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> Dog No Longer Happy Being Left Since House Move, Barking when alone - help!
Jenny.Wren
post 1st Feb 2012, 10:35 am
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QUOTE(pangolin @ 1st Feb 2012, 10:28 am) *

I'm sure she would but, bless her, my nan's not the most subtle/careful of people and I can see her doing something silly like walking across the gravelled bit of the driveway or tapping on the window because the dogs are out of view (to "check they're OK" rather than assuming they're asleep!), maybe I could have her trial it out (give her set times and have the webcam recording what the dogs do when she goes over)

- my brother's girlfriend seemed to flout my 'dog rules' in the house to wind me up - for example, getting up and opening the babygate minutes after I'd shut them in one room for any particular reason, or encouraging them up on sofas, feeding them scraps which encouraged begging, etc) and thinks I'm pandering to her too much. He has been muchly lectured/educated about shock/spray collars and alpha rolling etc. in the past and doesn't support any of that but he's getting frustrated at coming home from work stressed out and not even being able to relax in his own home because she's been whining when he goes upstairs. Feeling a bit like it's all up to me to fix it (though he did plug in the Pet Remedy diffuser for me yesterday as it arrived when I was at work - he's not all bad!) and the neighbour complaining has made me feel even more pressured to come up with a solution quickly err.gif


yes I can see what you mean about your Gran - I can just see it lol.gif I was concerned too and asked my neighbour to be really quiet, like asking her to tip-toe!. It got to the point that she thought she was going to be reported as a burglar!

Hmm, that's not so good about the GF is it? Can you stand up to her and tell her that this is your house and your dog rules without a falling out? You must be quite tolerant as I think I would've fallen out with her by now lol.gif It's not fair to encourage behaviours you don't allow err.gif
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pangolin
post 1st Feb 2012, 10:41 am
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QUOTE(Jenny.Wren @ 1st Feb 2012, 10:35 am) *
Hmm, that's not so good about the GF is it? Can you stand up to her and tell her that this is your house and your dog rules without a falling out? You must be quite tolerant as I think I would've fallen out with her by now lol.gif It's not fair to encourage behaviours you don't allow err.gif


Thankfully the new house is brother's-girlfriend-free, we did have a bit of a falling out just before we moved actually so it's a huge relief to be out of there! (though to be honest, the dog stuff was one of her least annoying habits!). But again, that's another change for the dogs - she wasn't about during the day but didn't leave the house until a couple of hours after me, plus she was giving them all this spoiling in the evenings which has suddenly stopped so that could be stressing Kiki out too unsure.gif

This post has been edited by pangolin: 1st Feb 2012, 10:41 am
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pangolin
post 1st Feb 2012, 11:32 am
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So, have spoken to my boss and IT will be setting up remote access on Friday so I can work from home next week. He's OKed it on a short-term basis so going to have to try to do as much as I can within 2-3 weeks. Going to record them for the next two days to establish exactly what it is I have to work on. Going to order some Calmex to try first, maybe a week or two, and then I can use the Zylkene after that for a longer term effect just while she's settling in.
Now wondering whether to get a behaviourist in ASAP rather than try to wing it myself, since I'm limited for time. Think I will see how tomorrow and Friday goes and decide on the basis of how her behaviour is during the day - if it's milder in the day then I can deal with the evening stuff over a longer period of time, at least.
I might buy a few more Kongs so I can leave a few down - the frozen ones last longer but seem to get ignored more than a fresh one would. A Kong only fits in about 1/4 of her daily food so it wouldn't be a problem to leave her with two or even three to eat during the day, with a smaller dinner.

This post has been edited by pangolin: 1st Feb 2012, 11:35 am
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Elainew
post 1st Feb 2012, 11:38 am
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How is working at home going to help?

Would you not be better splitting your day between home and work, building up your time in work?
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pangolin
post 1st Feb 2012, 11:47 am
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QUOTE(Elainew @ 1st Feb 2012, 11:38 am) *

How is working at home going to help?

Would you not be better splitting your day between home and work, building up your time in work?


Sorry, posting in sponsor lounge about it too - by working from home, I've arranged to come in to work mornings to grab paperwork, do the stuff that involves other people in the office, etc., then go home in the afternoon if OH is called out. For a start it means Kiki's not left barking all day annoying the neighbour and getting stressed out. Can't see it being a problem to reverse it either, stay home in the morning if OH is on an early job and then go to work for the afternoon.
As long as my work gets done each day then I don't necessarily have to sit down and work 8-12 or 12-4 as such, so I was thinking I could do lots of practice going in and out of the room, upstairs, out of the front door, etc.
It's not as ideal as being home indefinately to ensure I go at her pace and never push her past her threshold but it's the best I can manage err.gif
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JRNasty
post 1st Feb 2012, 12:13 pm
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I'm of the opinion that if u start changing ur routine and stay at home kiki will get use to it. I think its better kiki settles into the routine she will b in on a daily bases. If ur at home u r not helping the situation as it Cud probably still b an issue when u leave her again.

