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Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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Default Crate Anxiety

Anyone have any suggestions on sudden crate anxiety?

Journey was absolutely fine in her crate, but I think I accidentally ruined it all by having to leave her in it longer than she was used to last Friday. :-(

Last Friday I came home to find that she scraped some skin off of her nose and her chest was a little damp and the door bars were a little wet. Then on Saturday I had to put her in it again just for an hour, and came home to a soaking wet dog and her nose was re-injured. Then tonight we just got home from dinner out, only gone for a couple of hours, and her whole chest/neck is wet, there was a puddle of drool inside, the door was wet, and her nose is all red again. I could hear her barking and whining anxiously when we got to the front door. She was quiet as soon as she heard the key, though.

I had a dog with crate anxiety and it's awful. All of my other dogs except for that dog though have been fine in their crates. Happily go in them, sleep comfortably, they love them. Journey is perfectly happy to enter her crate as well and she's fine in it at night time and she was fine for the first 10 minutes I put her in it tonight before she left.

I think what's happening is that she hears us leave and then freaks out. She doesn't have separation anxiety otherwise, but suddenly she doesn't like being left in her crate with nobody around. And this just can't continue, as there are plenty of places she will need to be crated and I can't have her drooling all over herself and making noise.

Any ideas?

I've been crating her while I'm home off and on and rewarding for quiet, but she never worries because she knows I'm home I guess. Other than this one thing, she's absolutely perfect, but this is a pretty big thing that I'd like to get a handle on before it worsens or continues.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:42 PM
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Cali Mae Cali Mae is offline
Little dog, big voice
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Canada
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Cali had started to do something similar, except she had, and has had, the same schedule since her second day home. She'd basically start yowling and screeching, for lack of a better word, as soon as she clued in. She'd also start flailing around and getting bitey, plus she'd try pushing all the food from her dish.

I followed the suggestions I got here and started leaving four to five high value treats in her dish. Now, she doesn't make a peep and we have enough time to leave without her throwing a fit. The food also manages to stay in the bowl unlike before, when it would be scattered everywhere. A xpen was also suggested to me so I will likely be buying one come the summer.

The two and a half year old papillon. Crazy. Social butterfly. Clever.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:58 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
Priscilla Winifred Corgi
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Manners Minder? It was suggested to me during Siri's crate issues by SaraB. Especially if you can set it up so that she thinks you are gone (I would get ready to leave, walk to the door and open it, then quietly sit down by the door so I could hear her) but you can continue to reward her for calm behavior.

Journey is perfectly happy to enter her crate as well and she's fine in it at night time and she was fine for the first 10 minutes I put her in it tonight before she left.
That is how Siri is as well. When I go to leave she puts herself in her crate so she can have her kong, and she goes in it herself for bedtime as well. I think she was doing the same thing, she'd finish her kong then be like CRAP! They're gone! I want out!!

I still can't guarantee that Siri isn't screaming sometimes, but I know she's not screaming the WHOLE time we are gone anymore, but this is what worked for us.
Initially we put her in a crate that was large enough for a bed, pee pads, some room for playing with toys. Bad idea. That made it worse. The expen made it even worse. She is in her tiny crate now (well, her bedtime crate), which I feel bad about because I'm always worried if she doesn't potty right before going into the crate that she would have to lie in it. But obviously it calms her down.

We also totally cover her with a sheet. I figure less visual stimulation is better at this point. We started covering her at night as well. I did a lot to try and make my leaving time as close to what bedtime felt like as possible, since I knew she was absolutely fine at bedtime.

Music! We play music pretty loud every time we leave. I really don't want her to be able to hear anyone/thing in the hallway and think that it's reinforcement for screaming. I also don't want her to hear the front door open/close, because if she starts screaming when I come in the front door, I have to wait for her to settle in her crate again, and she is d@mn persistent!!

Do you wear her out before you put her in? At least for the short term, right now I try everything in my power to wear her out before she hits the crate. Long walks, serious brain games and tug sessions. Lots of gogogo in the morning. We will walk to Petco, hang out there and train, then walk home. If I time it badly and there is downtime before I leave and she tries to lie down, I poke her and make her get up and DO something. I do not plan on it being like this long term, I can't sustain this schedule for long term! lol But for right now I feel like it teaches her that when she is calm and relaxed in her crate, mom will eventually come home. Mom NEVER comes home when she is screaming. Ever. EVER. I stood outside my apartment door one night for over 45 minutes waiting for her to shut up so I could come in.

