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My BC pup (6 months) is officially an indoor escape artist. I've tried multiple rooms and blockers yet he still gets out. The only thing that keeps him in is a pressure gate (stacked 2 high) that is braced against the door jam. The way my house is set up though, just blocking entryways with door jams gives him too big of an area (He started going potty indoors with the large area). I thought I had him contained in a good area with the back of a couch blocking the first 4ft of height and chairs and a cargo net blocking the rest. I learned today that was an extremely naive setup as he chewed through the net and made an accurate jump through a space between the chairs (and had the audacity to be back into the area I wanted him to be in when I got home!).

 

He does have separation anxiety issues that are getting better. He hasn't done his usual freakout when I leave in about a week but he is obviously trying to get out. He does like his crate but I can't stand the thought of leaving him in there for 4-5 hours at a time.

 

Any suggestions on containing my beast?

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To be honest, at this age and at this level of mischievousness, I don't think 4-5 hours in a crate is a terrible thing. You can leave him with a good chew toy or a Kong with frozen peanut butter and he'll be okay.

I would worry that the risks of him getting hurt or ingesting something dangerous are far too great. There's just so much in a home that a busy youngster can chew or swallow or get into. For now, for his safety, I would suggest just crating him for those 4 or 5 hours. Most dogs take naps that long, anyhow and it won't do him any lasting injury.

Best of luck!

~ Gloria
P.S.
If he likes his crate, that's half your battle. The only one whose feelings are being hurt ... is you! ;)

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I also vote crate. Quinn spent all day in a crate when I was at work, with a break at lunch for potty and play. He had time before work for play, plus a walk. After work we trained, played, walked and hung out. I liked knowing he (and all my possessions) were safe when I left the house. :)

 

ETA What a cutie! I love his freckles!

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Then play crate games (do an internet search for this), feed him in his crate, etc.

 

There's no need for a dog to associate a crate solely with being alone. My dogs love their crates. I have 2 crates out with open doors all the time and three dogs. As often as not, 2 of the crates are occupied.

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I crated all my dogs as puppies when I was at work and they all like crates, going into them willingly to snooze or hang out. My old Sheltie took over the Lhasa's fancy Cabana Crate (a super nice mesh crate no longer sold). It is her favorite place to rest other than lying by my feet. Last year she decided she wanted to sleep there at night rather than on the bed as she had done all her life. Sometimes I look at one of the dogs nestled in a comfy crate, no one bugging them, and feel a little jealous, :lol:

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My only concern is that he'll start to associate the crate as the place he goes when I leave and start to not like it as much.

 

 

Agree with Gentlelake. Make the crate an even better place. Feed his meals in there. Give him treats in there. Put him in for no reason and give him a treat or toy, then go do something out of his sight for 15 minutes or half an hour. Then come let him out.

 

But don't make a big deal when you put him in or let him out, just be casual and matter-of-fact. Make everything about his crate low key and matter-of-fact. It's just a thing that happens sometimes, ho-hum, no big deal and no particular pattern. Taking his meals in there will make it even homier.

 

I cannot emphasis enough the safety factor in this. A young dog with some separation anxiety can build to worse behaviors. You don't want to come home and discover he's been electrocuted from playing with power cords, or that he's decide to tear up sofa cushions or trash, and he now needs very expensive surgery to get polyester stuffing or plastic bags out of his gut.

 

Please. For his safety. Make the crate an even better thing. If he already likes it, it will not be hard to make it even more enticing when All Good Things happen in the crate. Two of my three dogs voluntarily sleep in their crates with the doors open. That's their den. It can be the same for your boy, too. :)

Respectfully,

 

Gloria

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Then play crate games (do an internet search for this), feed him in his crate, etc.

 

There's no need for a dog to associate a crate solely with being alone.

 

Excellent point. I feed my puppies in their crate and always give a little treat when I send them to the crate. The Lhasa is the only one who sometimes is briefly crated and I still give him a small cookie when he goes in. That is probably why he will run through 2 rooms and jump into the crate when I give him the command.

