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I have been working on getting B. Basset's crate time reduced and its raised some interesting challenges.

B came from a situation where he'd been crated/muzzled 95% of the time. At the rescue before he came to me he was at least getting several hours of personal attention and a fair bit of yard time. His current situation is a cross between a shelter and home. I run a backpackers hostel with overnight guests and have a room for myself not a whole home or even apartment.

Indoors he spends a good deal time with me (on a lead as he will nipif startled). He gets several walks 2 -3 hours worth of out door time in total a day.

Currently his crate of choice seems to be the large solid sided one he used for the first 10 days he was with me. I have some concerns about this because in the first month we had to treat ear issues and I think the small closed crate was a factor in the development of the ear infection.

I got him an extra large wire crate with enough space for bed, water bowl and still lots space for him to move around. He seemed to feel exposed in it even in a quiet corner so I started covering it with a quilt. Leaving the front uncovered at night, and the front and one side uncovered days. I expected to be able to gradually remove the blanket but that's not going well. He fusses when I do, and its escalating to barking if I don't cover it and/or move him to the smaller crate.

I also had been leaving him for over nights or several hours during the day in my room, which worked well for the first 10 days. Now he crys and scratches at the door even when I'm in the room with him. If I ignore it he starts barking. I put him in the crate, close the door and he settles. He won't settle in the crate on his own though, which makes me wonder if he's feeling the small crate is the crate of choice or just the one that he recognizes as fussing doesn't help in.

I am planning to try a crate in a quiet location in the hall where he can keep an ear on the building activity but be safely tucked away. I can put the plastic one there, the big one is too big. I've looked at getting large wire one which will fit in this location but I'm wondering if an extra large plastic one wouldn't suit B better. I'm also thinking maybe I should just put the large solid sided crate there for now, but what do I do at night then?

I'd also be interested in ideas/opinions on how to keep him settled/safe/happy as he moves towards a more normal pet dog home situation.
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