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I have a Border Beagle (6-7 years old) who is just the sweetest thing, and although I give her all the attention I can while at home and she's as happy as can be, we have to keep her in a crate while we're at work because when we first got her, she displayed some destructive tendencies, such as ripping up paper towels and other things around the room, peeing on the carpet, and even once or twice pooping, despite having been walked right before we left.

She doesn't hate her crate, as she will often trot off to nap there even while we're home. However, I feel bad that all she can do while we're at work is sleep. I'd like to make or buy something for her, maybe for her crate, that can keep her entertained. I had planned a while back to make an automatic food dispenser I could trigger remotely to give her some of her morning / evening food throughout the day, but haven't gotten to it yet.

I've also thought about attaching a small screen to her crate so she could watch Netflix or something while we're away.

Does anyone have any idea what I could do to help her have a better day?

  • Have you considered building/buying a small playpen for her? Something a little bit bigger than the crate, and something she can't easily get out of. That way she can have toys, food, and anything she needs really. – Akuminari Oct 20 '19 at 15:10
  • @Akuminari I can try it, but being that she's half Border Collie, she can be pretty clever sometimes, and I'm worried she'll break out. I guess I can try it one day while we're home and see if she makes any attempt to escape. – Darin Beaudreau Oct 21 '19 at 11:53
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What you have is an ultimate working dog mix breed of two highly intelligent and highly driven working dogs. So the destructive behaviour is likely boredom. And sadly dogs dont watch Netflix :P. Also keeping a dog crated in the day will likely make them alot more active when you get home because theyve been in it all day.

There are a couple of things that you could do for this.

Firstly, chances are she is active or wants to be, so a larger pen would be advantageous so she can move around and has space to play with toys or have bones etc and maybe space to wonder around.

You can buy large dog pens or even multiple sets of these to link together for extra space, we have these for my GSDs and they havn't jumped them yet. We have their crate in them too so they have their own room as such to sleep in and scatter toys, bones etc in them to keep them entertained.

Secondly, mental stimulation can tire a dog out more than physical stimulation. Food games or food toys to keep them busy are great. Things like kong balls with peanut butter or meat pate in them are great. Or more complex games that test the mind where she has to work to get the treats.

Lastly, routine. A good routine will set the dog up to be active when you are home and sleep when youre out, easy to do if you work 9-5. My GSDs tend to just sleep in the day and are awake when I get home.

Hope this helps.

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  • Thank you for the suggestions. I don't have much room to setup a pen, as we already have space issues, and live in an apartment. I'll see what options are available, though. I do have a Kong for her, but with peanut butter in there, she'll get it all out within 5 minutes. I've tried freezing it in the past overnight and it lasts a little longer. Are there any toys/games I could attach to the inside of her crate for her to play with? – Darin Beaudreau Oct 25 '19 at 15:27
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One thing you could try is a cow hoof, either plain or stuffed. It is all natural, good for teeth, and even keeps our English Mastiffs & American Hairless Terrier busy for week or two before replacing. Make it a special treat she only gets when crated, and make it a big deal she is getting it. Also, if we are going to be away for a bit, we leave the radio playing.

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