How to Train Your Dog to Not Bark When Left Alone

Hard
1-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

When you walked around the local shelter, one particular dog stole your heart. You felt compelled to offer her a loving home. The early days with her new family went well. She is a delightful placid dog, who is loving and gentle and can generally do no wrong. However, a week or two into the adoption, your neighbors knock. 

When you are out, the rescue dog barks...and barks, and barks. Indeed, she barks so much that she's disturbing the neighbors. 

Shocked, you're unsure what to do. After all, the problem happens when you're not there, so other than stay home all the time, how do you retrain her behavior? 

Never fear, for this guide will show you how...

Defining Tasks

Dogs bark for many different reasons when left alone. For some, it is a sign of a deep insecurity, called 'separation anxiety'. For others, they are bored and find an outlet for their energy in making lots of noise. Other dogs are highly territorial and hear noises outside and feel duty bound to defend the house against intruders. 

Training a dog not to bark when left alone, in part, depends on working out why the dog is barking, and then minimizing the risk of trigger factors starting the dog barking. 

A dog of any age can be retrained, so don't be disheartened if yours is an older dog. However, this isn't a behavior the dog is going to unlearn overnight, so be prepared for the long haul...it will be worth it in the end. 

Getting Started

Barking is self-rewarding so it does take a while for a dog to unlearn the habit. However, most dogs, even the most determined barkers, can usually turn over a new leaf when you are patient and apply the methods consistently. 

To retrain the dog you will need: 

  • A quiet room or a covered crate
  • A fantastically tasty long-lasting treat that the dog gets when you go out
  • Treats to give as a reward when you return
  • Plenty of time and patience

The Desensitize Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Understand the idea
When leaving the house, we give the dog lots of clues that we're going and therefore might be gone for some time. When the link between your departure routine and being left is broken, the dog is less likely to bark when you're gone as he will generally be calmer.
Step
2
Prepare to go out
Chose a time when you aren't in a rush, and can spend time pretending to go out. Get ready as if to go out. Put the dog in his crate or the spot where he's supposed to rest in your absence. Speak to the dog in a calm but firm voice, telling him you'll be back soon.
Step
3
Leave for a couple of minutes
Leave the house for a short time. Listen at the door and if the dog is not barking, re-enter. Praise the dog for being quiet and give him a treat.
Step
4
If the dog is barking....
Wait to re-enter until a gap between barks. The idea is to reward his silence with your return, rather than the dog think his barking has summoned you. Most dogs will pause from barking from time to time, to stop and listen to see if anyone has taken notice. Take advantage of this brief lull if your dog is a determined barker.
Step
5
Gradually extend the amount of time you are gone
As he learns barking isn't required because you do come back, gradually extend the time you are away before returning to praise him. You'll also find it helpful to use some of the strategies from the What Not to Do method while doing this.
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The What NOT to Do Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Don't make a big thing of leaving
Don't plead with the dog before you go or spend time reassuring him that everything will be OK while your gone. This sends the wrong signals to the dog, that he is right to be anxious and bark. Instead, try to slip out when he's not looking so as to avoid him getting upset before you even leave.
Step
2
Don't keep your departure routine the same
Think about how you prepare to go out: You put on a coat, then your shoes, pick up the car keys, and grab your bag. The dog notices this too and reads it that he's about to be left, which gets him worked up even though you're still there. Instead, vary your routine. Perhaps put your coat on half an hour before you go. Collect your stuff together but leave through a different door... anything you can do to make the departure less predictable.
Step
3
Don't allow the dog the run of the house
A barking dog is liable to run from room to room, over sensitive to stimuli which are likely to make him bark. However, a barking dog has not earned the right to such freedom, and should be kept confined to one room. That space should preferably be a quiet room, away from noises that might disturb him.
Step
4
Don't punish or shout at the dog
Never shout or punish the dog for barking. At best, he'll think you're joining in and it will encourage him. At worst, it will make him more anxious, which again will provoke him to bark more.
Step
5
Don't rush things or get disheartened
Barking can be a deeply ingrained habit, so don't expect things to change right away. If necessary, take the pressure off yourself by explaining to neighbors you are in the process of retraining the dog and that you are aware the noise is a nuisance. When disturbed neighbors realize you are doing your best, they will usually be more tolerant.
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The Set Up Right Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
Dogs bark for all sorts of reasons, such as they see someone walking by and bark to defend their territory, or bark because they are bored and want someone to take notice. This method focuses on addressing the triggers that can cause a dog to bark, and hence make noise less likely.
Step
2
Plenty of exercise
Before leaving the dog alone for any length of time, make sure he is well-exercised until pleasantly tired and that his bladder and bowel are empty. A dog with energy to burn or one with a full bladder is much more likely to bark.
Step
3
Calm and quiet environment
Choose the quietest room in the house as the dog's home base, in which to wait for your return. This is so that there is less stimulation from noises in the street, which could disturb the dog and make him bark. Consider strategies such as drawing the curtains, to make the room dark and peaceful.
Step
4
White noise
It can also be helpful to leave a radio on low volume, to act as white noise to blur the sounds from outside.
Step
5
The 'Only-When-I'm-Gone' treat
Prepare an ultra-tasty, very distracting treat for the dog. This could be a puzzle feeder full of wet food that's been popped in the freezer, or a bone steeped in tasty meat gravy juices. The idea is to have something irresistible to draw the dog's attention when you go out. When you go out, give this to the dog. Not only will he be distracted, but he'll start to view his time alone as a good thing as super-tasty treats appear.
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 11/10/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Milo
Bernedoodle
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Bernedoodle
4 Months

we have had Milo now for a month and at the breeder's he would go into his own crate by himself at night and wouldn't cry.
Upon arrival home, we had another dog at home who was not crated at night and attempted to crate Milo. Milo screamed bloody murder and we let him out as we live in an apartment.
During the day we started teaching him the crate, feeding him in the crate, placed a water bottle there. He will go into the crate by himself for treats, for water, for his food, but the minute we leave him there and leave the house he raises hell. He ripped out a metal rod of the crate (not wired crate, it is a metal rod). He has stuffed frozen kongS, he has stuffed heartbeat buddy and toys to chew on.
I will walk him before putting him in the kennel and play fetch until he stops; he goes to the bathroom before this happens. We have purchased a bark collar that supposed to chock him if he barks. that did nothing for him. Absolutely nothing.
I am lost and no longer see any options of how to break this. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Continue with the daytime training, the food stuffed chew toys, and exercise...Add to that a different form of correction for barking and more structure into his routine. First, work on teaching the follow commands to teach calmness in general - all of this should be done with super calm energy: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo First, does the bark collar have a manual setting or just the auto-rise setting that chooses the level of stimulation for you? Some bark collar's autorise setting don't work effectively, the progression is too gradual and by the time the collar gets to a high level the dog is already highly aroused and has a hard time calming back down. I prefer remote collars or bark collars that will let you set the level manually - many auto-rise collars also have a manual way to set the stimulation level. See if your does. If yours does, then set the collar to the lowest level, knock on the door to get your dog to bark. See if that collar's correction level stops your dog from barking after a few repetitions - ideally have have someone else bark so your dog doesn't just realize it's you knocking on the door. If the dog continues barking after a few repetitions of this, increase the stimulation level one, and repeat the whole process again with a different outside door. Continue increasing the level one stimulation at a time until you find the level your dog indicates they feel - that level they feel will be the level you will keep the collar on when you leave them in the crate. Having the right stimulation level is super important. If your collar doesn't have a manual setting and you need to buy a new one, the garmin delta XC with bark limiter is both a remote collar and has a bark collar feature with a manual setting on the bark collar setting also I believe. Make sure you get a new model though because the old version of this collar doesn't have the manual setting on the bark limiter. Call Garmin and confirm with model number from what you are about to order online that the collar's bark feature can be adjusted manually, and isn't just the autorise option. That two in one collar option will give you more adjust-ability of a remote collar if you need to use a remote collar first, and transition to a bark collar for consistency later once pup is trained and you are gone to work to can't be pushing buttoms. To use this collar at first, you will hide outside, watching pup from a camera set up to spy on pup. Two smart devices with skype or facetime on mute can be used for a camera, or GoPro with live app, baby monitor, or security camera. While working on the structure training (like heel and place) during the day you will probably have to experiment with a few things for the barking. The manual setting on a remote or e-collar is the easiest thing for most dogs. Check out the video below for additional suggestions on things to try to see what works for your pup if you need other options though: E-collar training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdMv69QNczU How structure and calmness helps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk How to use a towel and hidden camera for a more extreme case - in most cases you can transition to a collar later once the dog is calmer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcfkUauuBq0 How to make - you can use hand towel if pup is small: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3r1F_M5dA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bram
Irish Terrier
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bram
Irish Terrier
4 Months

Hello!,

Our little irish terrier has been sleeping (happily) in his crate since we got him 4 weeks ago. Was happy to let us leave and go out, might whine a little but would then settle down and nap.

