Need help creating a dog door/gate
Michelle Randolph
April 29, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have an area in the bedroom that I would like to make into a dog pen for when I am away, but I am having trouble finding a suitable entrance for the pen. My dog had taken apart an airline approved crate in 30 min. I have a metal crate that is all bent up and he has escaped from it multiple times.
I am in the process of putting a wall up in the back of the area and I'm going to tile the floor and sides incase of water spills.
Does anyone have any ideas for the front so this escape artist will not be able to escape?
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Margaret B
Not sure what your decor is, but what about a piece of salvaged rod Iron fence on heavy duty hinges? No moulding on the inside of the kennel, all fasteners on the outside?
April 29, 2013 at 5:39am     
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Margo
+1 with Margret- first thing that popped into my mind was a wrought iron gate.
April 29, 2013 at 5:51am     
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handymam
How long will your dog be in there? It is not a very big space. And how large is your dog? That slanted wall doesn't not allow for anything but a very short dog to walk around in there.
April 29, 2013 at 5:58am     
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Michelle Randolph
The dog will be in there for about 9 hours. He is medium height dog. The space is larger than a large dog crate. I can fit the crate inside this space now.
April 29, 2013 at 6:02am     
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myepello
Find a walker or other accom. 9hrs is WAY too long to be caged.
April 29, 2013 at 6:09am     
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handymam
Do people leave dogs in a crate for 9 hours? I don't have a dog, but that seems kind of long for a dog to be in there.
April 29, 2013 at 6:10am     
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Jayme H.
We have a large kennel in our attached, heated garage..we leave the door open/and their doggie door to the fenced in backyard when we r going to be gone for more than a few hours. I realize not everyone has this option, but it does work nicely.
April 29, 2013 at 6:21am     
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handymam
Do you have a basement? At least there would be more room to move around.
April 29, 2013 at 6:23am     
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kimdee24
Some dogs need to be crated during the day. I had one with anxiety issues, and if she wasn't confined to one area she made a mess while I was at work. It's not cruel, as long they have water and comfy bedding and enough space to get up and stretch. Dogs sleep most of the day anyhow when there's nothing going on. And for some dogs, THEY feel safer when they don't have a whole house to 'protect'.
April 29, 2013 at 6:25am     
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ktiquet
What type of dog do you have? Some breeds are chewers and you might need to put bitters spay on the " gate " part. If nothing else your pup might need to go to doggie daycare. Dogs will eat drywall to get out if your dog has mangled a meatal crate maybe it is being left alone to long 9 hours is a long time!
April 29, 2013 at 6:43am     
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kimdee24
Here's an example of what someone did.
If you search "dog" or "dog kennel" in the Browse Rooms section, there are lots of examples.
April 29, 2013 at 6:46am     
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Michelle Randolph
My dog is a Black Lab with Dutch Shepard. He is a neurotic dog, every time someone knocks on the door he starts running in circles and the tears apart my couch or rocker. I have someone who comes in during the day when I am at work to let him out to run and go potty. But if I leave him home alone out of the crate my living room is torn apart to the extent of replacing furniture. I got him as a rescue when he was only 9 months but I just have not been able to help him with the destruction of my home. I just can't "just get rid of him" he is part of the family.
April 29, 2013 at 7:00am     
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kimdee24
Good luck, Michelle! We just love the little stinkers even when they're "bad." I hope you find a solution and are able to make him a safe place to be while you're away. If you can make it a positive place for him to be, he'll feel safe and you'll feel better knowing your house isn't being destroyed (and he's not hurting himself) while you're out.

My current dog loves her crate... it's "her" place, she goes into it on her own when she wants quiet time. I don't have to crate her (anymore) when I'm out, but I crate trained her from day one so she is used to it.

