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Discussion Starter #1
a 6 mo standard home alone? Specifically in a puppy pen w/ an open crate? I feel like the space is too small for Bella but the few times I gave her the run of the kitchen area (gated off) for more than 2 hours she was seriously destructive. As in if there was nothing she could reach she ripped of the baseboard!

Well I screwed up! I am still not used to this puppy keeping me on a short leash from home, so to speak, and volunteered to do something tomorrow that would have me away from home for 8 hours. The most I have ever left her in her pen is 4. Everything was fine when I got home but I'm sure her Kong had long since been emptied. I wish I could leave her in the room again so she would have more room to chase her toys around, but she's really proving that she loves to counter cruise and now chew wood!

What's the most you'd leave a dog this age?
 

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I have can to this problem myself with Misa....But Misa is only 10 weeks old and therefore she isn't completely potty trained. I had to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment that was 2 hours away....so in all i was gone for atleast 5 hours. I put Misa in the Kitchen (I knew she wouldnt be able to hold her potty and I really didnt want her in her crate) Made sure all the cabinets were tied with rope shut and made sure there was nothing on the counters for her to get...(if she ever found a way up there) also I took the trash out so she wouldnt be tempted. I put every single toy she had in the kitchen so she would have plenty to do while I was gone. Of course when I came home there was poodle doodles and poodle puddles in the floor but she didn't get in to anything that she wasn't supposted to.

Have you looked for a doggy day care in your area?? I have one that I may use if I ever got back to work that only charges $20 a day. Maybe that could be something you would be interested in?? OR maybe you could get a friend to come over and walk Bella and play with Bella for an hour so she isn't so bored to become destructive.

Oh another thing....is she always chewing and destorying stuff when you are away??? or is it just something she does whether or not you are at home?? If its only when you are gone it could be but not sure, some separation anxiety. But I hope not.

Good Luck
 

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Seeing as your dog is 6 months old, he should be fine crated while you are gone. My youngsters are crated two days a week for 8 hours when I am at work, the other two days it is for 6 hours. I put toys in with them... raw hide chews and marrow bones.... and I have never had a problem. They know the routine. When I am ready to leave for work or going to bed at night, I open the treat container and they run into their crates, they know they get a yummy treat when they go in.

Grace was crated until four weeks ago, she was just short of 1 year old, when I was sure she was ready to be left free in the house. I don't let m pups run free in the house at all when I am not home so they do not pick up back habits like chewing or relieving themselves in the house. I think this is the best, and actually, the most humane way to train them as long as they are not crated most of their life! And I have seen that in a couple show homes where they had a lot of dogs and some lived a vast amount of time in their crates (to keep the dog from damaging their growing hair the owner said) which I think is so cruel!

But, a crate used wisely, is a wonderful and humane tool and a dog at 6 months old can certainly hold his toilet and be able to stay in a crate for 8 hours while you are gone. Obviously, if he is allowed to be free in the kitchen and chews on stuff again, it will become a habit you won't want him to have and become harder and harder to break. The easiest way to break a habit is not to let it become one in the first place. :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I feel guilty crating such a 'large being' for so long. At the moment she is puppy penned (gives her a tiny bit more room outside of her crate so she can stretch out a bit. What I am wanting to do, though, is release her into our tiled dining/kitchen area (where her crate is) so she can move about during the day and not just be all squished up for hours as if she is 'waiting' for her life to begin. If that makes any sense. I know they do sleep a lot, but I have mommy guilt. ;) Though she has access to her crate at anytime while indoors, she is only shut in there at night.

Regarding the time-released kong, I've not heard of that but someone did tell me about a cube which randomly releases treats. I'd love to hear more about the kong and anything else like this.

In ANY case are you all saying that you think a 6 mo could handle being in a crate for 8 hours without accident? I've never pushed her beyond 4 hours in her pen, except at night. At night she doesn't get food or liquids past 6 pm then she's crated from around 10-6 am.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you looked for a doggy day care in your area?? I have one that I may use if I ever got back to work that only charges $20 a day. Maybe that could be something you would be interested in?? OR maybe you could get a friend to come over and walk Bella and play with Bella for an hour so she isn't so bored to become destructive.

Oh another thing....is she always chewing and destorying stuff when you are away??? or is it just something she does whether or not you are at home?? If its only when you are gone it could be but not sure, some separation anxiety. But I hope not.

Good Luck
I have looked into puppy day care, but just have not decided if I want to go that route or not yet (i.e. am I that desperate? LOL).

