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  #1  
Old 05-24-2011, 12:40 PM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Why would a dog suddenly avoid its crate?

We have two Corgis, both about 18 months old. Both have been crated trained since we got them as pups and have been very comfortable with their crates. They sleep in them at night and go in their crates for our meal times, and usually when we leave the house.
The female lately has been resisting our commands to go to her crate. She runs somewhere else, like a dog bed, or just refuses to go. When we go to her, she'll go submissive and roll over on her back, then we pick up her and take her to the crate.
Now this dog has always been headstrong, strong willed, but generally obedient. Her attitude is "I know you want me to do that, and I will, but I'm going to meander and do it in my own time." Not the best behavior from a dog, but it's her personality.
This refusing to go in her crate is new, however. We've checked to be sure that her crate is clean and we don't know of any kind of bad experience she would associate with the crate. It's like she's decided that she's had enough of this crate business and isn't going to do it anymore.
Any thoughts on why she would act like this and how to correct it?
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2011, 12:41 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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18 months is the equivalent of a teenager - she's probably just pushing you to see what she can get away with. Many dogs go thorugh a phase of that about that age, just like human teenagers do.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:11 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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As long as it's clean and she still fits comfortably inside of it, I can't think of a physical problem. Maybe she gets bored in there? Can you try putting a new toy or a rawhide ear in there to make it less boring?
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:19 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Dogs like crates and anything else they can make into a "fort" so to speak. Most likely is something spooked her when she went for the crate, now she is associating that with the crate.

Maybe as she was going into the crate, there was a crash of thunder or something fell on her. Now she associates the crate with the "bad thing."

Best bet is to get rid of that crate and get her a new "fort" or some kind to hide in. A new crate that looks much different may work.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:20 PM
Profound Gibberish Profound Gibberish is offline
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Originally Posted by Candyman74 View Post
18 months is the equivalent of a teenager - she's probably just pushing you to see what she can get away with. Many dogs go thorugh a phase of that about that age, just like human teenagers do.
Agreed. She is testing the limits. You just have to be consistent with your orders and ensure she follows through. She will get over it and you will have a much more responsive and attatched dog.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:26 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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While a dog's personality is fixed by 12 weeks, it isn't mature until it is 3 years old. it sounds like halfway there she has decided she is a big girl and shouldn't have to be shut in a crate. If not spayed, her second season could be coming, always likely to bring on flaky behavior.

Rawhide is a bad idea, killed many dogs. They tear off a piece, bolt it down and it swells blocking the airway or digestive tract.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:34 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
While a dog's personality is fixed by 12 weeks, it isn't mature until it is 3 years old. it sounds like halfway there she has decided she is a big girl and shouldn't have to be shut in a crate. If not spayed, her second season could be coming, always likely to bring on flaky behavior.

Rawhide is a bad idea, killed many dogs. They tear off a piece, bolt it down and it swells blocking the airway or digestive tract.
Every dog owner I've ever known gives their dogs rawhide bones--I don't own one myself, so I apologize if that was bad information.

I suppose this might be fodder for another thread entirely, but I never knew rawhide was dangerous. Is this something well-known among conscientious dog owners and only done by the reckless or stupid ones (like buying from puppy mills is)?
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:41 PM
melodyharmonius melodyharmonius is offline
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Is the crate in a place near a heater or air conditioner or window where the seasonal change may be affecting it in a way that didn't occur to you?
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2011, 02:56 PM
Profound Gibberish Profound Gibberish is offline
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Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
Every dog owner I've ever known gives their dogs rawhide bones--I don't own one myself, so I apologize if that was bad information.

I suppose this might be fodder for another thread entirely, but I never knew rawhide was dangerous. Is this something well-known among conscientious dog owners and only done by the reckless or stupid ones (like buying from puppy mills is)?
My wife and I have owned and trained many dogs (primary Australian Cattle Dogs i.e Blue Heelers) over the years. We do not use rawhides or any plush toys anymore. We have had to rescue one of our dogs that was absolutely choking on a rawhide (the heimlich does work on dogs, btw) and another of our dogs died after having part of a plush toy in her stomach for 3-6 months (this was found during emergency adbominal surgery).

We now only use Kongs, Nylabones, or other toys that are too large to swallow or will only breakdown into very very small pieces. Please learn from our mistakes.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2011, 06:46 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
While a dog's personality is fixed by 12 weeks, it isn't mature until it is 3 years old. it sounds like halfway there she has decided she is a big girl and shouldn't have to be shut in a crate. If not spayed, her second season could be coming, always likely to bring on flaky behavior.

Rawhide is a bad idea, killed many dogs. They tear off a piece, bolt it down and it swells blocking the airway or digestive tract.
Meh. I've seen a person choke on chicken. Don't let people eat chicken!

