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Minerva's picture
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Joined: 2014-10-21

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Hiya, I found your site on google to get some advice about my puppy Loki. He came to live with me at 14 weeks old from the farm he lived on with his Mum. I had just lost my best friend Zeus. Loki had never worn a collar, or been on a lead and had been kenneled from birth so EVERYTHING is exciting for him! 

He was a very vocal puppy from the first night. I struggled to get him to be calm when left in the crate right from the get go. After a few weeks he did start to sleep at night (thank goodness!) but he still hated being put in his crate and does cry initially. Also last night he wouldn't settle at all. This doesn't bother me sooooo much at the moment (except today because I'm exhausted) as I can still physically get him in there but I am fully aware that it wont be long before he will be too big and strong for that. He is almost. 22 weeks old and growing strong.

My main concern is that he seems to already have separation anxiety. He follows me everywhere, doesn't seem to listen to anyone but me, and I can't crate him in the daytime without him screaming the whole neighbourhood down. I have tried leaving him with his favourite kong, its like it doesn't exist if I'm not there. I tried the radio, I tried a jumper smelling of me, I've tried putting him in there more often for shorter periods, I've also tried ignoring him until he calms down (although this is difficult as my neighbour works nights) I've tried long walks, playtime, chill out time. I want to get him settled asap for both of our sanity but all the advice on the internet seems to conflict!

Some places say to crate him more often while you are home but for shorter periods so that he doesn't associate the crate with being left. Others say only to crate him when its time to go out. I'm going out of my mind with worry and I know that is probably making things worse!

Things are really tough at home right now as shortly after Loki came to live with us my partner went into hospital with Kidney Failure. So we are also trying to adjust to life with him on dialysis 4 times a day! If I had seen it coming then obviously I'd have chosen a better time to get a pup, but now that he is here I just want to focus on making his and our lives that much easier.

Any advice would be so welcome! 

Hi , so sorry you have so many things to deal with just now . A partner with kidney failure is not a joke ... You poor soul ... A young doberman ..... A lot of work !! Have you left him in without crating ? Sounds like you will need lots of time & patience here .....will all be worth it in the end ... Life's hard with a dobe pup at 8 weeks let alone getting him later with no proper work / training done ! Don't push him into crate or force it no matter how gently ... Dobes don't like to feel forced or trapped ... Run him before you need to go out ... Get all his energy released ... Keep at it , it will pay off xx good luck x Paola & Mina-Ingrid x 

Minerva's picture
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Joined: 2014-10-21

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Thanks, he is still a nightmare!  His training is coming along nicely with everything else  but he just gets worse when it comes to being isolated. Even if I'm stood right next to him but he's behind a safety gate he will still squeal. It's exhausting. 

 

We had a dog behaviourist come out and he got frustrated within 45 minutes because every one of his usual techniques just made him worse.

 

It makes no difference if he's tired either.

 

 I'm so exhausted! :-(

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Found the following info earlier posted by a member it's possible this little tool might help at least with some, might be worth a try......

A tool that might also help is Ian Dunbars Auto trainer. It is essentially a treat dispenser, designed to train the dog to be calm while you are gone.

The device emits a series timed beeps that get closer, as the time for the treat to be auto dispensed arrives. If the dog barks, the timer resets and the dog has to wait longer for the treat. Apparently the dog not only stops barking, but also is calmer while on their own.

Sgourle's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-18

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^^ lolz I was thinking about that amazing thing too!

Have you worked on training "wait?" Juneau much prefers being told to "wait" at the entrance to the kitchen than when I close the baby gate, almost as though knowing there isn't anything *actually* separating him from me makes the whole thing better. As soon as I give the release word he is by my side, but he behaves wherever I tell him to wait until released. When I was training him I would tell him wait and pet him from the other side, toss him treats, etc.... Once released, he could come to me, but no more treats or lavish praise. Wait = treats + praise. Release = hang out with mom. Both are wins apparently. We use the clicker too, so if he goes and lays down and is behaving when he is in a "wait" then I can click, toss him a treat, and let him know that his current action is the preffered behavior. The same basic premise applies when I tell him to "wait" at the entrance to the house when I leave to do laundry or run an errand.

Minerva's picture
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Joined: 2014-10-21

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Tasilin that looks awesome! Unfortunately he wont eat when he isn't around people either so that wont work.....plus I can't find it for sale over here :-(

 

Sgourle he does know wait but we are still working on it. He just gets so stressed instantly that he doesn't hear anything at all. We will give that a try though. I'm so exhausted and fed up! I just want him to be settled! 

