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Discussion Starter #1
Well I've got a big problem on my hands now. I mentioned in another thread that young Rupert barks and whines incessantly when we leave him alone anywhere. As long as he is with someone, it doesn't have to be my wife or I, he's great.

He doesn't misbehave when left alone but I guess he gets scared and is calling for us for love and attention.

We left him in our fenced yard with water and toys last night when we went to do errands and this morning for a bit while getting ready. A little while ago, the town animal control officer stopped by and said someone filed a complaint.

We just got Rupert when we moved to our new home. My wife hasn't started work yet as we're settling in, but she will on Monday. So we're staring at trouble in a hurry. I don't want to crate him all day. We had planned to get him a dog house and leave him out during the day provided it was nice.

What I guess I can do in the meantime is crate him in an extra large crate my parents gave me for when he gets bigger. Put some newspaper on one side to do his business, and his bed on the other.

Does this seem reasonable temporarily? Or does anyone have a suggestion?

HELLLLP! :no: :death:
 

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Well, for the moment, he needs to be crated indoors when you leave. Until your wife starts work, try to make sure you won't be gone longer than he can hold his bladder/bowels so that he doesn't have accidents. Once your wife starts at work, will it be possible for someone to come home during the day to let him out? I think that's better than leaving him with room to go inside a crate - IMO that just confuses the crate training issue.

Another thing you might want to consider is going around to your closest neighbors and explaining to them that you have a puppy and that you'll be crate training him over the next week, two weeks, etc. Try and overestimate the amount of time it will take for him to not bark in the crate, and they'll be pleasantly surprised when he's quiet before you told them he would be. Although, mostly likely if he's indoors in a crate he won't be noisy enough for them to complain about, anyway.

For the long-term, I think you need to rethink your plan of leaving him outdoors, especially if animal control has already been called. A crate trained dog is much more likely to just sleep all day than one who is left alone in the backyard. Never mind the fact that he can get himself into a lot of trouble left unsupervised in a backyard (esp as a puppy), a dog doesn't really entertain himself. If he's in the backyard he's going to be looking for stimulation all day, most likely. He'll get that stimulation by digging holes, eating sticks, rocks, etc, and barking. I think it's much better to train him to love his crate and then just leave him in it while you're gone. And if a dog loves his crate, he doesn't see it as punishment, so you don't have to feel like a bad owner for leaving him in it. It's his safe place in the house, his den where he can just relax.
 

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VTEnviro said:
Well I've got a big problem on my hands now. I mentioned in another thread that young Rupert barks and whines incessantly when we leave him alone anywhere. As long as he is with someone, it doesn't have to be my wife or I, he's great.

He doesn't misbehave when left alone but I guess he gets scared and is calling for us for love and attention.

We left him in our fenced yard with water and toys last night when we went to do errands and this morning for a bit while getting ready. A little while ago, the town animal control officer stopped by and said someone filed a complaint.

We just got Rupert when we moved to our new home. My wife hasn't started work yet as we're settling in, but she will on Monday. So we're staring at trouble in a hurry. I don't want to crate him all day. We had planned to get him a dog house and leave him out during the day provided it was nice.

What I guess I can do in the meantime is crate him in an extra large crate my parents gave me for when he gets bigger. Put some newspaper on one side to do his business, and his bed on the other.

Does this seem reasonable temporarily? Or does anyone have a suggestion?

HELLLLP! :no: :death:
At 11 weeks old he is just plain too young to leave on his own in the yard - even if it is fenced. He is like a very small child. I am sure he is scared - he is also bound to dig out or eat something that might hurt him.

You need to crate train him with an appropriately sized crate. He should only be in the crate for as long as he can hold it - which means that during the workday someone will have to come home to let him out. If you allow him to be in a larger crate with newspaper so he can relieve himself while you are gone - then you are going to delay him being properly housetrained.

Sorry - probably not the answer you wanted.
 

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Find out who the neighbor was that complained, invite them around for dinner & feed them a generous helping of rat poison. :vomit:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think that's better than leaving him with room to go inside a crate - IMO that just confuses the crate training issue.
Hadn't thought of that, but it makes good sense. I'll stear clear of that.