However, in the last week or so, he has started barking when we leave to go upstairs either in the day or at night.

It's always short lived, maybe less than a minute, but we're concerned it's suddenly started whereas before he was fine.

Is this part of the 'fear' stage we've read about online or a temporary testing of boundaries?

All we do at the moment is ignore the barking entirely at night (as he quickly settles to sleep) and when we go upstairs don't return until he's quiet) but any further advice would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kate, At four months of age puppies are more alert and also might be entering testing more boundaries. It is common for barking to increase again for a bit at that age. Since it's a short amount of barking, I would just continue to ignore it so pup doesn't learn that the barking is a good way to get you to come back. The barking will often improve within a couple of weeks if you are consistent. I suggest also working on some other commands that can help to build independence and calmness, such as Place, Down-Stay, and Heel. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel When you know you will be gone for a bit longer and it's during the day, give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy, like a Kong, since pup is more alert at this age and might be more bored in the crate. Give the toy right when you put pup inside, don't return while they are barking and give it then or that will reward the barking. You can stuff a Kong with dry kibble and a large treat to cover part of the opening - making the food come out more slowly. You can also place pup's food in a bowl, cover it with water until it turns to mush, stick a straw through the Kong, loosely stuff mush around it, then freeze the entire thing. Do several at once, then you can just grab one from the freezer as needed. If the barking gets worse instead of better after a couple of weeks, you can also correct with a small puff of air sprayed at pup's side through the crate each time they bark, and treat rewards sprinkled into the crate wires whenever pup is staying quiet. Do this with a pet convincer and only use the unscented air ones. Do NOT spray at the face. If needed, also practice the crate manner's exercise below. This isn't normally needed for puppies though, especially with pup barking for only a couple of minutes. Only do that if the barking it getting a lot worse despite giving it some time, giving the Kong, ignoring it, and practicing some impulse building commands like Place. Crate Manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Belgian Malinois x Staffie
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Belgian Malinois x Staffie
4 Years

Hi

We are struggling to leave Luna on her own for a period of time, we have tried extending the time left bit by bit, giving her treats, giving her a big space, putting her in her crate etc.

She was used as a breeder dog and then abandoned, so we understand why she has separation anxiety, but because of this she doesn’t know how to play with toys or the benefits of treats.

We have had her at home for 7 days now and just wondering what else we can do to help as we will be returning to work soon and she’ll be left for up to 4 hours at a time.

I hope you can help.

Thanks
Luke

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Luke, There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate while the door is open. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Change your routine surrounding leaving so that she does not anticipate alone time and build up her anxiety before you leave - which is hard for her to deescalate from, and be sure to give her something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time for some dogs and she likely needs something more like the protocol below also. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs, and ends the self-harming and anxious behavior sooner. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building her independence and structure in her life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of Luna's life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on her. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear her but she will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on her while she is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on her, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if she responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning her head, moving her ears, biting her fur, moving away from where she was, or changing her expression. If she does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when she is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing her reaction at that level until she indicates a little bit that she can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for her and have it correctly fitted on her, have her wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days (depending on the amount of time you have before before returning to work - take off the collar at night). Next, set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate. Put her into the crate while she is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on her from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her barking or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate her again. If she does not decrease her barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. She may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because she has not learned what she is supposed to be doing yet. If she continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When she is being calm, then you can let her out of the crate. When you let her out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want her to be calm when she comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore her when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it and that will help her to enjoy the crate more. First, she needs her anxious state of mind interrupted so that she is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give her a food stuffed Kong in the crate for her to relieve her boredom instead, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. If you crate her at night, then don't give food at night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chilli
Australian Cattle Dog
9 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Chilli
Australian Cattle Dog
9 Months

We have just found out Chilli has been barking when we’re both out. She wasn’t doing this 8weeks ago.

She doesn’t appear to be anxious, perhaps bored or just wants us home. We also have a 13yr old cattle dog who does play occasionally and has accepted her very well.
She is walked around 6kms each morning and 5kms each night. She knows all her obedience commands and obeys very well for a young pup.
She has plenty of toys, and dry food to pick at anytime.
Because we have the old girl, we can’t give bones, I have given them both a treat ball at times.
She is submissive in nature although very confident, and I do believe she sees us as boss.
When I’m home she can be outside or inside makes no difference to her. She sometimes chooses to be outside of an evening rather than with us.

She rarely barks when we’re home. She is just starting to make “watch dog” barks when she hears/sees something. I react by going with her to check, then telling her to stop, and she does.

I really have no idea how to stop this barking, having had dogs my whole life, I’ve never had a dog like this ?

Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Francis, If she is not crated while you are away she may be practicing being territorial - watching things through the window, barking, then the things she barks at leaves - even though a walker or animal leaving has nothing to do with her barking, to her the barking was rewarded - she barked to get something away from her territory and then the thing left so the barking appeared effected and she was encouraged to do the behavior even more. Territorial barking tends to increase when a dog gets closer to 1-2 years old and is maturing mentally and sexually. The solution for this type of barking is to keep her somewhere where she cannot practice this behavior over and over again while you are gone - such as in a crate away from windows, or in a part of the house without windows to look out. While you are home, let her know that you don't want her practicing the behavior by reminding her to be quiet as soon as she barks, rather than letting her bark several times before interrupting her. Barking is actually a self-rewarding behavior because of the chemicals released while a dog barks, so many dogs will learn to bark just to bark the more they practice it. She may also be feeling nervous or suspicious - especially if she tends to be a bit more timid or high strung in general. She may be over- reacting to random noises or sights she sees. If that's the case, then also keep her away from windows while you are gone so the behavior doesn't get worse, and working on desensitizing her to different noises and sights while you are home to work on it with her. Check out the video linked below and the barking video series link below for help on desensitizing to noises and sights: Barking at door: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Barking video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a Finally, the barking could be boredom barking. Like I mentioned above, barking is a self-rewarding behavior so some dogs will bark just to entertain themselves. This type of barking needs to be interrupted with a corrective device like a bark collar - to make the barking no longer fun and to stop the cycle before they get highly aroused and have a hard time stopping and calming back down. I also suggest making sure the dog has something else that's fun to do instead of barking after the barking is corrected, such as a food stuffed hollow chew toy, puzzle toy with treats inside, or Pet Tutor or AutoTrainer that automatically dispenses treats when it senses your dog has been quiet for a certain amount of time. For a bark collar, do your research and only purchase a high quality one. I suggest stimulation and not air or Citronella. Citronella lingers a long time and because of how sensitive a dog's nose is, it can actually be much harsher than a good stimulation collar. unscented air only tends to work for very sensitive dogs so is often a waist of money - but you could try it first if you want to. A quality collar is not something to skip. You want a good one that has reliable technology, not some cheap, no-name brand online. You can get ones that will adjust the level automatically, and ones you can program the level, many collars have both options. I prefer the ones you can control because you can start on a lower level and set up a camera to spy on your dog and gradually go up in levels if your dog doesn't respond to that level (give the dog several opportunities to respond so that they have time to realize the barking is what causes the correction). Once you determine what the lowest effective level is for your dog, you can just leave the collar set at that level instead of the collar moving levels constantly on your dog. When your dog gets used to the level, it is normal to need to go up or down one level for your permanent level also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you for the great information.

