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Hello.

I've got a 7 year old pembroke welsh corgi. He's neutered, housetrained, male, and has been generally exceptionally well-behaved his whole life. The problem is, my significant other and I have started (as of this semester, beginning in late January) being absent from the house from 7am to 4pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for classes. Prior to this, I was usually at home with the dog and as a result of us being gone, he's begun to act out.

By acting out, I mean he's been getting into the trash although he's been really good about not doing that before and tearing up packages he finds in there. I think he's doing this because he's bored and lonely (he's always been really clingy), not because he's hungry since I feed him and take him out to potty before I leave. It's really disappointing me because he's always been such a good dog and really consistent in his behavior. Acting out like this is something recent and just not like him.

He has a crate and I could just put him in there for the duration of our being out of the house, as much as I hate to have to do that. I've removed the trash from the room he's primarily in most of the time, but I obviously can't always get to that if I'm pressed for time.

Suggestions?
 

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I'll bet most dogs have gotten into the trash or will get into the trash eventually. They might be bored or lonely, but just think of the cool stuff they can smell and see getting put in there! Years ago, I would get upset and scold my dogs for getting into the trash, but they always did it again eventually. It's obviously a very self-reinforcing behavior for them, and that overrode any thoughts of me coming home to a mess and getting upset. So I tried moving the trash back and forth to safety when I left, but I couldn't always be bothered or forgot and then I'd inevitably come home to a mess which was both very frustrating and a time waster. I had no one to scold but myself. So now the trash stays safely behind a door that is always closed no matter what, just as the bathroom trash was put up out of reach of the dogs long ago. Problem solved for four of my seven dogs who are not crated when I'm away.
 

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I don't think the dog is acting out. He just has time to get into things. The best way to keep him from doing it is to leave him in a place where he can't get into things. Confine him to a bathroom or one or two rooms that are dogproofed.

I love my Cupid, but when I leave him to roam in the house, he's going to get into whatever he can. So I leave him in the laundry room, which I keep very clean so I can leave at a moment's notice if needed.
 

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Can you just keep the trash out of the way, in a pantry, utility room, or garage?

Also make sure you are walking him before you leave in the morning long enough to burn off some energy. Leave him some stuffed Kongs, toys, or chews when you leave.
 
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