Before our in-service two weeks ago, Nettie had actually pretty well quit barking in the crate in the morning. If we weren't up by 6:30 or so, we might get a little whine, but that was pretty much it.
I couldn't go to in-service -- we had too many people off at work and my boss wouldn't let me off -- so I dropped Nettie off and retrieved her at lunch. Nettie, alas, was apparently very overstimulated all morning. Lee, one of the GEB people, told me that she thought Nettie was not getting enough exercise and that I needed to walk her at least 2 miles a day. So, I have been walking her 2 miles every morning.
The catch is that since I've been doing that, Nettie has now begun barking in the crate every morning, usually starting around 5 a.m. She can easily bark for half an hour without stopping.
She barks if the crate is covered (and she's also started trying to pull the sheet into the crate to chew it. We have never been able to have bedding in the crate, she chews it.)
I always give her a kong or her favorite nylabone in the crate at bedtime. Doesn't matter. I've started feeding her later. No difference.
The big variable seems to be the walk. It's the only change in her routine here. She will shut up the minute she hears me get out of bed upstairs, and I never let her out of the crate immediately when I come down. Right now, she's lying there contentedly and quietly, looking at me.
Unfortunately, the morning is the only time I can really reliably squeeze in the long walk. My routine is something like this: I have to get up at 5:30 to proofread my paper's website and make any fixes to it. Usually what I do is leave Nettie in the crate if she's been barking, for at least 15 minutes. I do let her out once she's been quiet for a while. Then she hangs out while I do the site, which usually takes 45 min to an hour. After that, we go out, get busy, have breakfast and go for our walk, all before my son wakes up. I had been exercising her in the morning on a long line, but I quit doing that, thinking that that is "fun" to her and she was barking b/c she wanted to do it. For the walk, we just go up and down our cul-de-sac, a 1/4 mile round trip. We just do it eight times. (I figure that boring is probably better for an exercise walk, anyway.)
Nettie also gets a long-line play session of 20-30 minutes almost every night with Andrew and me as soon as I get home from work. After Andrew's in bed, I keep her out of the crate with me pretty much until I go to bed.
Before all this started, I tried to take Nettie out a couple evenings a week after Andrew was in bed, but right now, it's a vicious cycle. When I'm being woken up at 5, I'm a lot less likely to be raring to go to work her somewhere at 9 p.m. and that hasn't been happening as much. I don't know, maybe if I were working her at 9 pm , she'd sleep later.
I'm just frustrated at this point. Maybe I should have never taken her on, now that I'm working days. And no, they're not going to let me bring her to work, and many days, I'd be too busy at work to give her the proper training anyway.
Ideas from the puppy raisers reading this?