, the issue is that the sitter/walking services are a short 30 minute visit every 2 hrs here, and our Maggie can just about manage to do 4 minutes in her crate by herself with the gate closed....so that home service doesn't work for us. She comes to my office when it's appropriate, but again, that is a long day for a puppy, and if I have clients, (I work in film production), then it isn't appropriate, nor if I am on set. The doggy day care has two areas. 1 for puppies under 6 months, the other for dogs older than that. Doggy day care 2 - 3 days a week works for us as it means I can go to work and my husband can do whatever he needs to do during the day, (semi retired). We do use sitters, but for evening times so that we can do social things. We've changed our lifestyle quite significantly to accommodate Maggie. We rarely go out, inviting people to come to our home while we get her used to the crate and being left in it for an hour here and there. I now work from home Monday, Wednesday mornings. Saturday I go to puppy social classes, and we do two or three days of doggy day care. Monday, Wednesday afternoons my husband is at home and takes her to dog parks, walks etc, anywhere that she can go too. Saturday afternoon while we horse ride, we book a sitter, that we pay over the odds to, to sit for three hours, as opposed to visiting for 30 minutes within that 3 hrs. (When we know she won't freak out, we plan to bring her to the horse riding with us for more stimulation, the yard is full of dogs, snoozing and hanging out.)
Last time we left her in the crate for 40 minutes resulted in a vet visit to clean the cuts on her snout from trying to escape, and a very, very distressed puppy. That was 4 weeks ago, it was the second time we'd left her, we haven't left her since.
The doggy day care is very organised....we know the owners well, they fog weekly, no more than 12 puppies in day care, they reinforce the training, and have a mobile vet on call. I know it can be a Petri dish....but they are very thorough in checking on vaccinations, and assessing the puppies/dogs before letting them into their care.
no other dog or puppy has had an infection, either tummy or sinus....so I am hoping that my gut instinct is right. She has proved negative for everything that they would test a puppy for. I also hope that one day we'll be able to leave her in the crate for 1 - 3 hrs while we go to horses/pilates/dinner, and not come home to a pup that needs to be hugged out of her distress, and have her cuts managed for a week. And yes, we've tried the desensitisation, (still are), the Kong with frozen goodies, sitting with her, radio on, short periods.....
We've managed 4 minutes with the crate door closed. I've also managed 20 minutes with a frozen Kong, but only with the crate door open, the room door open, my pottering around from room to room within earshot, and sometimes eyeline, and then the clever girl brings the Kong to me wherever I am, and I have to remove it and put her back in the crate. She just will not accept the crate door being closed, and if I/we go outside even to the garden, she has a meltdown. Other than that, she is a perfectly socially adapted dog, very independent.....😂.