at work?
Thank you so much for your input! I love my girl and want her to be safe while I'm gone. I also plan on upping the exercise level as well.