I've seen a thousand digs eat rawhide bones. Never seen one harmed by one. They sure enjoy them though!
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2011, 08:00 PM
j666 j666 is offline
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Have you tried washing her blankets with scent and dye free detergent and fabric softener?
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2011, 09:52 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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I have never been able to find any numbers on the dogs killed by rawhide. There are no big class action suits like with Greenies.

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...r_your_dog.htm

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...dog-chews.html

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...de_warning.htm

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...m-walmart.html

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...w-sticks_.html

http://www.goodsearch.com/redirect.a...y_to_your.html

None of those sites are what I consider reliable, but I have sources I consider reliable that are not on the net that are against rawhide.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2011, 02:54 AM
Stan Shmenge Stan Shmenge is offline
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Have you considered that the dog wants to be with it's pack (you and the rest of the family) and not arbitrarily confined for no good reason.

I just don't get "crate training". I don't like it and am baffled by the (relatively recent) fad. Sticking an animal in a box is NOT "training". A dog is a pack animal, or from our perspective, a member of the family. My dogs have always slept where they liked, usually in our bed, but it was always their choice.

What is the point of crate training? Does it have something to do with toilet training? If that is the case, it is as bad as "training wheels" on bicycles for children. It will only delay the desired result, IMHO. It seems that crate training is a warning signal: "Lazy owner who doesn't want to spend the time to properly housebreak the dog and clean the occasional mess."

90% of dog owners have no business with a canine.

/dog owner who takes his dog everywhere it is allowed
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2011, 08:42 AM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Originally Posted by Stan Shmenge View Post
Have you considered that the dog wants to be with it's pack (you and the rest of the family) and not arbitrarily confined for no good reason.

I just don't get "crate training". I don't like it and am baffled by the (relatively recent) fad. Sticking an animal in a box is NOT "training". A dog is a pack animal, or from our perspective, a member of the family. My dogs have always slept where they liked, usually in our bed, but it was always their choice.

What is the point of crate training? Does it have something to do with toilet training? If that is the case, it is as bad as "training wheels" on bicycles for children. It will only delay the desired result, IMHO. It seems that crate training is a warning signal: "Lazy owner who doesn't want to spend the time to properly housebreak the dog and clean the occasional mess."

90% of dog owners have no business with a canine.

/dog owner who takes his dog everywhere it is allowed
And 90% of people who make assumptions are usually wrong. Of course the dogs are housebroken, and the dogs are very much part of the pack. They spend nearly their entire day roaming the house at will, sleeping wherever they want, which for one is right next to me while I work in my office and for the other is a big cushy bed upstairs. Except for the times they go in their crates on their own to nap because they consider their crates to be safe places that are all their own.
If you don't know the point of crate training, then you're being awfully vociferous in your condemnation of it.
I could just as easily say the lazy dog owner is the one who doesn't want to enforce boundaries like a true alpha male would.
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2011, 09:18 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Have you checked inside the crate for loose ends or pokey bits? It may be that there's something poking her if she leans up on the wall, and she's resisting the ouchy spot.
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2011, 10:30 AM
misterW misterW is offline
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Originally Posted by Dingbang View Post
And 90% of people who make assumptions are usually wrong. Of course the dogs are housebroken, and the dogs are very much part of the pack. They spend nearly their entire day roaming the house at will, sleeping wherever they want, which for one is right next to me while I work in my office and for the other is a big cushy bed upstairs. Except for the times they go in their crates on their own to nap because they consider their crates to be safe places that are all their own.
If you don't know the point of crate training, then you're being awfully vociferous in your condemnation of it.
I could just as easily say the lazy dog owner is the one who doesn't want to enforce boundaries like a true alpha male would.
I think crates are OK if used properly. But too often, I think the create becomes a solution for problems that are better solved in other ways. For example, a dog that chews things up due to lack of exercise may be simply stuck in a crate for hours to avoid having to deal with the problem. The end result is much like the old fashioned zoos that we all condemn, yet somehow it seems OK to do with your dog.

I believe the whole "alpha male" approach to dog training has also been shown to have some holes in it. From what I understand, it was based on how wolf behavior was understood a long time ago. However, more recent studies indicate that most wolf packs are not filled with wolves competing for a dominant/alpha role. Rather, they are small units consisting of the parents and pups. So, not as much of a struggle for dominance going on there as was previously thought. Temple Grandin feels that in most cases it is more effective to play the role of a parent rather than an alpha male enforcer.
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2011, 10:57 AM
misterW misterW is offline
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Make it enjoyable for her to go in -- ie leave some treats that she really likes in the crate.
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2011, 11:40 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
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Rawhides aren't inherently bad (YMMV), but leaving your dog alone with something they can ingest and then choke on is bad.

Any bone, rawhide or other, that I have gotten for my dog and comes in packaging says on the packaging "do not leave your dog unsupervised with this bone."

