"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Friday, August 17, 2007

This one's going to be the death of me!

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?


  • hmmm... that is frustrating! I know it is good for the puppies to be able to sleep in a crate anywhere, but I have always had them sleep in a crate in my bedroom. Angel still wakes up like clockwork at 6 am, but I have to get up then during the week anyway. Since Nettie is quiet as soon as she hears or sees you, perhaps having you in the room would keep her quiet until you get up?

    Or, are you allowed to have your puppies sleep on a tie down by your bed? This was what worked with getting both Ellis and Promise to sleep in on the weekends. You just have to be sure they won't chew on stuff while you sleep!

    Good luck! Keep us posted!

    By Blogger Emily, Ellis, and Angel, At 8:15 PM  

  • I dont have any suggestions but if you find a solution let me know., Glacier is a horrible crate barker. We have been trying EVERYTHING under the sun to get her to stop and have not found anything yet.

    By Blogger The Puppy Raising Roller Coaster, At 9:54 PM  

  • I forgot to say tha maybe its an Evan trait as both our girls are Evan puppies and we have 2 other Evan pups in our region that are the same. One worse then Glacier( actually its her sister) and one not so bad but can have the barkys periodically.

    By Blogger The Puppy Raising Roller Coaster, At 9:57 PM  

  • The first thing I would do (for the school I previously raised for) would be to put the crate in the bedroom. The second would be to continue the 2 mile walks in the morning but maybe try a 1/2 mile walk at night before bed...when you are able to of course, see if that helps her out any. I hope you get some good ideas on this!

    By Blogger raiserally, At 12:24 AM  

  • Thanks for the ideas! Unfortunately, the bedroom is not a good option for us. Our cat Socks DETESTS Nettie, and we've maintained our bedroom and Andrew's room as 'dog-free zones', so he always has a refuge. Socks also sleeps on me most of the time..! He would not like this solution, and he would express his displeasure. (When Nettie got into Andrew's room, Socks peed on Andrew's bean bag chair. Ick!)

    On the bright side, she didn't bark this morning. And yes, maybe it is an Evan thing. I hear Nettie's half sister in Maine can get the barkies, too.

    By Blogger Angie, At 6:38 AM  

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