Loosing sleep and my mind all in one

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Dakota_dobie's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-08

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So as most of you read in Dang you Dakota, we have had a few issues with her. Most have gotten fixed thanks to everyone who helped me. Well now we have a WORSE one.

 

As already stated in my old post, Dakota HATES being away from us. Actually she hates everything. We can be laying in bed with her on her HUGE bed on the floor (memory foam bed) and she will whine. So once in a blue moon we allow her to come lay with us. So she lays down and startes to whine again! We put her outside and she whines the second she gets done going to the bathroom. I've about lost my mind this week!

sunday night i went to bed, Jon came up with the dogs and Dakota all ofa sudden got hyper and started to run around the bed room jumping on and off the bed and landed right on my stomach and i flew foraward and my back got all sorts of sore. (I had major back surgery in aug 2010 and am possibly getting another one) So Jon got mad and put the dogs down stairs in their kennel. BAD IDEA!! Dakota started to whine bark and just flip out with all sorts of noises. Jon went down tried to grab her muzzel, she stopped and then continued the second Jon got upstairs. THEN She kept doing it so Jon woke up again and went down stairs and they all slept on the couch.

 

I understand we cannot allow it and continue to baby her all the time, but people think we are beating her because of some of the noises and how loud she gets!! Jon has threatened to get rid of her and I do not want that. Anyone have any advice?

Paisley's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-30

Have you done any kind of formal training? Obedience or agility? I know Dakota is a big dog, but mabye consider doing formal training as a means of expending energy. Also, what excercise does Dakota get on a daily basis? Do you go for long walks or jogs? It sounds like she is not only a little babied, but she has seperation anxiety and extra energy. Sometimes vigorous excercicse can really help. If she's exhausted at bed time, sleep should come much easier.

Also, when you put her in the kennel, do you make it a good experience? When I'm kenneling anybody, I always make it a good experience. I take a handfull of kibble and sprinkle it all over the blankets so they search for it and eat it (takes a few minutes for them to find it). I fill a kong with hotdogs at the bottom and peanut butter at the top and freeze it if they're in for a long time. I give high-quality, mind working treats and games that they really REALLY want. Needless to say, even my fosters get excited about kennel time. I also do dinner in the kennels. It's great. I open the door say "dinner time!" and all 4 of them rush to their kennels and wait for their food. I close the doors and let them eat. I let them back out 20 minutes later to go outside for a game of fetch and potty. By 6:00 they're tuckered out and want to chill in the house with a rawhide bone.

Make the kennel a very happy experience. It's a GREAT place. Take tiny bits of hot-dogs and bury them in the grooves of the blanket. Stuff a Kong with peanut butter. Make it the best spot in the house.

sweetpea's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-25

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Great post Paisley!  Very well said, you make some excellent points and great tips on crate training!  The only thing I would add is if she has separation anxiety, try not to make a big deal of it when you are leaving the house.  Putting her in her crate should be the very last thing you do before you leave, after you have your coat and shoes on and whatever else.  Give her a treat as you put her in, then go straight out the door and it will reduce the tension she feels as you are leaving. 

It sounds to me like Dakota is bored and/or has a lot of excess energy.  Whining is her way of trying to tell you that she needs something, and in my experience it's usually either mental or physical stimulation that does the trick.  As a guideline you should be spending several hours each day playing, exercising and training with her.  If you can keep it to a bit of a schedule try and let her wind down 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed so she's not so hyper at night. 

jeshykai's picture
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the way I read it, she was unsure and wanted to be reassured and instead in her big clumsy way she upset the whole household, got taken downstairs by an angry dad, and kenneld as "punishment".  I'd whine too! How confusing and scary!

Whinning can become a bad habit and it is very very hard to break.  I am currently babysitting my mom's dogs and the one I trained before I moved out, picked up the habit of whinning when he isn't getting something he wants.  They have to remain seperate from my dogs most of the day and he whines when he wants to be where I am, he whines when he's got a bone he's excited/nervous about hiding, he whines when he's outside and wants in, whine-whine-whine-whine.  Trust me, I know 100% how ingrating this sound can be.

I think Paisley and sweetpea made the very good point that Dakota likely is wound too tight.  It would be rewarding for her and you guys to take her to a training class, teaching her a positive way to do things for you.  Additionally, it will give her some mental activities.  She probably could use a good run/walk.  Just as an example, I take Steve for a fast-paced walk/jog (honestly, I'm jogging, this dog is speed-walking I am not fast haha) for 5 miles every day, even the weekends.  We are now getting to the point where I can take him further so we might try for 7 miles this weekend.  In our walks if people are passing, we practice our lay down and "leave it" and when we're at stop lights its a stop and stay as well.  We play "find it" games in the house while we're watching TV, not letting him just bring me any toy -- but a toy I ask for.  There are tons of threads going right now that highlight activities to do with your dog.

Unfortunately, this isn't a breed that can be content being a house dog with limited activities and/or time with you.

I do not agree that its right to simply get rid of her due to whinning.  I know you don't want to get rid of her.  But in my mind, you both made the commitment to purchase Dakota and bring her into your house.  It is unfair to make this commitment and simply give up out of frustration.  She, remember, doesn't know she's doing anything wrong.  If Jon can't give her the chance of formal classes and a professional trainer working with you BOTH to fix the issues you likely are creating through your actions... not good.

Lil Mama's Mama's picture
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Everyone has such wonderful advice.  The only way I can get Lil Mama to go in her crate is with kibble.  She knows whenever I open the closet where her food is and get a handful of kibble it is crate time.  She heads over to her crate looking over her shoulder making sure I am following.  Chloe knows as soon as I am putting my shoes on...she heads to my office where her bed is.

