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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't posted in a while, but thought, I'd update, especially having seen all of the continuing discussion on the crate.

After many, many weeks of attempting to desensitise Maggie to the crate so we can leave the house. We've given up. We tried:
leaving the door open, going out of sight, opening and closing doors, reinforcing with treats. Longest time we managed...5 minutes.
crate training with a professional trainer for a week in our home. They didn't manage either.
Frozen Kong in the crate, and only in the crate.
Feeding in the crate and only in the crate.
putting her in the crate and pottering around. Managed 4 minutes of no 'shouting'.
Putting her in the crate, leaving and returning in 5 minutes.
leaving music on, radio on, TV on.
DAP spray
Specific hi value toys only in the crate.
Since she is quite happy to go into the crate at night to sleep....we tried crating her in our bedroom. 3 minutes. (Gave that one up quickly as we didn't want to create a bad experience with night time.)
Got Doggy Day Care to crate her for naps during day. She didn't like that either. They even just left the crate open for her...which she would potter in and out of through the day, but never staying in for longer than a few minutes.

Saturday evening, we could not get anyone to sit with her so we could go to dinner. Set up Dog Monitor on the iPad and phone, shut the living room door, bedroom and laundry room doors, and left her with food and toys. She howled for about 10 minutes, then settled, with intermittent barking. Stayed out for 55 minutes.

Sunday evening, gave her the full run of the downstairs, including the living room, apart from laundry and downstairs office/bedroom/bathroom. She watched us leave, barked for 10 minutes, then settled down on the couch, we stayed out for 90 minutes and had dinner.

Monday evening, as we were on a roll, to keep it up, we headed to the pub for a drink and left her for 40 minutes. Bit of barking...but then she settled.

We've been doing this when she is tired out from the day. Yesterday for example we went for a woodland hike, ending up at a pond, where she went for a paddle and then was chased by the swans and ducks out of the water. 馃槀.

So, we have decided to just give up on the crate during the daytime. We are happy that if we can get out for dinner once or twice over the weekend even for 90 minutes, that this will do....as she gets older, we feel we'll be able to leave her during the day. She is not that destructive really...her biggest thing is to grab something that belongs to us, that she is not allowed, run off with it, then come back to 'show' it in the hope that we'll chase her. (Probably a habit from doggy daycare.). I have to admit though, that the personality is really coming through now...she is such a riot, and we are having so much fun with her. When told no, or ah ah, her response is to bark while flicking her head side to side......

Some photos from our, short, hike in the woods yesterday, her sofa snooze Saturday evening and what we came home to yesterday evening.

I know the crate is safer.....but we've been trying since February to successfully crate train her, with at least 30 minutes every day devoted to it...and it just wasn't working for us.
 

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Thanks for your post. We've had our own crate issues, but are slowly getting better with fixing our night time crate routine problem. (I posted this fiasco on another crate problem post) I think you're right when you say things will get better as they grow up, as I saw this first hand with our son's V.
When we went out to dinner recently, our 7 month old boy busted out of his crate! He had an amazing treat and had gone on a long hike. He just hates the crate, especially in the daytime. He didn't get into anything, so we are hopeful that if we leave him, he should/could be fine.
Their crazy personalities do make us love them, in spite of these behaviors!
 

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I had to resort to pup in the crate in the car...cool days or nights. When there was no plan B.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so, a quick update....have now left her a few times during the day for an hour here and there....no issues. Last night we had to go to dinner with clients, which took 2 hours...she didn't settle at all, but didn't destroy anything. She should have been fine as she'd been at doggy day care, and so was pretty tired out. but I think the issue was that I had been gone all of the previous day from 9am to 1am the next day, and she was pretty clingy to me. We have to go out this evening, so a sitter is booked, as it's a party and we will be out too long, we don't feel happy about leaving her for more than an hour.

but I have never met a more stubborn dog. the only place she is not allowed to cuddle on is our bed. But she is determined to get onto our bed, preferably on top of me.....ignores the 'off' command, refuses to make eye contact, makes herself limp if I start to push her off, or will push back on me with her front paws, if I move her off the bed. every session of 'off' is over 20 minutes...she just doesn't give in, but then neither to I, so let the tenacity battle begin. 馃槀.
(seriously though, any tips on how to convince her that she can't come up on to our bed will be gratefully received.)

Happy that we can proceed now with leaving her here and there for short periods uncrated...and she is still happily trotting in to her crate to sleep at night.
 
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