View Full Version : Help! What do I do? (kinda long Sorry!)

Gingers Mommy
9th April 2008, 09:09 PM
Ginger is exhibiting some new behavior that is disturbing and causing me much anxiety- to say the least!
My apartment is basically a square, ginger is allowed to stay in the back half of the apartment with a gate blocking her from the front half. Its plenty of space for her, she has her crate in there, her water, and a couch to lay on. Let me preface, the couch and kitchen counter (bar area w/ stools) is basically the 'wall' that the gate is leaned on.
2 days a week, someone comes to the house no more than 4hrs after I leave and spends the rest of the day with her till I come home. The other 2 days I take her to day care to play with her friends, and then on fridays she comes to work with me.
Of course if we go out, she stays in that back half. Up till she was about 9 months she was crated, then I left her in a smaller gated off area and now in this area. I leave her with a treat, and the tv on. The treat is mostly to distract her attention from me heading out the door, I dont dilly dally I basically book out the door! She always knows when Im going as she sees me getting the treats ready and she runs into her crate.
2 weeks ago, I went out, as I was waiting for the elevator, I hear her little paws close to the door! I was amazed how did she get to the other side of the gate. I figured she just jumped over.
NOW, about a week ago, I hear this AWFUL cry as im waiting for the elevator, worse than I ever heard. I always get nervous that somethigns happened so I wait around, I hear another few crys that are SO loud and so sad, I had to go in. Lo and behold theres Ginger standing on the kitchen counter! Of course shes all happy and butt wiggly that i came back. She got up on the stool and onto the counter. I think she was crying so bad bc she was afraid to jump down, even though it seems shes done it before! Last night I went to dinner with my husband, came home and there she is again on the counter!
My husband thinks I should let her roam the entire apartment. I dont. Shes 2 and trustworthy, I just dont see why she needs to have access to the whole place and think its important she knows thats her area. Do I start to crate her again? for her own safety? I worry she might fall and break a leg and no one is going to be home for 2 hrs. I did go out and moved the chairs/stools, and found her on the same side, so I know I can move the chairs each time and i'll prob be ok.
I wonder why shes doing this now? And she never did it before? Also it seems like its at random times, not on the weekends but during the week.
Thanks for reading this, any advise, suggestions or experiences would be appreciated!

9th April 2008, 09:40 PM
Wow sounds like my daughter when she was 2, except it was the kitchen table.
You said if you move the stools she can't get up there? I think that should be ok.
If you feel like you want her in her half of your apt. then stick with that.
She's just going through her terrible twos ;)
It sounds like you love her to pieces and she just misses you.

9th April 2008, 10:14 PM
She's doing it now basically because she can -- because she is old enough to want to explore her capabilities and you also obviously have a climber. Some dogs simply like to climb.

There's no easy answer --- you can neither leave her to roam nor leave the situation as it is. It is very dangerous for her to be able to get up on a counter. She could break her neck trying to get down and you've already found she gets pretty anxious once she finds she is stuck at that height.

You are going to have to move the stools whatever you decide -- as she may well climb them to the counter regardless of whether you are there. Or maybe you will need to replace the stools you have with a style she isn't able to climb.

Also maybe the gate isn't high enough either, if she got out to the front door. Some dogs can easily jump the 3 foot high typical baby gate (Jaspar can).

So you need to probably get a higher gate, and also move the stools. Or consider a crate, though I really hate them for confining a dog during the day.

The main thing is -- you don't want her able to get on the counter.

9th April 2008, 10:16 PM
What hight is she jumping? If I was leaving mine for 4 hours I would prefer an exercise pen if you can get one tall enough or one with a top to it. Otherwise, I'd go back to using the crate.

This is my pen and it takes 10 seconds to put up.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MEDIUM-HEAVY-DUTY-DOG-EXERCISE-PEN-PUPPY-PLAY-PEN_W0QQitemZ300212453727QQihZ020QQcategoryZ20748Q QrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQ_trksidZp1638.m118.l1247QQ cmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

