Shh puppy, shh.....
December 12, 2008 12:18 PM Subscribe
After 4 months of living with me, my puppy's barking in the kennel issues haven't improved much. I am looking for suggestions for things I haven't tried that might make him quiet down.
posted by mjcon to pets & animals (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a 6 month old small dog who still barks in his kennel EVERY DAY when I leave him alone. I don't want him to do this. I have tried everything I can think of and am looking for some fresh suggestions. I apologize in advance for the long back story, but here goes.
I have had the dog since he was 8 weeks old, and he's never been super fond of being alone. When I leave him in his kennel, he barks/howls off and on for a while, often as much as a half hour. Then he seems to settle down and fall asleep for the rest of the time he is in there. From my extensive google-ing, it appears that his deal might be a mild form of separation anxiety or something similar. Other details:
1. The dog does typically follow me around throughout the house, but sometimes he will go and play in another room for a little while when I am home
2. He gets anxious and whiny when I leave the house even if other people are home. Sometimes my roommate has to grab him to keep him from darting out the door when it is obvious I am going to leave. He whines for a bit after I am gone, but not nearly as long as when he is alone in his kennel
3. He does not get anxious and whiny when my roommate (who the dog is very very fond of) leaves the house.
4. Before he was housebroken, he slept in his kennel in my bedroom and had no problem with it. He was pretty much completely quiet and would go in without a fight. So I don't think the issue is that he hates his kennel.
5. When he is in his kennel and barking, he will still eat any easy to access foods in there (he won't fight for an hour for something that is frozen, but he will spend a couple seconds gobbling something up) He never hurts himself or tries to get out or pees in there or anything. When I come back, he is totally quiet and sleeping. Its really just that first little while that he is upset.
6. He is a moderately barky character. He doesn't bark to huge excess, but he does seem to bark or whine when he is frustrated (toy trapped under the couch, bark. Water bowl empty, bark, cool person or dog out the window, bark)
Things I have tried to calm/quiet him down in the kennel
1. tons of awesome food items in a kong toy, frozen or unfrozen. He will eventually eat them, but seems to understand they aren't going anywhere....He isn't as food motivated as most other dogs
2. DAP spray and rescue remedy
3. playing music
4. Spraying him or spraying in the room he is in with a squirt bottle to distract him from barking (this actually has cut down the barking some....)
5. one of those ultrasonic noise things that makes an inaudible beep when he barks. This had some impact, but it wasn't good...made him bark less, but for way longer. And he was a neurotic mess when I took him out of the kennel. I returned the thing.
6. Exercising him tons before he went in the kennel so he was dead tired. He still seems to find the strength to bark for a while.
I know about the whole building up the time he is alone thing, and after the holidays I am going to work toward moving him out of the crate and gate him in the bathroom. We will work up the time he is in the bathroom from nothing and hope that he has a more positive association with the bathroom than the kennel. I think for his own safety, he's still too young to have free run of the house when I'm gone, but I hope that someday he will. What other things have you wise dog owners done to keep dogs quiet that I haven't tried? Has anyone used a citronella bark collar to any success? Did your dog eventually just grow out of this problem?