We just tested her, let the dogs get excited, went through the usual routine
for walking.
I usually walk Chilli, then throw her a treat while I walk the old girl.

This time, Chilli had NO walk, I threw her treat and took the old girl out.
Hubby walked her and I slipped inside quietly.
Chilli tested the gate, then walked back and forth twice whining quietly.


She then disappeared from view. Other neighbors came home. Stood in driveway
loudly talking and laughing, she went for a look, then disappeared from view again.

Dogs across the road barked, she didn’t respond. The neighbors visit
or left on a loud bike.
She was still quiet.

Hubby was gone for approximately half hour. When he got home, she was sound asleep
in the laundry. There had been no barking

Another neighbor commented that all the dogs in the street were barking on that night.

So I’m thinking my neighbor may be over reacting.

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Question
Freckles
Dalmatian
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Freckles
Dalmatian
1 Year

My neighbours are talking to each other about the noise freckles makes when I leave him in the house on his own. It's getting beyond, when I'm in work my mother in law comes up to watch the baby and the dog together so they dont say nothing it's caused several arguments I have tried tips off Google but he will not stop he shakes so bad befobefore i leave I alalways feel bad and rush back. But I don't know what more I can do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katrina, There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time for some dogs. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for her. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs her anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Practice all of this during the day at first. Once he has learned that e-collar corrections are for barking and is able to calm himself back down during the day, then you can transition the training to night time when he tries to bark then - if you are certain that he does not need to pee at that time. If you can find a trainer in your area who is very experienced with behavior issues, comes well recommended by previous clients, is experienced with e-collar training, and also uses rewards, you may want to hire someone to oversee and help you implement the training carefully. If you need additional help, check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training.com. He offers paid Skype consultations. He regularly deals with severe separation anxiety cases. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlie
bichon poo
5 Years
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Charlie
bichon poo
5 Years

My dog is an aggressive reactive dog, has been doing good until we moved into a new place. We moved from a house to a coop. Have a lot of the same furniture and his belongings bed toys etc. We’ve only been there about 3 weeks. I have been taking him to a doggy day care which we started using about 6 months before our move, on the days I am working. Previously in our old home he had no problem staying at home alone. Yesterday for the first time I left him alone for about 45 min. I took him for a long walk (which he loves) gave him his trazadone which our vet recommended for the move, and a special treat before I left. I also left the tv on but he constantly barked the whole time. Any suggestions? I am invited to an engagement in the coming weekend and am wondering if I should put him in his doggy day care overnite or what else I can do to make him more comfortable in his new space and not be barking the whole time I am gone.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elaine, Adding a lot of structure and boundaries can help with separation anxiety. Working on independence building commands. can help. Keeping your departure super nonchalant and ignoring pup for 10 minutes after you get home, and leaving pup with something pleasant to occupy him with can also help. Structure and boundaries: Work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place" commands while you move away or leave the room, practicing a long, distance Down command using a long training leash outside, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Changing departure and arrival routine: Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from. When you get home, ignore pup for 10 minutes so that he associates your arrival with calmness and doesn't work himself up anticipating it. When you do let pup out, use the crate manners protocol below to help pup calm down before exiting: Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Entertainment: Be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on). Eventually you should be able to leave him home alone out of the crate if he used to do well that well also. At that point, you can also purchase something like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor - which can be programmed to dispense treats every once in a while when it detects pup has been quiet for a certain amount of time. Confirm that the one you are purchasing has that feature before buying though. Check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. Take it with a grain of salt in terms of his bluntness but hear what he has to say about the value of structure and calmness when dealing with anxiety. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Finally, if pup is still struggling there is a protocol that involves correcting pup remotely for the barking to interrupt his anxious state of mind, then returning and rewarding pup with a few small treat sprinkling into a crate without opening the crate, and leaving again. The corrections are repeated when pup barks and the rewards are repeated when pup is quiet. Going inside and back outside over and over again - and spying on pup from a camera outside so that he thinks you are gone. This protocol requires the use of a remote training collar or bark collar and is a good thing to hire a professional trainer who is very experienced with e-collar training, behavior issues, and anxiety to help you implement it. When doing this protocol, don't use citronella - Citronella is actually far harsher than an e-collar and lingers too long to be as effective. Dogs noses are very sensitive, so although citronella seems gentle to us, to a dog it is not. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tootsie
Morkie
6 Months
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Tootsie
Morkie
6 Months

Tootsie sleeps in cage goes in by her self at night I close cage when I go to bed, but if we attemp to cage her when we go away she is like a manic barking crying ,I aways give her a treat when I put her in there. She barks until we leave and quits after we close outside door.do she lives cage to sleep but not if We go away

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sandy, Since she stops barking once you leave, it does not sound like separation anxiety, but simply protesting being confined...After all playing is more fun than being confined, but it's not safe for her to be left out of the crate yet so it's still worth crating her. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Go ahead and skip to the part where the crate door is closed, rewarding her for being quiet whenever she gets quiet when you are home. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If she will eventually get quiet for you to be able to reward her, then she should adjust with practice just doing the protocol above. If she doesn't get quiet after a couple of hours while you are home, or you live somewhere where letting her bark is an issue for others, like an apartment, you can correct the barking in addition to using rewards. To correct, first teach the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once she knows Quiet, when she barks, tell her "Quiet". If she gets Quiet and stays quiet for at least two minutes, reward with a treat dropped into the crate without opening the crate door, then leave again. If she keeps barking, use a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of unscented, pressurized air (don't use citronella- it's too harsh and lingers, just unscented air canisters). Spray a small puff of the pressurized air through the crate wires at her side (NOT face) while calmly saying "Ah Ah". This is a gentle discipline and bark interrupter for disobeying your Quiet command. If she gets quiet after the Pet Convincer correction and stays quiet for two minutes, return and reward with a treat without opening the door, then leave again. Repeat correcting when she continues barking and rewarding when she stays quiet. At first, practice this for about an hour consecutively while you are home. You will work up to crating her for longer while you are home - up to 3 hours generally, and you will still have to crate her while you are gone, but she is already quiet after you leave for that. As she improves, gradually make her wait longer between rewards so that she is staying quiet for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 25, 40, and 60 minutes, before receiving a treat. Once she is staying quiet for longer periods of time, you can also give her a dog food stuffed chew toy like the surprise method mentions doing. Pet Convincer example: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QWPWDM/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk?fbclid=IwAR3yW6ZBMGPOTeufifRK1uiJdzDPGNW9dI7xdkJzALoCikrfpd69XDwTRxI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Yoda
Yorkshire Terrier
4 Months
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Yoda
Yorkshire Terrier
4 Months

Hello,
I have a rabbit, so my dog is in another division. When I leave that division he always barks till I go there again. At night he sleeps near me so there isn't a problem. What can I do to make him bark less?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joao, Check out the free pdf e-book from the website linked below. I suggest following the tips on crating, chew toy training, and teaching independence found there. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads If you live in a place where you are able to let pup bark a while without getting in trouble with neighbors or a landlord, I suggest ignoring the barking, and following the Surprise method from the article linked below to teach pup to be quiet and self-entertain better. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Leaving pup with a dog food stuff chew toy is also important. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ivory
Pit bull
3 Years
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Ivory
Pit bull
3 Years

