Look at her! Relaxing in her crate WITH the door closed! She has always been ok in her crate, voluntarily goes in there to hang out and sleeps in it all night, but ONLY with the door open. Her anxiety increases a LOT as soon as the door is closed. I had a plan to give her a beef bone that she has never had before in her crate and shut the door and hopefully she’d chew on it and relax and fall asleep for her nap. While she did chew on it for a good 20 minutes, she eventually realized that the door was closed and I wasn’t right next to her. I came over and eventually got her to lay down in there. But she got right back up so I let her come out and go potty outside, then she went back inside (voluntarily again!). Took her a few minutes to settle again, but she did it! I do need to be sitting next to the crate, but we’re working on one thing at a time and right now, it’s just getting her to be ok with the door being closed. I plan do this at the same time everyday with the hope that she’ll be able to stay in there for a couple hours at a time while we are away at church. While she did fall asleep in the crate with the door closed it was a very light sleep and not as long of a nap as she would have otherwise taken. She would wake up if I spoke too loud indicating that I wasn’t riiiiiight next to her.
Day two in the crate went similarly to day one with light intermittent sleep, but it seemed like it didn’t take quite as long for her to settle down each time.
Day three was markedly better in that she was able to settle and fall asleep without me sitting right next to her, though she did whine a couple times.
Day four started out good, she went in, whimpered a few times but settled and went to sleep, but then woke up 10-15 minutes later and got really anxious, she seemed more anxious than she was even on day one so we took her out to go potty. When she came back in it took a few minutes to settle down but she seems to be ok now.
Day five has actually gone well, she whimpered a bit at first but settled, slept, and stayed asleep for almost 2 hours. I was starting to second guess this whole thing because yesterday seemed like a bit of a set back. I really think that I’ll be able to go to church and leave her alone by next week.
Day six, no whining or whimpering, she just laid down and went to sleep! I told the kids to all go up stairs so no one would be around her crate so she could get used to being alone. I still stayed in the living room, but on the loveseat where she couldn’t see me. Though, she did wake up after an hour, whimper a bit then settled back down. Over the next few days I’ll get further and further away, until I just put her in the crate then go upstairs so she’s totally alone. I’m just so proud of the progress she’s made here because last week I was convinced that she wouldn’t take to the crate at all and we’d need to get one of those pet playpen fence things to keep her in. I am debating whether or not I should leave the TV on for her, or if maybe that wont be helpful. I also need to work on getting her to go in the crate when I tell her to, so far I haven’t used any commands, I just stick a treat in there and she walks in.
This one is going slowly since we’re not working on it everyday, but I have found a short trail about a mile from the house that I think would be good for us to drive to since the drive would end with us going to a fun and exciting place. I do wonder if part of her being anxious is because we were holding her on our laps before, maybe she’d feel more comfortable if we had her riding on the floor of the van at our feet and not looking out the window, so I think for the first little drive we do I’ll put her bed in there and see if it goes any better, but that’s still a couple days off since I still want to do a little bit more to get her used to the van in the first place.
She had her first bath and she didn’t hate it! It certainly wasn’t her favorite activity, but she tolerated it well and even willingly got back in the tub after she was done to finish licking the peanut butter.
She still has accidents, but Wednesday she started running over and ringing the bell to go out. I was hoping that that meant she was totally potty trained, but then she started to poop in the house Friday morning *facepalm*. I caught her and took her outside so she could finish outside. Now I’m thinking that it’ll be another few days (at least!) of her ringing the bell every time before it solidifies with her that that’s what she needs to do all the time.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about with potty training is that there may be times in the future when I’d need her to go on one of those pee pads (like if we’re traveling by plane, or train and I need her to go before we board, or even ON the plane/train/bus), but I don’t want to train her to go outside and on pee pads now, I feel like that would make potty training take longer, maybe I’m wrong though. Anyway, the first step to going potty on command is to start saying “go potty” or “go poop” when she’s doing it outside when we take her now. I was kind of doing that before, unintentionally and not every time, but I’ve started doing it every time. I figure it’ll also help if we ever go in a store or visit a friend to make sure she goes potty before going inside.
End of week weight: 22 lbs