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Best way to start leaving your dog alone at home

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by ramzisleiman, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. ramzisleiman

    ramzisleiman Lurking Member

    Hello all,
    My female dobbie is now 7 months old, it is my first dobbie, but second dog overall.
    I read a lot of what to expect before getting Eva home, and worked hard on many important things, such as human and dog socialising, which is working out great for her. Basic Obedience training is pretty good as well, including potty training. She stopped peeing at home since age 6 (months).
    However i am now facing one big problem, which is leaving her home alone. I never did before, except for 10 / 20 minutes and leaving her with something to play with and treats. I decided to start extending the time, and i left her for two hours, she barked non stop and chewed some furniture in the process.
    I live in a residential building, and some neighbors were not happy, so i cannot keep on doing that, even if it works.
    What other options do i have to train her to be comfortable alone ? And what suggestions do you guys have from your experiences.
    Thank you

  2. DN2017

    DN2017 Jr Member

    Hi there! My suggestion is to crate her. No matter how well behaved they are when youre around, they can be different when youre not. You dont want her chewing up all your furniture and developing bad behaviour.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    It’s a HUUUGE step leaving them alone, loose in the house. We’ve crated our dobes from birth to 18 months/2 years until they’ve shown the maturity and trust to be loose.
    After the crate we dog proof ONE room with the help of baby gates.

    Separation anxiety or boredom can contribute to home alone barking. How much exercise does she receive before being left alone? Mental stimulation can also help.

    Practice with her to ensure that she is able to stay quiet when left alone. Leave the house for a brief period, but stay just outside your front door and listen for barking. If she stays quiet for a few minutes, go back inside, reward her, then repeat the entire process. Do this a few times every day and soon she will remember that being calm and quiet when left alone earns her a reward.
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
  4. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    This!^^^^ :thumbsup:
    My female is just about to turn 18 mos. She is only left free in the house when I am going to be gone for short outings. We started really small with me just stepping outside or to another room increasing the time I was gone.
    Don't buy into the crates are cruel baloney. Crate training is actually a wonderful thing and can keep them safe from themselves.
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I agree with all that has been said. Crate training is a must and it gives your pup the safety of its own safe place to go and feel secure.
    I have started leaving mine free to a room in the house. They are not allowed full house access unsupervised. I make sure I remove everything they would try to chew or destroy and leave them with frozen peanut butter banana Kong’s to occupy their time.
    Mine are extreme chewers so easily destroyed toys and bedding are not allowed.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Crate training with a lot of patience. Try not to get frustrated and angry with her. The new crate needs to be a happy place and not a negative aura of punishment. Check out some YouTube videos of crate training.

    Hopefully, she will acclimate to the crate easily but unfortunately it will prob get worse before better.

    She will most likely pitch a fit and bark non stop until she realizes these are the new rules. With your patience, time and reassurance, she will settle down and be fine.

    Maybe you can talk to your neighbors and explain the situation of separation anxiety, barking and chewing. They may be considerate and patient if they know you are actively working to resolve the issues at hand.

    Good luck
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. ramzisleiman

    ramzisleiman Lurking Member

    Thank you all for the replies. To begin with, i have read thoroughly through crate training procedures, and i bought a crate, but the amount of barking was insane when i leave. I couldn't do it more, because i had to come to her twice after barking insanely for over 15 minutes, I do not want her to get accustomed to me coming when she barks. No matter how understanding a neighbor can be( which is not my case), they will end up going mad when a dog barks for hours, over several days.
    I am looking into a different process, even if it is slower to succeed, but at least less barks.
    I made a corner for her, which i tie her every day as long as i am home, and she loves it, and goes there even when off leash at the apartment now, so i want to use this as a crate ( like an open crate thing, with the leash on)
    I did try to leave her with toys for short intervals, and it worked just fine (up to 30 minutes only), but anything longer makes her crazy.
    Do you think if i keep doing this same procedure, by leaving her on this couch on leash with toys, and resume with short intervals away, that i will eventually be able to go away for some hours (3-4). Is she too old for this training now? (7 months)?
    I am becoming super frustrated, because i have to take her with me wherever i go, and sometimes it is not a good choice for neither of us. Everything else with her is super on track, except for this issue, and this is a big obstacle for if i want to keep her.