Ivory was adopted a little over two months ago. Up until this past week, she did not bark when I leave the apartment. I give her a Kong when I leave, and she would usually finish it, then look out the shades, go down the stairs, look out the shades again, and then go lay down. However, this past week she has been barking at the bottom of the stairs at the door anywhere between 30 seconds and 8 minutes. It is not every time I leave, so it is unpredictable.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Taylor, Since the barking is short, I suggest simply ignoring the barking - she might be just testing the boundaries, so don't give attention for the barking if she is otherwise healthy, not in danger, and doesn't have to go potty. If you are consistent, many times it will resolve on its own after a couple of weeks. If it gets worse or doesn't improve, there are a couple of options. The first is to use something like an automatic treat dispensing device to reward quietness and provide a new form of entertainment - like Pet Tutor or AutoTrainer. Look for a model that can be programmed to detect quietness and reward with a treat then. The second option is to correct the barking if it's prolonged. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the room for 5 minutes, return and sprinkle some treats into the area without freeing her, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats if she remains quiet for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, ect... Practice confining her there during the day for 1-2 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the area, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Keep things as calm as possible. Corrections should be calm and not angry, and rewards calm also. You may also need to change up your leaving routine if she seems to be anticipating you leaving and getting worked up ahead of time - practice leaving and come and leaving and coming, until you leaving is very boring because you are just going in and out and it's unpredictable when you are actually going away for longer. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Milo
Mixed
13 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Milo
Mixed
13 Months

Hi..I adopted Milo in June. He had no real issues adjusting to my parents house. I now moved out with my boyfriend to an apartment complex and barks whenever we leave. I panic that the neighbors will get pissed off so I've been leaving in small increments. I hired a dog walker for Monday but i'm afraid the dog will be barking ALL day and is not ready to be alone in the new place yet...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mal, At this age I suggest correcting the barking. There is a slower, gentler protocol that doesn't involve correction but in the long run the dog ends up staying anxious for longer (which is hard on them and you), it takes longer, its not always 100% effective, and can be an issue with neighbors. Since he was previously fine in the crate when left alone, the behavior could also be attention seeking or boredom based, which would be treated very similarly to anxiety, but is usually an easier thing to address through the below training. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time for some dogs. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for her. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy in the crate when you leave. First, he needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Otis
Yorkshire Terrier
4 Months
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Otis
Yorkshire Terrier
4 Months

My dog is great when we are with him but if one of us leaves the room he runs to the gate at the end of the hallway and barks and barks until we come back into the gated hallway area or bedroom. Sometimes it lasts 30 minutes. It’s just very hard to go do dishes or get things done. He has toys, water his bed and sometimes we give him a carrot or something to chew to try to distract him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Malia, First, make sure that you are not rewarding the barking by returning to her or freeing her - that only teaches her to bark more. Wait until you get a brief pause in the barking at least to return - so she is being rewarded for being quiet instead. Second, when she pauses her barking, return and sprinkle treats over the gate without letting her out. As she improves, wait a bit longer before returning - so that she is being rewarded for staying quiet not just getting quiet. Gradually work up to her staying quiet for whole time you are gone and not barking to begin with. You can also give her a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy - like a Kong filled with her kibble and freeze dried treats to keep her entertained while also automatically rewarding her for chewing quietly. If you are still having issues with the barking after doing the above for two weeks, I suggest also doing the following. First, you need a way to communicate with her so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. (You can go ahead and teach Quiet regardless of whether its still needed for the hall barking - because it's simply a good command to teach with lots of uses). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one type of interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction, then leave again. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice in the types is situations she barks in - like the hall. Whenever she DOESN'T bark when you leave, return sooner, calmly praise and reward her to continue the desensitization process. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Reggie
Rottweiler
18 Months
0 found helpful
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Reggie
Rottweiler
18 Months

Reggie as you can imagine has a very loud and disturbing bark & i used to leave him home alone while i was at work 4 hours a day roughly. Until my neighbours started to complain that he used to literally bark the entire time I was away. I tried to explain he was still young and we are trying to train him but having neighbours who constantly complain & don’t understand made it very frustrating! Eventually they called the SSPCA which completely scared me because he wasn’t left any longer than four hours max at a time & I was worried they would take action. They explained to me that they cannot do anything about a barking dog and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I asked them for advice but it wasn’t helpful at all. Anyway, I was completely scared off by this and decided to send him to doggy day care twice a week and take him to work with me the rest of the week. This became very expensive & of course has made it even harder to start leaving him home again! I have since moved home and have been here for around a month and I would like to get him into a routine of being left home alone and it not being an issue! I am very scared to have the same problem with the neighbours and of course I don’t want to have my dog stressed with separation anxiety or angry neighbours! I am going to try the advise on the website about starting from the very beginning. While I am doing all this I have seen “adaptil” are things like this worth buying? Do they help the process?

Any tips would be super helpful!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Monica, There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to continue to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time on its own for some dogs. If he is left out of the crate, you can try the following without the crate first - but you may end up needing to crate during the training period at least. If not crated, you can also try using an automatic treat dispensing device, that periodically rewards him for being quiet, such as AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor - the device has to be set up to reward for that particularly and make sure you purchase a model with that capability. Pup may be boredom barking - which many dogs do and it's actually for entertainment since barking is a self-rewarding behavior due to arousing chemicals released in a dog's brain. If the barking isn't due to anxiety or is a milder case, the above protocol might be sufficient. True Separation Anxiety may need additional training though, which is discussed below. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. A word of warning, this trainer is pretty abrupt on camera but he is very experienced with anxiety and aggression. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator or Garmin Delta Sport or Dogtra for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator and Garmin should also have a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell - punisher lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work than stimulation e-collars though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM A modern, high quality collar will have so many levels that each level should be really subtle and he will likely respond to a low or medium level stimulation. It's uncomfortable but not the harsh shock many people associate with such collars if done right. Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days if you can (take it off at night to sleep though). Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or two more levels on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. For example, if his level is 15 out of 100 levels on the Mini Educator, don't go past level 18 right now. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar will probably be low to medium, within the first forty-five levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog, sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting him from outside when he barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when he stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, when he is quiet, go back inside and sprinkle more treats. This time stay inside. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to leave a food stuffed Kong with him when you leave longer-term. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate/time alone more. First, he probably needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead of barking, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Parker
Labrador Retriever
3 Years
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Parker
Labrador Retriever
3 Years

Parker barks at the vacation cottage when we leave. He has an older dog with him that doesn’t bark. Parker is crated in a comfortable quiet room. White noise from a fan is blowing and he has a king treat. There never seems to be a lull in his barking. Ugh.

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Mocha
Dachshund
7 Months
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Mocha
Dachshund
7 Months

I’m having problems with mocha excessively barking when she is alone. I leave calming music on and have bough her a calming collar. She is perfectly fine being in her crate and is quite relaxed when we are in the house. I have even tried Kong’s. Nothing seems to be working. I think is she overly attached to me as well. Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandy, There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that she does not anticipate alone time and build up her anxiety before you leave - which is hard for her to deescalate from, and be sure to continue to give her something to do in the crate during the day (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time on its own for some dogs with more severe separation anxiety. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. Have a trainer work with you on how to correct and interrupt the barking while you are not present - such a remote training device, then set up a camera to spy on pup, go outside, correct when she barks, and after she stays quiet for five minutes, return and sprinkle treats into the crate. Repeat going outside and inside for about 30-60 minutes each session. When that session is over, come inside, ignore pup for 10 minutes while she is in the crate to encoruage calmness, then let pup out of the crate calmly like the video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Teddy
Yorkshire Terrier
1 Year
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Teddy
Yorkshire Terrier
1 Year

Hi am I struggling with keeping my dog alone and in the cage without him barking although he spends quite some time on walks and around the house, any time I try to put him in the cage in a room by himself he barks nonstop. And whenever I enter he immediately stops.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Teddy wants to be with you and that is understandable. He may feel that the crate is punishment. If you need to keep Teddy confined while you get other things done around the house, I suggest an exercise pen. It keeps Teddy safe but gives him more freedom than being in the crate. Here is a great guide on how to set up a nice area. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. Good luck and enjoy little Teddy!

