I see that Duke has updated you on our family life over the last few weeks. The new crate has indeed been ordered and will ship to us sometime right after January 1st.
For some reason, Duke’s anxiety levels have crested in a self destructive way. We don’t want to have to start tranquilizing him every time we leave the house. So we have opted for this super-duper crate because we know that it’s necessary for us to crate train Duke all over again and we can’t safely do that with a crate that has already been busted.
We want the new crate to feel like a haven for him when he hears thunder and gunshots or when our grandchildren are running shrieking through the house. So we’ll go back to all the techniques that are useful when someone is crate training a puppy. There will be a sturdy toy in the crate, a comfy pad, and a knuckle bone for him to chew on. There will also be a heavy towel over the crate so that it will feel like a little cave for him. He will only have the knuckle bone when he is in the crate. And we’ll begin by putting him in it while we are at home, for perhaps 15 minutes at a time. We’ll do that a couple of times a day and gradually work up to longer periods. After he is comfortable in his haven for about an hour while we are at home, we’ll move to going outside for an hour so that he can hear us. Finally, we’ll begin leaving him in the crate while we are gone for thirty minute increments and gradually lengthen the time.
Today, after a nice big breakfast, Duke elected to go into his busted crate on his own when Maggie and Buddy went into theirs. He wasn’t interested in coming out when I picked up my keys, so I left him there. I’ll go home at lunch to check on him and will probably bring him back to work with me.
I wanted you to know that there is a training plan for this new crate, and that Duke won’t be just locked in and left to fret. And it’s a win-win for Maggie and Buddy too, because of course, Mom & Dad would never give one Hooligan a knuckle bone without making sure that the others have their own too!
We'll be okay, I promise. XOXOXOXOXOX and Woofs & Licks!