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Discussion Starter #1
Winnie is 7 months old now and I have been doing all the things I have read about regarding leaving her in the crate when she is being left alone and have had success to some degree. I can manage to leave her without crying for about an hour now which I consider great considering it was slow going at the beginning and she would cry within minutes. My question is really to do with what she does while in the crate. She just sits by the door the whole time (not lying down but sitting). I have given her things to eat (nothing she can choke on but stuff like frozen kongs etc) and small treats that I know she loves and would normally wolf them down. She doesn't touch them the whole time she is in the crate with the door shut although she will eat them if the door is open or if we are in the room with her. I have tried leaving toys and chew toys but again she doesn't touch them. I hate the thought of her sitting by the door doing nothing but waiting for me to come back and let her out. I don't ever make a fuss of her going in or coming out and she doesn't seem stressed going in. She will go in when I ask her to. I always come back to find her sitting quietly by the door. Is it ok for her to do this? Am I worrying for nothing?
 

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Sounds like she is still a bit anxious. I wouldn't worry but I also wouldn't let her right out., as she is already anticipating it. Perhaps ask her for a down, wait open the crate door and use a release word. Not allowing her to just bolt out. My dogs had to stay in their crate ueven when I opened the door until I said free, that is my release word.
 

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Are you sure she is sitting up the whole time? How often are you checking in on her, and do you think she might be confused by that (or do you have a camera baby monitor or something that you can check without coming in the room?)

Oona always sits up when she hears someone come back into the room/house/downstairs. She moves around and (I assume) naps a fair bit of the time she's alone. It sounds like Winnie is still stressed if she won't eat or chew anything in the crate. But you should probably keep going gradually the way you are. Maybe leave music or the radio for her when she's alone, and try to get her really tired out first, to help her learn it's ok to relax in there.
 

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X2 on do you have a way to monitor her to be sure?

Sometimes the not knowing can eat us alive and it sounds like you need peace of mind.

Like set up a zoom meeting on your phone and laptop. Have your laptop pointed at the cage, and go get coffee or go to the gym. Or get a $35 pet camera on Amazon... Some other method.

Basil has free reign in my tiny 275 sq ft apt, and she catches up on sleep when I'm gone as evident by her lazy demeanor. So, it's a good thing when Dad is gone lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I assumed she was sitting the whole time because I always came in to find her that way and when she is in the crate while I am inside she always sits by the door but I supposed she could have sat up when she heard the door open and I hadn't thought of that. I might be putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5. I do leave the tv on when I'm not there and I tire her out before leaving by taking her for a good walk or playing fetch with the ball/or flirt pole. I have an audio monitor (which is mainly for my mother who has dementia) and I don't hear Winnie crying. I hate that she doesn't want to chew or play while on her own. She eats her meals in the crate but she will never nap in there during the day as she prefers to lie on the armchair with me or on the floor even though she has 2 pet beds, so I use these more for placing her when I need to. She does sleep at night in her crate upstairs no problem but she has never wanted to nap in the crate during the day and I suppose this is another reason why I assumed she wasn't lying down in there. So as she is not crying should I extend the time I leave her now to a bit over an hour? Or is it best to continue with the max of an hour and try and address her anxiousness with not wanting to chew or eat anything and what more can I do that I am not already doing?
 

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I assumed she was sitting the whole time because I always came in to find her that way and when she is in the crate while I am inside she always sits by the door but I supposed she could have sat up when she heard the door open and I hadn't thought of that. I might be putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5. I do leave the tv on when I'm not there and I tire her out before leaving by taking her for a good walk or playing fetch with the ball/or flirt pole. I have an audio monitor (which is mainly for my mother who has dementia) and I don't hear Winnie crying. I hate that she doesn't want to chew or play while on her own. She eats her meals in the crate but she will never nap in there during the day as she prefers to lie on the armchair with me or on the floor even though she has 2 pet beds, so I use these more for placing her when I need to. She does sleep at night in her crate upstairs no problem but she has never wanted to nap in the crate during the day and I suppose this is another reason why I assumed she wasn't lying down in there. So as she is not crying should I extend the time I leave her now to a bit over an hour? Or is it best to continue with the max of an hour and try and address her anxiousness with not wanting to chew or eat anything and what more can I do that I am not already doing?
You could try to have her to nap in the crate with you there (ie with the gate closed so she doesn't get to choose where to sleep) But chances are she is lying down if she's quiet when you're out. The not chewing or eating is still concerning but, for instance, Oona doesn't really play in her crate either (she will eat treats or chew a stuffed kong though). Not all dogs like to play by themselves that much. There are crate games you can play to build more positive associations with the crate. Others probably have more advice!
 

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I assume that when I leave home Normie thinks that I'm going to the park or for a walk. He knows nothing of the dentist or the car service department. Winnie's probably making the same wrong guesses. She'd rather be with you.

