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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I posted a couple weeks ago about our new GSD who's almost 5, who was "supposed" to be crate trained, and is at night....but seems to go crazy in it during the day if I put her in it while I am out. She seems to be doing very well in her housebreaking, she'd never been in the house before we got her about a month ago. She'd always lived in a kennel. Anyways, she would "bang" into her crate, bend it, push the tray out, whatever she had to do to get out. I was so afraid of finding her hurt so I posted about that. I was told to zip tie the panels to reinforce them which was a great idea! Lately, when I leave for work, (only 6 hrs a day, 3 days a week), I have put her in our laundry room. She has water, bones to chew, toys, etc. in there. I also leave another one of our dogs in there with her to keep her company. I have been finding some damage however, just little stuff before, but today, she chewed my doorway, broke the plate on the light switch, etc. She also pulled some insulation off of the wall. She is a real sweetheart when with us, she's starting to become very protective with us too. She's a calm, laid back dog who loves long walks with my husband and i, loves chilling out with us too. She also goes to obedience classes once a week. Does this sound like separation anxiety? I'm sure maybe boredom too? Or just not wanting to be by herself? I am going to try the crate again, but it scares me to think what she will do to try to get out. I'm not sure about leaving her loose in the house while I am gone either, sometimes if I go out for an hour, I will leave her loose, she's okay but I do notice that she'll take a shoe or slipper out of a closet, a hat, just something to rearrange...Any advice would be great for a newbie to the GSD's like me. We have 2 rough coated collies who are 8 and a little pom who's 5, but I haven't experienced this yet! Thanks!
 

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I had trouble with our puppy and his crate initially. I asked our dog trainer for help. She told me to leave Brutus in his crate for 10-15 minutes after getting home. Wait for him to calm down. Don't let him out when he is hyper. If he's hyper give him a NO correction. If that doesn't help use a squirt bottle and a NO. She also recommended putting him in there for short intervals during the day like 5-15 minutes.

Both our dogs love their crates. That wasn't always the case. The second day we had Brutus he busted out of his crate!! We came home from going out to dinner to have him greet us at the door! Lol
 

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Sounds like separation anxiety, barring any other medical conditions. Or, maybe it's being confined? Our GSD has separation anxiety and crating her or trying to keep her in a room makes it 10x worse (as far as destruction goes).
The book "I'll be home soon" (little $5 booklet) by Patricia McConnell is helpful. SA has been a long and difficult path for us, hope it is easier for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your responses, I'm not sure what I am going to do with this situation, I asked the instructor at our obedience classes the other night if she had any advice, I told her how she is having trouble being confined in a crate or in our 12x12 laundry room. I told her she will fight to get out of whatever she's confined in and she suggested to leave her loose if I felt she would do better. I have housebroken her since I've had her for the last several weeks, she's pretty reliable, so I left her loose on Monday, she was fine except for taking a Lays potato chip bag off our kitchen counter and dragging it into the living room. The next day, I left her loose again. Made sure I let her out to do her morning pee AND poo, came home home 6 hours later from work and there was pee and poo on the family room floor. So....yesterday, I planned on trying small amounts of time in her crate while I was home. I put a couple of bones that she loves that she could "work" on while in the crate, and I left the room and cleaned my kitchen. About 20 minutes later, she came upstairs, she'd gotten out of the crate, squeezed through at the bottom of the door. She was panting and panting, and I noticed last night that she almost looks like the top of her nose is humped up like it is swollen. Sort of like it's curved on the top. She must've rubbed it like crazy somehow on the door to push through it. I don't know if maybe a solid plastic flight type crate would be better? But being confined is being confined! I don't know what to do...She might fight through the door of that type of crate too. I am so worried she will get hurt. I do have to have some way to confine her though, she is perfectly housebroken when we are home, I wonder if she went to the bathroom in the house the other day while I worked due to the separation problem she has. Any other suggestions? Sorry so long...thanks again for your replys...
 

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I am willing to bet it is a combination of being confined and separation anxiety, with the confinement amplifying the SA.

Nadia was exactly the way you describe your girl when she first came to me. Once I realized that she was an outside dog prior to coming here, it was much easier to manage her issues. First, I finally set up my chain link dog kennel. Leaving the dogs out there during the day provided a comfortable yet safe setting for her and her anxiety stopped almost instantly.

She was not house trained and often soiled indoors. It took time to get her on a schedule but that eventually stopped too. For awhile I used a product used for carpets in new homes-it is plastic and sticks to the carpet, to protect my carpet from accidents.

It is sometimes difficult for us to deal with some of the issues others have created by not caring for these dogs properly, but it can be done with patience and lots of love. Nadia about drove me crazy during the first 4-6 months, but I can not imagine life without her now. Zisso is a mellow boy for the most part which provides a good balance with Nadia's hyper personality. I have never been happier.

Kudos to you for adopting :)
 

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Is the crate covered at all? Covering a crate gives it a more secure feeling for the dog.

I'd also recommend working on just leaving the dog alone. Throughout the day just leave her for a couple of minutes in the house. No hellos, no goodbyes. Repeated, short intervals could aleviate some of the anxiety. She needs to learn that you do come back each time. Once she is comfortable for a minute or two, slowly increase the time.
 

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Difficult topic. Hard to believe a kennel raised dog would have problems in a crate and separation anxiety but it's true. We got a rescue last year that was 3 and had been a kennel dog. We left her in the crate when we went to work and when we got home the house was destroyed, she had broken out. My wife was so upset we returned her to the rescue organization. At 3, she was not house-broken (the organization said she was) and she had no concept of toys or playing. A few months later we got a GSD puppy so we could make our OWN mistakes rather than inheriting someone else's. Was sad that the rescue didn't work out, sad and disappointed. She did go to a good family, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your replys, Yes, I have the crate covered on two sides, one is against the wall, she does love little "den-like places because ever since we got her, she lays underneath all our couch-side tables, etc...Zisso, good suggestion about the kennel! I was wondering about that, if that'd be ok to put her into a kennel when I leave for short periods as long as I had cover for her and she was safe....The last few days, I have left her out loose in the house....our obedience trainer said "pick and choose your battles"...(not sure if I agree or not...) She said, if you trust her as far as being housebroken, (and I do but it's just been 5 weeks or so, so I want to make sure!) and if you are only worried about her carrying a shoe from one room to another, then try her loose....so I did...She pooped and peed the first time, mightve gotten up on the counter because there was a bread bag on the floor...but we've had pretty good luck the last few days. It's funny, when I first brought her home, she didn't mind the crate. I think she's so glad now to have an inside home with her people that she's fighting it now. She's German born and raised, shipped here to a breeder who decided not to use her in their breeding program. She stayed for two years in their kennel before they decided that. Other than this little "quirk", she's an awesome dog. She is a little shy however, somewhat skiddish...I must say very pretty too! : ) I am just confused as how to handle this problem as I know there has to be some way to confine her, for her safety as well as the houses safety!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Paddyd, I agree, hard to believe she wouldn't like the crate and not like to be confined, especially when she was in the situation she was in. The breeder is a good one, has beautiful dogs, titled, etc....They also train where she came from. (??) She is the perfect house dog in every other way when we are home, she's also been really easy to housebreak. No other complaints except for what to do with her when we leave for work... Glad your pup is working out well for you!
 
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