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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Honestly, she probably just pogoed right over it. Phoebe could certainly clear a 4 foot fence, effortlessly. Her bottoms are made out of springs, after all. 馃槀
Frigggggg 馃ぃ馃槱 I guess I need to look for the tops for one of these bad boys, eh?
Little Stinker looked quite pleased with herself when I walked in and saw her.
 

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If you no longer wish to crate her, I would probably just poodle-proof your main living space and close the door to any bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. (unless they can be poodle-proofed, too). Miss. Springs-for-Feet has unfortunately now learned that pens are permeable. :LOL: If you covered it now, I would worry she would hurt herself trying to get out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
If you no longer wish to crate her, I would probably just poodle-proof your main living space and close the door to any bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. (unless they can be poodle-proofed, too). Miss. Springs-for-Feet has unfortunately now learned that pens are permeable. :LOL: If you covered it now, I would worry she would hurt herself trying to get out.
The main living space is unfortunately most of the main floor... so the kitchen, dining room, and living room...

Then the problem is upstairs where the bedrooms are, is off-limits. My kids rooms are impossible to keep poodle-proofed and my partner is allergic so she can't go in my room. I can close the doors but it's a very old house and I'm afraid they unlatch and open with but a boop of the nose. In other words, if I gate off the stairs, she'll jump that. And if she jumps it and gets up there, she can certainly get into a ton of mischief.

Sigh. She's not even a year old yet so she's far too young to be left unattended and with free range to roam. She doesn't much like being left- as many poodles don't- so I'm working on it with her. But to work on it with her, I have to DO it, and trust that she won't get into trouble.

Seems I'm in a real pickle. I'll have to keep crating her.... just seems so unfair if I want to be able to work up to leaving her for a couple of hours or so.

So far the most she's crated is overnight (she does fine with that). And I can crate her if I have to, say, go to the grocery store. I just wanted the pen to work in situations where it's a little longer and I feel badly about her being so confined. For example, when I run my girls to their allergy appointments next week which will take 4 hours or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Does she still need to be confined when your away? Maybe it's time to X the x-pen.
If I had any do-overs, I'd have practiced leaving her alone more. She's only 9 months old-- so young enough that she can still get into mischief but old enough that she's super accustomed to me being here allllllllll day or going with me if I do leave.

I've left her, don't get me wrong, but it's been crated. We've been using the pen for a while, but I was working my way up to leaving the house for any length of time with her in it because she whines and gets upset when I leave.

I have appointments coming up that I was hoping to have her just in the pen. Now I'm gonna have to scramble to figure out another plan.
 

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Jumping out of a pen on a flat surface and jumping a gate onto a staircase or landing are pretty different. If you haven't tried a gate for the stairs, it might be worth a shot. We have a gate blocking the upstairs staircase (it's on the first landing, so its elevated 2 steps from the main floor), and for the basement stairs we just have a low wooden board (about a foot wide) that leans against the entryway. Oona won't jump that even though she easily could, because on the other side are 4 descending steps to a short landing. I don't know the layout of your place so maybe this is all meaningless but I thought I would share. Maybe you can make the location of the gate(s) unappealing to jump over or maybe the stairs do that naturally.
 

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Jumping out of a pen on a flat surface and jumping a gate onto a staircase or landing are pretty different. If you haven't tried a gate for the stairs, it might be worth a shot. We have a gate blocking the upstairs staircase (it's on the first landing, so its elevated 2 steps from the main floor), and for the basement stairs we just have a low wooden board (about a foot wide) that leans against the entryway. Oona won't jump that even though she easily could, because on the other side are 4 descending steps to a short landing. I don't know the layout of your place so maybe this is all meaningless but I thought I would share. Maybe you can make the location of the gate(s) unappealing to jump over or maybe the stairs do that naturally.
I was thinking the same, she might not jump over onto stairs, especially if she is not used to going upstairs. At first I thought the same, why not just leave her out? But it sounds like she has some pretty bad anxiety. You don鈥檛 want her going through a window if she is really wound up and trying to get to you. Or hurting herself (or your house) digging out or tearing up walls/doors. If she鈥檚 better in her crate, I would leave her in her crate. 馃し鈥嶁檧锔 Phoebe is penned for up to 7-8 hours (with breaks) every weekday. I did get a top for the pen, and it鈥檚 covered, so really it鈥檚 like a 4x4 crate, which works better with her need to sprawl than her 48鈥 crate that she bangs around in. She chews and naps, much like she would be doing in downtime if she wasn鈥檛 penned.
 

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Agree with @Starla, there is nothing wrong with her being in a crate. She might not love it but if it's safer for her it's the best choice. And it's not hard to work back up to tolerating being crated. When we left Oona alone, she was always crated until a few months ago when we started trying her loose on the main floor. Another nice thing about the crate is that if you want to leave her with something extra nice like a frozen kong, it won't make a big mess in a crate whereas I don't want to leave Oona with something melty and messy if she's going to be able to choose where to eat it (couch, rug etc). So being loose limits the kinds of lovely treats I am willing to leave her with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I was thinking the same, she might not jump over onto stairs, especially if she is not used to going upstairs. At first I thought the same, why not just leave her out? But it sounds like she has some pretty bad anxiety. You don鈥檛 want her going through a window if she is really wound up and trying to get to you. Or hurting herself (or your house) digging out or tearing up walls/doors. If she鈥檚 better in her crate, I would leave her in her crate. 馃し鈥嶁檧锔 Phoebe is penned for up to 7-8 hours (with breaks) every weekday. I did get a top for the pen, and it鈥檚 covered, so really it鈥檚 like a 4x4 crate, which works better with her need to sprawl than her 48鈥 crate that she bangs around in. She chews and naps, much like she would be doing in downtime if she wasn鈥檛 penned.
Reading what you and @Oonapup are saying, I wonder if just getting her a bigger crate would be better.