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Tucker
Jack Russell Terrier
7 Years
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Tucker
Jack Russell Terrier
7 Years

How do I keep my dog from barking in my apartment when my husband and I leave? He doesn’t really play with toys and he doesn’t ever tire of barking. If we’re gone for 4 hours he’ll bark for that time. If we’re gone for 12, he’ll bark for that time too.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, is this a new behavior? If Tucker has been barking for 7 years it might be hard to break him of the habit. It will take training and persistence, but the fact that he barks so much when you are not home is challenging to correct. Is doggy daycare an option? Another dog for companionship? (Carefully considered for compatibility of course.) Some dogs do not like being left in a big open space - a den-like setting is preferred. How about setting up an exercise pen area? https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. I know that Tucker does not like toys but you can try an interactive feeder that dispenses food with a little work on his part. Make sure he knows how to use it - try it out as a play item first. Then on days when you will be gone for a while, don't give him a full breakfast. Have him work at the feeder for the bulk of his breakfast once you are gone. You can also take a Kong, fill it with softened kibble and a bit of peanut butter (natural only - no xylitol as it's toxic!). Freeze it to make it harder to get the food out and give him that before you leave. It will keep him busy for a while. You can also try the Alone Time is Rest Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-bark-when-left-alone-1/. Lastly, look into dog appeasing pheromones, emitted through a diffuser, that have a calming effect on dogs. Good luck!

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Shaggy
Russian Poodle
2 Months
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Shaggy
Russian Poodle
2 Months

He needs to stay alone, he just doesn't leave me alone. He hasnt slept since he came. Im really worried for him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Saleha, How long have you had him for? If it's been less than two weeks, pup is still adjusting and the crying when apart is likely normal still. I highly suggest crate training pup to help pup learn how to be alone, to help with potty training, and to prevent destructive chewing when you can't supervise him. There will likely be crying. Know that it's normal for the first two weeks, and the first three days tend to be the worse. Give pup an opportunity to realize that he is safe and you will come back later when he is calm. Don't free him when he cries unless he needs to go potty or something is physically wrong - or pup will just learn to cry more the next time and won't realize that he can calm down and be okay. Follow the surprise method during the day to help him adjust to time alone. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At night, ignore the crying when it's been less than 2 hours since he last went potty. If he wakes when its been more than 2 hours, take pup potty on a leash, keep it boring - no play, excitement or treats. Return pup to the crate after pottying, then ignore the crying until he goes back to sleep. Repeat each time he wakes after 2 hours, ignore crying sooner than 2 hours. Pup needs to opportunity to learn how to put himself back to sleep and discover that he can be calm and okay. The more consistent you are, the sooner a puppy usually adjusts. Be prepared for a lot of crying the first 3 days. Check out the free PDF E-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Finley
Saluki
5 Years
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Finley
Saluki
5 Years

I have recently added Finley to the family. I believe he hasn't been treated particularly well in the past as he was very thin when we got him. He's settled in really well and is excellent in every aspect but one, barking when left alone even when we're in the house. If he doesn't have access to where we are he just barks constantly.

I don't have lots of experience but I believe he's suffering separation anxiety. We work and he needs to be left alone for roughly four hours but I worry that he's annoying our neighbors and obviously he's anxious/stressed.

We have a crate but haven't used it as it seems to unsettle him even further.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, glad to hear that Finley is doing so well! If you don't want to crate train him when you are out, consider setting up an exercise pen area with a bed, toys, water, etc. The space needs to be big enough for him to lay around. To get him used to it, put Finley in the pen area a few times a day, gradually extending the time. Then, when you have to leave he will be used to it. Prep a kong by filling it with moistened kibble and a smear of peanut butter (plain natural peanut butter - no xylitol as it is highly toxic to dogs).Freeze it in a ziploc bag. Give it to him in the pen before you leave. The kong will take some time to get through which is a good way to keep Finley busy. You can also leave white noise in the home (like a fan) to distract from outside sounds. Good luck!

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Siggi
Goldendoodle (mini)
5 Months
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Siggi
Goldendoodle (mini)
5 Months

Our dog is a total champ with sleeping in her crate at night. All I say is "time for bed!" and she literally runs into her crate and sleeps the whole night through. We were also crate training her during the day in a separate "living room" crate and slowly worked her up to staying in that living room crate while we're not in the house. She was doing fairly well with that... barking a little in the beginning and the settling down for a nap. We gave her a stuffed kong, dimmed the lights, and played relaxing music.
However, all of a sudden that has changed. Now she is 5 months old and she barks the entire time we're away. Sometimes for a solid 2 hours! When I check her camera, she is literally just sitting in her crate or laying in her crate barking at nothing. Is this an extinction burst or just her puppy adolescence coming through? We're going to transition her to an x-pen while we're away to incrementally increase her freedom while we're out of the house (hopefully to work up to hanging out in the living room while we're away by the time she's a 1 year old).
Is it okay to ignore the barking and hope it goes away on its own or is this developing into separation anxiety? Help! We always make sure she's exercised, taken her potty breaks, has a stuffed kong, and also has a calm environment.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shannon, First, I would put off the exercise pen for a bit longer because this issue will normally be easier to deal with while in the crate. Wait until you are past this issue before transitioning to the pen. What you are experiencing isn't unusual for this age. Barking is actually a self-rewarding behavior so sometimes pups will learn to do it simply to entertain themselves, then it becomes habit. It can also be due to protesting boredom or demanding attention as pup enters adolescence. If it's pup testing boundaries, there is a good chance ignoring it will cause it to go away, but if pup has found a fun new past time, it will need to be addressed more directly. Work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, if the barking ever happens while you are home and out of the room, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If the barking is only happening when away, then pretend to leave, and spy on pup from outside on camera. When pup barks, return and correct with pet convincer, then leave again. If pup stays quiet for at least five minutes, return sprinkle in treats but don't free pup, then leave again. Practice this for 30 minutes- 1 hour, then return for good, ignoring pup for 10 minutes while you pretend to get stuff done while she is crated still. After 10 minutes, free pup from the crate, making her wait for permission to exit like the video below shows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice this often when you are home for an hour at a time. When you leave, give a dog food stuffed chew toy. Also, make sure that pup is being exercised not just physically each day but also mentally - teaching commands and tricks that are a bit challenging and require concentration, self-control, calmness, or focus are good ways to stimulate mentally. Training can by incorporated into physical exercise with structured heeling during walks, sit and down stays during fetch, and playing games like come and find it games, also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Josie
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
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Josie
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

Josie is a chocolate Labrador. We got Josie from a family who couldn’t handle her as well as their other dogs. She is two years old and the other dogs were adult dogs. She was outside full time never inside and slept outside with the other 2 dogs.
Now that she is with us she pushes past the door to get inside, barks at us to get inside and I can’t understand as she should be used to being outside. She barks ALL night long. And also bangs on the screen door etc to get in. I don’t understand as she is used to sleeping outside and not being inside or being with people much. So I’m assuming it’s the lack of having a companion outside with her.
She has a loving heart and just wants to please and be around us. I just can’t let her sleep inside as we also have a cat. When we let her inside and on her bed she is mostly well behaved. Our plan is to have her inside when we are here for the most part and have her outside when we aren’t or when it’s bed time. We treat her to go outside and to bed and she is very very food orientated but it doesn’t seem to matter. We tried a muzzle which doesn’t really stop the noise much.
Do you have any advice which would stop her barking before the neighbours and us go crazy from sleep deprivation? Thanks so much in advance.
Jess

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Tux
cockapoo
14 Years
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Tux
cockapoo
14 Years

We just purchases a summer home and he is trying to adjust to the new surroundings when we go there on weekends. He is starting to calm down and not be as anxious to leave as long as my husband and I are both there. As soon as we walk out the door the barking begins and does not let up. In our primary home, he has the run of the house and does perfectly fine. In the new place we confine him to a smaller room So that he is not able to go by the doors and bark and disturb the neighbors as loudly. Any help on how to help our stressed out old guy be able to have a peaceful couple hours while we go out to dinner would be appreciated!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! While I am fairly confident this issue will resolve itself as time goes on and he gets comfortable, I am going to give you some tips to speed that process along. It takes dogs about 30 days to get adjusted to ANYTHING new. So patience and a little creativity will go a long way with this one! Below are some tips... Exercise. Make sure your dogs have an adequate amount of exercise before you leave in the morning. Tired dogs are more likely to want a quiet rest time. Toys, canine puzzles. There are a number of products that give the dog something to do. Treats can be placed inside a Kong toy, and the dog will work to get the treats out. This is a behavior that is incompatible to barking. Familiar sounds. A common suggestion by trainers for dogs who bark when owners are gone is to leave the dog with some familiar sounds such as a radio or television. The idea is that these approximate the household sounds when the owner is present. Even a fan for white noise can help. Anti-barking devices (non-collar). There are several anti-barking devices that do not involve collars. For example, the Dog Silencer Pro detects barks and sends a high-pitched sound that only dogs can hear. This device works with multiple dogs or a neighbor’s outside barking dogs.