I was/am really unsure whether Siri's issue was a tantrum or real anxiety. My best guess is that it started out as a tantrum and was turning into REAL anxiety before we figured out how to help her.

And lastly (((((HUGS)))))!! When Siri first started this I freaked out (well, I was sure we were going to get noise complaints and she was going to have to go back to Lynn) and was SOOOOO upset over the whole thing. I think I cried for a whole evening straight on that 45 minute wait night. But remember that you are catching it way early, she's a smart dog, and you guys will totally figure it out!

Ado's Gimme Victory RL1* "Siri"
2 year old Jack Russell Terrier
Gimme Drugs Not Hugs RL1 "Frodo"
8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:12 PM
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Fran101 Fran101 is offline
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Radio and covering his crate plus a kong really helps around here.

Merlin doesn't really have crate anxiety but he did have that same "oh I love my crate, love it for bed time, fine when you are around..HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING???" thing when he heard me leaving.

I cover his crate and turn the radio on while I'm getting ready. And sometimes I cover it while I'm home.. at this point I honestly think he doesn't really KNOW when I'm there vs really gone lol so he doesn't bark/cry anymore

The lack of visual stimulation and the sort of 'white noise' of the radio so he isn't stressing over every little noise.. does the trick. The noise might just be her reacting to every little noise like "ARE YOU HOME?? IS THAT YOU?? HEY! HEY" if she can't hear little noises, she might just be quieter.

((HUGS)) try not to stress. You know how these things are with pups.. it's a huge issue and then it's nothing lol they are at a weird age.

Disclaimer: I work for Trupanion and love it/our policy! But I do not speak for the company or as the company.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:43 AM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
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Is she crated next to any of the other dogs? I've found that having a "friend" for a crated dog tends to help.

Morado Dobermans... and Talla the Mexidog too! (group photo pending)
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:01 PM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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Thanks guys! Sometimes I'd swear I'd never had a dog before haha. She's just so awesome that I see one little quirk and am like "omg! what did I do?!". And being good in a crate is super important too, so hopefully I'll get her back to where she was. I used to come home to find her passed out upside down on her back and she was all "Oh, hey! You're home now. That's cool.", so to see her visibly upset about it now is just so weird. All I can envision is coming home to Tango for 4 years and having her drenched in drool each and every time. I just can't do that again, so have to find a way to fix this. Especially if she's to be crated at trials and shows and hotel rooms. It's important at home obviously as well, but also when we're away.

I leave her with a stuffed Kong normally, but left her with a knuckle bone the last couple of times. But she still worries even with those. Not sure if a Manners Minder would work for her crate? I've never used one before and don't know if I'd have a use for one in the future, but she has a Vari Kennel and it sounds like most people who use Manners Minders have wire crates?

I'm going to try covering the door with a sheet and see if that helps. That's what I do at Flyball practice so she doesn't get worked up about me working with Dance and it helps a lot there, so maybe it would at home as well.

Currently she's crated alone in my bedroom with the radio on (which I'll make louder), but I think I can trust her at bed time not to be crated so I might move her crate down to where Dance and Ripley's are. There's no way I can fit another crate into my bedroom, so in order for her to be with other dogs, her crate would have to move into the basement.

I try to wear her out before I leave her but I don't think it helps very much. According to my brother who she keeps waking up, she starts screaming about a half hour after I leave but he can hear her whining slightly before that. I think it starts out as a tantrum as well and escalates into anxiety. I think she thinks she can break out if she tries hard enough, as she recently discovered that she can break out of an expen (and got put right back in), so now it seems like she thinks she can break out of any barrier just because.

I don't know. I'm sure it's not as big of a deal as it seems to me right now and that we'll work through it. I know a lot more now than when I had the dog who never crated well, but there's always those things that play in the back of one's mind.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:31 AM
paws24 paws24 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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I never had issue with my dog with anxiety,
when I left her alone.. she's totally fine when I came back.
she's so excited but can't see any single chewed things or hurting herself
or even scratch on the door.

she was just too natural and smart and big girl :-)
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:05 AM
porchpotty porchpotty is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 259

Have you heard of aromatherapy for dogs? You can try this. For loneliness and anxiety, blend 5 drops of cypress, 5 drops of marjoram, and 1 drop of rose otto essential oils with a base oil. Apply lightly to the head and spine. Reapply as needed.
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