I know its stressful but u need to stick with it. She will stop and settle in time. Talk to ur neighbor , film her, she what she looks like while barking. Stressed, worried, excited etc
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muttlover2
post 1st Feb 2012, 12:20 pm
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QUOTE
Just wanted to say that, no, I don't think you're a bad mum. Just someone working as most of us do to keep our doggies in the lifestyle they are accustomed to lol.gif They are better with you, loved and in a routine than in kennels or with someone who doesn't care enough hug.gif

And I too worried about losing Sam. My mind went to extremes and I had visions of the council coming and taking him away from barking etc etc...........I told my husband and it didn't have this worry in the slighest and wondered why on earth I had thought this err.gif But we do don't we?

I think you are slighly insecure and stressed about your move, OH's work, damp problems etc and the SA has just escalated. Try not to give yourself scenarios to fix that haven't happened smile.gif


This.

I think the advantage of talking to the neighbour is if they are a nice person (like me) they will feel calmed and better about it because they wont feel so invaded and out of control in their own house and they will know you care and are more likely to cut you longer slack.

And if they are a not nice person it shows the powers that be that you are and are reasonable and communicating and not being an unreasonable neighbour who doesn't care.

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pangolin
post 1st Feb 2012, 12:20 pm
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QUOTE(JRNasty @ 1st Feb 2012, 12:13 pm) *

I'm of the opinion that if u start changing ur routine and stay at home kiki will get use to it. I think its better kiki settles into the routine she will b in on a daily bases. If ur at home u r not helping the situation as it Cud probably still b an issue when u leave her again.

I know its stressful but u need to stick with it. She will stop and settle in time. Talk to ur neighbor , film her, she what she looks like while barking. Stressed, worried, excited etc


Her barking sounded stressed though and I don't like the idea of leaving a dog stressed and just hoping she gets over it. Hard to get an exact idea from just sound, so hopefully a webcam will help too.
The plan isn't to spend all my afternoons home, you're right as it'd just be a quick fix and it will likely start up again when I go back to work, my plan is to try to avoid leaving her alone for longer than she can cope with, and then re-train her to be left by avoiding crossing her threshold. Listening in last night, I know she was OK for 20 minutes - so I might be able to start by leaving her for 15 minutes at a time. Hopefully within 2 weeks I can make good progress on it, probably not cure it completely but she's not so distressed that the basics (picking up keys, putting shoes on, etc) triggers her off so maybe I have a bit of a headstart already. Plus she has been fine when left so maybe a 2 week refresher will do the job err.gif
I'm fortunate that my nan lives opposite and I have a spare key so I can easily take my laptop over to hers and alternate between her house and mine, so I won't be sat at home all afternoon.
I've been back at work since the start of the month so it's been 4 weeks and rather than adjust to the routine, she has got worse (I'm presuming she hasn't barked all month or I imagine the neighbour would have said something earlier) so I think something needs to be done to teach her that it's OK to be left here.

This post has been edited by pangolin: 1st Feb 2012, 12:23 pm
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Lucy8
post 1st Feb 2012, 4:32 pm
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Hi, I am not an expert, but just reading through all your posts I think that apart from all the dog's plug-ins etc you very much need to take a deep breath and open a bottle of wine (or whatever works for you) and try your hardest to relax yourself. You sound terribly stressed and while I understand it ( I am well known for my ability to flapp!) I am sure it must be contributing.
Damp walls are not a big deal. It is probably just faulty or blocked guttering or something equally simple. It is your first house on your own (I think from reading your post), so it is scary, but houses are really not that difficult and most problems can be broken down and fixed easily.
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annie b
post 1st Feb 2012, 8:39 pm
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Have you tried leaving a radio on.

It sounds as if she has become unsettled by the move. My two were really strange when i moved into my flat. The first day they both howled really weirdly which spooked me. I think it was all the boxes and general mayhem.

They then tried to go back to the old house when we went on walks leading me on the route back.

Once we had been in for some time they settled fine and I have always left a radio on if i leave them which works well.

Im sure they thought i was going to leave them in this strange flat and not come back. Once they realised I was coming back they were fine if this makes sense.
Dogs arent daft are they
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pangolin
post 1st Feb 2012, 8:56 pm
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QUOTE(Lucy8 @ 1st Feb 2012, 4:32 pm) *

Hi, I am not an expert, but just reading through all your posts I think that apart from all the dog's plug-ins etc you very much need to take a deep breath and open a bottle of wine (or whatever works for you) and try your hardest to relax yourself. You sound terribly stressed and while I understand it ( I am well known for my ability to flapp!) I am sure it must be contributing.


