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I've been dreading the first hours-long crating. We have an older dog that's used to it, but I'm not sure we've gotten off on the right foot with Griz. See, I took two months off work for this puppy event, so I've been home with him every day, all day, working on potty training and basic OB. (Lucky pup, huh?)

We've made the crate a positive place - I bring it with me from room to room and set it down with the door open, and treats and comfy pad inside. He will go in and lie down about 50% of the time if I'm in the shower or working on the computer, etc. I praise him when he goes into the crate on his own. The other half of the time he would rather lie on the floor right next to me or under my chair!

So here's where I think we're screwing up: he's 3 months old, and I've only tried leaving him the crate with the door shut (with treats, after a long walk) and walking down to the laundry room (we live in a condo) 3 or 4 times. I could hear his yelping all the way down the hallway. He was in there maybe 15 minutes. Every time I tried that he'd completely avoid the crate for days afterward.

Should I:
A) Just force him. I do have to go back to work Sept. 6, and I know he'll live through it. He's potty trained and we walk him MILES a day so he should physically be able to deal with a 6+ hour long crating. Should I just bite the bullet, put in him, and leave? Will he see that as some sort of punishment? Or will he just get used to it? We've had to board him a few times and I know he's lived through being in a pen by himself all night at the boarding facility, but that was in a room with other dogs, a TV on quietly, etc.

B) Keep going slowly for longer periods of time, working up to a few hours. I go back to work Sept. 6th so I don't know how much time I'll have to do that.

B) Keep his crate in the same room as our older dog's crate? Would that just create more anxiety for the pup or would it be a comfort to him to know he's not alone? I was going to put the pup's crate in the bathroom, where he doesn't see such a huge expanse of empty space (we live in a renovated artist's warehouse loft) plus it would muffle the yelping to for our neighbors. Which would be better, out in the open next to our other dog's crate or in the bathroom?

I feel like we've really slacked off on the crate training - he should be farther along by now, and I'm really hoping all the 24-hour attention he gets from me hasn't created a bad case of seperation anxiety. I'm CONFLICTED!
 
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