So far, when I left her out in the kitchen area I would say 75% of the time she got into mischief. When she's in her pen she doesn't b/c she can't.

Our breeder says poodles are very curious and blames that for the counter mischief, but when I left them clear of any curiosities that is when she went for the baseboard (and then the next time the edge of the carpet where the baseboard was and it meets the tile! Now I've sprayed it with bitter apple).

ETA: The counter-cruising she seems to do anytime we are not in the room, home or not. Of course we hear her and immediately tell her "OFF!" Last night, however, she broke a dish. We're hoping it was a big enough scare she stops, but who knows. I ran to the doorway and put my arm around her to make sure she didn't run back into the broken glass area, and her little heart was beating ferociously!

She NEVER has full run of the house unattended, only if I'm walking around and she's following me.
 

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Don't feel guilty it's not going to kill her. You can look at it as saving your furniture. I have Jasper crated and he's in the room with me. I could easily give him the run of the house or let him sleep at my feet but he needs to learn to be in a crate especially when we go to shows. I leave him for a couple of hours at a time but he's 10 weeks old.
 

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Just look at it like a toddler. Would you leave a baby loose in a room to get into whatever? She is still a baby. By crating/penning her you are also saving her from possible surgery and death if she eats something too big, or swallows a carpet strand. It is for her own safety that she be crated. She obviously cannot handle the freedom yet, so wait a couple more months and try again. It is only guilt for you. ;) She is FINE. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just look at it like a toddler. Would you leave a baby loose in a room to get into whatever? She is still a baby. By crating/penning her you are also saving her from possible surgery and death if she eats something too big, or swallows a carpet strand. It is for her own safety that she be crated. She obviously cannot handle the freedom yet, so wait a couple more months and try again. It is only guilt for you. ;) She is FINE. :)
LOL, thank you! Another little being to give me mommy guilt! I think I will try tomorrow...maybe 6 hours.
 

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Hey BM - so how did it go? Did your baby survive the 8 hours? What did you do in the end?

I completely understand your position - my Snoops is just a wee little thing but I would feel bad crating him for 8 hours as well. In fact, I've never crated him. He has full run of the house when I leave. I try not to leave him more than 8 hours... and almost always he has Grandma to watch after him while I am out. Even then I feel bad. Snoops does get pissed off with me when I leave him for multiple hours. Yes, he is spoiled to the max!

On the odd occasion, I have utilized doggy daycare. It's such a life saver! Even then I feel bad leaving Snoops.... but at least I know he is in good hands and having a play date with other pups.

Can you leave Bella in the bathroom with a baby gate in front of the door (and toilet cover closed!). Maybe there would be less chance for destruction then....???...

I think I would feel bad if it added up that she was in her crate longer than she was out of her crate for the day...
 

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WHen I used to go to the office Moose would stay in his crate 4-6 hours.

When he was young the longest I left him in there was 12 hours, bad day at work then something after came up :(

Now he's rarely in there except at night or when he wants to during the day which is often because it's so darn comfy and in my office.

Recently he was left in there 11 hours for 1 day while I was out of town.

I make sure to tire him out the PREVIOUS day... if I tire him out the previous day by having him outside all day even if its just hanging out he will sleep the entire next day.

When he was younger he'd chew up his crate pad if we left him in there 5+ hours but now that he's older and I tire him out he's great.

Moose runs at least 1 mile a day every day so he's in good shape and tiring him out takes a LOT of time... but amazingly just keeping him UP and moving all day tires him out more than running 3 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well it went well! Thank you everyone. I don't plan to make it a habit but yesterday she was 6 1/2 in her pen and today 6 hours. She did great both days. Yesterday she was curled up and sleeping when I got home. I took her out to stretch then fed her and found her back asleep. LOL. Today she was more of a ball of energy as I'd expected.

You have NO idea what a relief this is for me, thank you everyone for the helpful advice and support. Hopefully it won't be necessary too often to do this.
 

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I'm so happy to hear that it went well for you and Bella. I also crate my dogs and it is the best thing for both me and them. They adjusted to being crated and actually feel safe and comfy in there now. I don't have to worry about tearing up the house and accidents to pick up. Taffy is still crated at 7 1/2 months because she will have an accident if she is not. Billy was able to be left free in the house at the age of 10 months. I think it just depends on each individual dog as to when you can leave them loose without worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks. An accident is not a worry to me it's the destruction! She rarely has house accidents, but the stealing things from the counters or destroying what she can find is the problem.
 
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