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Roux
Dachshund
6 Months
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Roux
Dachshund
6 Months

Our dog is 6 months old and he finally sleeps through the night downstairs, we have a baby gate an he wakes at 8.30 an cries as he wants to see us. The issue now is he hates being apart from us. When we leave the house he barks for the whole period, up to 3 hours. We leave treats, dont make a big deal when leaving an coming back. The chew toy has not been touched at all. He also moans when he both go upstairs, we try not to come down untill he stops then reward him. But so difficult as the poor neighbours can hear him barking constantly. Please help!! I have a baby on the way aswell and want to get him trained before. Thanks 😊

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest making Roux a comfy and cozy spot he can call his own. Many dogs feel anxious when they are left in a big space. Make an exercise pen area for Roux to use at night and when you are out. Provide all of the creature comforts as described here (no need for a litter box if trained to potty outside):https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. This may give Roux the security needed to be calm. Other suggestions for when you go out - prepare a Kong toy this way: fill a Kong with moistened kibble and a smear of dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol as it is toxic to dogs!). Freeze the Kong overnight and give it to Roux as you leave. As well, try dog appeasing pheromones as a way to calm Roux (this is a diffuser that emits a natural calming scent). Good luck!

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millie
Yorkshire Terrier
14 Years
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millie
Yorkshire Terrier
14 Years

She has recently started to bark non-stop everytime we leave the house and the neighbours have started complaining.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Due to her age, and the fact it is a recent and new behavior, I would have her evaluated by your veterinarian. It sounds like she is potentially starting to develop some separation anxiety. If all medical reasons have been ruled out, you can work on the tips below regarding separation anxiety. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Nora
Golden Retriever
4 Months
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Nora
Golden Retriever
4 Months

Our puppy will bark when we leave and we believe she barks the whole time we are gone. Do you know what I can do to help her not to bark?

I do not know how to get her to calm down in her crate. I leave the crate open for her during the day and she will sleep in there occasionally, but she does not sleep in her crate at night, which I know is part of the issue.

Any help will be great!

Thank you!
Nora

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some detailed information on crate training. In this information, you will also find tips on how to deal with anxiety and aversion to the crate. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.

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Rusty
English Springer Spaniel
3 Years
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Rusty
English Springer Spaniel
3 Years

Dog barks when we leave even if only to pop to the shops.. it’s only started since lock down has happened

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, the lockdown has brought a lot of challenges to us all, that is for sure. It's most likely that Rusty is feeling a bit anxious when you leave now, after having you home all of the time for so long. The guide where you submitted the questions has excellent methods and tips for helping Rusty to change the barking habit. Try re-reading it and give some of the tips a try: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-bark-when-left-alone. The What NOT to Do Method may give good tips. As well, take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-separation-anxiety. It could be that a crate or an exercise pen area will be the solution. Sometimes dogs will feel less anxious when in a smaller space than the entire home. Set up an exercise pen (minus the litter since Rusty is potty trained): https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. If you choose to set up an exercise pen area, before you go out, prepare Rusty a Kong. Stuff the Kong with a little moistened kibble and dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol as it is toxic to dogs!). Put Rusty in the pen area with the Kong for a long lasting treat. The first few times you go out, just make it a few minutes and gradually extend the time you are away by 5-10 minutes each time. Try this along with the tips in the links I gave you. Keep trying, be patient, and persistent. I am sure Rusty will be fine once he is used to being alone again. Good luck!

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Duke
Yellow Lab
10 Years
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Duke
Yellow Lab
10 Years

we found out dog barks and howls when we leave the house and he is alone.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your best bet to aid in stopping this is to make sure he gets plenty of exercise, and you may need to invest in a few interactive toys such as a Kong or Buster Ball that he only gets when you leave him home alone.

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Wilfred
cockapoo
12 Weeks
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Wilfred
cockapoo
12 Weeks

Wilfred whines/cries/barks whenever I leave the room. He's happy in his crate when I'm working next to him but as soon as I leave the room he starts. I've tried building it up but I can only ever get to 10 seconds before he starts crying. I've also tried leaving him for 10/20 mins at a time and he continually barks for the full time and gets himself all worked up. I've also tried leaving him to go to the loo etc. multiple times a day to get him used to me leaving/coming back. Not sure what the best approach is going forward.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lori, First, know that the crying is normal. Also all puppies cry the first two weeks of crate training. The main goal is to give pup enough time to learn to settle on their own- and reward them when they are quiet with treats, chew toys or by letting them at that that quiet moment. Some puppies sounds quite distressed in the crate! It can be hard to listen too, but know that it's normal and pup is simply adjusting to something very new. Follow the Surprise method to help pup learn. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cedar
German Shepherd/ Australian Shepard
5 Months
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Cedar
German Shepherd/ Australian Shepard
5 Months

I have two puppies. They are crated separately and every time I leave, Cedar barks even if I'm just walking out of the room. She barks whether she's in the crate or out. Basically if she can't see me but can hear me, she barks. My other puppy is fine in her crate. I crate trained Cedar from the day I got her and she stops barking after a couple of minutes once I've left the house and she can't see or hear me. She only barks when I leave, even if someone else is in the room or house with her. What is the best way to approach training her out of this? I want to be able to walk my other puppy separately without Cedar freaking out. It's just a bad habit, I need to break. She's otherwise a great dog, she just seems to have separation anxiety.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Because helping a dog overcome separation anxiety is a long process, I am going to send you a link with a ton of useful information. There is too much to go over in this little box for my response! She is young enough that you should be able to correct it within about a months time. If it continues past that, I would have a chat with your vet. https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-separation-anxiety

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Leo
Labrador Retriever
9 Months
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Leo
Labrador Retriever
9 Months

How to make the dog stop barking when he is out

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bardri, By out do you mean while outside? If so, I suggest making a list of what types of things pup tends to bark at, then working on desensitizing pup to those things by commanding quiet (after you teach that), and rewarding pup for stopping the barking, then rewarding pup for not barking in the first place around that trigger, as pup improves. Practice often outside with pup until pup doesn't bark while you are out there. When you are not present, once pup knows the rules and has been desensitized to the triggers, you will also likely need to use an automatic no-barking device to enforce the training when you are absent, such as a vibrate or stem bark collar. Only use a high quality tool, do your research to ensure safety and reliability. Quie method and Densensitization method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Star
Rottweiler
8 Weeks
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Star
Rottweiler
8 Weeks

