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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Indy is 4.5 months, and we're working on crate training and potty training.

He has a small crate to stay in during the day while my husband and I are at work. I've been coming home at lunch and letting him outside to potty and for play time.

Today, we setup our webcam so that I could watch him while I'm at work and see how he's doing. I turned it on at lunch today, and after about 2 hours, he is barking, digging, and chewing on the wire gate of the crate. For the first two hours, he was mostly sleeping with a little moving around, but now he's definitely trying very hard to get out of the crate.

It's breaking my heart, but I don't know what else we can do. He has some toys in there with him, and a chew toy too, but he doesn't seem interested in anything but getting out. (I wish I could see on the camera if our cats are nearby and causing his desire to get out!)

Once we get home, he has supervised play time until we go to bed, and he's only in his x-pen while we're eating dinner. Ideally, I'd like to leave him in the x-pen while we're at work, but we are trying to train him to potty outside, so I feel like that might be counter productive right now.
 

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i would just give it some time, honestly. Did you turn the radio or tv on for him when you leave? He's used to being crated, but he is in a new place with a new routine, so he just needs to work out the new routine. Maybe give him a Kong while you are gone?

hope it improves! Must make you feel horrible watching him!
 

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Hi Brie ...

From what you have shared, I guess my concern would be that Indy might be injured if he fights too hard to get out of his crate. You shared that the crate has a wire gate.

When our Snowball was around four months old ... we tried helping Snowball with his separation anxiety by seeking the help of a dog trainer. It was a large well known franchise ... however, it didn't work for us. In fact, it was a husband and wife team who totally disagreed with one another on the training for Snowball ... so, it went from one extreme to another. With that, we hired a vet behaviorist that was highly recommended by our vet.

I'm sharing our experience because I think each dog is different with how he might react to training ... if he has issues such as separation anxiety. I cannot speak as a professional vet or vet behaviorist ... however, my husband and I have learned the hard way what is best for Snowball in regard to a crate environment.

Below are pictures of Snowball ... after we trusted the advice of the first trainers to let him alone for an hour in his crate. We were instructed to go out for an hour ... I regret that to this day. For Snowball, as you will see, it was terribly traumatic ... not only to Snowball, but, for his Mommi and Poppi, too. Still, when I look at these pictures it makes me cry. After we comforted Snowball ... we gave him a bath because he was drenched from the stress.

Snowball does wonderful when he is not in a too confined space ... I mean by himself.

I guess I would suggest if you can, that you might want to seek the advice of your vet, for a recommended trainer ... one that preferably has experience with smaller dogs.

I wish you the best of luck. I can sense your pain in worrying about Indy. He is adorable. And, you are such a loving and caring, Mommy. :tender:

Painful pictures of Snowball after he was in the crate alone for one hour when he was about four months old. The tearstains in the pictures were stress related, too. : (
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Snowball Pie!

I'm not sure that Indy has separation anxiety.... I think he was just bored and that possibly the cats were nearby. (He's really in love with my cat Dexter). As Stacy mentioned, he is used to being crated, but he's used to having the other puppies nearby too.

I am going to try leaving a kong with some peanut butter tomorrow, and see how that goes. I also forgot to leave the radio on today, so tomorrow I will not forget! And, it turns out that after 20 minutes or so of being agitated, he went back to sleep until I got home.
 

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Indy should adapt to the pen very soon, he had a GREAT start coming from a wonderful breeder who helped him adjust to a crate, etc. :)

He just needs time to adjust in his new environment, his behavior is completely normal...he is curious, and wants out of his pen to explore the entire house! He's also used to having playmates around all of the time, whether it be puppies, cats, or people. The kong is a good idea, if it turns out that he gets the peanut butter out too quickly you can freeze it overnight and it will last much longer. London had separation anxiety really bad when she was younger (still has some) and was too anxious to even pay attention to a stuffed kong but it sounds like Indy should love it. :)
 

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I agree with all the advice here. I would also make sure Indy has some food toys to play with and since he is home while you are away maybe do peep pad training. We kept Lilly in a pen with her crate and peep pad until we could trust her to use the peep pad.

I would also want to tell you to not to make a big deal when you leave. It is very easy to pass your stress to your pup when you leave and come back.

I also use a camera when we are gone to watch Lilly she just sleeps.
 
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