    Regarding exercise, a normal day in our life consists of walking for at least 3-5 KMs + she plays with other dogs for aprox 30 minutes in a park where they can run.
    Once or twice per week, we go on hikes.
    Thank you again.

    GOD'S GRACE Notable member

    Well your's reminds me of my twin Doxies...they were just as hard headed as a Dobe...The barking was off the chart...nothing helped...I broke down and bought bark collars....I purchased hi-rated expensive ones...they were automatic, not remote operating, that way you need not be home. The results were immediate and finally we had peace and quiet...sooner are later your neighbors will complain...
    The price point of $10-50 dollars will net you little success...I would recommend ones in the $80-100 range for best results.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Yeah, be hard to positive condition a 7month dog to not bark in crate in only a couple of days.

    Your open crate scheme may work but most likely she looses interest in toys after 30mins because you are not there to redirect.

    Kinda sounds like the bark collar may be your last resort. I sure hope it works like it did with GG.

    Very hard to tell if it will work for 3-4hrs. Got to last longer than 30mins first. Only time will tell.....

    Good Luck.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I wonder if she's over stimulated actually. 3-5 km for such a young dog is too much exercise - you need to wait till at least 18 months old so the growth plates close. Also, less activity helps to keep their endurance 'lower'. I mean, it's still a high drive dog, but less crazy drive ;)

    Does she sleep when you're home? And what are you doing to mentally wear her out?

    Do you use "no barking" or "quiet" as commands? Train this with treats. Everytime she is quiet, say the command and treat. When she is laying down, say relax/settle to associate that behavior with something that pleases you. I would do this while you're at home to reinforce any calmness she is showing. Dobes aim to please and she may be picking up on your frustration.

    For the crate, have you tried covering it? Also, when she is crated reward her silence in there. Try feeding her meals in there. Try sitting near it. Make her fetch toys from it. She needs to associate the crate with good things. I bet that's why she hates it.

    It can be done but it's not quick and bad habits are harder to break. Keep at it!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. ramzisleiman

    ramzisleiman Lurking Member

    She rarely barks at home when i am theer, and when she does, it is because she would be complaining about something or someone who just came, and she sits quiet when i tell her to, i can fairly say easily.
    However, when i am not there, it is a totally different scenario. I did try a crate with cover, i did try to make it a nice environment, but first putting her food inside for couple of days, and some toys without closing the door on her. She just doesn't like closed spaces i guess.
    She sleeps almost 80/90% of the time we are at home, since i still keep her on leash, tied to her couch for almost 99% of the time, and when i put her off leash, she plays around a little bit, and then goes back to her couch. I am planning to keep doing that for a few more months, until she is calmer.
    It seems i will go with the bark collar, although i doubt it will work ( maybe because i never tried it before, and not experienced enough with that).
    Any suggestions on which one to get?
    Thanks all
  13. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    It's good that she has a preference for her couch. I'd say work with rewarding her being quiet on there. When she is quiet praise her a lot. Soon she will realize she is doing a good thing.

    For the bark collar, you should start a new thread since the topic is changing. That way the right people can see the question and respond.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    When you are home, I would use this time to re teach that the crate is a good thing. @Kaiser2016 gave a lot of good recommendations. Make a game out of it and teach her to "kennel" by tossing a treat in. Keep doing that, then gently close the door and hold it shut. Wait for her to patiently stand there with no noise, shoving the door, etc. Let her out after a few seconds... You could also wait for a sit or a down before letting her out. This teaches her to be calm before coming out and gradually desensitizes her to the crate. Keep playing these games and increase the time in the crate that she must be quiet.

    Away from home, start small. Gather keys and stuff to desensitize her to the sound and cues of leaving...but don't leave. A different time step outside for 30 seconds to a minute, come in when she is quiet and let her out. Same as above, gradually increase the time. Take it slow so you don't rush her.

    This will take some effort and time but if you work through it, you will have a crate trained dog! This is what I've done with 2 rescue dogs...one of them that had separation anxiety and broke out of a crate. They are quiet as a mouse now and sleep.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    Just my two cents. My little Rex began crate training the first night we got him. He would cry, whine and everything else under the sun. What worked for us was this.