Right now she has a 36 inch one and it suits her fine for sleeping... she's a "standard" but in actuality she's inter-variety, so quite a bit smaller than a standard her age would be.

If I got her a 48 inch crate, she'd be able to sprawl out more and I'd feel better about that. She does relax well in the crate and the pen when she knows I am around. And when I leave her crated she cries for a minute, and then is fine (I have a camera to check on her). At least this way I wouldn't worry about her trying to jump the pen.

We'll work our way up to giving her more freedom to roam, but I'm just not ready to make that leap yet. She needs more practice with me leaving the house and I think I'd feel better doing that if I knew she had room to stretch out but couldn't hurt herself.

Thanks guys! I'm gonna order the bigger crate today methinks.

My partner will be glad for it. He really dislikes the pen and how much space it takes up.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
With kids, I suspect poodle proofing would be much more challenging.
That's exactly it. My youngest human is only 6... so I'd go crazy trying to make sure the entire house was poodle proofed. Thus far Bennie doesn't get into too much when we're home, but I don't want to gamble. I mean, I HAVE had to trade her some treats for the odd crayon or lego piece already and that's with Lego only being allowed upstairs 馃う鈥嶁檧锔

I bought two pens with the plans to use them to barricade as needed. I know they'll still come in handy... even just in the yard, as you've done. We want to put a fence up but lumber is so expensive yet. I also love camping, so having something to pretty portable to bring along will be handy.

I'm going to go ahead with the bigger crate. And I'll also continue penning her while I'm home, for now-- I go in and out just for even a few minutes at a time to help her practice staying calm. And we'll see what sticks! I can see Partner asking for the pen to come down once the bigger crate gets here 馃槤.

I thought about getting a top for the pen, but it's not really an option as its the Amazon version and not Midwest.

@For Want of Poodle I saw you reference a protocol you used for separation anxiety when Annie was little? Would you mind sharing what that was again? I wouldn't mind having a structure to go by to help Bennie out. I'm home with her more often than not, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But for her own good, I'd love for her to eventually be able to have free roam when I do have to leave. That'll take practicing calm now.
 

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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.
.
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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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
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.
.
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.
I really appreciate all of this. And I have so much hope. I鈥檓 grateful that I can leave on some errands with her crated and she doesn鈥檛 lose her ever loving mind. This makes me think that working up to longer trips out is totally doable. In many ways I鈥檝e been doing what you did, too! Grabbing keys. Sitting back down. Putting my shoes on. Grabbing keys. Sitting back down to work. Walking out and coming right back. All in the hopes of being able to walk out without her whining for even the couple of minutes that she does. So what this tells me is I just have to slow it down even more. And I can do that.

Also, what you said about it being the same time makes sense too! She really is such a creature of habit.

Bigger crate arrived today! Bummer that it seems she isn鈥檛 generalizing that it鈥檚 the same as the older one she was fine it, just bigger. I鈥檝e been tossing treats in and just letting her explore at her own pace but she seems skeptical of it. I took the old one down but I may have been a bit hasty. I may need the small one for bed time tonight yet!

Ive been doing some school work asthe kids play upstairs (rainy day here). Bennie would much rather nap next to me than go for the bits of cheese laying in the new crate 馃槤

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We found the tray in Peggy鈥檚 big crate to be horribly stinky. So we took it out and replaced it with a board topped with an orthopedic mattress-style bed.

It鈥檚 possible Bennie is turned off by the new plastic smell. I can鈥檛 imagine being cooped up with it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
We found the tray in Peggy鈥檚 big crate to be horribly stinky. So we took it out and replaced it with a board topped with an orthopedic mattress-style bed.

It鈥檚 possible Bennie is turned off by the new plastic smell. I can鈥檛 imagine being cooped up with it myself.
Oh that鈥檚 a good idea. She鈥檚 doing much better with the crate now! But I think generally replacing the plastic is probably a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
My son played his first ball game tonight. I took a huge gamble and brought B along with us. I say gamble because she鈥檚 a little too friendly for my liking and I knew there鈥檇 be a ton of action.

I brought tons of food and her yak cheese. We started off sitting far away from everyone and it took some time but she learned I wanted her to settle. I eventually was able to move up to the fence on the third baseline and managed to watch the game with her behaving incredibly well! I strapped the leash around my waist and for the most part she sat or laid down while I made it rain kibble (tons at first then tapering off).

We still have to work on impulse control near kids. But I鈥檓 getting glimpses of being able to really involve her in family outings which makes me happy!

Today I also left her in the car to run into a store quickly. And she stayed home while I ran a few more errands. Yesterday was my daughters鈥 allergy appointments in the city and she was stellar in her crate (checked in on the camera every so often). 馃帀
Purple Black Road surface Grey Carnivore
Dog Water dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog
 
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