Yet more crate training discussion
I've been reading the various crate training threads on the forum.....all of which are very helpful, but none of which seem to help my own situation.
Maggie is doing really well. Putting on about 1 -2 kgs per week, no more signs of a sinus infection, doing really well at training, and giving us much fun and laughter.
She has sit, wait, leave it, come, down, bed, bring it, fetch, close (heel), and off leash training all down, pretty much pat. We're working on place and paw now.
She goes to bed easily at night, in her crate, in our room. She happily hops in, snuggles down, and is asleep before I close the door. We go to bed anytime between 10.45 and 11.30, if we've had a particularly busy day, she asks to go a little earlier. Last night she asked to go earlier as we had my sister in law and her husband over for dinner, I don't think she liked the husband.....mind you, neither do we really! 😂
Back to Maggie. She sleeps right through until 7/7.30. most mornings, I have to wake her at 7.30 to get her up and out to the garden for toilet. She also likes me to carry her down to the garden, but that's a whole other issue....right now, I can still manage it, but she's getting heavy! She voluntarily enters the crate after the morning toilet and goes back for a nap until 8.30 or so, or until hubby gets up and creates a cuddle area on the bedroom floor where she will sleep happily until we have to leave the room.
She will sleep/nap happily in the crate during the day when I sit in the same room. (We move the crate to a warm study downstairs during the day. ) She will not stay in the crate alone with the door closed. She will stay in it alone, door open, with a stuffed kong until she needs me to loosen up the contents or about 20 minutes. I need her to stay in the crate at times so we can have some sort of a life. Here is what we have been doing.
Stuffed kong only ever in the crate. if she takes the kong out of the crate, I put it back in again.
Tried short periods and increased them. I've managed about 3 minutes before the screaming starts.
put on puppy calming music
sat in the room with my coat on and the music on
picked up my keys brought them into the study, left them there, picked them up, gone to the door, opened and closed it, returning in between.
crated her while I potter about the house, walking past irregularly so she can see and hear me, with Kong and chew toy.
toys that she is only allowed to use in the crate.
Adaptil spray and collar.
only allowing naps in the crate for now.
if she can see me, she whines, barks, eats the wire door. sometimes even the stuffed kong isn't enough to distract her.
if she can't see me, she starts to get really distressed. She has hurt herself previously on the crate when left alone. So we haven't left her alone in the house since then.... 2 major episodes that required a vet visit.
She will very happily run around the garden, playing with her ball by herself for up to an hour. She doesn't even come in to check if we're still here. But this is only on days where it is sunny.....if it's raining.....she doesn't even like to go out to toilet.
She will happily lie in her 'free' bed, not the crate, or on a sofa in the sunshine, whether we are in the room or not.
We can't leave her unsupervised yet, she is still only just 18 weeks old, and will eat either a plant, curtain, cushion, or do a Houdini puppy protest toilet somewhere.
I work full-time. Husband semi retired. He does not tolerate the stress of the crate training well, so it is down to me.
we use doggy day care 3 days a week, and if we have to go to an event that she can't come to, we hire a sitter. We horse ride on Saturdays, and hire a sitter for that too. All of which is fine, but it's expensive. and I'd like to be able to go to dinner once in a while for an hour or two without having to plan it 3 days in advance and it costing sitter money. We have no kids at home, our kids are grown up and gone.
With the Saturday sitter, she seems to be fine with the crate and being perceived alone. No whining if the sitter leaves the room and she's crated for a nap. Doggy Day Care is also a positive dog training facility and they too have been working with her.
I think she is perfectly capable of being alone as she is happy to be in the garden.
I bring her to new places at least three times a week. Today, I took the whole day off and we went to a new pet store, and used escalators, successful!. She goes to dog parks, puppy hour weekly, the park beside our home, she is well socialised and has a group of neighbourhood dogs that she plays with in our local park. She is a confident happy dog that the puppy trainer is now using to help puppies that are less social and more anxious.
our last dog was not so well socialised, and we were terrible at the training, but we were able to leave her in the crate from day 1, and never really had to worry about leaving her if we wanted to go for dinner, (Dalmation).
The stress it's putting on our relationship is pretty bad right now. Husband is not coping well with semi retirement, and he feels that I am not pulling my weight with the dog care. (He is pretty unsociable, so part of the reason we got Maggie after 5 years of talking about it, was to get him out and about more. ). I run my own business....a lot of the time it is front facing clients, so I need to be able to go to work. I do take Maggie with me when appropriate, the guys in the office love having her in there, but it is unsustainable to be unable to leave her alone here and there for short periods.
I"m sorry for the long essay....I've talked with several trainers and behaviourists...no-one has an answer that seems to work. the previous threads I have read the majority of, but it's difficult to pull out the information that may help me break the habit that she just doesn't want to be alone during 'social' hours. She's pretty good at settling herself down, and I'm pretty good at sorting her when she has the zoomies so that she is calm again. She and I have a particularly strong bond, her bond with my husband is different, more for play and fun....I'm the 'boss'. (Though I also have fun with her.)
I just don't know what to do....we've tried all the tips, and have been for weeks now. None of it seems to be working. I have four days off at the end of this week for Easter....Friday - Tuesday. I would love to be able to get this down before returning to work next week. I will have to make a sales trip to LA soon, I won't be able to go if husband considers himself house bound while I'm away, and I need to go to get the work to pay for Maggie the Magyar's lifestyle.
thanks for patience reading and in advance. M