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Should I stop crate training my puppy?

asked 2018-05-16 18:09:01 -0500

My puppy has severe separation anxiety when we leave for work. We have been crate training her so she is in the crate all day. He comes home on lunch and lets her out to play and eat for an hour in between. I have a camera and watch her throughout the day. She bites the crate, howls, and paces. I come home to drool all over the floor. Today she found a way to escape today and is roaming the house for the first time without us there. At first, she was exploring and I haven't been home today to see if she has gotten into anything I cant see with the camera, but from what I see she is just sleeping on the couch. Not stressed which is so nice to see.

Should I stop crate training her and let her roam the apartment when we are gone? Not sure what to do and would love some advice.

She is 5 in a half months old btw.

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Helllllllllll noooo. Bruh, that dog gotta understand you is the HNIC and you make the rules. Not only would I recommend you keep crate training it, but I would say you need to be more strict.

Matthew C.'s profile image Matthew C.  ( 2018-06-06 20:38:52 -0500 ) edit

More strict?! Geez why even own a dog ? If you want to kee0 it in captivity 24 in a 3 foot cage? My advice to OP THROW THE CRATE AWAY. You could see on the camera she was fine and sleeping on the couch. Why do you want her to be caged?

Cesar M.'s profile image Cesar M.  ( 2018-07-20 01:42:17 -0500 ) edit

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answered 2018-05-16 19:50:04 -0500

I personally am not a fan of crate training, I just feel sorry for them. I wouldn't want to be stuck in a cage all day if I was a dog. With that being said, I know a lot of people who have crate trained and their dogs end up loving their crates and see it as a safe place. So I do see both sides and have always told my clients that it is really a personal preference. Crate training or not they both have there benefits and negative sides.

My vote would be to your puppy out of the crate, especially if she did so much better once she broke free from the crate. Depending on how she did in the area behind your camera, you may want to start slow with the areas she is allowed in. Baby gates is a great way to keep her from running all over the place. Making sure you close your bedroom and bathroom doors. Also you want to make sure if she has access to the kitchen area that she is not able to get into cabinets with food or cleaners. Basically making sure you baby/puppy proof the area that you let her in.

As long as she does well, I don't see why she can not sleep happily on the couch while you are at work. =D

Best of Luck!

PS- You can also leave the tv or radio on for her so she hears noise and doesn't feel so alone. also can give her a "kong toy" with peanut butter in it, this will give her something to keep her busy (You can also throw in the freezer the night before to last longer)

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A Kong of only peanut butter will give most dogs the super runs and cause them to rapidly gain weight because of the high fat content.

Becky S.'s profile image Becky S.  ( 2018-05-17 12:59:21 -0500 ) edit

I have always had good luck with Kong toys and peanut butter. As far as weight, as i do with any other treat, Keeping track of the calories & exercises they get daily. (But granted as in people, not all two dogs are the same. So it really is a trial and error to see what works best for your dog.)

Erica M.'s profile image Erica M.  ( 2018-05-17 16:06:59 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2018-05-17 12:58:26 -0500

I am a dog and puppy trainer and I would say that before you completely give up on the crate that you should try a few alternatives. You may choose to stop crating your dog when it is grown, but it is exceedingly helpful when they are young for their safety and your sanity. Crates teach the ability to settle, keep them from eating things they shouldn't and make potty training MUCH easier. Depending on age, they need to get out every couple hours to go to the bathroom so that could be part of the issue. When you leave you don't make a big deal about it and your puppy should settle quietly almost immediately.

The crate should be your dog's safe space where good things happen and you set them up for success. This means tiring them out with mental and physical activity before you put them in, giving highly engaging and rewarding toys inside and make sure the crate isn't too large. I suggest feeding all meals except the kibble you use for training from a kong, you can just mix kibble and plain yogurt in a bowl and spoon into a kong and freeze. If your dog likes bones then a safe bone/antler for them to chew only in there. If your puppy is young you will also be surprised by how well a sweater or something of yours that smells like you in the crate can calm the pup. If you have an anxious puppy or a highly stimulating environment a noise machine and covering the crate with a dark colored sheet open on one side will help them relax and sleep which puppies spend a lot of time doing. Like people, dogs will actually develop anxiety, bad behavior and become hyperactive if they don't get a chance to rest uninterrupted as much as they need.

If you must give up the crate I would suggest getting an exercise pen ($50 or less on amazon) . You can hook the exercise pen to the crate as well so your pup has a safe play space and their crate with the door open when you can't watch them or close if needed.

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