Post # 1
DH and I adopted a 10 month old Labrador in the last few weeks. She is an excellent and well behaved dog. She stays in her crate at night and while DH works from his home office during the day. She is literally 100% silent in her crate, we haven’t heard a single peep out of her while she is in there. She goes in on her own, lays down instantly or plays with her Kong, and never complains, whimpers, barks or otherwise protests. Lucky, right?
Well, this morning I was getting ready for work when DH ran out to scrape ice and warm my car. He put her in her crate briefly so I could get ready without worrying about her getting into something (she eats everything!) and the second the front door closed she started crying uncontrollably.
We decided to try it out again because I wasn’t being quiet in the morning, so I figured she was whimpering because she knew I was home and she wanted to play.
Tonight DH put puppy in her crate while I sat silently in the next room with my book. He left to go to the store, and again, the second the front door closed she started. Crying and whimpering, loudly and high pitched. This has been going on for 20 minutes now. I wouldn’t be so worried but we live in a townhouse and I know if I shared a wall with a dog who cries nonstop when it’s owners leave, I wouldn’t be happy.
Next time we test this I want to turn on talk radio to see if the voices help keep her calm. Any other suggestions? Has anyone else been through this?
Post # 2
krex: My beagle did that when I first got her. In fact, I didn’t know anything about crating until Beagle Rescue told me about it and I was kind of “against” it (young and dumb). So I tested her twice and tape recorded her. The first time I let her have the run of the house, left, and ran errands for 45mins. She cried the entire time (I listened to the tape). The 2nd time I crated her and she only cried for a while, maybe 20 minutes? And then a little whimper here and there. But she was clearly more content in her crate.
As I recall (it was long ago) things that can help are: a frozen peanut butter filled Kong or anything that will keep her busy for those first 20 mins when they can really feel anxiety the most.
Leave with NO fan fare. No long good byes. Just throw her in and go.
Same goes for coming home (this one’s hard). Let her out of her crate and TRY not to get all googly over her. Almost pay her no attention. Supposedly that will help you coming home be no really big deal.
Yes, leaving the radio on can help.
What I did with mine was I practiced with her. I would go out into the garage for like ONE SECOND, no lie, and come right back in. And make no big deal when coming back. I kept doing that. Over and over and over. Eventually I’d add on more time. It’s supposed to show her that you leave but you will also come back.
That’s all I can think of for now. Good luck! It CAN work out!!
Post # 3
RedHeadKel: thank you SO much! These are all things I already know (in the back of my head) but it’s so reassuring to know it actually works!!
Post # 4
krex: Well just know it can take awhile! I would really try that leaving for a second thing. I eventually got her to the point where she didn’t need to be crated anymore and she was perfectly fine.
Post # 5
I’d also just give the really good PB Kongs when you leave. Maybe she’ll associate you leaving with something good
Post # 6
Not a suggestion but hope for the future here! We got our dog when she was a year and crated her for the first week. She was absolutely hysterical when we left for work (it was so hard to drive away because I could hear her through the window). However, once she was more settled with us she was perfectly fine. Now the only problem is if we lock her away from us while we are home-when we leave for work she just goes to bed! I know because if I forget something or get home earlier than usual I wake her up. So, it might get better on its own as she becomes more at home. Good luck!
Post # 7
fascinated: she HATES peanut butter in her kong! Just plain milk bones stuffed in there keep her busy for hours, but she won’t touch it if there’s peanut butter. So strange.
Ha she eats Kleenex, tennis ball fuzz, every stick, plant and flower outside, rocks and anything else she can fit in her mouth…but not peanut butter.
Post # 8
krex: As long as you have something she really loves. (mine only eats PB about half the time) I would try to up the ante to giving her a Kong that’s so special that she’s distracted and doesn’t realize you’re making a calm, quiet exit.
Maybe frozen yogurt with bits of Milk Bones. I think there are some home made recipes for “frosty paws” out on the internet somwhere.