In jeopardy of loosing Andre if he won't stop barking. Please help!

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Andre barks, barks, barks, in the crate when we are gone. If we are home he is fine, or if he thinks we are there he is fine. He crates wonderfully with no problems, but once we are gone he barks, cries and howls.....exessively. This is annoying my neighbors and I am jeopardy of being forced by my landlord to part with Andre or move. I am NOT in a postion to move to a new home. 

His crate is up in my bedroom and is covered. Covering the crate initially helped stop the barking, but is no longer effective. I would put him up in the crate and walk out, but would wait for a few minutes to see if he would start barking. When he would start barking I would sneak up and bang the crate with a large metal spoon and make a rucus and he would stop. A few times of doing this remedied the problem for awhile, but for the past month it has not longer worked and my neighbors started complaining. I also have an ex pen dowstairs that I use when I need to crate him while we are home. I don't dare put him in the ex pen while we are gone because he will bark for sure. So, he always goes up to the crate in my bedroom. I spoke with my vet about it and he suggested a progressive correction bark collar. I did not feel comfortable with that even though it starts out with a warning beep and a very mild static correction and progressively gets worse if Andre keeps barking. Well, as time passed and the problem of Andre's barking got worse and not knowing what else to do, I broke down and bought the collar. Now, I'm sure that I am going to take a serious flogging for that, but I have tried everything and don't know what else to do. We do not want to part with Andre. He is perfect in every other way, and I just do not have the means at this time to move.

Anyway....I tried the bark collar today. I put it on him and put him in the pen down stairs. We went outside but did not leave. The pen is about three feet from the door we went out, so we were very close but he didn't know we were just outside the door. I wanted to be close by incase there was a problem or it didn't work. Well, it didn't take 2 seconds for him to start barking. The first time he barked he just got the warning tone. The 2nd time he got the warning tone and the mild correction. That did not stop him and he barked a third time and got the warning tone and a stronger correction. That did not stop him either and he barked a fourth time and got the warning tone and an even stronger correction. Well the intensity of that correction freaked him out and he started barking and crying and jumping around in an all-out panic and each time of course the correction got worse and just freaked him out more. He peed himself and expressed his anal glands in a matter of seconds. I rushed in and took the collar off. I've never used a bark collar before, so I don't know if this is a typical first reaction, but I think he associated the shock with the pen and not his barking because he was afraid to go back in the pen later. I got him to go in (without the collar) and closed the door and went outside for about 10 mins. He was quiet, but I could tell he was not relaxed and comfortable in the pen. I don't want him to develop crate/pen aversion because he goes in so well. I'm glad I used the ex pen for the first test instead of the crate upstairs. So anyway, the bark collar is being returned Monday. Please don't hang me. The bark collar was a last resort as I don't know what else to do, but it obviously is not an option now. 

I need help. How can I get him to be quiet when we are not home. Would a sonic collar possibly work, one that just uses sound with no shock? I've tried squirting him with a stream of water in past and that had absolutely no effect. I need something that will work when I am not present as he is perfectly fine and quiet when I am there. I'm so worried that I'm going to be forced to part with him if I can't get this problem fixed. Does anyone have any suggestions, something I may not have thought to try?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give the full scope of the situation.

chris b.'s picture
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I have no suggestion, just wanted to say it breaks my heart to think you might lose Andre.  Talk to the vet, maybe some Ace, mild sedatives would help.  We have them for the stress of thunderstorms for Tory, it's just a thought.  Good luck, and keep us posted.

Chris

Kim
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Forgive me for not knowing, but does Andre have any company other than people while you're not home?  Sounds like he's really, really lonely. For the stress you might try Rescue Remedy, but I'm not sure it would work for long periods of him being alone.

The only other thing I could think of is maybe doggie day care?  He'd have lots of company, and get plenty of exercise too!

I'm sorry you're having problems with him - I'm sure other folks will chime in.

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Have you thought about having a "babysitter" for him?

