Advanced search

5 yr old dog has started howling when left on his own

(10 Posts)
Nellymay Mon 02-Sep-13 23:38:12

Any ideas anyone? Our black lab of 5 years has started howling when left alone, we've only noticed it happening in the last month or so - this weekend we were at a wedding and left our 5 year old black lab in the hotel room for a few hours, to hear on our return these awful blood curdling howls coming from our room and to be met by complaints from the manager about it (embarrassing).

He's never to our knowledge done this before - BUT several things have happened in his life since May this year: 1 our 11 year old lab died of cancer - his constant companion since he was 6 weeks old - he hadn't shown any obvious signs of pining; 2.he had a bad injury to his leg 2 months ago, when he slipped his lead chasing a cat and ran into a car - he's physically recovered but maybe not mentally, and 3 we have recently moved house.

He has become more clingy, he likes to be with us - e.g. he'll lie at our feet at night when we watch tv, since his accident when we had him in our bedroom at night so we could stop him licking his injury and again since we've moved house he's been coming into our bedroom to sleep.

He is a very chilled affectionate loveable and loving dog, who is very much the alpha male who we've nicknamed the big daddy. Short of giving him more affection and reassurance we don't know what else to do to help him. Any ideas?

PeanutPatty Tue 03-Sep-13 00:41:01

This may sound silly but as he's had an injury is his bed comfy/padded enough?

PeanutPatty Tue 03-Sep-13 00:42:28

It does sound like his world has been turned upside down. Have you tried a DAP diffuser?

littlewhitebag Tue 03-Sep-13 06:34:38

I am not any expert but it sounds like anxiety to me. Poor soul he has really been through the mill. I can't help with answers but I am sure more experienced dog owners will be along soon.

littlewhitebag Tue 03-Sep-13 06:36:17

Just a though. Could he hear the music from he room? My dog howls like that if she hears loud music or, on one occasion, someone practicing bagpipes outdoors.

Nellymay Tue 03-Sep-13 10:23:36

I agree with everyone about a lot happening to him recently, poor lad.
The hotel was away from the wedding venue. It was a bit noisy there, tho as people were coming and going to the bar and talking on the stairs outside our room.
I might get him a dab diffuser.
He has always loved his bed - it's a big plastic oval basket thing with a pet bed and a duvet covered in fleece, in our last house it was under the stairs just outside the kitchen, but in our new house its a job to get him to get into it he just tends to sleep wherever we are - so I keep moving dog beds around the house til he finds where what bit of the new house he wants to be in.

PeanutPatty Tue 03-Sep-13 14:01:44

There is a really good FB group called Dog Training Advice and Support which might be worth joining. Lots of very very experienced dog owners/trainers on there. Not saying those on here aren't!! Just another support source for you as I'm sure you are becoming very stressed by his unhappiness too.

ButThereAgain Tue 03-Sep-13 14:16:26

It's a fairly big ask to expect a dog to stay quietly alone in a strange new location (the hotel room) for few hours. And although your dog might usually be good at it, lots of dogs wouldn't cope, even without all your dog's recent bad luck and his usual experience since the injury of being close to you all night etc.

How is he at home when he has to be left for a while? If the problem only occurs when you are in unfamiliar locations I'd be tempted to work round it by leaving him to stay with friends or some similar solution. But if it happens at home too then I guess it does need working on with a trainer, for his happiness and your convenience.

I had a dog who went through a phase of frantic howling when alone and a vet diagnosed a digestive disorder that was making him frantically hungry all the time, whch led to him being very unsettled. Is anything like that possible?

Is he crate trained? In a strange location the security of his familiar crate might help? (Though I suppose a nice big lab-sized crate isn't highly portable!)

Nellymay Tue 03-Sep-13 19:28:51

He's been fine until a few weeks ago, after his accident and we came home from somewhere and I heard him howling then. Normally we leave him when we pop out to the shops or anywhere we know dogs aren't allowed and we often put him in the boot of our car and he's fine. He always had our other dog until the middle of may so I wonder if its that he gets a bit lonely on his own as he was great when we were looking after my dd' s 18 week old puppy. This, plus his recent upheavals with our house move. Is not far from where we used to live and his walks are in the same places with the same doggie friends.

moosemama Wed 04-Sep-13 19:11:54

My 7 year old Lurcher started howling when left after we lost Oldgirl to bone cancer in April this year.

It's taken a lot of intensive hard work, but he can now be left for two hours without howling and I'm told, if he can go that long he should be ok for longer (although we have left him longer as yet).

If you want to read about what we did to help him, please feel free to pm me and I would be happy to link you to my thread on another dog related website, that pretty much explains it in lots of detail, including successes and regressions.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now