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Discussion Starter #1
Let me give a little back story here....

I use to crate my dog, and it was disastrous. He would pee and poop in the cage, then scratch to try to get out, which led to the pee and poop being flung all over the walls. Really gross stuff, right? I had to bathe him all the time, and he was constantly having accidents in the house regardless of how often I took him outside.

So I decided to see what happened if I left him out to have free roam of the house (although I closed doors to keep him out of bedrooms and bathrooms) while I was gone. Started out leaving him for short times, eventually lengthened it. Basically, it went BEAUTIFULLY. The accidents stopped, and he just became a much better dog.

Well, eventually I realized he had done a little chewing on some of the couch pillows, and since they're my roommate's pillows I decided to put him in my room while I was gone, but still not crate him. This has been a great move. He's never destroyed anything, and my neighbors say he's totally quiet all day (whereas he use to bark all the time when crated).

My roommate got a new dog, and the two dogs have become great friends. They hate being seperated. Every morning when I get up, my dog goes and waits outside the other bedroom, whining, waiting for my roommate's dog to come out.

This is where the problem lies. Because they want to be together all the time, my dog is now not content w/ being stuck in my bedroom when I'm gone and he scratches the door and the door frame. He has completely destroyed it. My other roommate (who is away at school, but coming back soon, and who owns the condo) heard about the damage and told me I have to start crating him again.

I dont' know what to do, because I know crating him will solve the scratching problem but it will create a whole bunch of new problems. The thing is, Copper always did fine in the crate when I was home (I'd put him in a few minutes before I left, he was trained to go in when I said "kennel" and he would just walk in and lay down. It's not like he hated going in.) but the issues were happeneing when I was gone, so I couldn't really do anything to discourage the behavior.

So basically, I'm trying to come up with a solution. I have a large kennel and I thought we could try crating the dogs together, since the seperation seems to be what causes the issues. Other than that, I dont' know what to do.

I know you're supposed to be able to crate train a dog so he feels comfortable and happy in his kennel, but it just never worked with Copper. I just hate the fact that because of this new dog, I haev to start doing something that my dog hates. that's why I'm trying to come up w/ another option.

Any ideas anyone has would be much appreciated!! Thank you!
 

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What if you put both dogs in your room while you are gone and see how that works? Of course, that would only work if your roommate had a similar schedule and were both gone at about the same time. Does the other dog have free roam of the house, or are both dogs left in separate rooms?

I know the roommate who owns the house wants you to crate him, but if the damage is already done, I'd try having the dogs together in the same room if its feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That idea had crossed my mind, actually. The only thing is my roommate's dog is very nosy and gets into everything. I would have to make sure everything was put away really well, but then that might be good motivation for me to keep my room clean. :)

My current roommie and I are on totally different schedules but it allows us to have the dogs out most of the time. They aren't left alone for more than a couple hours at a time a couple days a week, maybe with the OCCASIONAL longer period of time. So most of the time they have free roam of the house since one of us is usually here. When they are apart, my dog is in my room not crated and the other dog is crated in another room.

I agree w/ what you said about letting them try it since the damage is already done. I figure I should try different options before getting it fixed.

We had also thought about crating them together in a large crate, but the roommie did research and apparently most people say bad idea in case they fight or if one of them goes potty then they're both stuck in it. I still want to give it a shot, though.
 

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Can you work on getting them used to being separated while you're around? Kind of the same philosophy you would use while crate training - gradually work up the amount of time they're separated.
 

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Behaviors that occur while you're away are hard to deal with. I'm going through the same thing with my dog - he does better out of the crate but has a tendency to counter surf. One thing we tried was to pretend we had left but then startle him when he did the unwanted behaviors. I wonder if you could pretend to leave but wait outside the door. When he started to scratch you could toss something against the door to startle him? It's a long shot but might be effective if he is deterred by loud noises.

What if you crated him but put the crate next to the other dogs crate? That way they would have the sense of companionship without being close enough to cause trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I've decided to move out of the condo into my own apartment...not JUST because of the dog stuff, but that definitely played a big role in it. (I wanted to move anyway).

My neighbor watched my dog the other day and she said when she came home from being out he was scratching at HER door, as well. This is odd because her dog is another one of my dog's playmates but he paid not attention to her dog and just scratched the door.

So, the idea of pretending to leave then throwing something at the door is a good one...May have to give that a try because it seems like this behavior may be tough to break even after I move.

It's so frustrating because the roommate's dog has caused my dog to pick up all tehse bad habits and behaviors and it really upsets me because now I have to go to the trouble of breaking him of all of it.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
 
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