Happydance's picture
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There is another kind of bark collar.  It squirts citronella instead of shocking them. I'm guessing that leaving him out of his crate isn't an option....

Lady Kate's picture
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How long do you leave him alone in his crate? This is totally breaking my heart.. He's lonely and miserable. Yes, we need to be able to leave the house for short periods of time, but please don't tell me you expect him to be happy in a crate, covered or un for hours at time.

Dobermans need their people even more than we need them. I like Michelle's idea of a pet sitter..Surely there's options.  ?? 

Thanks for your suggestions guys. I appreciate your input.

The longest he's even been left is 4 hours. Usually we are only gone for 1-3 hours to go places such as the grocery, or to grab a bite to eat which, in my opinion, isn't very long. It's not like I am gone for 8 hours a day at work. I can't really afford doggie day-care just to go grocery shopping. I have considered taking him once or twice a week at the suggestion of my trainer to get him accustomed to being cared for by someone other than me. My trainer thinks he may be developing separation anxiety since its just my son and I at home and I am home with him all day. I try daily to put him up in the crate in my bedroom to get him used to spending time away from me alone, but he can still hear that I am down stairs even with the radio on beside his crate and is quiet.

I've hear of those citronella collars but the reviews on them say they are not very effective and are expensive to re-fill. Since spraying him with water didn't work I thought the spray collar probably wouldn't work either. I would like to be able to leave him out of the crate, but he still can't be trusted not to chew things up. I tried that once and he chewed up a pillow that was on the couch. He knows he's not allowed on the couch, but when no one is looking he will sneak up there and start slaying the couch dragons. 

If I didn't have neighbors complaining I would just let him bark. He would eventually figure it out that it doesn't get him anywhere, but I can't do that because he annoys the neighbors. The thought of having to part with him makes me feel ill :( 

Sorry Kim, I forgot to address your question. No, there are no other pets in the home, just Andre.

Michellej's picture
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What about toys or something to keep him entertained? Have you tried the Kong Wobbler. That will keep Chico busy for a very long time. Maybe if he associates his crate with treats?

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I don't know if Andre would respond to this, but with Niko when I run to the store or something I turn on the radio for him so he hears noises.  It seems to keep him calmer having the background noise.  Hopefully this will help, I don't want you to lose Andre!  But, I'd definately ask your vet for some advice too.

Good luck!!

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Yeah, tough one -- I've recently moved to a new apartment so I too am having some issues with seperation in the new environment.

 

You're doing the radio, which helps, Evie's a big fan of NPR(she's all sophisticated;)). But, seems that you'll need to re-set his crate training.

 

Firstly, I'd examine your own mental state when putting him/taking him out of the crate. This should be, in my opinion, all business. Dobermans love their 'jobs' and part of his 'job' as your lifemate is to go into his crate for a few hours from time to time. Don't feel or express sadness or regret when you put him in and don't be joyful or excited when you take him out. It's business, this is the way it is and the way it has to be. Period.

 

Secondly, to re-set his attitude will take some doing -- treats can help. Take him to the room where the crate is -- give him the command to enter the crate -- if he even only slightly motions to the crate *bam* treat(a clicker could help here). Keep training here until he has this command down(may only take a few minutes or may take a few days, depending).

 

Thirdly(and maybe even firstly), exercise him as much as possible immediately before he is to go in while you're re-setting.

 

And finally, using his sense of smell may also help you. Besides hiding treats in the crate for positive association you might also want to put something that has your scent on it -- I get a lot of mileage from undershirts that I've worn for a day. Go ahead and be creative -- he's a little old for the clock/heartbeat substitute but having a tee of your's in there wrapped around whatever may also help. 

 

Hope any of that helps -- and, good luck.

 

-d.

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I don't have much advice on this issue. Sorry to hear your in jeopardy of such a tragic thing. Hopefully the advice given by the others will change your situation for the better. I wanted to just send good dober vibes your way.