She barks all night and barks all day while I'm at work

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, know that a lot of barking is normal for the first two weeks while crate training. The first three days tend to be the worst. Check out the article linked below and for 30 minutes to an hour when you are home, and several times, broken up into sessions on the weekends, practice each day. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, be aware that a puppy during the day can only hold their bladder for the number of months they are in age plus one - meaning that at 2 months old your puppy's maximum bladder capacity is 3 hours - ideally pup should be taken out at least that often when you have to be gone, and every 1 hour when you are home. If pup goes longer than that pup will be forced to have an accident in the crate and that's miserable for pup and makes crate training and potty training very difficult. If you are gone longer, you may need to hire a dog walker temporarily. At night, once a pup learns to stay asleep and not wake for attention, you can expect pup to go about twice their maximum daytime amount - meaning pup under ideal situations will still need 1-2 potty breaks at night, often every 4-6 hours during the night too once trained until older. Pup is probably waking more often than that at night right now though wanting attention. Ignore any crying before it has been 2 hours since the last potty break. After at least 2 hours when pup wakes crying, take pup potty on a leash but keep the trip super boring and immediately return to the crate after they go. Ignore any crying after they are returned to the crate with an empty bladder. This can feel hard and exhausting the first few days, but it does tend to help pup adjust more quickly than other options in the long run. Doing the above generally teaches pups to only wake when they actually have to go potty and not for attention - which will let them hold it longer since the bladder functions differently when asleep vs, awake. Once they are waking just because they need to pee, they will generally gradually sleep through the night as their bladder matures with age. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cuddles
Pomeranian
9 Weeks
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Cuddles
Pomeranian
9 Weeks

Cuddles is a mixture pomeranian/shih tzu.
Me and my husband both work and my daughter is a student. My husband goes home during lunch time but heard Cuddles Barking 5 floors up :(
not sure if he barks all morning, hope not.
We have had him for 2 weeks now

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. At this age, there isn't too much that can be done to help soothe him while you are gone. Until about 12 weeks, puppies are very much like babies and they need nearly constant attention. You can try a few things... if you have a crate for him, you can cover 3 sides with a blanket. You can also put a fan or white noise machine in the area you keep him while you are gone. This will help to drown out any outside noise that he may be reactive to. Once he learns your routines and is a little more mature, he should be just fine during the day.

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Jack Daniels
Great Dane Mutt
1 Year
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Jack Daniels
Great Dane Mutt
1 Year

He has very bad separation anxiety and cries every time I leave. He is a rescue and we have only had him for a week. We live in an apartment so barking causes a lot of noise complaints.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Separation anxiety is something that takes a while to work on correcting. It can often take a few months. Because there is so much information on separation anxiety, as well as the steps to correct it, I am going to send you a link of another article to read. https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-separation-anxiety

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Thumper
Mixed
7 Years
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Thumper
Mixed
7 Years

I have a rescue dog, possibly an Australian cattle dog. We used to live in an environment where it was advisable to have a barking dog a first deterrent against possible intruders. We now live in a country where crime is much less so a barking dog is a nuisance rather than a necessity. He does not have much of a view out of the back yard, but will bark at noises and passers by both human and animal. He receives about an hour of walking a day. I need to learn how to stop him barking while we are out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brian, I would start by making a list of common barking triggers - squirrels, walkers, ect... then work on desensitizing pup to those things. Second, I would work on teaching the Quiet command and practicing that command around the triggers outside with pup. Reward pup at first for getting quiet, then for staying quiet for a certain amount of time, then gradually extend the time so pup has to stay quiet for longer and longer before receiving the reward. Finally, only reward when pup doesn't bark at a common trigger to begin with. Desensitization and Quiet methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Some dogs also find barking itself enjoyable and will bark not because they are overly sensitive or think they should be guarding, but just for the sake of barking. For those dogs, you would also need to either confine pup indoors while away, use an automatic high quality bark collar after doing the initial quiet and desensitization training above to enforce the lesson while away, or you can try something like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor - which certain models can be programmed to automatically release a treat when it detects pup is quiet for a certain amount of time - this last option isn't effective for all types of barking, but if pup is barking because of boredom, this can often help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gus
Labrador Retriever
7 Years
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Gus
Labrador Retriever
7 Years

We recently moved from a house in Delaware OH to an apartment in Summerville SC. He is barking when we are gone but didn’t when we lived in the house in OH. What is going on??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sophia, Either pup is probably feeling insecure due to the move, and it will just take a bit of time for them to see that you still come back each day at the new house, and haven't just dropped him off somewhere new. This is likely just an adjustment period in that case. Give it time, but also leave pup with something fun to do like a dog food stuffed kong or automatic treat dispensing device that can be programmed to detect when pup is quiet and release a treat then - like AutoTrainer or Pet Tutor, and give boundaries and structure, like practicing normal door manners, follow through with commands, and generally having a predictable routine and following through with rules. Act confident and calm around pup, rewarding pup's calmness and confidence, and not acting sorry for pup when they behave nervously. Act toward pup how you want pup to feel. Pup may also be hearing or seeing something new, like a neighbor dog barking, neighbors noise, ect...If so, work on the Desensitization method from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Finally, practicing regular obedience with pup can help pup feel more secure. Take thirty minutes every day that you can to practice obedience commands pup knows, at a slightly more challenging level, or new commands. You want pup to have to concentrate a bit and learn something new gradually. Choose methods that aren't too harsh and involve some rewards. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Harrie
Mixed
4 Months
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Harrie
Mixed
4 Months

I am having trouble leaving my dog alone in the apartment in her crate! My puppy is 4.5 months old. She is fine in her crate (sleeps in it all night, will occasionally go in on her own, naps in it if I'm home) except for when I'm leaving the apartment. As soon as I leave, she barks nonstop. I leave high value treats in there, a kong with peanut butter for example, but she doesn't show interest in it when I'm gone. I've been practicing with her and leaving for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, etc. and she stays mostly quiet during those training sessions, but when it comes to me actually leaving, she doesn't keep quiet! I'm not sure what to do at this point. Please help!!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like you have some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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?
Poodle x Shih-Tzu
9 Years
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?
Poodle x Shih-Tzu
9 Years

We have not adopted this dog yet. We saw her at the shelter/pound yesterday and loved her but they said she barks all the time and will never change. We live in an apartment and we can’t have a dog that barks when we leave. She didn’t bark when I held her but did when I would step away for a second. Is there ANYWAY I can train her? I can stay home for most of the day or take her with me most places. She is NOT being taken care of there. All the dogs are in terrible shape - teeth, eyes, nails so long they can’t walk, wet matted fur. But she can’t bark.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like she may have some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Lucki
Pit bull
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucki
Pit bull
1 Year

We recently moved to an apartment and have received a complaint that our dog barks when he's left alone. When we set up a camera we saw how bad it really is. This is a habit that needs to be broken and quickly.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like she may have some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Tilly
Shih Tzu
4 Years
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Tilly
Shih Tzu
4 Years

We live in a camper in a campground. The only time she barks is when we have to leave her home alone. The people who live in the camper next door says when we leave she starts barking and won't stop until we return. How do we stop her from doing this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andy, First, pup needs to be crate trained to help build independence. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and work on that method to get her used to you being out of the room while she is crated. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate She also needs to build her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine if you haven't already done so. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets by obeying a command like Sit first. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate when the door is open as well as closed. Give her something to do in the crate or on Place during the day while you are out of the room (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on). Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ If doing the above is not sufficient, I recommend doing the below in addition to it, as needed. Purchase a Pet convincer. DO NOT use a citronella spray, make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). Next, set up a camera to spy on her. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear her but she will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate and leave. Spy on her from outside or another room - whatever normally triggers the barking. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her crying or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, quietly return, spray a small puff of air from the pet convincer at her side through the crate wires, without opening the door, then leave again. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, correct, then leave again. After five minutes to ten minutes of practice, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back into the room where she is and sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting when she barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when she stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes a session at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, while she is quiet, go back into the room and sprinkle more treats. This time stay in the room. Do not speak to her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When she is being calm, then you can let her out of the crate. When you let her out, open and close the door again whenever she tries to rush out, until she will wait in the crate with the door open. Once she is waiting calmly, tell her "Okay" or "Free!" and let her come out. You want her to be calm when she comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home - so that she isn't building up those emotions habitually anticipating your arrival home each time. That is why you need to ignore her when you get home right away also. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Also, for longer alone times give her a food stuffed Kong into the crate/room with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it even if she didn't pay any attention to it in the past, and that will help her to enjoy alone time more. First, she may need her anxious state of mind interrupted so that she is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give her a food stuffed Kong in the crate for her to relieve her boredom instead of barking, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. Regularly practice her staying on Place and in the open crate while you are home and leave the room as well. Finally, teach pup the Quiet command to make communication with her clearer. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When you are home, also make sure you are exercising her both mentally and physically - regularly teaching and practicing obedience commands or tricks, and incorporating those commands into her day is one way to stimulate mentally - such as practicing heel, sit, and down during a walk or game of fetch, having pup do a command before giving her something she wants, and feeding meals in dog food stuffed chew toys or or things like automatic treat dispensing devices like autotrainer or pet tutor, or kong wobbles. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bandit
cross
6 Months
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Bandit
cross
6 Months

Ban it is a rescue dog , she sleeps happily all night in the crate . We have a stair gate , she is nott allowed up stairs , but even when we are sitting with her she is obsessed at trying to get up there .my cats go upstairs .
She is barking and trying to vault over the gate .

