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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Looking for some suggestions on how to transition from in the crate while away to roaming around the house.

Jaxson is now 16 months, he stays in his crate when I am gone. When I am home, he roams as he pleases. At night he sleeps with me till he wants then goes to his crate on his own. When he's out he never gets into anything, doesn't chew anything other than his toys. But when I leave him in his crate with ANY type of bedding, I come back and he's chewed holes or eaten out padding/foam. This makes me think he's not ready. Oddly enough when he stays at my parents they leave his bedding in the entire time and he doesn't do anything to it?

Are there any tests or proper ways to transition your V to outside of the crate home alone?
 

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You are playing with fire if you leave a 16 month old home alone and uncrated....:eek

That he is fine when you are in the house is a function of your being in the house rather than his ability to tolerate the separation alone. Recall they are den animals and experience size and space a lot differently than we do...for them, a properly used crate isn't "Confinement" as much as it is security.
 

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@gingerling - I was concerned that would be the case. Is there an age where it’s possible they could stay out alone? Or should we say it’s case by case?
 

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It is case by case, although you can start by going out for very brief separations, like to throw the trash out or get the paper at the end of the driveway..and then build up slowly, maybe limiting freedom by putting a gate up and confining just to the kitchen.

Again, recall that if you've used the crate properly then they are not aversive to their time in it IF they are exercised before and they're not in there too long, say, more than 3-4 hrs... If he chews up the bedding, try other things...we use a couple of bath mats and AJ is fine with them, esp. since you can tuck them around the pan....and give him a Kong toy stuffed with frozen peanut butter for entertainment.

I understand your concern about the crate behavior, but it is symptomatic of some other cause, not the crate itself, and you should figure out what it is before letting him roam the house, the results of him showing the same distress in the house are incomprehensible!
 

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@gingerling - Yes, we do those brief separations. I will continue to keep that up. The gate was also a thought I had.

He doesn't mind his time in there, he goes there when he wants his space so it's a happy place. Yes, he's done with his walk/exercise before he goes in. He's also has a toy & water when he's in there.

It wasn't so much the behavior as thinking "isn't he old enough?". It sounds like this, as with most things with these dogs, takes more time. We will keep at it, thanks for your input.
 

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How long do you leave him in there for?

I would advise against leaving H2O in there, it starts the whole pee cycle and he could be agitated b/c he has to potty. Again, if it's just a couple/few hrs, he can go w/o water.

Try to not anthropomorphize the confinement too much, you're not leaving him in prison but rather his special, comfy room. Figure out what makes it less so rather than rush to leave him in the wide open spaces that are likely to scare him.
 
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