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First off, thank you to everyone who answered my other posts - the help on these forums in this first week has been crucial.

We adopted Bailey a week ago from the shelter - an 8 month old Lab mix. We have a 5 year old at home (Penny) who's a smaller doxy mix. So far the only aggression between them has been normal learning curve dog "stuff" - Penny growls when Bailey gets out of hand or is too much for her - but they can be near each other's dog bowls, cuddle on the couch with us together, etc. My question is, we want to leave the dogs home for a few hours (we need to start doing it anyway for work)- but we don't know what to do as far as how to go about it.

Our initial thoughts are to leave Penny in the living room and Bailey in the bedroom, but then we worry about Bailey scratching or chewing or howling/barking too much. We know we should keep them separate at first and gradually let them have time alone together, but as far as keeping them home now, what's the best course of action? Bailey sleeps in her crate at night, but we don't want it to become a punishment (you crate when we leave) either. She also chews a lot (still a puppy) so we're weary of her chewing her crate and hurting herself. Any advice greatly appreciated!
 

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What kind of crate...

does Bailey have?
Since U worry she'll "chew it & hurt herself", i'm guessing wire AKA show crate?

A wire crate isn't inescapable - dogs who are determined can slither out over the door, often bending the door & / or roof in the process, & some also learn to jiggle the sliding-pin latch, & open the door.
Besides which, wire crates give a dog no sense of security or privacy; they strand them in the open. Draping a blanket or tarp over a wire-crate only gives the dog something to drag inside & rip. :(

I'd check FreeCycle.org for local giveaway shipping crates, the airline-approved type, & if her show-crate is new, i'd return it to the store where i bought it ASAP, before it's damaged or worn.

If there are no shipping crates listed on FreeCycle, i'd try CraigsList, eBay, & other on-line classifieds for local used crates for sale; a vet's bulletin-board is another possibility, many folks only use them for housetraining & then discard them - which is a darned shame, as they're perfect to keep a dog safe during transport, & also make the ideal easily-portable 'bedroom' for visits, travel, or vacations.

I'd use the shipping-crate to safely confine her when U're gone, & provide a safe pacifier - her breakfast stuffed into a Kong & frozen is good. :) Long-lasting chewies are another option: antlers, cow-hooves, thick-walled marrowbones, bull pizzles, etc.
Food puzzles are another good busywork choice; a Buster cube with meat-based quality kibble forces her to tumble it, to get the kibble out. [It is NOISY on uncarpeted floor, tho.]
There are all sorts of food-puzzles, from manufactured to home-made.

- terry


 

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Discussion Starter #3
RE: What kind of crate...

Hi Terry,

We have the wire crate - I used it for my Doxy mix 4 years ago and she still loves her crate for bedtime and safe spot, so we got one for Bailey. She's already gotten used to it and goes into it when she wants alone time or quiet time - but I just worry since she's teething she'll bite anything. I bought some "Yuck" spray that's supposed to make things taste gross - and it seems to be working on the pillows, but I'm not sure what else we can do aside from crate locks or getting her used to a completely different crate.

I did buy a KONG and a Nylabone, which she seems to be liking - I think I'm more worried she'll get out or not work with the other dog.

Thanks,
Genessa
 

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I would leave them together in one room where they can do the least damage. (Move everything breakable/chewable out at first.) The thinking being that if they are not left totally alone they will not be so anxious and may just play together and the less they have to damage the better. Left alone the young one may be anxious and chew whatever she can get, but with the older one she may just behave better than you expect.

I don't think you should assume Bailey will be a problem until you have given her a chance.

Lynsey
 
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