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Baby Annie did that on her first day home. She climbed the crate top and met me at the top of the stairs when I ran home 2 hours after leaving to check on her.

I moved the crate and after that, weirdly, she has been very respectful of x pens. She has an ex pen as her outdoor yard off our porch and has never attempted it.

At about 8 months she had major seperation anxiety. It was solved partially by giving her free access to my hall with the bathroom, living room, and kitchen blocked off. She had access to my shoes in the hall and bedroom. She screamed and thrashed in a crate but was pretty chill in the hall.

It was nerve wracking because she is/was a mischievous girl but she never touched anything. I would come home to a warm spot on the floor the top of my stairs. It was pretty obvious she just lay waiting for me in the hall.

With kids, I suspect poodle proofing would be much more challenging.
 

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I get it - and each dog is so unique! I do think a bigger crate is a good idea.

So, separation anxiety...

Note that I started with a dog who was freaking out and screaming for hours when I suddenly stsrted leaving her every day to go to work. Trying to break out of her crate. Paranoid at every moment that I might leave her and not eating. We were in an apartment with terrible sound proofing and the lovely lady on the main floor was home all day and afraid of dogs.

I arranged for her to have a week where she wasn't left, ever. Brought her shopping with me. Took her to doggy daycare. Etc. Thankfully it was cool and Annie has never shown SA in the car. So she relaxed a bit. Meanwhile, I sneakily started desensitization.

Basically, i worked on desensitizing her to minor parts of me leaving. Walking out of the room, coming back in. Picking up keys. Picking up my purse. Putting on shoes. Clicking the lock on my car. Did those things and then went and sat back down.

The idea was to break me leaving into teensy boring disjointed steps she did not react even a bit to. The signs of leaving are normal and boring. Then adding in hanging out at the top of the stairs. Going down and opening the door, shutting it again.

If she showed distress I had pushed too far. Maybe instead of walking down the stairs to the door, I needed to just walk half way down.

Maybe Bennie doesn't react to those things, but it may be a good idea to watch her body language and see at what point she gets suspicious/ stressed and work from there.

Opening the door, coming back. Opening the door, stepping outside, coming back. I wasn't doing it all in sequence, just randomly working on parts of the going away puzzle.

The slower and tinier the steps, the more casual, the faster I made progress. I found once I broke through the barriers of the things she was most stressed by (keys, purse, stairs, door, human out of sight) progress was really fast.

1 s outside. 2 s outside. .... Standing on the front porch.
Then adding going down the stairs and immediately coming back. Some trips maybe I pressed remote start on the car. Some trips maybe I walked on the street. Adding taking the garbage to the curb (3 trips outside in a row!) Grabbing a thing I forgot from the car. No big deal. Never gone long enough for it to get scary. Mixing up how long I was 'gone'. Turning on my car, driving it out of the driveway, parking it immediately on the street. Driving for a minute, turning, coming back. Driving around the block. Driving the neighbourhood... Going and getting icecream.

At some point I added a cue. 'bye dog, back soon, be good!' since Annie is a dog who thrives on knowing what is going on. No fuss when I left just 'you stay here' if she looked excited. And 'yes, you come too!' if she was coming.

Working on leaving every day at the time I would leave for work on a weekend for a short time.

Moment of truth - going to work. Coming home twice in the day from work. Then once. Then discovering she actually did better if I didn't come home (I lived 5 min from work and was only working 4 hrs/day).

So yeah... There's my 'protocol'. Just based on watching the dog. No time lines, no repetition numbers suggested - may do steps one time, maybe 5 times, but if it's 5 times, try jumping back half a step and working up, it will probably be faster. No letting the dog cry/get stressed.
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If you work from home or not, but one thing I might consider is working up to leaving the house every day at the same time even if you aren't going anywhere, at a time that normally you might go somewhere. Maybe having coffee on the porch with Bennie in her crate. Or with Benny snoozing on the couch.
 
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