Didn't sleep much last night trying to get my head round how to solve Lola's sudden aversion to her crate at night. Numerous ideas in my head, some which are easy to sort and some not so.
One thing I have been struggling with is how firm and consistent we are with her when it comes to certain aspects of her training. I have been doing lots of research and reading and basically getting myself very confused with all the conflicting information and advice out there. It struck me that we are taking bits and pieces of different approaches and applying them but not really feeling confident about them.
It reminded me of when Alan was about 6 months old and had a million different professionals all firing information and therapy programmes at us that conflicted with each other and didn't take into account Alan's personality or how to motivate him. I eventually realised that actually I knew what was best for him and took control of the situation. Lightbulb moment - I felt the time had come to do the same with Lola.
I messaged a couple of dog owner friends and after brilliant feedback and a long chat my decision was made. A new approach of lots of love but with firm boundaries, which is what our gut instinct is telling us, is the way forward.
I came downstairs and within minutes Lola and David were looking at me with wide eyes. Treats in the crate, Kong toy filled with cheese that's only allowed in the crate, Lola only allowed on the bit of the sofa that has her throw was a start. David is delighted as he also wasn't feeling the approach we were taking was balanced enough or teaching Lola proper boundaries.
The rest of the day was lovely. A walk on her favourite walking route, games at home with the wind howling outside and cosy evening in with lots of discussion between David and me about how we would deal with her barking tonight.
When David took her out for her final loo break I put Goldie and her blankie in the crate along with some small treats. When she came in, to our surprise she went straight into her crate and lay down. David closed the crate door and put the blanket over the top and we headed out of the room leaving Classic FM playing down low incase the strong winds spooked her.
As she's done for the last few nights she started barking as we left the room but it sounded very half hearted. By the time we got upstairs it was just the odd bark. By the time I had brushed my teeth her barking had stopped completely. We were scared to breathe!
Still silence as the light went out. Promising start.