This girl has turned a corner. Last week, we had gotten her to a place where she could relax most of the day and night in her crate. The only problem we continued to have was when I had to go somewhere. This week, I spent one evening and one morning to fix this problem.
I went out to my truck, took the baby monitor and the remote to Annie’s e-collar, started the truck, and waited. I didn’t have to wait long before she was standing and whining. Whenever she did this, I corrected her with a pretty high level on the e-collar. It only took two or three corrections before she decided to lie down and relax. After she had relaxed for a good 15 minutes, I turned off the engine and waited. She remained relaxed. Yay!
I went back into the house and did some housework, then went back out to the truck and repeated the process. I did this one more time that evening. The next morning, I tested it again before I had to leave the house. Annie did great! I left all the monitor and remote with my husband, was gone for about an hour, and when I came back he said he didn’t have any issues at all.
Since that day, we have left her completely alone (nobody home to monitor her) twice. I don’t know if she never whined or didn’t get anxious, but I do know that there were no signs of her trying to escape her crate. The next step is to put a bark collar that has a counter on her when we leave to see if she barks at all. Additionally, I have reached the point where I am not going to be taking the baby monitor to bed with me tonight (for the first time)!
Annie has been getting more and more time out of her crate during the day as she progresses in her obedience training. The time that is spent outside of her crate is either in active training or in “place” (passive training). She has proven to me that with extra love – petting, talking to, etc. – she becomes more pushy and stubborn. For that reason, I have gone back to kibble treats instead of petting as a reward for training, and she doesn’t get a lot of free time.
As of today, Annie has learned the down command and the e-collar stimulation that goes with it, the beginning of being sent to place, and quite a bit of duration along with some distraction and some distance (my walking away from her) while in the place command. She has taken a walk up the driveway and to the mailbox with me once, and she has been introduced to my personal pack of dogs as well as a couple of tiny training client dogs. She does fantastic with other dogs. Now we just need her to do fantastic with humans. 🙂