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it sounds as though Bandit really wants to meet the cats. Are you worried that there will be an issue? Has she met the cats yet? You can try the Conditioning Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/ignore-cats. Just be sure that your cat is not terrified and also that Bandit is not showing that she wants to harm the cats. It's all new and exciting to her - no doubt after a little conditioning, she will start to find the cats to be ordinary housemates. As well, when Bandit starts to show interest in the cats you can distract her with a toy, such as an interactive puzzle toy with a treat reward that may prove more interesting than the cats. But eventually, they will have to meet and get along. You can work on her basic commands, including sit and a long down stay. Perfect that, and she will stay in her spot while she meets the cats. She looks pretty clever - I imagine she will enjoy training and do well! https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-basic-commands. Good luck and have fun!

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Baron
Rottweiler
9 Months
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Baron
Rottweiler
9 Months

He is very stubborn and he always jumps on people, he sometimes does not listen, he always barks when he is left alone, and he always tangles and bites the leash when we walk him

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you have an energetic dog who will get big and strong - and maybe even more stubborn. But that is okay, he is highly trainable and loves to learn. You have a few things to work on but that is to be expected with any young dog. Baron is the perfect age for obedience training. I would suggest you sign up for classes as soon as possible to socialize Baron to both dogs and people. At training classes, you will learn all you need to know to handle your dog as he gets bigger. Rottweilers are smart and come from a working lineage, so he'll need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Buy him interactive toys and feeders, play fetch in the backyard, take him to dog parks with agility equipment or build him small obstacles at home. Before you start classes, work on his obedience at home: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-dog-basic-obedience. For his listening skills: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you and for heeling so he walks nicely on the leash: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Good luck and all the best to Baron!

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Willow
Mix
7 Months
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Willow
Mix
7 Months

Our dog is not one to bark hardly ever. She will be 8 months this month, and we’ve barely heard a bark come out of her mouth. Our neighbors informed us that for the last couple of days shortly after we leave, she barks for quite awhile. She got spayed a month ago so was needing to be very chill for 2 weeks while she healed, and then my husband and I got covid so we were home for 2 weeks with her 24/7. She is normally in her kennel for half of a day while we’re at work, so I’m sure if she is just off her routine and she’s confused. I wasn’t sure what to do about that as I don’t want her to cause a disturbance.
Thank you, God bless!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brittany, I would work on making the crate more fun and increasing pup's independence again. To make the crate more fun, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Practice the treat rewards while she is crated and you are more - even if that's just an hour each evening and hour long sessions, with long breaks in between on the weekend. If pup doesn't bark in the crate at all while you are home (which is sounds like she may not), still reward periodically for staying quiet for a while. Whenever you leave for longer periods of time, give pup a dog food stuffed kong or similar durable toy, to focus on and chew on - giving pup the task of getting the food out can help take her mind off why she is barking. If she tends to get the food out quickly, you can make frozen ones that last longer. Place pup's food in a bowl with water the night before. Let the food turn to mush, poke a straw through the Kong's holes, loosely stuff the mush around the straw, freeze the entire thing, then remove the straw and give it to her. Add a bit of peanut butter or liver paste to the mush if she needs help being interested in it - don't pack it tightly or she won't be able to get it out. You can make several of these ahead of time to have on hand. Just subtract the food in the kong from her daily kibble amount, to avoid overfeeding. For building independence, I recommend teaching Place and a distance Down Stay, as well as having pup practice Place inside the crate with the door open while you are home. Work up to pup being able to stay on Place for one hour, while you go about your business - leaving and re-entering the room she is in, without her being allowed to get off Place to follow you. A structured heel is also a good way to challenge pup mentally while exercising, to help with any nervous energy that needs to be gotten rid of. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Finally, keep good byes extremely boring or non-existent. You don't want to build up anticipation of you leaving. When you return, ignore pup for ten minutes before letting her out of the crate if she isn't desperate to go potty. You want pup to expect your arrivals to be very boring too, so that she doesn't build up emotions in anticipation of when you will arrive home. Let pup out of her crate calmly, closing the door again if she tries to rush out, until she is waiting patiently, then allow her to come all the way out. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Vinnie
Chihuahua
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Vinnie
Chihuahua
1 Year

Hi.
I’m really having a hard time with my dog.
His barking and howling when left alone is bad. When at home I leave the house for 20 mins up to an hour and watch him on the camera and he seems be okay. But sometimes I’ll leave him for an hour to pop out and he will continue to bark and howl. I really don’t know what to do please help

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Waffles
Labradoodle
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Waffles
Labradoodle
6 Months

Since the pandemic I have been working from home and Waffles got use to me always being around. He loves his kennel throughout the day, but whenever i leave him home in his kennel he will bark the entire time until i come home. Even if its 2 hours. How can I get him to learn how to not bark?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Luna
Border Collie
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Border Collie
3 Months

Luna keeps barking every time she is in her crate and no one is in the room. She barks constantly and does not stop until someone comes in there. We leave the tv on a low volume for her but she still continues to bark and cry. How can we stop this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Georgie, Check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. If pup is already used to the door being closed, you can skip the first couple steps. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Colin
Silky Cocker
1 Year
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Colin
Silky Cocker
1 Year

Separation anxiety. Cannot leave the house for more than 5min without constant barking. He is fine if we are in the house even in different rooms but we cannot leave.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Cosmo
springador
19 Weeks
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Question
0 found helpful
Cosmo
springador
19 Weeks

Crate trained but begins barking out of boredom around the hour mark. We’ve upgraded him to the room his crate he’s in with plenty of toys etc but he whines and barks as soon as we leave him in there on his own.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, First, I would make sure pup is getting enough mental and physical exercise. You can make exercise more efficient by adding training into it. Things like having pup practice a structured heel, Sit, Down, and Watch me periodically during walks. Practicing commands like Come, Drop It, Wait, Sit, and Down during a game of fetch. Having 20-30 minute training sessions where you teach pup new commands, practice current commands but increase the difficulty a little as pup improves to increase skill, and have pup work for their meal kibble more, via things like Kongs, kong wobbles, puzzle toys, and automatic treat dispensing devices. With pup's mental and physical needs addressed, and providing pup with something to entertain himself with in the room or crate, like a dog food stuffed kong, if pup continues barking, you can also do the following. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate (or room) for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate or room without opening it or letting pup out, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Frehelle
Weimaraner
11 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frehelle
Weimaraner
11 Years

Hello,

Frehelle has lived with us for her whole life, first we lived in a house but 4 years later moved into an appartement. We never had a problem until a couple weeks ago when my parents divorced and my mother found a new appartement to live in. Since then she barks all day with is very frustrating for the neighbors. All of the furniture in the appartement is new and a new routine is being installed with my mother and sister as the household was broken appart. I understand she is vers stressed and might not understand what is happening but sadly she can't stay with us if she continues since the neighbors have already complained a couple of times.
Thank you for any tips that could be helpful we can't wrap our head around the problem or any solutions.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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