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My neighbour has 'helpfully' told me my dog barks A LOT when I'm out...

(18 Posts)
mum2seb Thu 22-Oct-09 14:57:21

...so what do I do? He's 9 months old, and I KNOW he doesn't like being on his own, but I have to leave the house!!! I don't leave him for any longer than 3 hours. He goes in the conservatory with his bed, some toys, a stuffed Kong and the radio on (oh, and some water). Apparently he starts as soon as I've shut the door, and carries on with only a pause for breath! My neighbour says it doesn't bother him as such, he just thinks it's very sad that he is so distressed (I have to agree). He has 3 walks a day, between 30 and 45 minutes, and I 'play' with him a bit every day (training, really). I'm at a loss. Any advice will be gratefully received!!

beryljinker Thu 22-Oct-09 15:19:41

Is getting another puppy or older dog as a mate so he isn't home alone out of the question?

If you dog is obviously distressed when you leave, and doesn't calm down after a few minutes then it does seem sad to leave him home alone for 3 hours at a time - is there any way you can shorten your time out of the house, or break it up so you leave for an hour in the morning and two in the afternoon so he's not left for so long? For some of your outings is there anyway you could take the puppy with you?

Is your dog good with other people? Perhaps you could find out if there are any dog-sitters or walkers living nearby, they might be able to look after the puppy whilst you're gone, either at their house or yours.

Or perhaps you have a friendly neighbour who wouldn't mind coming over for an hour or so to spend time with the puppy so it isn't left alone for so long. Maybe even a lonely neighbour who would be glad to spend time with the puppy for an hour or so a few times a week. At weekends you might find local children who would be happy to walk your dog whilst you were out (as a child I was never allowed a dog, so I gladly walked neighbours dogs for free). Perhaps it would be worth advertising for a volunteer - you may find lots of people glad to offer their time for free in order to spend time with a puppy.

If none of those are really suitable options then I'm afraid I don't really have any suggestions as to how you might be able to help the puppy feel more secure left home alone - do you spend lots of time in the conservatory with him outside of when he's home alone? Does he definitely feel safe and secure in that room, or is there another room he may prefer to be left in, perhaps the room he sleeps in?

Hope you can find a way to help him feel happier when you must be out of the house.

mum2seb Thu 22-Oct-09 16:07:03

Another dog is out of the question - dh would NOT be amused!

The only reason I'm out for so long is that I have to walk to everywhere I go - i.e. toddler swimming with ds2 is a 1/2 hour walk each way, followed by an hour and a bit in the swimming pool (factoring in getting dressed/ undressed); toddler group, 20 min walk each way and 1 1/2 hours there. He has a good walk/ run before we go out as well. And it's very rare that he's left at the weekend - we usually go and do things with him (walks in the country etc). I've tried leaving him in the living room, but he ate his way through half the living room blinds - not good! And he sleeps in our bedroom on the floor (something I said I'd never do - but hey ho!), so I'm not prepared to leave him in our room!

I suppose at least I'm only out Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, so he doesn't have to be alone all day every day! I wonder if he'll grow out of it? I do feel bad, but I need to entertain ds2 as well!

Thanks for the suggestions - it might be worth a chat with my concerned neighbour. Perhaps he's concerned enough to spend some time with him!

Thanks for the advice - anymore for anymore??!!

ShinyAndNew Thu 22-Oct-09 16:11:09

Dog sitter? I used to leave my puppy at my dad's house with his dogs if I was going to be out a while.

CybilEngineer Thu 22-Oct-09 16:12:29

Might be a bit rich to say 'you know my dog that pisses you off by barking all the time...would you look after him for me?' grin

mum2seb Thu 22-Oct-09 16:24:30

Well, it'd STOP the dog from pissing him off grin!! I have no family anywhere near here to leave him with, unfortunately. I just need a kind soul who'll do it for a bottle of wine every now and again!!

bentneckwine1 Fri 23-Oct-09 00:24:19

My dog has free run of the house when I am out because I found that she didn't like being shut in one room and would really howl. Think she maybe felt more defensive/vulnerable when the door was closed and her movements restricted. So we tried allowing her to be alone in the house with all the doors open...except for a stair gate across kitchen door to stop her stealing rubbish out the bin!!

This seemed to make a huge difference and neighbours reported that she would bark if someone knocked on the door but that she settled again quickly one they were gone. She always sleeps in the same spot when I am out...discovered that the fluffy cushion on the sofa was warm where she had been curled up!!

I hope you manage to sort something out for your puppy.