Oz Dobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-03-24

Hi Minerva. Working with a dog that is stressed or just isn't much interested in food is difficult. The recomendation I've seen is to hand feed for every meal. Take some good butchers cuts, dice it up, and hand feed. Work out how much you give him per day, and space it out a little over the day. Once he's eating from your hand well, keep doing this, but get him to take one bit of kibble from your hand first, then let him have his chicken/steak/whatever is most awesome to him. Then get him to take two peicess of kibble, and on it goes.

I think the Auto trainer would work, but you just have to 'amp' up the kibble/treat so that he's keen and waiting for the treat.  When he's keen on the food again, put his meat in a bowl, but make him 'try' the treat or kibble your going to use in the trainer first. So sit-take the kibble-have dinner. Sit-take the kibble-lets play some tug. Sit-take the kibble- throw the ball. Insert food into your training this way. Make food a token of exchange and eventually he will enjoy it for his own sake. You've got to get him eating on his own when your away anyway, you may as well give this a try.

Put the auto trainer in 'train me' mode while your present for a bit. Maybe find some treats that Loki really likes. Treat Loki with these ONLY when you leave. Leave for short a time at first - a minute, then two, then three...each time coming back inside without acknowledge him at first, maybe just a casual 'Hi boy' as you go past.

The key to overcoming this issue, I feel, is getting him to take treats/kongs etc, so you need to TRAIN him to take food. Yes, you can train without food, but it takes a lot longer.

Additionally to this, when Loki whimpers, go to him and tell him to shush. When he eventually does, give it ten seconds then offer him a tug toy and give him some playtime. Then wait twenty seconds and play with him with a tug toy. Gradually extend this out, and eventually when you say 'shush' he will go to his tug/chew toy. Its very hard for a dog to have something in its mouth and whimper.

I did this with Storms barking before I taught her speak and shush. If she barks now, before I can tell her to shush, she will often go to a chew toy and pick it up and bring it to me. All she needs is me to hold the toy for ten seconds or so, and after a couple of good tugs, she's forgotten what caused her to bark in the first place.

You could also try putting the whimper on cue like you would speak and shush for barking. When he's whimpering, praise him and add a cue like 'cry' or 'talk' or whatever you want. Let him whimper. Once hes whimpered for a time you set, reward him with a treat and praise. When his mouth is busy, say 'shush'. He will be quiet because he has something in his mouth, so while this is happening, tell him 'good shush' and give him a treat. Gradually extend the time he has to shush before he gets his treat. I know its counter intuitive, rewarding the behaviour you dont want, but how else can you teach him to shush. I've done this with Storms barking, and it has been the most effective way to train shush than the many other methods I've tried.

As you can see, getting him to enjoy treats/kibble is the key to the whole thing. Focus on this first.

If this was happening for me, thats the way I would approach it. Its positive, it wont cause any harm to Loki. Whats there to lose in trying it? I hope this may have been of some help to you.

Cheers.

Minerva's picture
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Joined: 2014-10-21

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Sorry I thought I had said that they don't sell the auto trainers here in the UK....so it isn't possible.

 

It's very very difficult to praise him for being in there as he starts crying immediately. I do praise him when he is.....but like I said its very rare.

 

Sorry my reply is short.....I'm multitasking lol

Oz Dobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-03-24

where theres a will theres a way ;)

There are services in the US that allow you to have stuff posted to them in the states, and they post it out to you from there. Sorry, you'd have to google around, I have never needed it, but its a big thing here in Oz. I mentioned the auto trainer to a rescue friend of mine and it turns out she has a sister in the states who imports cars to Oz, so I'm covered if I need one. She may get one anyway, so I might wait and see how it goes with the rescue group. Before I found a contact, I was going to try getting pet stores interested enough to get one brought in.

I meant praise/treat him for the whimpering - anywhere. In fact, at first his pen is probably too stressful to start with. Maybe try another room or in the garden. Then when he has taken the treat and is busy gulping it down, say 'shush'. Because he's had to stop whimpering to eat the treat, he will shush. Then give him two treats for shushing. Thats way I worked on Storms barking. Subtley rewarding the shush more than the bark. Then I gradually fade the treat for the bark (or in your case the whimper) and only treat on the shush. Of course over time you then fade the treat for the shush as well.

 

drwevil's picture
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Joined: 2014-12-04

Hi
I did a quick search
You can get an auto trainer from ebay its in Australia but its probably easier to do that that get it from the states. Our local petshop has them but they are not cheap.

I hope it helps

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PetSafe-AutoTrainer-Stop-Barking-Using-Treats-Not-Shock-NEW-/141508994977?pt=AU_Pet_Supplies&hash=item20f297e7a1