I woke up at 4:21 this morning to a single bark. I seriously thought about lying in bed and waiting to see if I heard it again, but I knew I should get up and investigate. Very quietly, so that the barking dog would not hear me, I opened the bedroom door. At that point I heard the clicking of toenails on the living room. Either that was a very large mouse, or it was a dog. It was very unlikely that it could be Cosmo (my board and train). He has been doing an excellent job in his crate day and night for over a week now. As soon as she heard me, she growled and took off.
I turned on the light and found two turds on the floor just in front of the baby gate (a gate we keep up to keep dogs from going into the back of the house). I went back into the dog room and found Annie sitting in the farthest corner of the couch just waiting to see what would happen. I looked at the crate to see what damage had been done.
There was no damage done to the crate itself. She had somehow managed to get the front panel to fall down inward as is intended when folded up. This amazes me only because her previous owner had told me how things above her head seemed to frighten her. When told that, my thought was of how something falling on her could frighten her. Apparently it didn’t bother her too much.
I put the crate back together, grabbed the leash and attached it to her collar, and took her to her crate. Annie hesitated, so I bent over and pushed her bottom until she was back in the crate. No real struggle – just hesitation. I was honestly too tired to think or care about her reaction to this, but she didn’t offer to cause any trouble.
As I passed the kitchen to pick up the turds, I noticed a little puddle in the floor. And as I went by to clean that up, I found a larger puddle by the front door. (At least the place she chose to potty wasn’t carpeted.) I couldn’t hardly blame her. Each time I took her out to potty yesterday had been on-leash, and she had refused to potty. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with the pressure of being on leash. After cleaning it all up, I went back to bed.
By the time I had made it back into the room to feed Annie (6:00 a.m.), she already had one corner of the crate pulled in again. I took the time to reinforce it with zip ties, and fed her.
After breakfast, Annie started making a little bit of a ruckus. There was whining and I could hear the crate rattling a little bit. I quickly grabbed my bonker and very quietly sneaked closer to the room. I waited for her to get wound up again, firmly said no as I entered the room, and threw the bonker at her crate. There was really no reaction. I gave her a quick spray with the pet convincer just to make sure she understood, and walked away. (Video below)
After her breakfast this morning, I did a clicker conditioning lesson with Annie. I wasn’t sure what to expect. She hadn’t accepted the best treats I had yesterday, and I wasn’t sure what she would think of the clicker. The lesson went wonderfully! I was able to lure into both a sit and a down, and by the end of it, I was rewarding her for making eye contact. (Video below)
We have continued working on thresholds as I take her in and out to potty. She is catching on. She finally pottied on-leash. (whew!) Since the correction this morning, Annie has also gone back to being quiet and calm in her crate.