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Dog howling and crying when 1 year old DC is being noisy

(16 Posts)
BlondePieceOffFluff Sun 20-Apr-14 15:42:53

Our dog has started with a new annoying habit of howling and crying when our 1 year old DC is being noisy. In the beginning it was only when DC was crying, but now it is enough that DC is noisy, talking loudly, shouting or crying.
Anyone have any idea of why? And what we can do about this?

BlondePieceOffFluff Sun 20-Apr-14 16:02:03

Just to add a little bit more context, our dog is six years this summer and we have had him since he was a puppy. He is a very mild-mannered and easy-going dog. Never seen any aggression in him, on the fight versus flee scale he is completely flee.
When he starts howling/crying we can normally make him stop by saying his name firmly.

SpicyPear Sun 20-Apr-14 18:05:18

It sounds as if he finds the noise quite stressful. Does he have anywhere to go away from it for some peace?

BlondePieceOffFluff Sun 20-Apr-14 20:03:16

Yes, he is free to roam most of the house and has a special place under the stairs where he will go for some alone-time. However our house is very open plan so there is no escaping the noise, unfortunately.

Booboostoo Mon 21-Apr-14 08:23:43

The dog is stressed. You need to address this to be honest, otherwise it could escallate. Try Adaptil collars/diffusers and if that works well try Zylkene tablets as well. Also try gradual de-sensitisation, e.g. record your DS making noise and then play it back at a very very low level the dog will tolerate gradually making it louder and louder always making sure the dog will tolerate it. Also try associating the noise with something positive so give the dog high value treats as soon as DS starts with the noise (adjust the dog's diet accordingly).

BlondePieceOffFluff Mon 21-Apr-14 10:36:48

Thank you BooBoo, I will investigate :-)

SpicyPear Mon 21-Apr-14 20:49:25

My dogs get on better with Pet Remedy than Adaptil. Also, it sounds daft, but you can download music from a company called Through a Dog's Ear and some dogs find it calming. Could you try playing it in his spot to relax him and also mask the noise.

A covered crate might also help. Not to shut him in but as a super cosy and secure den to retreat to. My girl has one just for when she is stressed and it really helps her relax.

lulalullabye Tue 22-Apr-14 00:23:46

We had a similar issue with our 4 yr old dog. When the little kids cried he got stresses. We got a dog therapist in and she suggested the use of kongs with marmite or peanut butter in, something to distract them. So whenever they cry and you see the dog getting stressed then throw them the kong. It worked massively with our dog.
She also suggested only giving him his food twice a day and if not eaten in five minutes then taking it away. He was always left to graze his biscuits but she suggested to not do that.
I have no idea what relavance that had to the baby crying and him getting stressed but that also worked really well.
It is achievable but you just have to stay positive.

BlondePieceOffFluff Tue 22-Apr-14 10:49:19

Hi, and thank you. We may have started in the wrong end with this. Our thought was to not reward the behaviour so we have ignored the dog and/or with a stern voice told him to be quiet. Lately my husband has moved to treating, not with food though, but going over to him cuddling him and saying in a quiet and nice voice to calm down. We may have to up the treat-quality though and see if we can get an assosciation with noice and good things happening.
He is only fed twice a day already, but we have never had any grazing-food available throughout the day. If we had he would look like a barrell, he lives through his stomach grin

SpicyPear Tue 22-Apr-14 15:14:23

A Kong or similar would be fab for a food motivated dog. Just cut back on regular meals a little if he's getting more treats.

Behaviour that comes from a dog being worried or anxious is different to other types of behaviour, for example attention seeking. If you reward pulling or jumping up, the dog will continue because the unwanted behaviour works to get them what they want. When a dog is stressed, anxious or fearful, the whining, pacing etc behaviours are not the dog trying to get something but are their way of trying to make themselves feel better. The best way to stop behaviour coming from a place of fear or anxiety is to treat the underlying emotional state by counter conditioning. Rewarding your dog at times they are stressed will not encourage the behaviour because they are not seeking something from you, they are expressing their emotions.

BlondePieceOffFluff Tue 22-Apr-14 15:35:11

Makes total sense Spicy, sometimes cannot see the forest for trees :-)

MewlingQuim Tue 22-Apr-14 20:10:13

My dog did this with dd when she was about 1y. It used to drive me nuts. One starts wailing then the other joins in!

We got dd to give the dog biscuits, help with grooming etc. and generally interact more with each other with very close supervision and ddog seems much more relaxed now that she recognises dd as a little human and not some weird screeching monster grin

BlondePieceOffFluff Tue 22-Apr-14 20:17:58

Mewling I guess it is about time now for our little guy to interact a bit more with the dog yes, hopefully that will have a positive effect too. Our boy is very curious about the dog, but we kept them mostly separate for now. The dog may have felt a bit left out since we had the baby.

SpicyPear Tue 22-Apr-14 20:28:02

There's some really useful posts on this blog. I particular the ones about preventing children magnetising to dogs and how to be a child dogs are comfortable with. This kind of stuff keeps everybody safe and happy smile

Booboostoo Wed 23-Apr-14 07:20:26

I found that one of my dogs was quite stressed by DD in her toddler stage. I think that he couldn't quite figure out what she was, because now that she is 3yo and much louder and more energetic, he is fine with her. I got DD to train the dogs from when she was about 18mo. I would stand behind her and re-inforce the hand commands and she would do her best to say 'sit', 'down', 'come' and do the hand commands (very funny to watch). It helped the dogs see her as someone who gives rewards for good behaviour so they are more likely to offer her good behaviour.

Clearly your dogs have to be trained already for this to work, otherwise they may molest the toddler for the food.

BlondePieceOffFluff Wed 23-Apr-14 17:50:03

Thank you all for replying, we are going to have to make more of an effort to include the dog and facilitate more interaction between our little guy and our furry little guy.

Just had a brief look at the blog about dogs and babies and felt an instant pang of recognition. Our dog has definetly gone from mummys little prince to, well, just a dog. Have a friend who experienced the same with her cat. Luckily both our respective husbands have managed to still keep a bit of focus on the pets while we have been completely pre-occupied with our PFB's grin Looking forward to reading more.

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