DailyMailNameChanger Fri 23-Oct-09 13:43:54

You need a comprehensive training plan, it takes time and patience but it will pay off - if she is distressed now at 9mo then it could just get worse as she gets older.

The basic, established way to train is to start by just shutting the door then coming back in, ignore the dog and carry on as usual, not making any contact with her until she has settled down and is calm again. Don't prepare her for leaving (getting things together in the room etc) just go. repeat and repeat and repeat... until she no longer thnks you are going to go out and leave her. Then simply extend the times so 10 seconds a few times, then 30 seconds a few times and so on. If she ever starts to howl again then go back to no gap for a few times, then go back to building it up skipping quickly through the shorter times until you are back on track again.

In the mean time, speak to the neighbour, tell him you are trying to train her but it would be usefull if he could come and sit with her for a week or two until you have it cracked IYSWIM. He may be willing, he sounds like he cares enough!

HTH

LittleRedCar Fri 23-Oct-09 13:45:37

Just to throw a spoke in - the dog may not be distressed. Some just do this out of boredom...

DailyMailNameChanger Fri 23-Oct-09 13:53:16

grin

Yes, the habitual howl, like chewing, weeing, pacing and so on.

Still, training should help don't you think?

Having a neighbour come in will not work as a long term thing - well, unless you have the worlds best neighbours of course!

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 23-Oct-09 13:57:29

I would be interested to read any further posts as our neighbours have 3 dogs who bark and howl for hours on end from 6 in the morning.

They used to let them out in the garden at 5am and they would bark at nothing, until another neighbour had them served with a noise abatement notice.

You can hear them thru the wall over our telly and it does get very depressing with the constant racket.

Any tips, I would like to pass on to them as their attitude is 'I am at work so I can't hear it, hence I don't care'. They also tried to blame it on my dogs who I have never had any complaints over in the 6 years I have lived here - they have been here 1. hmm

Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions as when mine were little I got my Mum to come in to break their day up for me and I would come home at lunchtimes. I am a SAHM now so problem solved. They are only ever left for approx. 2 hours at a time and being 6 are older and not so bothered.

LittleRedCar Fri 23-Oct-09 14:08:05

Ah well you see, DMNC , chewing releases endorphins and so combats the stress of spearation anxiety. AFAIK, barking doesn't do that.

<ducks to avoid lemon drizzle cake thrown with great force by DMNC>

DailyMailNameChanger Fri 23-Oct-09 14:14:49

No, silly, I meant destructive chewing not chewing a nice healthy bone type chewing (although chewing the wall does release the same endorphins it does not lead to a happy home life IME grin)

What I mean is that training will help stop the mind moving to the place where barking seems like a good idea. At this stage I would suggest it is already a habit so the idea is to break the cycle IYSWIM. The same would be true of chewing although it would be better if you could simply replace the thing they were chewing with something good so the dog was occupied and happy, with barking this is no happy equivelent.

GhoulsAreLoud Fri 23-Oct-09 14:17:05

My dog does this sometimes too (not all the time) sometimes I come home and can hear her yapping.

In her case I think it's because she thinks we're still in the house and wants us to come and play.

theagedparent Fri 23-Oct-09 14:23:32

Our dog used to bark when we went out. We got her a kitten for company and let her have the run of the house now and she is fine. Well, no more complaints from neighbours.

piratecat Sat 24-Oct-09 11:48:22

ladyoftheflowers, we had 2 springers living next door, who barked non stop when the house we empty.

It is very depressing all round. Neighbours were our landlords tho. We never said anything. I truly thionk the owner ladt, would have been horrified tho in hindsight. As an owner, they wouldn't have known the dogs sis this cos it only started when the car drove away.

op, DailyMail seems to have a good solution. here

nobid Sat 24-Oct-09 12:07:12

Our neighbours' dog also barks. Most of the time it is not a problem because we are out and do not hear it but it was a PITA for DS in the summer when he was at home trying to revise for his exams. Also it's fecking annoying when it goes all 'guard dog' and barks at me because I am in my garden.angry

I did comtemplate trying to train the dog myself (can't really talk to the neighbours, we say hello every few months and that's about it). What if I got a dog whistle and blew it really hard everytime the animal barks? Would that stop it?

shockers Sat 24-Oct-09 12:07:23

Our neighbour told us that our dog used to howl when we were out. I don't think he liked the radio being left on because he always used to switch rooms after we'd gone. (We thought it would make him feel like he wasn't on his own) I've switched it to the birdsong channel now and he seems to like it (stays in the kitchen where the radio is)
He also likes a bone from the butcher's to knaw on.
Can hear next door's dog barking and howling as I type....

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