So, do not leave your dog in a crate with a rawhide unless you are going to be nearby.

Stan - Crate training means safety. As in "you can't be trusted to be loose in the house while we are gone without destroying something/choking/getting stuck/electrocuting yourself."

It's the same as putting a baby to sleep in a crib because you can't trust them not to fall out of a bed. Or putting a baby in a playpen while you turn your back for a moment because you can't trust them not to die.

Dogs don't need their crates for very long. They eventually start hanging out in there with the door open because they like it. You also can eventually trust them to be home alone without being crated.

My dog kept her crate for about 2 years without the door. Eventually I got rid of it for more space. Now her favorite places to hang out are underneath a desk and in a shallow closet with an open door. Dogs like dens.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:03 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Stan -- the concept is that dogs won't pee or poop where they sleep.

We have never been able to trust our dog to sleep outside of the crate at night. She's just too much of a chewer -- she'll get ahold of something, and won't let go of it. Funny, we can trust her alone when we're not home, but not at night. Go figure. (I guess she knows we're here, but she won't lay still -- she'll be up all night causing mischief)

Besides, she LIKES her crate. In fact, when it's bed time, she'll start bugging my mother so she can go outside and then she runs right inside. As others have said, it's a little den -- she has her blankets and her little doggie bed inside, and there are curtains draped over the top, and it's nice and cozy. She feels safe in there. She's afraid of storms, for example, and will bark like crazy and freak out. But if there's one at night when she's in her crate, she won't make a peep.

So we don't put her in it when we're gone, just at night. It's like a crib. We used to leave it open so she could go in there any time she wanted, but then the cats started going in there.

The last dog we had COULD be trusted at night without a crate. This one can't.
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  #20  
Old 05-25-2011, 04:46 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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Originally Posted by Stan Shmenge View Post
Have you considered that the dog wants to be with it's pack (you and the rest of the family) and not arbitrarily confined for no good reason.

I just don't get "crate training". I don't like it and am baffled by the (relatively recent) fad. Sticking an animal in a box is NOT "training". A dog is a pack animal, or from our perspective, a member of the family. My dogs have always slept where they liked, usually in our bed, but it was always their choice.

What is the point of crate training? Does it have something to do with toilet training? If that is the case, it is as bad as "training wheels" on bicycles for children. It will only delay the desired result, IMHO. It seems that crate training is a warning signal: "Lazy owner who doesn't want to spend the time to properly housebreak the dog and clean the occasional mess."

90% of dog owners have no business with a canine.

/dog owner who takes his dog everywhere it is allowed
Relatively recent fad? In 1991 when my family started really learning a little about dogs, Wal-Mart stocked them.

From the hoard of dog advice I have been posting to dog forums fro over 10 years:

Other dogs may not be as bad as the young Labs I am plagued with. Still your house and dog will be much safer with the dog in a crate when you are away. The dog may be happier in its den than loose in the house. It relaxes, it feels safe in its den. It rests, the body slows down reducing the need for water and relieving its self. Dogs that have been crated all along do very well. Many of them will rest in their crates even when the door is open. I think the plastic ones give the dog more of a safe, enclosed den feeling. They are harder for dogs to open too. Metal ones can be put in a corner or covered with something the dog can't pull in and chew. Select a crate just big enough for the full grown dog to stretch out in.

Leave it some toys. Perhaps a Kong filled with peanut butter. Don't leave anything in the crate the dog might chew up. It will do fine without even any bedding. You will come home to a safe dog and a house you can enjoy.

A dog that has not been crated since it was little, make take some work. Start out just putting its toys and treats in the crate. Praise it for going in. If you have been able to trust it with any bedding, put that in the crate. Feed it in the crate. This is also an easy way to maintain order at feeding time for more than one dog.

It is only natural that a puppy resists its crate at first. What the puppy wants more than anything else is to be others, you, anyone else in the household, and any other pets. In our modern society, even if we are home, other things distract us from the attention an uncrated puppy must have. The only real solution is to crate the dog when you aren't around. The dog may be happier in its den than loose in the house. It relaxes, it feels safe in its den. It rests, the body slows down reducing the need for water and relieving its self. Dogs that have been crated all along do very well. Many of them will rest in their crates even when the door is open. I think the plastic ones give the dog more of a safe, enclosed den feeling. Metal ones can be put in a corner or covered with something the dog can't pull in and chew. Select a crate just big enough for the full grown dog to stretch out in.

I am a big believer in crates, but hate to see any dog left over 4-5 hours. If you can't make it back to give it a mid day break, see if a neighbor or professional dog walker can. Doggy day care is a great idea too.

