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Leaving your puppy
by Sue
Leaving your puppy I FEEL TERRIBLE!! Our "Maggie" is 14 weeks old and we have heard for 4 weeks. She is "pretty much" housebroken, inasmuch as we haven't "discovered" any accidents for the last week and she goes to the door to be let out. The "Problem" right now is that she is put in her "kennel cab - medium size" when she is left alone during the day, which is normally for about 2 - tops 3 hours in the morning and maybe 1 - 2 hours in the afternoon several days a weeks, but that is about it. My mother lives with husand and I and is home in between her activities, meetings, etc. The other night though we all three went out together to a party and had to put in her den at 7:00 until we got home at 10:00 p.m. Her little face and front paws were completed drenched and she had chewed holes all over the towel that we in the den. It was PATHETIC!! I felt like the biggest creep!!! She was so excited to see us, but not the same way as she is in the day. It was heart wrenching!!! She always is a little "wired" at night for a few hours to begin with, racing around in circles and barking; getting carried away with her chewing turning into biting, etc. So I was concerned to begin with leaving her alone during those hours -- and boy was I right! Do you think she would do bettr enclosed in a room than the pen? She is a bit spoiled and very use to being with someone at all times and she sleeps with us at night. I'm running out of towels for her to shred in her den!! HELP!!!


Sue, I got Buster at 14 weeks old. He sleeps in our small bathroom at night. I first put his bed and newspapers down. He used them for a few weeks then held it. During the day he is in our master bathroom and I did the same thing. When I leave for work in the morning he gets a Kong Toy with yummies in it to occupy him. He actually knows when I am ready to leave to go to the bathroom. He has water & his bed & toys. He used the newspapers during the day at first and now he holds it all day. I know alot of people use a crate but I haven't had a problem doing it this way. He is now almost 7 months old and doing great! Hope this helps.
Libby & Buster

