My 6 month Cockapoo is starting to jump over the gates and gain free access to house.
I have a 6 month old Cockapoo and we've had her since she was 9 weeks old. She was originally crate trained and we still put her in her crate at night in our bedroom and she will hold it overnight with no problem.
She is definitely getting the housebreaking down and seldomly has an accident, usually us not seeing the signs. We have her confined to a large kitchen and sunroom area. We have gates in three areas, back stairway, dining room, and family room which is completely open to kitchen. In the evening I will move the gates back and allow her to roam in the family room and hang out with us on sofa, watch tv, etc.. She does great.
The other day when I went upstairs she started to whine and she jumped the gate. Now I am worried that when I leave her alone for a few hours that she will jump the gate searching for us and have free roam of the house. I don't care so much about her having an accident, I am worried she will get hurt roaming. Choking on something. Chewing wires and getting shocked, or something else. I don't like the idea of leaving her in her crate for more than 2 hours and I was getting used to having her roam the kitchen without any problem. Now I am in a bind for I am worried she will jump the gate and roam the house and hurt herself and I can't relax going out knowing she can get hurt! Please advise. She has jumped the gate more than once..
Hi Windy This is normal behavior for a pup, she's getting bigger and stronger and is starting to test her limits and exert her own opinion... and right now she thinks she wants to roam free!
I'd take a 'two-pronged' attack here, first make sure that you correct her firmly (a verbal command should be enough) and put her back into her area every time she jumps over the gate. Puppies learn through repetition and if you are consistent about correcting her she will soon understand that this is a 'no-no'.
However, you're right to be concerned about her roaming around the house unsupervised when you're out or at work, so I'd suggest using either a taller gate (you can get all sizes/widths/heights these days), or simply get another gate with 'spring-loaded' fixtures and set it up above the first one. You should only use this when you're not there to correct her, as you ultimately want her to stay put because she knows that's what you want her to do, rather than because she can't get out.
It sounds as though you're doing a great job with her overall and that she's learning and maturing nicely, so hopefully she'll figure this out quickly.