Funny, because her favorite spot now in the new house is behind the door in my den, it's like a little cave when the door is open. I had to put a bed in there for her because I kept finding her back there.
April 29, 2013 at 7:08am     
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homecrew
I recorded my doorbell and played it every time my 3 rescue dogs were eating. It took a few months, but now when they hear the doorbell, they think it is time to be fed and run to the kitchen. I also trained them to stay at their spots in order to get their meal. It has made a huge difference in the chaos level. Maybe something similar will help.
April 29, 2013 at 7:09am     
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PRO
Bens General Contracting Corp.
If you find a wrought Iron guy I am sure it will be secure
April 29, 2013 at 7:09am   
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Jayme H.
And it's harder when the dog is a rescue and u don't know it's history, etc...poor doggie!! Kudos to u Michelle for taking this challenge on!!
April 29, 2013 at 7:10am     
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kimdee24
Treats worked for me too. Downside is, now she expects a treat when *I* go outside... lol Agreed Jayme -- I *heart* people who rescue dogs. I'd have a houseful if I could.
April 29, 2013 at 7:12am     
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feeny
homecrew, that is a brilliant training trick. We have two aussies who go insane when the doorbell rings, and I am so stealing your method!

Michelle, if you are ever tempted to get another dog, sometimes a companion reduces the anxiety level for times alone in the house. Dogs are pack animals after all and prefer company. I'm not trying to talk you into a second dog if you don't want one. I'm just pointing out that there are some benefits if you do.
April 29, 2013 at 7:17am     
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DIAspoton
your dog needs EXERCISE. alot of exercise. he misbehaves because he has a great deal of natural energy and it has to come out someway. a few fast walking or running miles per day to start.
i'm all for crate training but would NEVER leave any dog, let alone a neurotic dog crated for 9 hours. having someone come in for a short time during the day is not enough for your breed mix. those are both active breeds. please read cesar milan and talk with trainers.

have you checked into doggie daycare? your dog gets to play all day with other dogs in supervised conditions. he gets to enjoy the outdoors and be a dog.he comes home tired and well mannered.
labs and shepherds were certainly never meant to spend 9 hrs a day alone in a crate. a responsible rescue should not have approved such a living situation.

the dog is not the problem. the situation is. the longer you confine him the worse it will get. it's up to you to do whats right for your dog.
ask friends and your vet for daycare recommendations. try taking your dog for a few days. bet you'll see a big difference.
do you go to off leash parks to let him run and play and be a dog? it helps.
sorry for the lecture but i've rescued too many dogs who finally get to be too much for the owners . it doesn't have to be that way.
April 29, 2013 at 7:22am     
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Michelle Randolph
I have two Dachshunds also but they get stepped on if they are in the same crate. So I have them next to each other for company. That has not helped. So I am trying to give him a bigger space that will feel more like a den for him.
April 29, 2013 at 7:22am     
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Jayme H.
@Michelle...Wondering if metal would be the way to go...Initially I thought that too...A metal, swinging gate? Prob. would need a frame built, etc..something strong enough to hold it, etc...
April 29, 2013 at 7:29am   
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ruthmand
Sorry, but your dog will destroy all your drywall if you leave him in that space. At that point it won't matter what type of gate you have. I have to agree with DIAspoton, your dog needs daily exercise that consists of more than just a trip outside to go potty. Note how Cesar Milan takes these dogs rollerblading with him to get the energy out off them. That is part of the commitment you make when having an active breed of dog. We have a border collie so have some experience with that. I truly do not mean to be unkind, but unless you can get your dog out for a daily run of 30 min. or more or to a doggie day care situation, you should do your dog a giant favor and get him to a home that can. Your dachshunds do not require near that much exercise and are probably the perfect type of dog for you when you are gone 9 hrs. at a stretch.
April 29, 2013 at 7:59am     
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8dognight
I have nine border collies--only six are in the profile photo--who have been taught from puppyhood to accept crates when necessary. Some even like them. If you haven't done this, you need to buy something truly sturdy. If you don't, no matter how much training you do now, you'll always wonder whenever you leave the house, then you and the dog will both have anxiety issues. Ruthmand is right about that drywall. Try Empire Pro-Select crates on Amazon which I found by googling: indestructible "dog crate". The other option is to search mushers and find one who will talk to you about crate transport.. For an amusing story of crate destruction, read Gary Paulson's account in "Winterdance" of his first attempt at crating sled dogs for travel.

BTW, don't feel guilty about crating. Exercise is great; my dogs get a lot of it. Chances are zero to nonexistent that exercise will cure your dog's problem.