Sue: Until she learns how to behave in her crate, do not let her out while you are gone. She will be in danger of harming herself as well as distroying your stuff. If she continues to chew the towels, don't give her one. Both my girls were crate trained and Shayna had to be recreate trained until she learned how to behave while we were gone. I have had times where she was left in the crate for 6 and 7 hours. It was her fault, she deminstrated poor behaviour and left us with no choice. She is once again given her freedom and is behaving herself. There is spoiling and endangerment. Please wait until you are sure she will not hurt herself, what if she chewed an electric cord instead of a towel. Don't feel guilty about the crate, both Shayna and KoKo love to go into the crate especially in bad weather. It's there private home. Good luck hope I have helped you.
Hi Sue, I think you would be better off confining Maggie to a small area while you are away instead of her crate. She sounds like she is scared to death in the crate. That's why her face was probably wet - from crying. She shreds the towels maybe because of boredom, anger, frustration. Do you leave a Nylabone in her crate with her? That would probably stop the towel shredding if she feels a need to chew.I keep my dog's in the kitchen with a baby gate up and leave them their water and dry food out. I also leave the radio on and they all have their beds in there. If they need to chew they have their Nylabone's. They have more room in the kitchen to play, eat, sleep than they would in a small crate. Try it and see how it goes and let us know if you decide to do this how it went. Good Luck!
This is Sue again. Sorry for the typos in my posted message, I just took the time to re-read it. No we have not "heard" for 4 weeks, we "have had her" for 4 weeks, and I think the other typos are self-explanatory!!! I also want to add to my message, that, yes, we do leave chewie toys in her den for her, but she seems to be so distressed that she prefers to chew holes in the towel that we lay down for her inside. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have to make Maggie's "penned up" times less stressful!!!
First of all Sue, stop kicking yourself about leaving her. It's important to get them used to spending time alone while they are young, and I'm sure you didn't leave her just to be mean. She may sense your anxiety which is making it harder for her. As for the wetness and chewing: you don't say what she was wet with.. was it water, urine, or was she so worked up she salivated all over herself? If it was water, simple solution is don't put bowl in crate if you are only gone for a couple of hours. If urine, you may want to do away with the crate and confine her to a hard floored room (bathroom, kitchen, etc.) with paper down for accidents.. she's just a baby and 3 hours may still be a bit too long for her to hold it. The towel shreding and overly hyper greeting leads me to believe its anxiety though. You have to calm down yourself first of all. Don't make a big deal over coming and going. One word of good bye (if you must) and just go, ignoring her. When you come home, ignore her until she quiets down, then greet her calmly. I know this is hard, and it sounds cruel, but for the dog it is much better. They learn that coming and going of their families is no big deal. They are still happy to see you, but learn they have to be quiet and calm if they are going to get attention. This will greatly reduce training problems in the future. Also, instead of a towel, give her a nice chew toy to play with.. something amusing for her. (You could find a heavier blanket, something she can't shred so easily for her to lie on). She's a little too young for bones, but a nylabone or soft toy is fine. Some people have spoke of Kong toys which have little treats for them to find. This sounds like a great distractor for when you are leaving.. but she may be too young for this type of toy. Also, leave a ticking clock or a radio or TV on. This makes them feel less alone and helps calm them down. What helped with my dogs was tiring them out about a half hour before we left(playing, long walk, run in the backyard), so that when we left the dog was pooped.. They'd just sleep until we got back. Good luck with her, and don't worry.. this is actually fairly normal behavior for them.
Sue, is a kennel-cab one of those hard plastic carriers with a handle on top and air holes on the sides? If so, you might try a regular, wire crate. I have 2 that are collapsible and fold up like suitcases. (Great for traveling.) They are much more open and provide more of a sense of freedom. One is 18" x 24". The other is 2' x 3'. Rudy was kept in the little one during the day until recently (he's 5 mos.). We now leave that one in the bedroom and is used only at night for sleeping. He recently graduated to the larger one for whenever we're out of the house and he's quite content. A big dog pillow fills one end and I have a door mat type carpet on the other. I make sure there is fresh water, chewies and a favorite stuffed toy to snuggle. Early on, I also wrapped a tick-tock clock in a towel. Now I leave on soft music. I just got my April issue of Dog Fancy and there are a lot of puppy related articles in it. There's also one about music soothing a stressed out pet. There's my 2 cents. Good luck.
I still have this adversion to dogs being in crates. True, they need to be used to them for vet visits, etc., but if I were a dog I would hate being cooped up in a crate all day or even for a few hours. The idea of the kitchen sounds better so at least there is room and nothing to get hurt on. You need to puppyproof. Taffy has always been allowed free reign of the house, and when she was a baby she was taught then what was acceptable and what was not. Its not easy, but they learn quick. I should not tell on myself, but when I was 4 years old my Mom got mad at me and put me in her bedroom. I did not want to be there by myself, alone and mad. So I took a pair of sissors and cut up her silk bedspread. I felt bad afterwards but I certainly got attention. Maybe with these fur babies it's the same type of reaction to being placed in a "room/crate", left alone. Or, maybe I am just extremely lucky and have a good Maltese. Although she is rarely left alone, she has been before when it was impossible to take her. All she has ever torn up is a kleenex, just one, I suppose to let me know she did not like it.
Robin K.
I agree with keeping your puppy in the crate. I have the stainless steel wire crate which allows my baby to see out and a water bowl that is bolted on to prevent spills. He sleeps in it every night and stays there when I cannot bring him with me. I have left him for as much as 4-5 hours at a time and he has been just fine. Your baby will be much safer and you won't have to worry about accidents or your furnishings. Eventually, she will stay dry in the crate.
April B.
I prefer the small room to a crate while you're gone. That gives the pup room to get up walk around, play with toys, eat, drink, or potty. It's nice if you have room to leave the crate in the room with the door open. Have you considered getting another puppy? In this day when most of us need to be absent from the home for many hours each day, it is nice to have 2 dogs. They are great company for each other when we're gone and you will have lots less guilt. I never worried when I was gone because my dogs just loved each other. When one would run to the window and bark, the other ran to see what was going on. Now I have only one. Max' companion died last year. I always say if there's anything cuter and more wonderful than one dog, it's two. You get twice the love and double the fun.
Thanks for the concerned input. This is such a "support group"! We moved Maggie's crate by the sliding glass door and in view of the TV turned on low today, & she was dry as a bone after a 2 hour leave. Maybe this will help!!?? I bought a "Konga" toy today too thinking that would help. Do you fill it with squeezable cheese? What kind? Also, what kind of chew bones would be good to leave in her crate that would be worry free of her choking on any part of it, but offer her something to get her mind off of being penned up? I don't want you to think that she suffers any lasting anxiety after being penned up or that she is a whinny dog. On the contrary, she thinks she is a lion & is not whimpy in any way. She is a love - but at the same time a little dickens!! I feel really secure with her, I just don't want the anxiety of feeling like a real creep leaving her alone and thinking she is going nuts when she has to be crated. On the other hand, I would NEVER compromise her safety with letting her roam free just to make myself feel better, and finding that she hurt herself while giving her freedom. Bottom line, I know she will "get over it" and be okay, I just want to make sure I am doing everything I can to make her "confinement" as stress free as possible. Thanks again for the loving concern.
Sue, so glad to hear Maggie is doing better. Doesn't it just tear your heart out? There are a couple of good "threads" down the list on treats. One is entitled "Rawhide, good or bad?" and the other, "Favorite treats". My guys love the new carrot treats by Nylabone. I definitely wouldn't give rawhide. Good luck.

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