Give Dakota time.  She is a toddler with lots of energy and little self control.  If you and your husband put in the time necessary to teach her, she will become a well adjusted member of the family.  I love to watch The Dog Whisperer.  He walks into a home where the dog has ruled the roost for far too long and within a couple hours of training the humans, the dog begins to respond appropriately.  Everyone, including dogs, are happier with well defined boundaries, fun activities, and lots of love.

bbroyles's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

Wow what great advice from all! I've been having similar issues this week with my young, manic this week. The past 4-5 days have been a raging battle. I'm trying to give attention, but he is making me crazy! All I could manage a few days this week was to remind myself that the super moon has possession! Yesterday was a bit more normal and today almost back to our regular routine. To add to the abnormal tide pull, Leo is 9 months and in a serious display of procreation. Tonite all is mellow and I'm thinking animals have a much more grounded center of reaction than we do. Humans are distracted by so many events or issues that they have little to do with the core of survival. While our pets, although domesticated, rely on a survival code.

KevinK's picture
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Based on Jon's reaction, (grabbing muzzle, putting in crate when dog doesn't understand they did something wrong, talking about getting rid of her, etc) I think you need to get him on the same page.  If he is getting that frustrated, your dog is picking up on it, and it's probably confusing her.  The last thing you want to do when a dog is worked up is something aggressive to aggravate and/or scare your dog.  It's not helping, it's making things more difficult.  After a string of bad behavior, the dog got rewarded by sleeping on the couch.  Also, you say you put her outside, is she out there alone?  All of this is very, very confusing for a dog.

Can she be bored, and that's why she's whining, and getting out her energy by running around the house at full steam with no regard to where she's going?  

Like other asked, what kind of daily training do you do?  What's your daily exercise routine like?  What kind of jobs do you give your dog to do?

KevinK's picture
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I just took a look at some of your other posts...  I would recommend IMMEDIATELY getting into some training classes or working 1 on 1 with a behaviorist that can show you how to work with your dog.  There's alot of very confusing tactics being done that if are not done 100% correctly is doing nothing but confusing your dog.  Swatting butt, flicking nose, electric collars, grabbing scruff, etc...  All these things are probably aggravating the dog, making her more and more confused, and it's not telling her what you WANT.  You're trying to teach a dog not to do 100 things, and unless you're extremely and consistently able to mark these behaviors at the right time, it's worthless.  I would start teaching your girl what you DO want, not what you don't.  Big difference.

Dog training is about teaching what's acceptable, not trying to teach what's not acceptable.  I wouldn't start isolating behaviors and trying to work on them until your girl understands what she should be doing.  If she doesn't understand what she should be doing, it's really not fair to punish for unwanted behaviors.  

Let me put this in human perspective:

You and I are having a conversation, mid sentance, I reach out and smack you.  You look at me like wtf...  I say sorry, I didn't like that.  We continue conversation...  I reach out and smack you... again, you don't understand.  I say sorry, we keep talking.  Mid sentance, I grab you and throw you in a room and tell you "No, bad girl".  and walk away.

So now, you have no idea what just happened, but you know you're being punished.  For what??  For talking to me?  For being calm?  For standing too close?  For talking fast?  For saying a certain word?  For looking at a passing car? This can keep going on, and on, and on with a long list of "what did I do".  So now, you're confused, upset, feeling betrayed, and most of all, you're upset that I'M upset.  

Now, suppose that what I was trying to correct was you saying a certain word... Imagine how long, even as a human, it would take you to pick up on the fact that I was punishing you for using a certain word, in the middle of a conversation.  Making matters worse, suppose I corrected you for using a certain word AFTER our conversation was over! Unless I taught you specifically, and was able to mark the exact instant you said the word, you would probably NEVER understand that I didn't like it, and wanted you to stop.  It would go on forever, eventually to the point that you didn't want to be around me.  This is why timing, consistency, and a propper understanding of marking behaviors is so important.  Dobermans are exceptionally smart, but at the same time, they need to be taught in a way that they understand.  Not what a human would understand, what a dog would understand.

Hopefully that puts things into perspective as to why your dog is confused, and doesn't seem to be responding to what you guys are saying.  I think sometimes as humans we have to remember that dogs don't understand what we're saying, unless we put meaning behind a word.  They don't understand why we're upset, happy, confused, pissed, etc.  They just know that we are.  But, once we start to teach a dog what we consider to be good, THEN we can start isolating certain behaviors and work on weeding them out.  

If I can leave you with one piece of advice in this long post, it's that it's far, far easier to teach a dog what we want, because in reality, there's really not many things we want a dog to do.  When it comes to bad behaviors, if you really think about it, there's too many to list.  So stop correcting the bad so much in a confusing way, start rewarding good behaviors more frequently, and have someone more experienced show you in person some good things to do, and not do.

blue4's picture
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This is amazing advice!  I continue leaning from this forum all the time.  I wish I would have had something like this when we tried to keep our GSD inside.  He was a year old, we lived in Orlando in a condo.  My husband and I both worked and he had sep. anxiety.  Once he got out of his locked kennel - we came home and it was still locked  but no dog....we still have no idea how he did it.  But all that to say, once we moved to a 5 acre farm and he got to be the working dog he was meant to be, all the problems dissappeared.  You may say, "How does that help???"  I'm just saying it, b/c I lived out what so many people are saying here - they really do need that exercise!  My life has changed since then.  I'm no longer on the farm (I still cry about it) but I do get to stay at home with my kids and dog...and I can't believe the difference it makes with they get enough exercise.  I hope it works out for you.  I bet once you guys figure out a system and get on the same page it will make so much difference.  Hoping the best for your family so can love and laugh together.

LorettaRose's picture
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I love this place!