Setting Up a LTCA

A LTCA (Long-Term Confinement Area) is not just for puppies  – they can be so helpful for new rescues who have not been fully crate-trained. Having a bit of space is nice and can help the dog feel less anxious in their new surroundings. 

Here is how I like to set mine up:

  • Exercise pen to create a secure space OR a baby gate to use a small room (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room)
  • Crate (optional)
  • Water bowl
  • A few toys (rotate on a daily basis to keep them novel)

The LTCA is where all good things should happen. This is ideal for when you have to go to work or leave the dog alone for a couple of hours. If you have to clean or are working on something that requires a dog-free space (scrapbooking, cooking, changing diapers, etc), pop your dog in the LTCA so that you can do what you have to, without them getting underfoot or jumping up and stealing things. 

The LTCA is the halfway mark between freedom and crating. I’m of the opinion that every dog is different and some dogs need this (shoe-chewers, counter-surfers, dogs in a family setting with young kids) and some dogs may not. 

More often than not, we bring home a new rescue dog and we are told that they are crate-trained, but when we try to crate them, they panic – barking, howling, drooling, clawing at the door, etc. Many people are told to ignore these signals and let the dog self-soothe. This is the worst advice we could ever be given. These are signs of distress and must be heeded. If this happens, we upgrade to an LTCA, and if that causes the same level of distress, we puppy-proof and we tuck the gear away until we can seek professional help. 

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If your dog is showing signs of distress when you leave them alone, crated, confined OR loose, you need help ASAP. This is called Isolation Distress, or more commonly known as Separation Anxiety. If that’s the case, check out our DIY Separation Anxiety program, which you can access with your Member Discount! 

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