    I’d lure him in with a treat and say “crate”. When he would go in, id close the door gently and lock it. He would whine, fuss and cry. I would sit in front of the crate for about 10-15 minutes. I did not give him any attention while he fussed. I sat with my back to him while I browsed instagram. When he would be quiet for a few minutes I’d turn around and give him a treat.

    For the first weekend his crate was in our bedroom next to our bed. I transitioned his crate outside to the living room. For the first week When it was his bedtime I’d potty him then lure him in with his treat. Close the door and do what I said above. However this time I would sleep on the couch for the week. When he’d bark, or make a fuss I would completely ignore him and only let him out to potty or when it was morning.

    After the week I began to sleep in the bedroom again with him in the living room, for the first night he cried but he got ignored and he stopped.

    It involved a lot of ignoring and letting him cry and realize his ass wasn’t coming out of the crate.

    Now he knows when it’s bedtime, I take him out to potty. He comes back in, mom says “goodnight sexy rexy” and he gets a kiss on the forehead. Then a majority of the time he waddles over to his crate without any coaxing, he does his multiple circles then plumps down. I give him a treat and close the door. Then he begins snoring shortly after and his puppy dreams lol. I do have to coax him sometimes so it’s not perfect yet but he’s learning.

    I also don’t believe in the “don’t use the crate for punishment” thing. When he gets out of hand, hyper or biting I pick him up and put him in the crate and close it and walk off. He hasn’t shown any negative emotions to the crate.

    He will also go in the crate when I annoy him, which I like to do. When he sleeps on the couch next to me, sometimes I’ll grab his paws and play patty cake. Or move his paws to the beat of music or make him headbang to slayer. Or sometimes I’ll just poke him and say “Rex” over and over again. He typically gets sick of it and will to nap in his crate because he knows I won’t bug him there.

    I can also leave for 3-5 hours a day and he won’t bark or whine while I’m/we’re gone. I got a pet camera that’s sound activated if he barks or whines.

    As far as living in an apartment/condo, I can relate to you. Luckily I only have 2 neighbors who adjoin to my unit. Ones a college kid who doesn’t care about him barking in the evening (when he would) because he was stoned or drunk most the time. However I did get into an argument with my downstairs neighbor over Rex barking, whining and running around. I told him to kick rocks and didn’t care that I was bothering him. He began to move out the next day.

    Hope you can apply some of that and help you out.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2

    GOD'S GRACE Notable member

    I only leave Grace when I go to Church and she's covered. My neighbor says she doesn't make a peep...
    99.8% of the time I bring her with me. We're Batman & Robin....we're still working out who's who! :rolleyes:
    • Funny Funny x 6
  17. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    We have a 15min bark law in our county. If they have continued barking over 15min at a time and a complaint is lodged. Animal control will pay you a visit and give a verbal warning. 2nd complaint will be a citation with a fine. If it is not resolved and further complaints are made they can remove your dog after a court hearing.
    Our street should be called Barksalot Lane because every house except one has dogs. Mostly the bigger bully type breeds. One barks at the end of the street, indicating a walking intruder, then the next one starts and so on. It’s doggy telegraph. We know where the person is on the street by which dog is barking.
    My birds bark as well which will sometimes get the other dogs barking.
    Animal Control does not frequent our street at all unless we call about the free roaming pit bull that comes around every couple weeks.
    Our street is pretty safe since we have two deputy sheriffs, an FBI agent, Border Patrol, Plumber, Electrician, Banker, County workers, Landscaper, Marine Biologist. Pretty varied group of neighbors and all get along well and have barking dogs so no one gets reported.:D
    Non of the houses are gun free so that is a huge deterrent combined with the breeds of dogs here. We have not had any break ins or property damage from the criminal element.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    Jeeze, wrong thread. Pay attention. SMH:joycat:
    • Funny Funny x 2

    GOD'S GRACE Notable member

    My Bad....
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  20. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Premium Subscriber $ $ Forum Donor $

    Was giving you a hard time. :p
    • Agree Agree x 1

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