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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've been reading the forum like crazy, but haven't found anything specific to this situation yet, so here goes!

Wesley is 8 months old and has always been extremely well behaved. My husband has been in school full time and has an in and out of the house schedule. So Wes was never crated for more than a few hours at a time.

When we did leave the house, we slowly gave him more and more run of the house. At 4 months we could leave him for 5 hours or so and he would be fine. Then, at 7 months, he got Parvo and we had to leave him at the hospital for 4 days straight, Ever since then, he doesn't do well being left alone and has been chewing on our baseboards and furniture legs. It seems to be out of anxiety.

Now my husband has a full time job (this was an unexpected transition) so Wes has to be left alone all day. Should we start crating him during the day? When we baby-gate him into the kitchen, he sometimes chews on the baseboards.

If we do crate him, he'll be crated 15 hours a day! (we crate him for about 7 hours at night). We walk him for 1/2 hour in the morning and 1 hour at night, so he's getting exercise, but it breaks my heart to think that I might have to crate him during the day, too.

Has anyone had experience with this? If we start crating him again can we eventually wean him off again? I'm feeling like a terrible mom...
 

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Hi Kate,

I'm so sorry to hear Wesley had Parvo :cry: I hope he is doing ok now?

Doggies do go thru stages where they forget EVERYthing they learned and you'd swear they were 10 weeks old again.

Do you have one room you can gate him off in so you dont have to crate him?

By 4 months Annabelle was sleeping in the bed, we just kept BR door closed at night so she couldn't wander the house, by about 8 months we were leaving the BR door open, bath door and other BR doors closed and living room/family room blocked off and she has done great.
All doggies are different so you just have to test the waters and see how he will do

Good luck !
 

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Have you tried Bitter Apple spray? It's a nasty tasting spray that you can apply to the woodwork and furniture legs in your kitchen. Some dogs actually like it but most dogs do not. It worked well for Charlie. You might need to apply it every couple of weeks.

http://www.bitterapple.com/

I'm sorry about Wesley's bout with Parvo. I'm sure spending those days away from you when he was sick was traumatic for him. Over time he will likely get past the anxiety. Hopefully, you won't need to crate him all day. I agree that it is along day for a dog.

Deb
 

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an all day stay would be pretty tough under any circumstance..we ve got 2 other dog s that we would leave alone for 13 hrs a day..

however, we did have a doggy door..with Toby being only 5mos..i don t think we can yet trust him alone yet for any length of time..but, a doggie door would be my best recommendation..

i know one solution does nt mean it ll work for someone else..it just work d out well for us so far..
 
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Hi Kate,
Trevor is gorgeous!
I'm sorry you had to go through the ordeal of Parvo.
With anxiety, some dogs just feel very nervous that they are in 'charge' of the house while you are gone. So crating is not a terrible thing for these dogs because it keeps them calm.
Maybe you could try letting him sleep out of his crate at night. You could try tethering him to your bedside to start. And if you could get a dog walker to visit once a day, that would be wonderful. Or doggie day care would be wonderful if you have a good one nearby.
Good Luck and keep us posted!
 

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Hi :)

We have a similar situation: We set up our basement so it's doodle proof. We lined the walls with x-pen fencing (Dex chewed a hole in the dry wall once) and we leave both doodles down there together while we're at work. Dex is really used to this since he's been on the same schedule since he was 3 months old. We made trips home at lunch until he was 6 months. Since then he has gotten used to being alone all day (now we have a 2nd doodle so they are together).

We walk them first thing in the morning and leave at 7:30 and are home by 5. When we get home they are obviously full of energy so we spend a good hour to 1.5 hrs giving them some good exercise.

We started letting Dex sleep in our bedroom early...I did not have the heart to isolate him all day and then all night. We are weak and let him sleep in our bed now, but Kirby sleeps on the floor next to the bed.

I would either dog proof an area of your house or crate him...it's better for him to not get into trouble. I would consider letting him sleep in your room so he's not alone so much.

Sorry this is so long :)
 

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Dont feel to bad, it sounds like your dog is well loved, you guys are just a normal busy couple. We are very similar, Gus is crated at night and both our doods are crated during the day. We make the "big sacrafice" of getting up a little earlier, we usually alternate, to play in the yard with the dogs for over an hour before we start to get ready for work. it suck s when its your turn to get up 1h earlier, but its worth it to feel good about the dogs. Sometimes I feel guilty that they go back into their crate, but when one of us takes a day off, they just sleep on the couch all day anyway, so sleeping all day in their crate really isnt such a hardship. As long as they get exercise before and after, and lots of love and attention in the evening, Wes will be a happy boy.

If you still feel really bad, put an ad in the grocery store or newspaper for a dog walker to come by during the day. I just saw an ad in our town, a little girl wants to walk dogs, her mom comes too and they charge 2$.
 

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I would maybe gate off some space and then try the bitter apple spray. I have not used it. But it sounds like something to try. I would then just start a routine of how you leave the house ever day. I would put Gus in the gated area a few minutes before you leave and when he is in there just don't speak to him and get your things and leave. I was told by our trainer that if you talk to them right before you leave it is really hard on them. And you shouldn't talk to them when you first get in. (I have a really hard time with this.) Then after you take your coat off and breath let them out and play with them and let them know you miss them. This helps us. Hope it helps.
 

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My husband and I both work full-time. Rosie is left at home from 7:30 to 5:00, so 9.5 hours. I do the "ultimate sacrafice" thing too and get up at 5 to walk her for an hour. We bought an x-pen that we attach to her crate. We put a laundry basket on top of her crate because she can jump on top of the crate to get out of her pen. I also put down a cloth wee-wee pad that I found at the pet store in case she does have to go. She has only used it once when she had runny poo.
 

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I too like Sharon ,,,,,,,in the past on days i had to work 8 hours and couldn't get home during lunch
i'd get up 2 to 2.5hours hours early to exercise, feed, walk and play with my doodles ( Dave many times got up with me as well)

and then have my son walk them at 3:30pm when he got home from school.
 

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what about daycare, or a dog walker? i've used both when i don't take shaia to work and she loves both options. plus, they come back exhausted :) if you choose daycare, i would encourage careful research of a good daycare, as there are some less than desirable ones out there. good luck!
 

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Since you only have one (two doodles are always better to keep each other company :lol: ) I would try and consider finding someone to come once day -- every other day -- for an outside break and a bit of exercise. See if anyone in your area is on the list and affordable at the website below. Animal-loving college kids or stay-at-home moms do it for extra money. You can read their profiles and select.

http://www.sittercity.com/register_user ... _type=3000

I know it's $$$, but it helps with the guilt and makes for a much happier/calmer dood when you get home and you're sometimes really tired from working all day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much for all the great suggestions.. and reassurance!

I've used the bitter apple spray, but he kind of likes it. I even tried it once myself to make sure it tasted bad. Boy did it! I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth all day!

I like the idea of a dogie door, and also exercising him more in the morning. Once it's summer break, I'm sure we can find a neighbor kid to walk him during the day. Doggie daycare is an option--but maybe only once or twice a week. It's expensive!

Again, thank you for the suggestions. It reminds me that we just need to keep looking for solutions until we have a stress-free dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh, and I brought up the idea of another doodle to my husband. (As giving Wes a playmate would be the ultimate solution) Ha! that didn't go over well... maybe one day!
 

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:)

Seriously though - don't feel guilty. We have taped ours for the day before and when we are gone, they really do nothing but sleep. Tough life they have :wink:
 
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If even if you do doggy daycare once a week it helps. Maya is so tired after it really does take her a couple days to be back up to 100% monkey level!!!
 
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