Of course, Normie hates to be left out. He sleeps in his crate and waits for us. But the moment he hears the car in the garage, he starts complaining "Get me out of here!"

He sleeps in his crate at night so it's familiar. Is Winnie comfortable with hers?

Ignoring high-value treats when left in the crate is often considered a sign of anxiety. Repetition is probably the best solution. I wouldn't extend the crate time yet, but I'd do it more often each day. And I'd leave her for varied periods of up to an hour.

Normie doesn't have to be happy while I'm gone. Bored is okay. He just has to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I assume that when I leave home Normie thinks that I'm going to the park or for a walk. He knows nothing of the dentist or the car service department. Winnie's probably making the same wrong guesses. She'd rather be with you.

Of course, Normie hates to be left out. He sleeps in his crate and waits for us. But the moment he hears the car in the garage, he starts complaining "Get me out of here!"

He sleeps in his crate at night so it's familiar. Is Winnie comfortable with hers?

Ignoring high-value treats when left in the crate is often considered a sign of anxiety. Repetition is probably the best solution. I wouldn't extend the crate time yet, but I'd do it more often each day. And I'd leave her for varied periods of up to an hour.

Normie doesn't have to be happy while I'm gone. Bored is okay. He just has to be safe.
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Ah ok. I will increase the frequency and vary the lengths. Winnie has a crate upstairs for sleeping overnight and one downstairs for the daytime. She is comfortable with both but just would never ever sleep in it during the day even with the door open. She will eat and drink in it. Winnie hates to be left out too. I'm happy if she is bored and safe. I just don't want stressed.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Unless she’s laying down in there and relaxed enough to accept treats, I wouldn’t consider her crate trained just yet. I’d probably go back to the basics and reward for calm. There are some great tips in this video:

My husband will sometimes leave his iPad recording in the room with Peggy when we crate her. An inexpensive security camera is good for this, too. That way you know exactly what you’re working with—whether or not she eventually lays down, if she’s reacting to noises, etc.
 

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The first few times we left the boys crated totally alone, it was only for about an hour, just a quick dinner out.

We'd stop the car several houses up the street on returning and I'd get out and walk down to the house. I expected howls and whines and crying. What I heard was nothing, not a peep. (Bedroom window was open so I could have heard lower volume sounds.) Once I signaled to DH, it was still quiet until he pulled in the driveway. Then all heck broke out.

I was relieved that it was like that until the evening smartypants Neo figured out how to unzip the mesh door panel and left his brother captive. That was one sad sounding puppy :).

It wasn't too long after that I felt they were reliable in the house so they had full first floor access then, but I was never quite comfortable until I got the inexpensive camera. I can check on them, and do. Their activity consists of barking at passerby's or laying down waiting. The peace of mind is priceless.

Are you planning on eventually allowing her free roaming privileges or will she need to be contained for practical purposes?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The first few times we left the boys crated totally alone, it was only for about an hour, just a quick dinner out.

We'd stop the car several houses up the street on returning and I'd get out and walk down to the house. I expected howls and whines and crying. What I heard was nothing, not a peep. (Bedroom window was open so I could have heard lower volume sounds.) Once I signaled to DH, it was still quiet until he pulled in the driveway. Then all heck broke out.

I was relieved that it was like that until the evening smartypants Neo figured out how to unzip the mesh door panel and left his brother captive. That was one sad sounding puppy :).

It wasn't too long after that I felt they were reliable in the house so they had full first floor access then, but I was never quite comfortable until I got the inexpensive camera. I can check on them, and do. Their activity consists of barking at passerby's or laying down waiting. The peace of mind is priceless.

Are you planning on eventually allowing her free roaming privileges or will she need to be contained for practical purposes?
Definitely she will be allowed to roam free. I thought maybe at around the age of 1 year at the latest. I've been quite lucky in that she doesn't chew furniture or cables etc but don't completely trust her if she was on her own for a good while and may do it out if boredom or frustration. When I pop out to the garage and leave her inside she tends to sit quietly inside but it's a very short period of time and she knows where I've gone. I can start extending that time once she is a few months older. But for now I would be happy if I could get 2 hours of her in the crate.
 

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If you're not in an open concept living arrangement, or if you have a room or two that you might use baby gates to limit access, that's a way to try her out. Or maybe you'd have room for an exercise pen, so she's got a bit more room than just a crate?

I have two mpoo boys so tethering wasn't really an option. Instead, we puppy proofed the two main rooms, kitchen and living area, and gated them from the rest of the house. They also weren't furniture or cable chewers, and I was in sight of them virtually every minute, so that worked for us.
 