Kim
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I like the radio idea!  Especially since you have left it on when you are out of the room. Or....maybe his own little television?  Silly, I know, but if he "sees" it, it might provide some company for him as well. (Maybe he would like Animal Planet - I know Gabe does!)

When I have left my dogs, I never make a huge fuss when I leave. Toss 'em a treat, tell them I'll be back, and I'm out the door. (So, me leaving means a treat!) A schedule has helped as well - they knew afternoons were their chance to take a nap. No treat when I get back.

I'm holding a good thought for you and Andre!

Ronan's picture
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 Sorry to hear about your troubles K-Tron. I dont have any other real suggestions other than what has been said before me. What works for mine though is using an article of clothing that has my scent, closing the curtins, and total silence and darkness. They will whine for a bit then settle down. I guess one of the good things about having 2 dobes is that they always can have company when I am away, as the crates are next to each other.

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K-tron so sorry that stinks.  Sorry he was so frightened about that collar. How did you introduc it?  My boyfriend uses one for his dog.  At first I thought it was cruel to.  I think you have to walk in someone's else shoes sometimes to understand the frustration. Then I spent a few days with Dallas.  Who by the way is walked and exercised rain or shine.  I say this because Kaiser and I do not do rain..  Anyways, he barks constantly when we are there and when we leave.   The bikes, cars, people, dogs, looking out the window.  If he is engaged with us he is fine.  He will bark if you run outside to the car to get something.  So now when he goes on a rampage we just show the collar and he stops. He has a sitter during the day.  I have never had that problem with Kaiser, he will usually stop when I tell him.  He is alone for full days, three times a week.  I keep him in a room.  Have you considered another dog?  Maybe you could adopt an older female to hang out with him.

Do you think it is the crate?  Poor baby, sorry for you to.  Hope you can figure out what his trigger is.  Dallas is such a love when he is not barking...

 

 

Thanks guys for your input and suggestions. Most I have already been implementing, but others I have not tried yet.

@Michellej: He always has toys in his crate with him. He has a couple special toys that he only gets when in the crate. I also fill his hollow bone with peanut butter (his favorite) and give it to him in the crate as a special crate only. I rotate his special toys every week so he doesn't get bored with the same old toys all the time. 

@Michelle Bacon: I have played the radio for him while in the crate from day one. I had the same thought you do about it giving him some background noise and helping him feel like he's not so alone.

@D and Evie: From day one I have approached Andre's training very matter of factly, even crate training. I am a very matter of fact, don't take no crap from my dogs kind of person. He never gets babied. My brother and my mom are always giving me crap because they think I am too firm with Andre. I hear things like, "Aww come on Val, can't he just have one potato chip?!" Nope! Or I hear, "Dang, Val, he don't get away with nothing! Don't you think you're being a little to strict?" Nope! They just don't understand that you have to be firm (not harsh or mean) with a Doberman. They NEED that leadership and if you let them get away with things, they are harder to deal with and try to take advantage of you or think they are in charge. So I totally get where you are coming from with my mind set and how I approach all aspects of training.

When its time to go to the crate I say very matter of factly like its no big deal,"Andre its bedtime." We go up stairs, he goes right in without a fuss, gets his treat and special toys. I say, "Good boy, Andre", and turn around and walk out like its no big deal. When I come home I go up and let him out. He is of course, all excited and I don't look at him or speak to him. I just open the door and go down stairs. I continue ignoring him until he calms down, then I will talk to him calmly and softly and give a pat and some lovins and take him outside. If he is barking when I come home, I take the metal spoon up with and bang on the crate. He will be quiet. Once he's been quiet for at least a minute, I go up and let him out following the aforementioned way.

I like the T-shirt idea and am going to start doing that. Thanks for the tip!

