Whenever I leave Iris in her crate, she throws a "temper tantrum." I really can't think of a better way to describe it. I'm pretty sure she's barking mainly out of frustration and not anxiety (although there probably is some anxiety too). She barks and barks and scratches at the crate and then barks some more. I think this goes on for about 15 min or so. Then she settles down and is quiet for the rest of the time I'm away. Living in a condo, I do really worry about her bothering the neighbors. I generally try to time when I have to leave Iris for when I know my neighbors are at work, but sometimes that isn't possible.
A few things about the situation.
- The barking is specific to being left alone at home.
- She'll bark regardless of how I contain her at home (I've tried an x-pen, different crate, gated in a bathroom).
- She does not bark if I crate her in the car and then leave her alone in the car, which is why I think it's more of a frustration issue than an anxiety issue.
- When I come home, she's completely silent (when I first adopted her, we did work on not barking to get let out).
- I've tried leaving her with a kong. She won't touch it. I might be able to get her to chew on it if I was right there.
Iris MUST be crated when I leave. She's gotten herself in some really weird (and dangerous) positions during a seizure while I've been home and able to help her. If she has a seizure when I'm not home, the crate is the safest place for her. I don't generally leave her for long, usually only 1-2 hours. Occasionally, I'll leave her for longer, but that's unusual.
So any ideas? For the next couple weeks, I don't think there will be any days when I have to leave her home. It seems like it would be a good opportunity to work on this issue. I'm just not sure quite how to start.