- 2 years ago
My adopted dog is no longer in a crate since he is now fully housebroken and doesn’t destroy anything, BUT when we first adopted him he was 10 months and still in a crate at night. Some general tips that may help ease/diminish separation anxiety issues as well as the destroying of crate:
1. Exercise – a tired dog is a well-behaved dog as they say, and this couldn’t be more true for dogs for their first few years of life or a newly adopted dog (though of course exercise is super important always!). Before leaving your dog in the crate, try going for a long (I’d say at least 45 minutes if possible) and brisk walk – allow sniffing and interacting but definitely make sure the majority of your walk is you both walking consistently in order to get energy out. Maybe your dog enjoys playing fetch or frisbee? Grab a retractable leash, take her to a field, and throw a ball around – great way to get energy out if you don’t have a ton of time that day, and super fun for her.
2. Perhaps one of the most important tips, and I see that you’ve already mentioned it: DO NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF LEAVING/ARRIVING. When we’re about to go out, we don’t coddle/pet/talk/etc to our dog. Instead, we just fill up a kong with treats/peanut butter and leave it for him as we leave the house. This has taught him to somewhat enjoy when we leave, because he knows he will always get his favorite treats out of it. When we come home, we completely ignore him for the first several minutes at least. Again – no petting, talking to the dog, getting him excited, etc. Cold shoulder. I know this may seem cruel to some, but it teaches the dog that coming and going is normal and is NOT an event to get excited or nervous about. This will teach your dog to be more confident. Leaving your dog with treats definitely helps!
3. Try switching out the mattresses/pads in the crate for an old blanket or oversized towel. Some dogs will chew their mattresses/dog beds no matter what and no matter what age they are – they just enjoy destroying them 🙂 Towels are cheaper and they tend not to destroy them as much as they would a stuffed dog bed.
4. Switch up routines – if your dog gets TOO used to a certain routine (breakfast at 6, walk at 7, human leaves at 8, returns at 4, etc etc etc), they can get really thrown off and uncomfortable when something changes. Establishing a general routine and set of rules is great for dogs, however try deviating and changing things up so your dog understands that change is okay and nothing bad will happen. For example, our dog gets fed anywhere from 5am to 10am depending on our schedule that day. Some days his longest walk is in the morning, some days his longest will be in the afternoon. You decide what changes work for you guys.
5. Organic elk antlers – my dog LOVES these and they keep him busy for quite a while. I would only give these to your dog under supervision the first few times and make sure you buy the appropriate size. I buy mine on Amazon, I think it’s the “Buck Bone” brand or something along those lines.
6. Anti-chew spray – this was a miracle worker when our dog was younger and enjoyed slowly nibbling away at my poor house plants. The Granick’s bitter apple spray worked great for us – non-staining, no scent, and can be srayed on almost everything.
Sorry that was a lot to read – just wanted to share some tips that really helped with our adopted dog. He’s now almost 3 years old and we leave him home alone, no crate and access to the whole house, and he doesn’t destroy anything. Just remember to be persistent and have everyone in the household abide by the rules. Good luck!!