The "shut the puppy in a safe room" is a fallacy. Very few houses even have a safe room. How many of us have a room with a hard surfaced floor and nothing else? Most rooms have electrical cords to chew if nothing else. In addition to destroying anything a bored puppy finds to chew, it may choke or have intestinal blockage from the pieces. I had a friend that left her dog in a "safe" room. It ate a hole in the floor covering. The safe rooms fail to give the dog the comfort of the enclosed space their instinct requires. Nor do they restrict activity extending the time the dog can go without relieving itself.

Likely it will cry the first few nights in the crate. I have never had much luck with the old clock or radio tricks. What I do is lay down by the crate like I was going to sleep there. Usually a puppy may fuss a little, but then settle down and go to sleep. Once it is asleep, you can get up and go to bed.

Crating is a common technique now recommended by most experts. It is about working with a dog's instincts. I am sure many of the dogs dumped in shelters because the owners couldn't manage them could have if they used a crate.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:18 PM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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Crate training is very useful. Done right, the dog will not hate its crate and will use it for solace. My pug tends to get in his crate to sleep even though I don't always put him in it when I leave. It's clear that he feels safe and comfortable in there. This is a dog who is pretty vigilant and very person-focused, and I only have one dog, so without me it's not surprised if he feels some anxiety. He never gets in it (unless to retrieve a toy or a bone) when I'm home - then his place is with me - but when I can't be home, it's a good place for him to be.

That said, there can be problems. I've seen a few reasons why animals started being difficult about the crate:

1 - The crate was used in anger or for punishment.
2 - The animal's kept in the crate too long.
3 - The crate is uncomfortable or unpleasant in some way (needs cleaning, soft bedding, a bigger crate for the animal, etc).
4 - Something bad happened in or involving the crate, or it doesn't feel safe (loud noises, wire crate in an exposed area).
5 - Defying the crate command initially leads to indulgence (getting out the treats) or a confusing result (fine then, don't get in your crate!).

If it's none of those then I'd guess it's just the dog testing boundaries. Corgis can be stubborn. I have a pug and he can be the same way. As I mentioned before, he feels safe in his crate - if I leave for awhile, especially at night, and do not crate him (we are working away from using the crate during non-sleeping hours) then he will get in there eventually. Due to an extended program involving treats and several bedding tweaks, he usually RUNS to get in his crate when I ask him now. But once in awhile he'll cock his head like he doesn't understand, or go lie down under the table. He's just being contrary.

Plus, pugs are hard to potty train. I don't know how I could have done it without the crate. He hated going in his crate, but let him out (when he was a puppy) and he was hair-trigger on dropping a deuce someplace without notice. Thankfully we're past that stage now!

Last edited by fluiddruid; 05-25-2011 at 05:20 PM..
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:17 AM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions. It seems the most likely explanation is that she is just pushing back now that she's an adolescent. (That would explain all the bad rap music blaring from her crate too. "Turn that noise down!")

It totally fits with her personality. She's the mischievous, strong willed dog, while the other one is submissive and obedient almost to a fault. He races to his crate at the very first indication we might, maybe, possibly, be about to give him the command. Maintain a little dignity there, sport.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2011, 01:11 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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We crate-trained our old dog back in 1988. She didn't need it after she was house broken, though.
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  #24  
Old 05-26-2011, 02:41 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Originally Posted by Stan Shmenge View Post
Have you considered that the dog wants to be with it's pack (you and the rest of the family) and not arbitrarily confined for no good reason.

I just don't get "crate training". I don't like it and am baffled by the (relatively recent) fad. Sticking an animal in a box is NOT "training". A dog is a pack animal, or from our perspective, a member of the family. My dogs have always slept where they liked, usually in our bed, but it was always their choice.

What is the point of crate training? Does it have something to do with toilet training? If that is the case, it is as bad as "training wheels" on bicycles for children. It will only delay the desired result, IMHO. It seems that crate training is a warning signal: "Lazy owner who doesn't want to spend the time to properly housebreak the dog and clean the occasional mess."

90% of dog owners have no business with a canine.

/dog owner who takes his dog everywhere it is allowed
Sorry, but the term crate training may be new, but the method is old. When I was a kid in the 70s, we put our new puppy in a big cardboard box to sleep in, and then took him outside as soon as he was out of the box to pee. It's how you quickly potty train a dog. My dad said it was how he always raised his pups and he's old as dirt.
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  #25  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:53 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
We crate-trained our old dog back in 1988. She didn't need it after she was house broken, though.
She may not have needed it, but maybe she still wanted it. As described above, the crate/cage/carrier/whatever also serves as a private refuge. Our 10 year old dog goes to her "house" whenever she wants to, and any time we issue the order "house!" Even better, any time we're on the road for work (usually months at a time in a single spot), we don't travel with her container, but we find a cave-like area that's agreeable to all of us, and that becomes her new "house." She's happy, and so are we.
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