Another thing you might want to consider is going around to your closest neighbors and explaining to them that you have a puppy and that you'll be crate training him over the next week, two weeks, etc.
Extending an olive branch to them couldn't hurt.

For the long-term, I think you need to rethink your plan of leaving him outdoors, especially if animal control has already been called.
I think you're right. And at least inside there's AC. I don't know just what sort of power animal control has but I don't want to find out. Also I don't want to be a bad neighbor.

If he's in the backyard he's going to be looking for stimulation all day, most likely. He'll get that stimulation by digging holes, eating sticks, rocks, etc, and barking.
At 11 weeks old he is just plain too young to leave on his own in the yard - even if it is fenced. He is like a very small child. I am sure he is scared - he is also bound to dig out or eat something that might hurt him.
Those are both things I've considered. Growing up we never left the dog out for the whole day. There's a lot that can happen. My wife feels it will be cruel to crate him all day and is pushing to leave him outside with a dog house and a small fenced in pen. I think she's swaying me on this one, but realistically it is probably not a good option for the reasons you both list. (Her family did leave the dog out, so we're coming at it from different viewpoints.)

He's been great about all the other training we've given him so far, I'm sure this will just take time. It's 25-30 minutes for me to come home to let him out. So if I suck down a sandwich in the car, let him eat and potty for a few, and head back, I can probably just plan to stay a little later. She has a lengthy train ride into the city so she totally couldn't.

Inconvenient, but not impossible.
 

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VTEnviro said:
He's been great about all the other training we've given him so far, I'm sure this will just take time. It's 25-30 minutes for me to come home to let him out. So if I suck down a sandwich in the car, let him eat and potty for a few, and head back, I can probably just plan to stay a little later. She has a lengthy train ride into the city so she totally couldn't.

Inconvenient, but not impossible.
I know you said you just moved to the neighborhood, but do you know if there are any older middle-school or younger high-school aged kids living there? Old enough to be responsible, but young enough to not be able to get a job for the summer? If you're able to financially, you might be able to pay someone and have them come over and let him out during the day. It'd probably be cheaper than using the gas to drive an extra hour each day!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The next door neighbors have a few school age kids. We thought about asking them to walk the dog sometimes but this would work too. We only have met them once or twice though so I don't know how comfy I feel asking them yet.

The guy we are renting from has a stay at home wife with a small kid. She offered to come by and play with the dog during the day.

We also thought about putting up some baby gates in the kitchen and letting him stay there for the day with some newspaper for doing his business. He's not particularly destructive and would bark less if not crated. Does that seem at all reasonable?
 

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VTEnviro said:
The next door neighbors have a few school age kids. We thought about asking them to walk the dog sometimes but this would work too. We only have met them once or twice though so I don't know how comfy I feel asking them yet.

The guy we are renting from has a stay at home wife with a small kid. She offered to come by and play with the dog during the day.

We also thought about putting up some baby gates in the kitchen and letting him stay there for the day with some newspaper for doing his business. He's not particularly destructive and would bark less if not crated. Does that seem at all reasonable?
I'd be interested to see what others have to say on this subject, but these are my thoughts:

Would the stay at home mom be comfortable taking the puppy out, cleaning up possible accidents, and playing with him? If yes, then I think that's a great option. I do think you'd still have to pay her, even though she offered. The school kids are definitely another option, but make sure you meet their parents and make sure you trust the kids before you sign them on. I started my petsitting career when I was about 8, but I was animal crazy. Your average kid I think would be ready for this type of responsibility at around 11 or 12. Also make sure you have clear expectations and rules set out - you can/can't get a drink, watch TV, etc etc etc.

Baby gates for the kitchen I personally wouldn't do. Leaves too many options for being destructive and getting into trouble. Puppies will surprise you with the ways they can find to destroy things and hurt themselves. If you work on the crate training, he probably won't bark in the crate, either, once he's acclimated to it.
 