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My only concern is that he'll start to associate the crate as the place he goes when I leave and start to not like it as much.

 

This can work the other way around. My Dean Dog started to associate the crate as the place he went when I left and, once he earned his freedom, he would often crate himself when it was time for me to go. He liked going in there and I guess he thought it was a good place to be when I was leaving. He will actually do it to this day if there happens to be a crate in the house with an open door! And he's going on 8 now!

 

I did feed his meals in the crate when he first came here, and I always popped a few treats in with him when I would put him in the crate for the day (even if that was just a few pieces of kibble).

 

But I really think the reason he came to like it so much was that it provided him with structure. I know it doesn't seem very pleasant to us humans, but I can honestly say that all of my dogs love crates and are able, if necessary, to spend time in one. Even though they are all loose in the house now, it has been a very good life skill for all of them at various and sundry times.

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Of course it is good advice, meals, treats etc in the crate, I don´t disagree.

But I myself have never really bothered, always just just put the puppy in there. And he doesn´t mind the crating at all now, takes his naps there and hangs out in it of his on.

-maybe good to add that I did start it at a much younger age-

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Another good thing about crates is if you ever need to put your dog on crate rest, it will make the confinement easier on him.

 

Some people just don't like crates and that's ok. I wasn't so sure with the first dog I crated and used it minimally. The next dog was such a destructive chewer, I became a quick believer before he destroyed my house. Since then, I have never looked back.

 

I think crates are used much less in Europe. Years ago, a big Agility name from the UK insisted on an email list that anyone who crated their dogs was cruel and selfish. We did manage to raise puppies without crates once upon a time. I simply can't imagine doing so anymore. Or maybe I can imagine it and shudder. Whatever, I personally find a crate essential to living with a puppy or new dog.

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I learned with my severe chewer- Aussie Shepherd female pup (long gone over the Bridge by now) about how wonderful it is to crate train. I was very much against crate training, until I came home from work one day to find that this girl had pulled the ENTIRE carpet and padding from my living room. Wall to wall was in in SHREDS. Can't punish the dog, I'm the one that left her out to do it! She was about 4 months old when she did that, and I never left her out of her crate unsupervised again. She grew up happy and healthy, and I was happy coming home to an intact house.

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I'll add my vote for using a crate, I used one with my youngster when he was a puppy he slept in one till he was a year old and was crated when we left him during the day until 18 months. I used the crate when we were home for naps and time outs so he did not think of it as a place just when we left, it was just his place.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm still not 100% sold on crating all the time but will definitely look into doing it more. The room he can escape into is also blocked off and puppy proofed so he is not in any danger of getting ahold of anything dangerous to him. He just uses the bathroom in it because it's too big.

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I had a dog who hated being crated and used to cry and scream if he was crated and anything else was happening. I did many of the exercises in Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD and it made a HUGE difference. He is happy to crate up, is quiet when crated (except when he knows I am tracking with the other dog, but I guess we all have a thresh hold) and will happily stay in a crate with the door open until released.

 

So it might help with the barrier issue too.

 

I also agree that many dogs prefer crates as they provide security and structure, especially if your pup is anxious.

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One caveat: please do not force the crate if being confined in it causes him undue distress, or he cannot be lured or cued to enter it (i.e., you have to manually force him into it). Many dogs with separation anxiety have confinement anxiety as well. We've seen dogs injured severely trying to escape from crates (breaking teeth, lacerating themselves, ripping off nails), and there have been a few (none that I've ever seen, but I've heard about from colleagues) that killed themselves trying to break out of a crate. Video tape him when you're gone: if he conks out after finishing his food toy, then great, no worries. If he spends the entire time vocalizing or digging or salivating, and refuses to eat, then get help.

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The OP said the dog likes his crate, but that she or he doesn't like the idea.

 

FWIW, it's going to be your best option for preventing his soiling in the house and eventually having a reliably house trained dog sooner rather than later. The longer he practices going in the house, the harder it will be to break him of the habit, especially when you're not home.

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The OP said the dog likes his crate, but that she or he doesn't like the idea.

