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Dana (now 9 months) has been crated from a pup and was brill with it, however when she took ill and came home we left the crate door open during the evening so she could have access to water during the night (we could never leave water in her crate it would go everywhere literally). She was fab had no problems and so she had her crate door open every evening. 


Never a problem during the evening, so we started doing it in the day and eventually took her crate down.  But the last two weeks she has become increasingly destructive.  I woke this morning to find a plant scattered all over my living room floor.  I am getting when I go out I hurry back because I am worried as to what she will do!  Do I go back to the crate, which I dont feel comfortable with, would like her to have more freedom, I had hoped at this age I could trust her. 


What would you recommend?

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Each to their own, I guess, Myra. :) With Zep's dietary intolerance issues, it is best for us that he is confined to a crate at night to avoid the possibility of him spraying the whole house in the event of a poo explosion - which has happened before. Ours don't have access to the backyard at night, and since our house is open plan, we dont have the luxury like you do of confining them to the kitchen or other single room with a gate. My dogs have never snuggled up together, instead preferring to snuggle up to Glenn or me. Fionn likes to stretch out on the floorboards, and Maia and Zep take opposite ends of the lounge. They eat safely in their crates without any fears of competition (or Zep getting at something he can't eat), and like I said, they go happily into their crates at bed time with a treat to chew on. Hardly abhorrent ;-)
I've never had a crate, felt guilty at times because I've read so many people have them, I feel it's best to give the dog it's own place/space that it can retire to if they want, although Rio has his 'bed' he very rarely uses it and is either at our feet or sitting next to us on the sofa!. He has his 'mad' moments where he will be mischievous and wanting attention and will take thing's that are left around - my fault for leaving them at dog hight! - no toilet roll is safe and a new bra is of no use what so ever as it's now in two halves! LOL!. At the end of the day it's really what works best for you and your dog, so everyone is right in their opinion, guess if you have more than one dog they keep each other entertained and hopefully out of trouble. I did barricade Lucy our 20 year old cat in the laundry room - for her own safety, one thump of a paw could have damaged her and she didn't have enough years left in her to train another dog! - sadly she died earlier this year!. Rio is now running around with an envelope in his mouth and a glint in his eye - the game is on!. Lighten up people - it's a dog's world! ;)
I have put her crate back up, but put it in the kitchen this time rather than in the living room. She has been going in an out at her own will, so perhaps she has missed her little comfort blanket so to speak.

To be honest, it is almost like she goes into panic mode, as she can see us leave and drive off from the living room window. So hopefully she will settle back down and feel a little more relaxed when I go out.
I am not good with crating Cash. He has to be in it still for a few hours a week. If we go out to dinner for a couple hours and twice a week when my husband leaves for work and I am not home from work yet. I need to work more hours but I don't won't until Cash can be left loose in the house and even then it is never more than four hours because I have issues. He is safer in his crate rather than pacing about from the window and back to his bed watching for me to come home. He is only 6 months and I have always been able to leave my pups loose in the house by the time they are a year old. And the hours they can be left increase by age 2 even as they sleep more while we are gone. School is out in a month and my son will be home with Cash and then he won't be crated when I go out since he is fine as long as someone is home with him. I feel my anxiety about leaving him in the crate is my problem. Not his. I actually envy those who can leave a dog all day and not be all stressed out. I am just not one of them.
I think it also pays to remember that not everyone has an ideal set-up for dogs, like some. They might be renting, or in apartments, or have things around their house that aren't so easy to put out of reach. People do the best they can with what they have access to, and I am sure everyone here always acts with their dog's best interests and safety at heart. If that means crating, do so without feeling like you're doing the wrong thing. You're not. The overwhelming majority of crated dogs quickly learn to love - even demand! - their own space, and if it works for you and your dog/s, great! :)
Hi, our little Ian is in the same situation right now. We followed the same procedure: crate - open crate - take crate down. We used a crate because his friend Henry is one year older and we were afraid the little one would get hurt while playin when left alone. He's being quite destructive for the moment, but then again, so was Henry in the beginning. Just try to take away anything chewable for a while and provide enough toys so she doesn't get bored. Eventually,she'll leave alone the plants, cushions, shoes, hats, umbrellas, magazines, agendas, .... When you come home to a mess, just ignore the dog and clean up the mess calmly. She'll understand very quickly that no mess means more time spent with her!

If you think she's finding the sight of you leaving distressing, try leaving and coming back 5 minutes later, then 10 minutes, 15, 20 etc...so she knows you'll be back soon and there's no need to get stressed.

Good luck!
I am an amature with Irish Red Setters , Paddy is my first he is 8months and no way could I let him loose about the house alone, I think we will have to be very patient for the next three years or so until they settle down. Paddy too is caged when I am not at home but has slept by our bed since the first day we brought him home. Have had no problems at night they love to have you near. I have no intention of giving up the cage for some time yet.
Plenty of chewy bones keeps Paddy good.
Dana has settled back in her Crate now fine, the only problem is when we get up every morning she has pooed and wee'd in there. Any ideas? It always seems to be 2 steps forward 1 back.....lol




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