Thanks, I am quite worried because this neighbour doesn't seem the type to let things go (thankfully the neighbours on the other side seem fab!). Problem is, I wasn't really worried before the neighbour told us on Sunday, so my worrying about it can't be the cause unsure.gif Sure, there's other house stuff to worry about but I try to stay calm around the dogs. OH has been stressing though so they may be picking up on that.

QUOTE(annie b @ 1st Feb 2012, 8:39 pm) *

Have you tried leaving a radio on.


I borrowed one Monday and have been using it since, not sure if it's improved it but hasn't stopped it altogether as when I listened in Tuesday the radio was on err.gif
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Lindsay
post 2nd Feb 2012, 1:01 pm
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How are things going, Pangolin?

I've not been able to keep up with much on here at the mo; have you tried recording said doglet (vide0) to see if you can pinpoint exactly what is the cause?

This can show light on whether it is a particular person missed, or whether something in the environment is causing a problem, for example.... smile.gif
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pangolin
post 2nd Feb 2012, 1:16 pm
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I've asked OH to hit record on my laptop when he left for work this afternoon so we'll see if there's any progress. I haven't had a chance to unpack the PC to set the webcam up so it'll just be sound, but will try to do that tonight to record tomorrow, as I definately want to try to get a visual on it too. The sound of her barking sounds more like a distressed bark than a guard bark so I'm imagining that I'll just see her in the middle of the room barking at nothing, but we'll see.
I think it might be missing me more than just company unsure.gif She used to be fine when left with Casper but since the move, she's been whining when I'm out of the room, e.g. if I nipped across the road to my nan's she'd apparently whine non-stop even if OH was sat in the room with her unsure.gif this has eased off but not stopped completely - OH said she was whining this morning while he was home (he said a little barking, but mostly whining). Even him sitting in the living room doesn't necessarily stop her, though I believe he shuts her in the kitchen when she's really bad (which probably doesn't help, but he's getting quite wound up by it - which is probably adding to it too!). If I'm home then we can have the babygate open and she'll happily settle on her bed in the kitchen, she may jump up if she hears the door to upstairs open but I can nip up to the loo etc. without much of a fuss anymore, so she's improving in some ways.

The Calmex has been dispatched so if it arrives by Saturday I think I will give her another Zylkene tomorrow morning, just so she's had something, give her a break over the weekend (we won't be leaving her, other than some training) so it can get out of her system (as I'm not sure if they'd interact) and start the Calmex maybe Sunday night (so I can check it agrees with her) or Monday lunchtime when I get home from work unsure.gif Does that sound enough of a break? Or is it not worth bothering with Zylkene tomorrow as she's only been having it since Tuesday unsure.gif

I ended up writing a brief note to the neighbours, ummed and ahhed but decided I didn't want them to think we were ignoring it, basically said that now we're aware of it, we're going to do all we can to sort it and appreciate their patience. I'm hoping that by thanking them for their patience before they display it will make them feel like they have to be patient now lol.gif

Some slightly positive news is that we had proper playfighting last night - I bought some cotton rugs for both rooms downstairs, they have always played on laminate before but I think they appreciated the solid surface as they had a really long playfight. Hopefully a sign of Kiki relaxing a bit more, as she's been hesistant to play, even outside on grass.

This post has been edited by pangolin: 2nd Feb 2012, 1:25 pm
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walkiesandtalkies
post 2nd Feb 2012, 1:42 pm
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I would actually advise you doingwaht you are doing and taking time at home so taht you can start working on this from a position of her being comepletely settled in and stress free. You can strt wroking on things straight away by building up time but of course she is slready stressed by you leaving so it will be harder to achieve the results you want and will loikely take long er for her to settle. So I'd say have a week of working at home and ben around most of the time and then you can be starting from a place of her being relaxed and stress and anxiety levels can be back at a low level so she will be more receptive to training and learning to be alone. Then I would gradually build up the aone time - so aside from the neighbors point of view I think you are doing the best thing for her by doing things this way smile.gif

Dogs often find change harder to cope with as they get older and I suspect this change has just been a bit difficutl for her. If you keep trying to just let her get used to it, it may work but it could also get worse so I think your idea is the right one smile.gif


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pangolin
post 2nd Feb 2012, 1:54 pm
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Thanks Karen smile.gif Nice to hear I'm on the right track. I feel horrible that she's left for some time today and tomorrow when I know she must be distressed but in a way it will let me know what I'm dealing with - and if my boss isn't keen on it being an ongoing arrangement then I wanted to make sure that I'm at least off in 2 weeks time as OH will be out of the country so I really will need that week to work from home. Thankfully OH has only had half-days this week so she's only been left a few hours, and I've been sure to head out dead on 4 and get straight home to her.
Do you think it's worth having a while without doing any "leaving alone" training at all then, so she can calm down? I don't want to overwhelm her with it all but I'm already worried that 2 weeks won't be long enough to tackle it err.gif

This post has been edited by pangolin: 2nd Feb 2012, 1:58 pm
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