Oscar and his bark-a-thon - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
Will It Ever Change?
 
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Oscar and his bark-a-thon

Well, I'd mentioned in another post about how Oscar barks relentlessly when we're not home, and we've had a complaint from a neighbor about it. He is understanding VERY well, that when we're home, barking at every sound in the hallway isn't necessary. Though he still tries sometimes, he understands us telling him 'quiet' and 'go lie down'. If he's insistent when we're home, I have him lie down and I say 'relax' while resting my hand on his shoulder, then slowly I can see and feel him relaxing, especially his legs. Then I praise him (lots!!).

It's when we're not home is when it's hard to help him correct it. I've been trying to teach him 'speak', but he looks at me like I have 3 heads lol. We picked up a kong that we stuff with different goodies (chews, kibbles,treats,peanut butter), and when we leave he's chewing on it. When we come home, we can hear he's barking to a perfect beat. There's never anything or anyone in the hallway when we've come home. I leave the tv on, which soothes the puppy, but not him. I tried putting him in our bedroom and gave him his blanket, some dirty laundry, and the kong, and he just tried to dig through the door.

When I came home today, the puppy had gotten loose from her pen, and was with him at the door when I came in. I'd heard him barking (to the perfect beat) as I entered the hallway. I was surprised the pup didn't phase or distract him one bit, because she's always climbing on him to play. I wish I could set up a camera to videotape when we're gone. I swear he just sits fixated at the door thinking he's calling us back. When we get in, and before we leave, we do the no touch no talk no eye contact rule for 10-15 minutes. Nothing is breaking his habit, it's as though nothing matters more to him, no treat or toy, than barking at the door until we're home.

And ideas?

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 01:11 PM
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You may need to start leaving and coming right back in and out the door and before he barks come back, then leave for a little longer, like a min or two and then before he can bark come back. Make him start thinking and knowing you will come back.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:03 PM
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There's a cheap book (really more of a pamphlet) by Patricia McConnell called "I'll Be Home Soon" or something similar. It's on separation anxiety and may help . I'd also look into crate-training (I can't remember if you have a crate, sorry).

Part of it is also that he's a new dog and needs time to settle in. Some of the foster dogs who first appear to have separation anxiety settle down after a month (or a few months). That's not true separation anxiety and is MUCH easier to work with. McConnell's book is more aimed at real separation anxiety, the kind not related to an animal being re-homed. Still, it might have some useful tips and should be under $10.

I also agree with Kendalle. Just make sure you vary the times. Don't consistently add more time to the trips, instead randomly do short ones too.




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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:17 PM
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Have u tried leaving a radio or tv on ? this way he may think, that someone is home we do this with spezza as he has sepration anixety, or you could also try a voice recording of your voice that plays over and over just a thought.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys. i'll see if i can find that book this weekend. i decided today to start leaving for small random amounts of time to get him used to it. apparently me closing the door to have a shower or go pee isn't enough lol he knows i'm still home, but does pace to and from the door i'm behind. tried leaving the tv on very time, nothing tricks him, especially if the treat filled kong and puppy he always initiates play with won't distract him. i feel bad for him but at the same time it doesn't alter our need to correct the barking. my husband and i also talked about picking a crate up for him. he isn't crate trained that we know of, but he does walk into riders crate to take a nap lol. he's not even destructive when we leave. when we/i come home, everything is exactly how we left it. just the obsession of barking, slowly to a perfect beat, i could play clarinet to it like he's a metronome. he's settled down in many other ways. he has an obsessive need (paces for hours otherwise) to be on the bed/under the covers with us at night. that alone makes me want to crate him so he leans he has his bed, and it isn't ours. we'v enoticed he competes for attention with the puppy, but more with my husband than with me. things we can't get him to do when it's just us interacting with him, he'll suddenly do because we're doing it with the puppy. he head butts the pup out of the way then tries to steal the show.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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today he seemed distracted by the peanut butter...hmmm, we might have progress! he didn't find it distracting enough last time, BUT this time, yes? we're going out tonight for a few hours, hoping the peanut butter holds out! we also went and picked him up a bed (same as rider's) for the bedroom at night because he loves to steal hers for a nap

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 08:03 AM
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Good luck! These things can take time, being in his 9th home might make the process last longer but with patience and good treats I'm sure he'll come around! Keep up updated!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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well we got home last night and he was calmer. he'd barked once as we entered the hallway, and another bark when we heard us get our keys out. BUT... no to-the-beat barking! go peanut butter! we may have a winner here...lol he was also calmer when we go in the door.

because he loves the puppy's bed SO MUCH (sneaks in it for a nap when she's out), we went to petsmart and got another one, just for him, just for the bedroom, in an effort to keep him from always trying to climb on the bed. and if he gets on the bed, he wakes us up at night because he's digging in the covers to get under them. i put his bed on the floor right beside my pillow, and put a sweater and shirt from the laundry on it, as well as my house slippers. it was a HIT!! he didn't budge all night. and he's MUCH calmer today, as though he got a good nights sleep lol.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:00 PM
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Thats great! he might like a blanket and you could cover him up at night.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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he already has one that we usually leave in the livingroom so he has his "spot" out here. 'd put a sweater over him last night lol

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 12:48 AM
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Great to hear he is settling down and getting used to your home, way to go Oscar!

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