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i would have to agree with the crate training.. i know i wasn't a big crate fan when we first got our puppy, but my husband insisted bc his family always used them (mine never did).. I wanted to put a baby gate up in the kitchen like u said.. we tried that for a few days, but she was very nervous in there.. she would never just lay down and relax.. always pacing back and forth.. So I finally gave in and we started to crate her at night and whenever we went out... she was fine at night while we were there (the crate is in our bedroom), but she would bark crazy as soon as she heard us leave.. we actually videotaped her once while we went to dinner.. we played it back and she NEVER stopped.. i felt sooo bad and i was afraid the neighbors were gonna get annoyed.. needless to say we didn't go out to dinner for awhile after that lol.. but she actually adjusted very well and got used to staying in there for longer periods of time.. now she LOVES her crate and so do I ;) It is def her safe place.. she is very relaxed in there and doesn't care if we are there or not... Now she is a little over a year old and my husband is saying she doesn't need the crate anymore and I am the one agruing for keeping it :laugh:

It may be tough for a little while in the beginning.. but it is DEF the better long-term solution!!
 

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I love that people think crates are cruel. My boys love them. Rookie is still crated during the day at 16 months becuase he DOES tend to get into things that are not safe for him, and things that make me mad to find shredded. RIder is no longer crated and was granted free reign of the house at 7 months. Never had a problem. They sleep during the day. Dogs don't entertain themselves and take themselves out for a "run". I go home every day at lunch to get away from the office and to let the boys out. It's totally worth it and I get to see my boys. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We crate him at night and he is definitely getting used to it. He wakes up around once a night at this point, sometimes two, to go to the bathroom.

When we first put him in for the night, or after a bathroom break, it takes him a little while to get settled but he's getting better. He still wakes us up about twice a night with a few barks. We shush him and talk nicely, and don't usually have to get out of bed anymore to quiet him.

I know everyone says it's fine to crate them during the day, but it just seems to me that he would be happier if he had a little more room to wander around and play with his toys. I think I need to be convinced its a good idea during the day as much as he does. :suspious:
 

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- DO NOT LEAVE THE DOG IN THE YARD
- And why the heck isn't he potty trained?!?!?!?!

No reason at all why he can't be pottied first thing in the morning. Exercised. Tucked into a crate while you're at work. And pottied/exercised in the late afternoon when you get home. EVENTUALLY, when he's trustworthy (and with the knowledge that some dogs *never* reach this stage -- you're going to have to experiment in a small way and gradually expand to see), left with the run of the house while you're gone.

But you need to start working toward that goal *now*!
 

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VTEnviro said:
I know everyone says it's fine to crate them during the day, but it just seems to me that he would be happier if he had a little more room to wander around and play with his toys. I think I need to be convinced its a good idea during the day as much as he does. :suspious:
Think about what your puppy would do during the day if there weren't distractions (you, toys, food, opportunities to search for death, etc...). He would sleep all day. A crate frees him up to do that. He doesn't have to worry about being in charge of the house, and you don't have to worry about all the possible things he can get into.

My dog growing up stayed in her crate overnight and whenever we left the house until the day she died at 15 years old. She LOVED her crate, and would "ask" to go into it whenever we were leaving or going to bed.

I don't really know what else we can say to convince you of the advantages of a crate. It keeps your puppy safe, your stuff from being destroyed, and hastens the housebreaking process.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
dweck said:
- DO NOT LEAVE THE DOG IN THE YARD
- And why the heck isn't he potty trained?!?!?!?!
He's only 11 weeks old, I don't think he can hold it all night. He's getting better though. He's down from about 3 times a night to 1 now. I figure it will improve over time as he gets older and used to the drill. He was doing well with his potty training that we started trusting him just for a few minutes at a time. Ended up cleaning up a few messes. I think the reason he was so good was that we watched him constantly and took him out regularly to go. He doesn't know how to ask to go ouy yet and just lets it fly.

I'm not going to leave him in the yard. He just barks too much and causes a major fuss.

Think about what your puppy would do during the day if there weren't distractions (you, toys, food, opportunities to search for death, etc...). He would sleep all day. A crate frees him up to do that. He doesn't have to worry about being in charge of the house, and you don't have to worry about all the possible things he can get into.
This one hit home with me. I think I am starting to understand what you folks are saying. We got a baby gate last night. My wife put him in the kitchen and closed it off so she could go take a shower. A couple minutes later he had broken out and was lying down next to the shower where she was. Guess that option is not gonna work. :crazy:

Left to his own, he pretty much just lies around or chews on a toy. It's when we are around or there is some sort of stimulus that he gets really excited. And I agree that it will keep him a lot safer and my stuff intact. I sat down and thought of some of the things that could go wrong just leaving him in the kitchen and there's a lot.