@Dobie_Love: Thanks for the good dober-vibes. We need all the help we can get :)

@Kaisesr: I called the company and talked to them before I ordered the collar. They said DO NOT just put it on and leave, that I needed to monitor the first few times he wears it because some dogs are unaffected by it and some dogs freak out, but for most dogs it works. They said to put it on and pretend to leave but stay close and keep an eye on him to see how he reacts, so that is what I did and well....you already read how he reacted. I don't know if I should try again or just say forget it. I have pretty much already decided to return the collar. I felt aweful about how Andre reacted to it and don't want him to experience that again. I may exchange it for the sonic collar that emits increasingly annoying sound levels if the dog keeps barking. This is the audible one not the ultrasonic one that only dogs can hear.

I do not think its the crate. He came to us already used to being in a crate. He goes in with no problems and will use the ex pen down stairs on his own to nap in if Atley is pestering him too much and won't leave him alone. I can't get another dog. My landlord will only allow one dog :(

glengate's picture
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The other dog idea makes no sense anyway.  If you're having trouble with one dog that is threatening your living arrangement, you sure don't go get another!  And then what?  You've got to try to find a place that will rent to you having 2 dogs OR you have to rehome 2 dogs instead of one.  Getting another dog to solve a problem is never the right move, imo.  It's like having a baby to save a relationship.  Ack! 

Kim
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I just read the comment about the T-shirt and had a light bulb moment. (Every once in a while it happens. lol)

What about a Thundershirt?  It sounds like Andre is very anxious more than anything, and some shelters are using them for nervous dogs. They aren't just for dogs frightened of thunder!

A friend has a dog that freaked out at the wind. Not outside. Just inside, when it was blowing outside. She bought one, put it on him, and immediately the dog calmed right down. Not another single freakout. She said it was the best money she'd ever spent.

 

@Glengate: That's kinda what I was thinking. Getting a second dog could possibly make the situation worse. The main reason I have Andre is because I have a prescription from my doctor for a companion animal for medical reasons, so by law I have to be given a reasonable accomodation from a landlord. However, there are a few reasons a landlord can legally force me to part with the animal or move, and complaints of excessive or nuisance barking is one of them.

 

Thanks Kim. I may have to look into a Thundershirt. What is the principle behind how they work? To my understanding they are just snug fitting dog clothing. What about them calms the dog?

Kim
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It's the same reasoning as bundling a baby, I think. In one of Temple Grandin's books, she described actually putting a vicious dog in a box, with his head sticking out, and filled the box with grain. The compression somehow changes their nervous system and calms them.

They started by walking other dogs past him like that, and finally brought him out. He completely stopped attacking the other dogs.

I also wondered if it would stop a dog from lick granulomas - which is an OCD or nervous habit. Libby had one for five years, and I never figured out how to get it to totally heal up. Unfortunately, I didn't find out about Thundershirts until after she was gone.

I think this principle has been used on children as well. Somewhere I think I remember reading about it. (Ack. My memory. If it has to do with a DOG, I can remember. lol)

Ok, I found the book and here's the excerpt, (Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin)

"I'm interested in a new physical treatment, called an anxiety wrap, that was developed by a dog trainer named Susan Sharpe after reading about the squeeze machine I made when I was an adolescent to soothe my anxiety. I've written about the squeeze machine a lot before. I came up with the idea of a squeeze machine after seeing cattle being put into a squeeze chute that held them still so they could get their shots. When I saw how calm the cattle became from the pressure on their bodies, I built my own squeeze machine and it calmed my anxiety the same way. Using the same idea, Susan Sharpe created a kind of t-shirt for dogs that applies snug pressure across a dog's body. She says it can help with all kinds of problem behaviors, including phobias, fear, and aggression.

Another dog behavior specialist, Nancy Williams, has had good success wrapping the midsection of the dog with the wide elastic bandages that are used to wrap a horse's legs. My friend tried the pressure treatment on a hyper Wheatland terrier who could not tolerate the hustle and bustle of a Thanksgiving family gathering. She wrapped her arms around the dog's midsection and squeezed him. Afterwards he was calmer and more attentive."

(She goes on to explain the full body treatment in a box of grain for aggressive dogs - among them, three Great Danes who after a few treatments remained aggression free for years, even when transfered to a new home.)

