Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Crate Thoughts

I've been thinking more about the crate (or lack of crate) incident last Thurs. Obviously, Iris can't have the run of the house when no one is home. When she's alone, I think she does have some anxiety, and she gets "hyper-protective" of the house. When I'm home, I've never seen her hit the windows with the amount of force that she does when she's alone (judging by the amount of damage she's done to the window frames). Also when she's alone, I think she completely fixates on the windows and just gets more and more wound up. If Iris is barking, Henry starts barking, so Iris barks even more. Not a good thing. When I'm home, she does much better. Part of it is probably that I do call her off the windows when she starts barking. Actually, she's made a ton of progress in the last couple months.

She's still crazy. Right now, she's leaping around the kitchen trying to catch a moth. She's getting some pretty good height too. Lucky for the moth, Aussies can't fly.

I digress. Iris has to be crated when no one is home. Hopefully there won't be any more loose Aussie incidents. In my brother's defense, the last time we had a dog that needed to be crated was 15 years ago when we had a puppy.

I've tried to avoid crating Iris because my previous job had me working long days (10+ hrs and then a commute). Baby gates aren't an option because they're not tall enough. They're like agility inside the house! I tried leaving her in the bathroom thinking she'd like a little more space, but she scratched up the bathroom door. I tried 3 ft tall boards blocking her and Henry in the kitchen since I thought they'd keep each other company. I couldn't come up with something heavy enough to prop the boards with. She kept getting out. I tried an x-pen in the basement, because I could anchor it to a couple different structures. She will jump up on it, so I didn't want her to knock it over on herself. It did hold her but she HATED it. She would hide in her crate and I had to drag her down there.

So I conceded. Since Iris wanted to hide in her crate, that's what I've been doing. She knows my getting ready for work routine and will hop in the crate on her own. The nice thing about the new job is that I don't have to be there until 10, so I can walk Iris before work (Iris says she has a bad mom because she knows other people who happily get up at 5:30 am to walk their Vizslas). I've tried leaving her with a kong, but she doesn't usually touch it and I haven't been giving her one lately with my brother home. He lets Iris out when he wakes up, and I can see one kong and two dogs causing problems later.

The nice thing for Iris right now is that Zeus and his people will be moving in this summer. This is good in that Iris won't have to spend much time in her crate. But I admit, I'm pretty worried about undoing her training around the house. And even more worried about how she'll handle more people coming in and out of the house. She might end up in the crate anyway. We'll see.

1 comment:

Makin & Tessa (Lael and Neil) said...

Nice people with their vizsla. Nah, crazy.

I think you are wonderful with Iris and the changes I have seen in her, even though it is for a brief period every week, are amazing. You both should be proud.