He's really not a destructive dog, which is why we were hesitant to crate him all day. But I think he's not destructive because we keep a constant eye on him. We really never let him out of our sights. I can imagine with 8-9 hours to amuse himself, he could find plenty of bad things to do.

For those who crate train during the day when at work: do you come home at lunchtime or leave the dog in all day? If you can't make it home, what do you do about a mid-day meal or bathroom break?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update: Just got a call from the wife. She admitted the gate wasn't going to work and said let's crate him during the day. So I guess that's what we'll do.

I'll try to run home the first few days at lunch to check on him.
 

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Normally we have my inlaws in the house all day to watch the pups, but they were gone for 3 weeks. I put up an xpen in the kitchen with papers on one side and bedding on the other. I would leave the house at 7AM, be home by noon (1/2 hr drive each way, and spent 1/2 hr with pups) to feed and potty them (clean up pen), and then leave again until I got home at 5PM.

They broke out once and chewed alot of stuff up on the house. We are lucky nothing was seriously damaged including those puppies. They don't know that it's not OK to chew the electrical cords, the floor boards or the couch. Especially at 11 weeks.

Now my guys are supervised again and they each have a crate they spend nights and down time in.
 

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Potter is my first dog (other than family dogs growing up) and my husband's first dog ever, so when we first started looking into getting a lab, I was surprised at the thought of crating him for so long. Not yet being familiar with dog training, it seemed like a mean thing to do. However, we took the advice of many people, books, and this forum and stuck with it. I couldn't be more glad that we did. It made house training go much quicker. It reinforced the idea that he's not to chew on things other than his toys (because he couldn't "get away with it" when we're not around because he's in his crate). And he loves that place now. Potter got full reign over the house around 10 months, only after he proved to us he could handle it by not chewing things or going in the house. He still at 18 months, however, sleeps in the crate during the night...because he chooses to!

So, I guess my point is, that I understand where your wife is coming from because I was initially hesitant about crate training. But it really set Potter up for success rather than failure and has been very beneficial.
 

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So, I guess my point is, that I understand where your wife is coming from because I was initially hesitant about crate training. But it really set Potter up for success rather than failure and has been very beneficial.
It just seems so counterintuitive. But with the overwhelming amount of favorable talk of crating, and thinking of all the things that could go wrong if we don't do it, it just makes sense.

In happier news, we found the local dog park last night. Someone told us there was a dog park in the state park in town. I thought it would just be a fenced in area in the park. Turns out the whole thing is one giant 40 acre park with trails and lakes, etc. I must have played with 20 dogs. SOOOOOO FUN! It's a nice place to run and mtn bike too.
 

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VTEnviro said:
So, I guess my point is, that I understand where your wife is coming from because I was initially hesitant about crate training. But it really set Potter up for success rather than failure and has been very beneficial.
It just seems so counterintuitive.
From a human point of view -yes. But looking at it like a dog - the crate is a safe secure space where they can relax. When dogs are scared they seek small dark spaces to curl up in - makes them feel more secure. Similar concept with a crate.
 

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VTEnviro said:
So, I guess my point is, that I understand where your wife is coming from because I was initially hesitant about crate training. But it really set Potter up for success rather than failure and has been very beneficial.
It just seems so counterintuitive.
The way it was explained to me was this: with crate training, your dog is less likely to learn undesirable behaviours because you will be there to correct him. For instance, if you see him chewing on your couch you can redirect him to an appropriate chew toy whereas, if you don't crate him and he is free during the day he can chew on the couch and "learn" that it's okay because there's no one there to correct him. For leaving him outside insert digging, chewing through the fence, etc. Once he's learned the appropriate behaviours, he can have more freedom (still retaining a place that is his and that he'll probably love) and you both win.

What meant the most to me was when someone told me that most of the time when people get mad at their dog, it is something that is really their own fault. The dog eating a brand new pair of shoes sucks, but it's my job to keep the shoes out of reach. Potter doesn't know any better until I teach him. So think of all of the frustrations that you're saving yourself (and by extenstion your dog) by crate-training him. I promise it will be worth it in the end! :yes:
 
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