You can always try a behaviorist. In the mean time, invest in a crate your dog can't get out of. Introduce the dog to the crate slowly. Never leave him alone in it for long periods until you have very slowly built up time spent from three minutes. Don't shut the door at first. Be careful with Kongs that hold treats. Some dogs rip up the Kongs, eat parts, and then have to have surgery. Make sure you know what your dog is likely to do.
May 9, 2013 at 7:20am   
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8dognight
Since the crate will be in the bedroom, have the dog sleep in it at night. That will help. From a salvage yard or junk shop, get an iron garden gate with scrolls and ornamentation to put in front of the mega-metal crate.
May 9, 2013 at 7:34am   
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ruthmand
8dognight, your comments are excellent. Nine border collies - oh my! As an aside, in Alaska they "bag" sled dogs for airplane transport. That means they stick the dog in a sack that gets tied off at the neck and then they can put a bunch of them in the back of a small airplane without worrying about messes. Most mushers have a special top for the back of their pickup, usually home built, that is divided into boxes. Each box has a hole in its door for the dogs nose to stick out and get fresh air. Then the sled gets tied to the top. Quite a sight!
May 9, 2013 at 4:53pm   
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8dognight
Feeding your dog in the crate will also help with adjustment. Don't shut the door at first. Just get the dog used to the idea.

Oh, and if you get a scrolly, old garden gate to put in front of the sturdy crate, be sure to get the paint off the old gate just in case it's lead.

Let's make a rational balance here, a teeter-totter of fates: Which is worse, nine hours safe and secure in a crate or dead at the animal shelter with the best result being goingfrom home to home to home because the dog is unstable? I vote for the questioner's crate. It's not what I do except in rare circumstances but for her dog it sounds like the best alternative.
May 9, 2013 at 5:08pm     
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8dognight
I didn't pay attention to the two small dogs. Once the big one is used to the crate, everyone can sleep in the bedroom with you just fine and probably very quickly. However, even when the big dog is used to the crate don't leave him in the same room with the other dogs uncrated or even crated when you aren't home. The smaller ones are likely to drive him nuts and vicesa versa. Be careful with that.
May 9, 2013 at 6:57pm   
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8dognight
Do you have any room in your garage for kennels? My dogs sleep inside, mostly in the bedroom; I have garage kennels for use when I am out and I also use them if I have workmen around. Mine are Priefert.
May 9, 2013 at 8:20pm     
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handymam
8dognight--9 border collies in that pen at one time?
May 11, 2013 at 4:38pm     
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8dognight
Handyman, of course not. That is one of the kennels. One dog is in there when I leave the house or have workmen here. The same with other kennels.
May 11, 2013 at 4:58pm   
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Aja Mazin
8dognight,

So you garage is bigger than your house which is a small farm in rural Georgia??

Have you ever considered fencing in your yard and letting your dogs get exercise and fresh air?
May 11, 2013 at 5:02pm   
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studio10001
(which reminds me of a certain query re. whether chandies should go in the garage! (L)). Michelle has not had anything to say for over a week, but I, too hope there is a spot for this Priefert - or how about a playhouse sized doghouse out of doors? The alternative just seems a wee too 'Anne Franks' to rally behind. I wish M and co.good health (-and an extra 1/4 acre, while I'm at it.)
May 11, 2013 at 5:13pm     
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onthefence
Aja, my BIL and SIL live on a small farm in Northern CA. Their garage/barn is substantially larger than their house. I'd actually prefer to see their dogs crated indoors when they're not home. I've been in the barn on a summer day and outside the same day. Even under cover when outside, inside the barn is cooler.
May 11, 2013 at 5:17pm   
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Aja Mazin
I am quite familiar with rural Georgia.

And my great aunt Rosene has 200+ acres in Prosperity, S.C.
May 11, 2013 at 5:32pm   
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onthefence
Aja, I'm very familiar with the responsibilities of companion pet ownership. My DH and I have a combined total of well over a decade* of dog/cat ownership. We both used to be adamantly opposed to crating. (*edit - that should read CENTURY.)

