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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Layla is going on 9 months. I have not locked her in her crate now for about six weeks. She has been perfectly fine until recently. She has now ripped up a throw carpet. Chewed a pen she was able to jump up and grab from a table and has been digging up a huge indoor plant leaving soil piled on the floor. Her toys some of which she has had for months, she is chewing apart. Since she has had freedom for so long I hate to start locking her up again. Wondering why as she gets older, has this destructive pattern began?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 10:31 AM
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I'm going to take a chance here and assume you really want replies to your question.

Avoiding the opportunity to be destructive is always the best plan so would return to the crate when you cannot supervise. Like most children they behave this way because they can and it's fun. Not knowing your routines I'm going to throw this out there. At this age they requires a huge amount of exercise, walks a couple of times a day is insufficient. I also don't know what activities or training you do so am going to suggest some obedience training. Not a Petsmart/Petco level training but a good obedience training facility where instructors compete with their dogs. Weekly classes and daily practice is the best way to keep a pup out of trouble. Most sporting breeds do not mature until age 2 and sometimes 3 yrs of age. Continued training is usually suggested.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 10:34 AM
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Layla also needs to be taught what is OK and what is not OK.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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The whole 'lock her up' thing is a bad attitude.
Try to change your mindset to the crate being a good thing, a safe place, and a place she can relax.
She's just a baby about to be a teenager- and she will not be mature and totally trustworthy for at least another year (if you do work with her more then a hit and a miss) and maybe 2 more years if she isn't given parameters. Dogs do this sort of misbehavior to get attention, to entertain themselves and because they CAN. I'd never leave a 9 mo unsupervised ever- they can get into too much.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 03:54 PM
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Why is she doing this? She simply is not old enough to be trusted unsupervised loose in the house. She is still very much a puppy. Consider the crate as the same type of protection as a playpen for a child. It is not cruel, it is not punishment. It is keeping her safe from harm when you can't supervise her, and keeping your home safe from her PUPPY behavior.

Allowing her the chew up and eat things runs the risk of bowel obstruction, and subsequent stomach surgery to removed things she eats that can't pass. This is serious, and can be fatal.

She can have freedom when you are able to supervise her, and redirect her away from these kinds of activities. In the process she will learn what she can get into and what she can't. My dogs were over 18 months before we left them loose in the house unsupervised. By then they were pretty well versed in what was off limits, and we set them up for success by allowing them to mature, and spending the time teaching them house manners.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 04:31 PM
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I agree with the others. I have always used crates when I go out as I don't want to come home to a torn up anything. Leaving a dog alone especially a young pup is just asking for trouble. My dogs love their crates and I don't feel like I'm locking them up. I'm putting them in a safe spot while I am away. Easy peasy solution. As they get older and learn what is ok and what is not then they get more freedom. My Golden stays out of her crate durning the night now. She has proven she can be trusted. You are in for a very bumpy time with that age. Keep training and working and exercising her and it will be worth it. As far as getting things off of tables, you have to baby proof as well. Anything dogs can reach is too tempting. Keep working on staying off of counters set her up to succeed not fail.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 05:39 PM
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Denver is 11 months old now. We started allowing him to be out of the crate while we were away for short periods of time (1-2 hours) when he was around 8 months. He (luckily) was never really a destructive puppy, so he usually was content to relax until we got back....BUT we did notice that the more often we left him out the higher the likelihood that he would get bored and decide to get into trouble. As soon as he started to take pillows off the couch, pull shoes out out of the shoe rack or roll up the carpet while we were out, we put him back in the crate the next time we had to leave.

He learned fairly quickly that freedom wasn't a given. We also switched up his toys so he would be more interested. We bought several toys that you can hide treats in to keep him occupied. Frozen kongs with PB or pumpkin also keep him busy for a while at least.

The main thing is not to be afraid to put them back in the crate if they can't handle freedom yet.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. But I’m not sure locking her in her crate after she has had freedom for so long is the answer. Her crate, or as I like to refer to it is her house. I think if I start locking her up when I leave she will view it as a form of punishment. She doesn’t go in often but she does when something frightens her or if I yell at her for misbehaving. I never lock her in. I don’t want her to view her house as a prison. s recent example: I recently left her alone for about 3 hours. Came home all was well. I played with her than went to shower. She followed me and jumped into my bed (she sleeps with me every night). When I finished showering I dressed and as I headed to another room I noticed that she had gone into my office and proceeded to dig up another plant. It’s hard to yell or give her any sort of reprimand at this point because she might not understand. As far as play time I take her out daily to play ball. I do this until she is bored or tuckered out. I also have tug of wars with her and throw her favorite things so she can run and fetch. So back to square one.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 03:51 AM
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If the crate was taught and used correctly as a pup, you can use the crate at anytime. It creates a den like environment. For a good number of dogs, removing the crate can cause some behavioral issues since their den suddenly gone. Also not every dog is trustworthy enough not to need a crate long term.

9 months is also still a bit young not to be in a crate when not home all day. I don't usually try leave my dogs out of the crate when I'm not home till after 12-14 months.

It's another tool, if like anything else such as a dog reverting to pulling on the leash, you would reiterate that training again. This really is no different. To me it's not even an option to risk my dog hurting themselves if they are doing what your describing, they would certainly be back in the crate when gone for a couple more months before trying to remove the crate again. If they continued that same behavior a second time off trying to trust them without a crate, they would not be trust worthy without a crate going forward.

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