Hey guys, need a little advice here.
I'm Caitlin. I have a 14 week old Corgi, named Jake. I'll be as brief as possible (considering I've written about six LONG blogs about these issues, I really will try ;)).
Jake is coming along in his training nicely. He hasn't had an accident in the house for almost two weeks now, he sleeps all night in his crate (we only had one night of constant whining, thankfully), and will even stay quiet and chew his toys in his crate when I'm home (for hours, if necessary, like when we're entertaining and he needs to stay out from underfoot).
I have the luxury of being able to take my dogs (Jake and a husky-retriever named Bear) to work with me, so they don't have to spend 8 long hours in crates at home, with only a tiny potty break in between (I go home for lunch). But even at work, I've been working with Jake on taking limited potty breaks, because eventually I won't work somewhere where I can have the dogs, and he needs to learn to "hold it" during the day. Usually he sleeps under my desk during the 8 hours that I'm working, and I say that so my fellow corgi-lovers are aware that this is normal behavior for him (sleeping all day), so it shouldn't be an issue elsewhere.
However, this morning, I couldn't take the dogs to work because of an important lunch meeting, and I wouldn't have had time to take them home, crate them, drive to my meeting, come back, pick them up, and take them back to the office with me. I figured since Jake has been staying for hours in his crate with no problems (I come and go in the house while he's crated, it's not like he hasn't seen me leave for a bit), today would be a good day to start teaching him to stay in his crate during the day.
I encouraged the dogs to play while I was getting ready for work, hoping that it would wear Jake out and he would sleep for a few hours until I came back to let them out. Bear is usually good at tiring Jake out so I hoped for the best.
I came home around 1:30, after leaving them at the house at 8:30. Even from outside the building, I could hear Jake howling. I cringed, wondering how long he'd been doing that (let me just mention, the first time we tried to leave him in his crate for an extended period of time, he howled for two hours STRAIGHT. The kid's got a set of lungs on him like you wouldn't believe). I live in an apartment, and my neighbor works nights, so I'm sure she didn't appreciate Jake screaming from the ceiling above her.
So my question is, what do I do about this? He needs to start learning to stay at home QUIETLY, without freaking out. It's not like he hasn't seen me coming and going before (I've actually gone to see a movie (two hours) and come back and he was sound asleep), he's been crated for a few hours at a time before, etc and so forth, but my goodness! It was like I'd left him there to DIE. My older dog, Bear, hates it when he screams like that. He'll go hide out behind the bed or in the bathroom, if he can, but today he was stuck right next to Jake in HIS crate.
I've taken all the steps, and I've tried not to thrust it on him all at once, but I also can't have him howling at the top of his (olympic-sized) lungs and cheesing off the neighbors.
Any suggestions on how to make this better? He's got squeaky toys, a kong(sp?), a little puppy chew stick, and one of my t-shirts in there with him.
Is this just Corgi "acting out" behavior? Or should I do something different?
(Sorry for the long post.)
P.S. For more info about me or Jake, you can check out caitlinyount.wordpress.com. It details the ups and downs I've had with my new corgi!
Hi Caitlin, in order to break Jake off this habit (you being available), teach him to enjoy his crate, slowly increase his alone time (out of sight), even when you're home. Setup a Skype account, go to preference and change it to pick up automatically, this will allow you to call home and monitor his behaviour.
Puppies usually don't lack in food, attention or affection, what they usually lack are solid structure, exercise and discipline. Keep him on a solid structure to suit your lifestyle, don't change in in the weekends. Exercise him, 60-90 mins on leash walk daily rain or shine. Off leash, fetch, backyard play don't count. On leash walk is not just physical exercise, it also trains his mind, to follow you, respect you as his master. Don't give in to his "call", otherwise he had you train like a remote control, only reward him when he behave, timing is everything. Let us know if you have other questions. Good luck!
I know this is an old post and I sure hope you have it worked out. However, I will throw in a tip - Before closing the door on his crate be sure that he is totally calm and relaxed in his crate. Whatever type of behavior and state of mind you close the gate on will be how he stays. You close the gate on a dog who is happily ignoring you and munching on his toy then that is the dog who will be in the crate. You close the gate on a dog that is frantic and trying to get out and concerned with where you are going then that is the dog you will leave in the crate.