She continues...."With any kind of pressure treatment, you have to be careful not to leave it on too long. The maximum calming effect wears off in about 20 minutes so, for longer treatments, it often works best to apply the treatment of 20 to 30 minutes, take it off for 30 minutes, and then reapply."

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So sorry to hear what you are going through with Andre K-Tron :( We are sending you good dobervibes!!

We are going through a similar situation with Harley at the moment. I have started leaving him alone with free run of the house and He has started a bit of a barking problem. I'm looking into a thunder shirt. Ordering one on Thursday from Ebay. I'll let you know how we go with it. I've heard lots of good things about it.

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OK...this may sound far fetched, but I want to throw out any idea I have (and this thread has weighed on my mind heavily- I couldn't imagin losing my Chico, so I don't want you to lose your Andre!)

How many neighbors do you have within earshot of Andre's barking, howling and whining? Since you say you are only gone a few hours at a time just for the purpose of errands and appointments and the like maybe you can coordinate with them to see when they will be less likely to be home and then work your schedule around theirs? I know it seems inconvenient, but maybe if they are reasonable about it and you can be inconvenienced maybe it just might work?

I just know that I would do whatever it takes to do something like that for my dober boy...please don't think I am foolish for my thought- I just thought I'd offer it even if it does sound far fetched, but it just might work.

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Wow so sorry to hear that you having issues with Andre that could result in your losing him, that's terrible.

I agree with others - I would suggest Rescue Remedy - I used it with my collie who barked non-stop regardless of whether we were home or not - BUT I made sure to use the human rescue remedy as it has a touch of alcohol - just that touch of alcohol was enough to relax Goofy and calm him, however, Goofy weighed about 58 lbs. and instructions said a couple of drops would do it - nope - it took sometimes one to one and a half droppers just to knock the edge off, that was during high stress times though and it would take about 30 minutes before it would take effect once it did take effect he would lay down and sleep peacefully for about 3 hours or so and even if he woke up to a noise he would settle back down quickly and sleep. Rescue Remedy in human form can be found at health food grocery stores like wholefoods, earth fare etc. and costs around $12 and lasts a pretty good time. If you have to give it daily though I would use as little as possible.

The thundershirt I did try with Goofy but due to his stomach tumor which we didn't know about the shirt did not work, it scared him and threw him off balance - a normal healthy dog it might work.

Third option - acupuncture treatments are great for stress and worry - you might try all three in order to keep andre.

Like the t-shirt idea too so try all four!!!

Talk to your neighbors and let them know you are working on the issue and to have some patience and not run to the landlord for a while in order to give some of your options time to work. Does Andre like any of your neighbors? Could they maybe come over and play with him???

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Best of luck to you - we've lost dogs to that very thing before. One of the downsides to living in an apartment or townhouse. I'm confident you'll get it straightened out one way or another though. Summer is coming and there will be lots of high schoolers looking for temp jobs. They usually will work for less, so that could be an option for you.

Thanks for your continued suggestions! I really appreciate all your feedback and good dobervibes :)

@Michellej: I don't think you are foolish at all! I actually have tried to do that, but the main person complaining is an elderly gentleman who lives beside me (we live in a townhouse apt), and he is retired and doesn't keep to a particular schedule :(  I have talked to him and he isn't going to file a formal complaint yet, but if I don't get a reasonalbe handle on the situation soon, he will. If he files a formal complaint, it's all over for us :(  I talked to my other neighbor and she said she has only heard him twice, but she hasn't called the landlord because it was when we first got him and she knew he is a puppy and we were still training. 

@Hickory: Thanks. You're right, it is a downside to living in a townhouse apt. I've lived in apts before with dogs and have not had an issue like this before, or at least no one complained.

@Tal and Kim: I am going to look into the Rescue Remedy. Maybe he just needs something to take the edge off. I'm hoping a combination of the suggestions you and others have posted here will take care of the problem. We love our Andre and don't want to part with him!

