My chocolate lab will be 1 year old next week. At around age 6 months, we let her out of the cage completely and allowed her free access to the house. We put the cage in the basement. Everything was fine. Since we got back from vacation last week (she went also), whenever we leave her alone she has been tearing up things here and there. She somehow managed to get papers off the table and a book. Yesterday, I came home from work ( 6 hours later) and she had destroyed an entire basket and a bench.
So we brought the cage back up and today she went into it. We felt so bad.
I am at a loss as to what to do to correct this recent behavior or what is causing it. Do you think it is a stage, did we take away the cage too soon, is she experiencing seperation anxiety?
When I walked in the house to the disaster, I simply said, "bad girl" and put her outside. Her ears went back and she would not look at me for hours. It is not as if we can punish her, b/c we are not there when it happens. She is very submissive.
What do you guys suggest? We really do not want to put her back in the cage, b/c we feel it is a back step in her training.
Definately crate her again while your gone at least for a few weeks to a month then maybe try it again. Mocha had a relapse at about 15 months old. She had free run of the house for at least 4-5 months without incidence but she started chewing the carpet off the stairs so I crated her again for about a month then tried it again starting at an hour and working up for there.