Two recent 4 legged additions to our family and the experiences of a neighbor with a new dog changed our minds. It was definitely a learning process - but I now see the advantages to crating for special circumstances.

Kimdee spelled out the benefits as well as anyone here I think
May 11, 2013 at 5:34pm     
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Michelle Richardson
I don't know where the OP lives, but in some areas it is safer to keep the dog inside the house and in the crate. I have known of dogs stolen from back yards, and I have seen dogs poisoned by neighbors for barking while kept outside.

There are few perfect pet homes. And insisting upon impossible standards means dogs die in shelters while waiting for that perfect home.
May 11, 2013 at 5:43pm     
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onthefence
Right now, my two are sacked out in the living room watching baseball with dad. Tonite, they'll voluntarily go to their crates for bedtime. Well, not the doxie. She expects to be carried to bed ;-) Diva!
May 11, 2013 at 5:48pm     
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judianna20
i am just commenting on the picture provided. The space looks as if it is under an eve, no light, no ventilation. It concerns me. How about something outside, fenced in, with a shelter for the puppy to go when it rains and find a comfy dog bed, some water and food. Cold? Electricity for an electric blanket.

Then have your pet with you when you are home.

Dogs need to tinkle and 9 hours is a long time.

What is a troll, Nancy?
May 11, 2013 at 6:01pm     
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onthefence
judyg - to your point about poochies being outside - this is what I was attempting to address earlier. My BIL/SIL live in an area where 105+ degree temps aren't uncommon in the summer. They also have a barn/garage. On those summer days it's cooler in the barn than it is outside under a tree or shade structure of some sort.

Being in the burbs, our dogs generally have indoor/outdoor access when we're not here. The pet door is in the back door which enters to the laundry room.

However, if there is something unusual going on (workmen in the neighborhood, etc) that would cause them to be outside and barking a lot while we're gone, they're crated in the house. They're more relaxed and the neighbors don't have to endure the barking.
May 11, 2013 at 6:17pm   
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onthefence
studio, I'm not 100% convinced that the space is disturbing. I haven't seen the height or size of the dog, don't know how high/wide the area is and haven't seen what the view is from there. Before I judged the space, I'd have to know the actual size of the dog and the actual size of the space.

It could well be a safe haven for a nervous neurotic dog.
May 11, 2013 at 6:21pm     
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Nancy Walton
Yes, but. Several people have responded without making extreme personal attacks. I have a dog almost exactly like Michelle's dog, which cost me thousands of dollars in vet bills due to his ingestion of inedible objects, but I have empathy for the dog because of the circumstances from which I rescued him. He, too, was about 9 months old when I got him. I have also had to confine him at times, and when I had to go away and board him, the people where I board him can't believe I won't allow him to have a soft bed or blanket in the kennel. From experience, I know I can't let him have anything like that or he will eat it and cost me another vet bill. It doesn'tt hurt him, it is for his own protection. And FYI, a dog can go for 9 hours without water or going to the bathroom--(I asked my vet)that's the way they are made. IF the dog is kept outdoors in the heat he needs access to water, but not if he is indoors where there is airconditioning.
May 11, 2013 at 6:23pm     
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studio10001
Reasonable point, otr. Does anyone think that a hugging vest, and/or training for anxiety might be involved as part of the solution here? And how much space would be considered enough leg room in proportion to the dog's size? Turn-around room? 6 paces? Where does everyone's antennae go up?
May 11, 2013 at 6:36pm     
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onthefence
Studio - funny, I was thinking about hugging vests while reading this thread today. The vest and/or training might help. IMO dogs are so much like us though - there is no single perfect answer for every dog for their issues.