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I hope you work this out, Andre is such a special beautiful boy!  The only thing I can think of is exercise.  Have you tried playing frisbee in the morning?  We play until he starts to lay down cause he is pooped.  When we leave Harley alone he is good and tired.  I put him in his crate and he immediately curls up for a nap.  I know Andre is a young pup, but playing in the grass is easier on their joints. 

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Tali.. I love love L.O.V.E. your suggestion of having some of the neighbors over for a meet and greet.. and consequently FALL IN LOVE with Andre.. instead of complaining, they might climb on the band to help him with his separation anxiety.

I mean who can resist some fresh from the oven cookies and an adorable Doberboy?

I agree LK, how can anyone resisted that darling doberface. My neighbor told me straight to my face when I first got Andre that he DOES NOT like Dobermans. Well, I have to wonder if his negative preconceptions have influenced how much he's willing to tolerate or put up with. Know what I mean? I know Andre does bark when I'm gone and that my neighbor is not making it up. I've come home several times and could hear Andre before I even got out of the car. I just hope he is not allowing his dislike of Dobermans to judge Andre unfairly.

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K-Tron

I hope some of these ideas help you out.  Yes, prehaps getting another dog wasn't a great suggestion but Dallas does do much better when Kaiser is around.  We do not live together and I can hear the mornful cries when we leave.  Heartbreaking truly : (... I just saw a commercial with the Thundershirt advertised the other day.  I don't know if there is any truth to that, but I would give it a try because it certainly wouldn't hurt him in anyway.  Dallas the one that barks is actually afraid of the Thunder to.  There has to be a solution for your poor little guy.  If I come across anything I will forward to you..  Meet and greet with cookies and the pup is a great idea...

Best of luck, Mary and Kaiser

Hi Mary,

The only reason I considered the suggestion of getting another dog unwise is simply because I rent and I can't have another dog. If that were not the case, I think Andre greatly would benefit from another dog in the house. He has bonded so strongly with me that I have become his whole world. I think having a playmate/companion for him would help alieviate some of his dependence on me and then it wouldn't be so bad when I leave because there would be someone here with him. I do prefer to have dogs in pairs, but that is just not possible in my current living situation :(  I do not intend on living here forever, but we are stuck here until I finish school which equals about another 1 1/2 years.

I have to make a short trip to my son's school and give him some meds. He had surgery this past Wednesday and the dumb school won't administer his pain meds. SMH! Anyway....since I will only be gone 1/2 hrs tops, I am going to try leaving Andre free in the apt and see how he does. Hopefully he won't slay any couch dragons :) Thanks for keeping your eyes and ears peeled for anything else that might work :)

I hope everything works out, I could not even imagine having to get rid of Tiny. Hopefully it works well with leaving him free in the apartment. I think all of the above suggestions were great! Just a quick suggestion for Tiny we put my daughters fur real puppy that is interactive in with him and it seems to soothe him tremedously. I don't know if it would work with Andre but it might, as it seems so real.

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I was just on Dr Fosters & Smith's website and I saw this on their home page.  I have never heard of it or know anyone who has used it, but I thought of you.  It might be something worth checking out and looking at the reviews....

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13043

Thanks for the link HarleyBear. I was thinking of checking into that. I can get them here at th pet store. There is also a collar form that the dog can wear so the pheremones go everywhere with them and is not confined to just one area of the house, unless of course you spend the money to put one in each room of the house.


