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she is staging a protest.  My 3 1/2 year old male does the same thing.  If he doesn't get a ride in the car in the morning and I leave him home and go somewhere he will go in the bedroom (where they have beds) and chew up my bath puff.  If that isn't available sometimes he will countersurf the kitchen and look for my stuff.  Cell phone, wallet etc.  My suggestion, and what I do, is put them in an ex-pen when you are gone.  That is much bigger and contains them enough so they don't need to go looking for protest materials in your house.  They are practicing good behavior and they have more room to stretch out in and play than a crate.  It works for us.

Nano

PS my 16 month old cannot be left out unless she is tired at night for a couple of hours only.  She will do the "sofa dancing" which is rooting around in the cushions and running in circles on the couch.  She is almost always left in ex-pen except if it is later in the evening and she is tuckered out and I am only going to be gone for a couple of hours.  Their boxers, independent thinkers, and they know how to throw a meaningful protest!
 

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If they have been properly crate trained first I have never had a problem with any of mine jumping an ex-pen.  In fact I just acordian mine into a shape that loops them into a corner area of the house and don't fasten it to anything.  They don't push against it or jump it unless maybe a new person comes in the house and gets them riled up.  JB Wholesale 48 inch one is very nice.  You can also get tops for them but I've never needed them.  

Nano
 

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I would not recommend leaving a puppy in an ex-pen as the area is too big and there is no floor in them.  But dogs that are pretty well house broken and over 6 month of age would be canidates for using one.  Of, course, all dogs are different.

Nano
 
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