 

FWIW, it's going to be your best option for preventing his soiling in the house and eventually having a reliably house trained dog sooner rather than later. The longer he practices going in the house, the harder it will be to break him of the habit, especially when you're not home.

 

When he's left alone in a small enough area this isn't a problem. He just started doing it once I started leaving him in a larger area. My main motivation for leaving him in a room is so I can slowly expand his area as he does well so he learns things like not going potty when I'm not around. I think it's also helped with the crate training because it directs him to choose the crate since it's the best spot to lay down and sleep in the containment area.

 

I just like the idea of letting him be able to make choices while I'm gone. Leave the crate to chew the bone in the corner, go chew on the kong, don't pee, go back in the crate for another nap, etc. And as I am able to leave him in larger areas he gets more choices to make. Just the conclusion I've come to based on the stuff I've read and seen. I'm sure any method is fine as long as it's consistent.

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Well, you can obviously do whatever you want, but imo a 6 month old puppy's too young to be permitted to make choices like that. Seems to me his getting out of the "confined" areas and soiling in the house would be pretty good evidence of that. :P

 

ETA: Allowing puppies too much freedom to make their own choices at a very young age is a major reason so many of them end up in rescue. Like any youngster, they need to be taught appropriate behavior, which isn't something you can do when you're not there. Pups left to their own devices don't have any guidance to help them make good choices.

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You definitely have to do what you are comfortable with and I agree that consistency is the key. Most people on these boards (including myself) see the crate as an incredibly useful tool for potty training and for the overall safety of a young puppy when left alone. Crate training is also good in case you plan to travel and it prepares the dog for situations when it may have to be confined for long periods of time (resting after an injury, an overnight vet visit, boarding away from home, etc.). It's a bonus that crates can also protect furniture and other property from getting decimated by little land sharks. ;)

 

But just because many of us are comfortable using a crate for extended periods of time doesn't mean you have to be. I like your idea of expanding his "freedom" by allowing the puppy more room to roam as he earns the privilege. I lived in a maze of baby gates when my boy was very young and he, very gradually, earned his freedom around the house.

 

I apologize if this has already been suggested, but you might consider getting an exercise pen. I think you can find some that easily expand to a larger size if you add more panels. You could set it up around his crate. It would restrict the size of the area (hopefully preventing "accidents") but still give him some room to romp and play a little bit. Over time, you could continue to expand the space around his crate as he proves he can handle it without having any "accidents". Eventually, once the entire room is open to him, you could use the exercise pen to block off the next room. I should compliment you on your very creative room blockade from the original post. It may not be nearly as impressive a thing to behold, but setting up an exercise pen as a barrier before you leave the house might be easier. ;)

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"Liking a crate" when someone is home with him, which is what some people mean when they just say a dog likes his crate, does *not* mean he'll like or even tolerate it in their absence. But from their later posts, it sounds like this pup used to be crated and tolerate that in the OP's absence, which is great. 6 months may be too young to graduate for him, but at least 4-5 hours is not too bad for a dog that truly tolerates/enjoy crating in his owner's absence. Especially if he sleeps the entire time (video!).

 

 


"The OP said the dog likes his crate, but that she or he doesn't like the idea.

 

FWIW, it's going to be your best option for preventing his soiling in the house and eventually having a reliably house trained dog sooner rather than later. The longer he practices going in the house, the harder it will be to break him of the habit, especially when you're not home."

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I would really like a pen, I just haven't seen any over 48" high which would not be enough. Finding something like that was my reason for starting this thread. Are there taller ones available?

 

The issue really is just keeping him in the area. His behavior was great for 2 weeks inside that setup. He just grew a little more and really explored his options one night when we had a visiting puppy over that we were separating for a bit. The next day is when he figured out his escape because of what he had probably learned the night before when he REALLY wanted to get out.

 

I really appreciate the replies and I hope no one thinks I'm blowing off their ideas. I've just observed since having him that as long as he is in a small inescapable area he does well. He just gets bigger though so I have to redefine inescapable!

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