Gingers Mommy
9th April 2008, 10:25 PM
Thanks for your replies!
The gate is actually an X Pen just opened all the way (does that make sense?)
Shes not jumping the gate, shes def jumping onto the stool which is waist height and from there onto the counter, which is higher than the stool.
We have a family home in the country and when we are there and go out for a bit, we crate her, since only the bedroom is ours and there are others in the house, shes totally fine in the crate. But thats not more than 2 hours usually. As I said though, shes never home alone more than 4 hrs, I just dont want to crate her should she need to pee (but she can totally hold it) or want to lay comfortably on the couch.
Im going to try by moving the stools next time for sure, and see how that goes. Theres no way she can climb over the gate so Im hoping it'll do the trick, and if it doesnt its back to the crate.
I have enough anxiety even leaving her in the crate in our other house, I get these terrible visions that gd forbid she scratches something and her nail gets caught, or she chokes on a treat I left for her-but of course I can't keep her with me 24/7 (wouldnt that be nice!) But those fears are something to discuss in therapy!! My dh is always like your nuts! Although heres a perfect example....look what happened!
I'll keep you posted and thanks for reading and responding.

9th April 2008, 10:29 PM
This site sells an exercise pen with a lid.

http://www.petedge.com/ProSelect-Exercise-Pen-Roof-ZW13148.pro?PIPELINE_SESSION_ID=3513d6abc0a86e6501 e29b99913a68dd

9th April 2008, 10:34 PM
I'm worse! I don't put any treats or toys in the crate or pen, mean mummy! I just worry he will choke on something and I won't be there to help him.

9th April 2008, 10:41 PM
I would definately move the stools and anything else she can use as a stepping device to get to a higher point.
I don't think you should crate her or give her the whole apartment but it does sound like she needs more stimulation, interactive SAFE toys, stuff a treat ball with tiny and large treats so she will get a few to keep her stimulated but there will still be some that can't get out so she has to work, and think, frozen kongs, kongs in general with a bit of something inside, honey, marmite etc and maybe a hardy soft toy for her to cuddle ? Radio on so she can hear human voices and so on.

Cathy Moon
10th April 2008, 12:21 AM
I would probably just remove the stools, and give her additional safe toys.

By safe toys I mean kongs and hard nylabones - I would not leave rawhide, bullysticks, or cow ears. (Just 2 nights ago Geordie started to choke on a dental chew, but we managed to get him through that!)

There are several different kongs, even ones you can insert dog biscuits into for her to gnaw on.

If you crate her, you'll run the risk of OCD type behavior, which can be just as dangerous to her health and well-being as injuries from a fall.

Just one more item - my dogs love their routine, and they seem to understand the difference between weekday and weekend, so they go with the flow. I just wonder if your little girl has too many different types of days; she basically has four types, counting the weekends. I think of dogs as being creatures of habit, deriving comfort from known and expected routines; maybe I'm wrong though, but you might want to try simplifying her schedule a bit. Sorry, this is no criticism of you! I think it's wonderful how many options you have for her. :flwr:

Gingers Mommy
10th April 2008, 01:01 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. Thats an interesting thought, maybe there is to much going on? I guess I thought she had a routine going since every week its the same, home, daycare, daycare,home, work! I'll have to think of how to simplify it more.
I'm going to remove the stools and go from there. I'll also go to the store and look at the kongs and interactive safe toys.
Thanks to everyone, its always great to get such good advise from this site!

10th April 2008, 05:51 AM
My husband thinks I should let her roam the entire apartment. I dont. Shes 2 and trustworthy, I just dont see why she needs to have access to the whole place and think its important she knows thats her area.
I'm with your husband. If she's trustworthy, what's wrong with her 'area' being the whole place?

10th April 2008, 03:44 PM
Can you shut the doors to the other rooms (bedroom/s, bathroom/s) in the apartment and leave her to have the rest of the area while you're gone? We started doing that with Miles when he was about 7-8 months old and it's worked out really well. And we have a loft, so it's harder to block off areas...we just shut the sliding panels to the master suite, and he has access to the living room, kitchen, powder room and upstairs bedroom/bathroom. Whenever we come home during lunchtime to let him out he's always just snoozing on the couch! ;)

Gingers Mommy
14th April 2008, 10:17 PM
We do close the doors to the bedroom which is off the living room.
It is a rather large open space, thats why we seperate the room in two for her. We will be having a baby soon and I want her to know that that is her area, and not to think she has free reign over the whole place, even though when we are home, she is welcome to join us wherever we are.
Just to update you all though, ive been taking away the stools/chairs and putting them elsewhere and shes been totally fine. Always on the right side when someone comes home. So im glad that it worked, even though im still nervous every time I leave!
Luckily my schedule is flexible, so I can pop home some days mid-day to visit and calm any nerves I have!