Separation problems
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Thread: Separation problems

  1. #1
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    DefaultSeparation problems

    Hi guys,

    We're having a real problem leaving Rocksy (4 months) at home in her crate.

    We recently moved house, and up until we did that last week Rocksy had her own room to run around in at the old house while we left her at home. She always seemed fairly happy with that, and it worked for us until she started getting a little destructive about a week before we moved out (great timing!).

    Anyway, we've moved into a much bigger place, and she's got a great back yard to run around in - she seems a much happier little puppy!
    However, we've decided to start crating her when we go out now, because she is getting to the age where she just can't resist chewing and eating anything and everything.
    Suffice to say, she absolutely hates it, and as we leave the house and get into the car, we can hear her barking and yelping like mad.
    She's only ever on her own for relatively short periods (never longer than 4 hours, usually 2.5), but she doesn't seem to be learning that we always come back to her.

    We have tried to make her crate a positive place, she eats her food in there, and we always leave her with some toys and treats.
    I know it has only been a week, but how long will this crazy behaviour last? We hate leaving her but we all have lives and reasons to leave the house, right?
    I think she has been spoilt up to now, because I've worked from home a lot and even when I went out she could run around in her little room. Now I'm working in the office more, and she is being crated, she doesn't know what has hit her...

    Anyone with any advice or similar experiences?

    Thanks, from a desperate lab owner...

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    I should add that she is usually OK when we get back home. No whining, and certainly no yelping or barking...

    The first time we got back she was whining like crazy, and we didn't let her out until she stopped. It's obviously had an affect!

  4. #3
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Ender loves his crate and has no problems going in or seeing us leave. Our secret?... we give him frozen kongs!!! TADA!!! These keep him busy for usually about 40 minutes and by then, we're long gone and he just sleeps until we get back. Way better than a couple treats which are gone in a matter of seconds!

    Here's what we do

    put a dab of peanut butter or low fat cream cheese in the small end of the kong
    Mash a banana and put some lowfat yogurt...
    mix together and stuff the kong with the mixture. (I usually make two at a time)
    Then seal the big end with more peanut butter or cream cheese.

    Put in plastic baggy and FREEZE

    You can also google "kong recipes" for other ideas.
    ~Lindsay

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  6. #4
    ThatsMyGirl Guest

    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Some dogs do have separation problems that even a kong won't cure. I know, because my mom has one! But that doesn't seem like the case with yours since she does eventually settle down. I agree w/ Enders Mom about giving a frozen kong when you leave. But here is another suggestion -- before you put her in the crate, exercise her so that she is one dog-tired puppy! I never leave mine w/o having worn her out first! ;D

  7. #5
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Oh duh!!! That was going to be my second thing... I must have forgotten in my delight at writing a kong post... lol

    Yes... exercise is a must! Thankfully, Ender likes his crate so I don't need to exercise him in the morning too much before we leave him in there when we go to work. But on the weekends and at night if I have to crate him because we have a night class or something... I make sure he's good and tired before putting him in there.
    ~Lindsay

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Thanks for the advice guys. We do have a Kong, but I'm not sure it's the kind you all refer too.
    It's about the size of a tennis ball, and has ridges down its sides...

  9. #7
    ThatsMyGirl Guest

    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksypup
    Thanks for the advice guys. We do have a Kong, but I'm not sure it's the kind you all refer too.
    It's about the size of a tennis ball, and has ridges down its sides...
    Here's what we're referring to: http://www.kongcompany.com/worlds_best.html

    Just stuff the Kong w/ things like mashed bananas, plain yogurt, canned dog food, applesauce, green beans, etc, and freeze. I put a few pieces of dry dog food in mine first as it closes the small hole at one end. Then I load it the kong and freeze it. Alot of people will seal the big hole w/ peanut butter or cream cheese to keep it from leaking. I can't do that because Sami's on a special diet, so I just freeze mine upside down (small hole on bottom). By freezing the Kong it will take alot longer for your dog to clean it out. It takes Sami 30 to 45 minutes to get the stuffing out of hers, but she leaves it so clean it looks like nothing was ever in there.

  10. #8
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    The crate is a new experience for her so its only natural for her to dislike it at first. She will get used to it with time. I agree with the suggestions posted. She needs something to occupy her while you are gone and needs to be tired out BEFORE she is crated.

    EXERCISE is key here. Tired dogs will sleep in the house. She is 4 months so needs at least 20 minutes of something vigorous before you leave. You can up that amount if you like as the 5 minute rule is only a guideline --it won't kill her to up the daily amount to 30 minutes. Tire her out with a nice walk (off leash is ideal if possible) and encourage her to run, play ball, tug, chase, etc. etc. Get her moving!

  11. #9
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Patience and consistency will be the only things to cure this. Don't give in to her. She'll be fine.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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    Member Since 6/2003

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Separation problems

    Thanks!

    I've been exercising her in backyard but not right before I go out, so I'll try that from now on. And I'll definitely be getting one of those Kongs - I recognise it from my local pet store, so I'll get it today.

    She has started to get a bit better over the last couple of days, so I suppose it was just the initial shock of being left alone in a crate in a strange house!

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