I left Andre twice today free in the house. The first time for 30 minutes and the second time for about 1 1/2. I am happy to report that he actually did ok. No messes or destrucive behavior and he didn't potty anywhere......oh and no dragon slaying :) My neighbor was not home so I don't know if he barked or not, but I was thrilled that he didn't get into anything, or make a mess. So maybe this is something I can start doing. I want to test him several more times durning short outings before I trust him for more than and hour and a half or so. It would be really nice to be able to leave him loose in the house. Pray that this is a move in the right direction for us :)

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well, the first step is to figure out why he's barking, then work on desensitizing him.  Is he barking because he knows another dog is walking by?  Is he bored?  Lonely?  If he barks enough, will someone go to his crate?  In other words, he makes enough ruckus, then he gets attention?  What happens when you catch him barking?  These are all things to figure out.  We had a hard time with this because Dakota has a pretty high prey drive, so anything that moves she wants to go after.  So, I spent more time on leave it, redirecting focus, gaining & keeping attention, and general desensitizing to exciting stimulus.  Depending on your dog, this can be hard, because if a dog has a high prey drive, they have a high prey drive.  But the first step is to figure out WHY he is barking, once you know that, you can start working on getting him to not do it so much.  Dogs don't just bark for no reason, sometimes why is obvious, sometime's it's not.

I honestly feel the reason he barks is becuase he cannot stand to not be with me at all times. So, I guess that could fall into the "lonely" category. When I come home and catch him barking, I sneak up and bang on the crate with a big metal spoon. It makes quite a rukus and it startles him and he will be quite. He doesn't see me because the crate is covered. After he has been quiet for at least a minute-- more often than not I make him wait longer than a minute, I go up like I just got home and let him out and praise him for being quiet.

He doesn't have a high prey drive and not too much outside riles him. He will growl if he hears someone walk down the side walk or hears voices, but generally does not bark. If he does bark, its his big boy bark, not the intense, whining, complaining, "I'm not happy", high pitched howly bark he does while I'm gone.  

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I'm not sure that it's a good idea to startle any dog in their crate especially one that is covered as the crate is supposed to be a den/haven and to be startled like that with nothing to see coming at him might make him fearful of his crate or fearful of noises that he has nothing visually to associate with the sound. I would never "rattle" my dogs cage. Can you try a different approach to making a noise or something that doesn't include rattling his crate??? Just put yourself in his place - if you were inside that crate trying to be calm and all of a sudden out of nowhere something rattles your crate and makes a really loud noise and you can't see it and you can't protect yourself cause you are trapped in a crate - how would you feel??? The fact that he does get quiet could just mean he is trying to figure out what or how to deal with this unseen enemy. There is a sound bark controller that lets out a high pitch noise that is only audible to dogs have you tried that instead of the spoon on the crate???  How about those timers that turn things on - maybe having it turn on the TV periodically would help ??? or the radio?? or alternate them????    Just my personal feelings on this one.....

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K Tron,

This is bad news ;'/. Have you tried exercising him before you leave. I usually walk Apollo about 2 hours after he eats (roughly 8 am, he has breakfast at 6 am) and then again at about 1pm (with some backyard time and mind games in between). I leave about 2pm and he is usualyl wasted and just lies in his crate. I have stuck around a few times to spy on him and he will just lay there or play with his wobbler. Maybe you can just try wearing him out before you leave anywhere. I mentioned in a past post that Apollo knows bed time and associates it with me turning on the house alarm. I noticed by my spying that he has done the same with the home alarm now when I leave. If he see's me with my lunch bag, he will watch me turn on the alarm then just lay down and it seems to me that he knows I am leaving and he needs to wait for mom to get home before he is let out again. Maybe you can try those things. I am no dog trainer but Apollo kind of adjusted to these things and now makes it part of his routine.

 

Side question, is it safe to put regular human peanut butter in his Kong toys? He has so many Kong toys but I am always buying the buscuits or the expensive Kong peanut butter and I was wondering if I can give him regular human peanut butter...any thoughts?

Thanks EPApollo. I do exercise him before we leave. He goes for a walk and we have a training session as well. I try to tire him out mentally and physically before we leave. He has been doing better the last few days, so I hope it continues :)

As far as the peanut butter, I have always given dogs I've owned peanut butter with no problems and I give it to Andre too. He loves it stuffed into him hard bone. That is what he gets in his crate when I leave. Be careful though as some nuts such as almonds and macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.

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So just like Jif I assume?