For crate/pen size, we prefer something tall enough for them to stand comfortably and have their heads at normal position. We like something that is twice the size of the dog when laying down. That way if they have an accident, they can move to another part of the crate. I think this also allows them room to fluff their bed without being in the middle of it. Humane Society says this is too large but it's a preference for us.
May 11, 2013 at 7:23pm     
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judianna20
Good point, Nancy. I did not think about the heat. We have a rescue CAT. She is our love muffin, I would do anything to make her feel safe and loved. She does not want to be alone and will join me where ever I am in the house, no matter the time, day or night. My initial reaction to this post was that the dog was left alone for so long, in such a small space. I shouldn't comment on what I have no personal experience with...but, a poor puppy, alone for 9 hours just tears my heart out.
May 11, 2013 at 7:29pm     
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May 11, 2013 at 7:45pm     
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studio10001
I think they are like us as well, and I also have difficulty w the idea, for the reasons you mentioned judyg, even after these responses- not that a crate is sometimes used, but that this particular crate sounds as though it will be used as a matter of course, and because m has not responded re other ideas that were mentioned. I purposely didn't comment earlier, as I was waiting to see if a better resolution would find acceptance. I have worked w mentally disabled children, as well as neurotic animals ( I say this now, because I feel the thread abandoned by OP), and would never personally place an animal anywhere I would not place a three year old child. That said, it seemed the thread mentioned puppy training earlier, but didn't quite tap into how to convince an older dog that a narrowly sloped space was his happy zone. I hope Michelle does continue to read the thread, as onthefence's comments seem at least a firmer guideline...that and her thread has musical acccompaniment, now :))
May 11, 2013 at 7:49pm     
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bocadog
I think your best course of action if you need to crate a dog for 9 hours is to find them a loving home with someone who has more time.
May 11, 2013 at 9:06pm     
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Michelle Richardson
That crate may be needed as a matter of course until that particular dog calms down. That's just the way it is.

Y'know, we domesticated dogs, not the other way around. Dogs want to fit into your family. They want o belong. If this particular dog needs to be crated until it feels secure, then so be it. It beats bing returned to the pound.
May 11, 2013 at 9:14pm     
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armygirl1987
I think that there should be a middle ground here and ultimately it is what is best for the dog. I have more dogs than most people think that I should and at times I feel that I do not do enough to take care of them and feel the need to give them to someone that would better take care of them. I just lost my first dog little less than a month ago and it is still hard for me. But I love and take care of them to the best of my abilities. But it is obvious that she came here asking for help and being negative is not going to help. There is a time and a place for certain things and Houzz is not it at this time. I have a huge backyard that my dogs are allowed to roam, I leave my umbrellas open and my patio is their home. But if I am going somewhere and at night they all go into their crate. That is where they sleep and when I just need some quiet. Houzz is here to help people with their dilemmas that is all. Can we all just get along...
May 11, 2013 at 9:42pm     
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kimdee24
Well said Angela.
May 11, 2013 at 9:58pm     
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mcbriec
I rescue street dogs from Taiwan,. I own 3 and always have a fourth as a foster. (I also have 11 feral cats.)Calling this poor woman names for crating this dog is absolutely uncalled for and very unjust. My dogs happily run into their crates every night and can often be in them for 9 hours. They consider their crates their safe little dens and go into them when the door's left open. They are never anxious to run outside when let out in the morning, i.e., not urinating for 9 hourse was not an issue.

Unfortunately, this dog has some separation anxiety issues and if left in a larger space can be at risk of injuring himself as well as tearing the entire house apart. My own recommendation would be to consult a behaviorist who can offer behavior mod, and probably meds. This dog may always need special management and is damned lucky this woman cares enough to work with him.
May 11, 2013 at 11:00pm     
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onthefence
I've often said that if there is an afterlife, I'd like to come back as my DH's dog. It's a good life I tell ya.

There are many here I would happily add to that list. It's very clear how much you love and care for your fur family.

Angela, I'm so sorry for your loss.
May 11, 2013 at 11:55pm   
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lori77h30
Hi Michelle good luck with your project . Doggie daycare is a very cheap alternative. I found if I buy a package it is cheaper than hiring a dog walker per day. All day fun is 14-20 dollars where I live vs 15-20 dollars fora 30 min visit. I take my dog to daycare 3 times a week and more when she was young it calmed her down so much I don't have to crate her at all. Good luck!
May 12, 2013 at 1:36pm     
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kohu
Late to the party here, but I wondered if you have tried a DAP diffuser to help calm and reassure the dog (with or without crating).
June 7, 2013 at 11:53am   
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