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I have this exact problem but I’m still at the crying after a few minutes stage - please could you let me know how you built it up to an hour? Like Winnie, Noodle used to just sit and wait to be let out but more recently she’s started trying to escape the crate (by squeezing through the holes at the top) and I’m starting to get concerned that she could get stuck and hurt herself when I’m not there

Edit: Just to confirm, she’s absolutely fine in the crate when I’m there and will lay there quite happily while I do housework and things as long as I’m in sight, it’s when I leave that she cries
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have this exact problem but I’m still at the crying after a few minutes stage - please could you let me know how you built it up to an hour? Like Winnie, Noodle used to just sit and wait to be let out but more recently she’s started trying to escape the crate (by squeezing through the holes at the top) and I’m starting to get concerned that she could get stuck and hurt herself when I’m not there

Edit: Just to confirm, she’s absolutely fine in the crate when I’m there and will lay there quite happily while I do housework and things as long as I’m in sight, it’s when I leave that she cries
It took us a really long time but literally we went out of sight in the house for seconds and built it up to a couple of minutes each time trying to get back before the crying started. We then progressed to going out in the garden for 5 minutes and kept building it up slowly over a few weeks. It took us ages to get to a couple of minutes though and sometimes I felt we would never get any further. When we got to about 20 minutes or half hour it moved a lot quicker then. She has never tried to get out though. I think this is the most hardest thing we have had to deal with with Winnie. I thought it was going to be the 'leave it' with eating rubbish outside but she has come on really well with that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you're not in an open concept living arrangement, or if you have a room or two that you might use baby gates to limit access, that's a way to try her out. Or maybe you'd have room for an exercise pen, so she's got a bit more room than just a crate?

I have two mpoo boys so tethering wasn't really an option. Instead, we puppy proofed the two main rooms, kitchen and living area, and gated them from the rest of the house. They also weren't furniture or cable chewers, and I was in sight of them virtually every minute, so that worked for us.
I don't really have room for a pen but I can baby gate the stairs off and she can have access to the living area and I have a small kitchen. I think by the time I can get Winnie in a crate for long enough it will be time to let her stay out of the crate altogether. I certainly know she would prefer it.
 

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It took us a really long time but literally we went out of sight in the house for seconds and built it up to a couple of minutes each time trying to get back before the crying started. We then progressed to going out in the garden for 5 minutes and kept building it up slowly over a few weeks. It took us ages to get to a couple of minutes though and sometimes I felt we would never get any further. When we got to about 20 minutes or half hour it moved a lot quicker then. She has never tried to get out though. I think this is the most hardest thing we have had to deal with with Winnie. I thought it was going to be the 'leave it' with eating rubbish outside but she has come on really well with that one.
Thank you so much, I’ll give this a go - I think initially I might have tried to lengthen the time too quickly and then gave up when it didn’t work because we’re at home all the time anyway :/ Do you remember roughly how long you were in the minutes stage for?
 

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Thank you so much, I’ll give this a go - I think initially I might have tried to lengthen the time too quickly and then gave up when it didn’t work because we’re at home all the time anyway :/ Do you remember roughly how long you were in the minutes stage for?
We in the minutes stage for about 3 weeks. It felt like forever. Once we got past 5 and 10 minutes we kept this going for a while before upping it just in case we ended up going backwards and didn't want to undo all the work we had done. When we got to about 20 minutes then I just added a couple of minutes each day until we got to half hour and then went up in 5 minute stages to 45 minutes and then went for the whole hour. I figured she wasn't going to understand the difference between 45 minutes and an hour and she was still as quiet as a mouse thankfully.
 

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We in the minutes stage for about 3 weeks. It felt like forever. Once we got past 5 and 10 minutes we kept this going for a while before upping it just in case we ended up going backwards and didn't want to undo all the work we had done. When we got to about 20 minutes then I just added a couple of minutes each day until we got to half hour and then went up in 5 minute stages to 45 minutes and then went for the whole hour. I figured she wasn't going to understand the difference between 45 minutes and an hour and she was still as quiet as a mouse thankfully.
Thank you, it’s so helpful to hear how long it can actually take! Time to try again I suppose and keep persevering this time 😊
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I assume that when I leave home Normie thinks that I'm going to the park or for a walk. He knows nothing of the dentist or the car service department. Winnie's probably making the same wrong guesses. She'd rather be with you.

Of course, Normie hates to be left out. He sleeps in his crate and waits for us. But the moment he hears the car in the garage, he starts complaining "Get me out of here!"

He sleeps in his crate at night so it's familiar. Is Winnie comfortable with hers?

Ignoring high-value treats when left in the crate is often considered a sign of anxiety. Repetition is probably the best solution. I wouldn't extend the crate time yet, but I'd do it more often each day. And I'd leave her for varied periods of up to an hour.

Normie doesn't have to be happy while I'm gone. Bored is okay. He just has to be safe.
I have been doing this and had some success. Repeated crating throughout the day and sometimes only for a few minutes. Today I went to the shops for half hour and came home to find Winnie in the down position. I let her wait until I took my coat off and changed my shoes and then opened the crate door. She did bolt out but that's good enough for me.
 
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