Yesterday I went to the shelter with my sister to adopt her first she's the primary owner dog. She came home with an adorable lab mix named Bentley and had almost all day today to bond and get to know each other.
Problem: he freaked out when she had to leave for about two hours today, destroyed part of her blinds and barked quite a bit, possibly the entire time she was gone.
I've read lots of advice for other people on here, and want to make sure I start her off on the right training foot to ease his anxiety. She has to work 4 hours tomorrow, but after that he won't have to be alone again until next Wednesday.
For tonight, she bought a crate so he at least will not be able to hurt himself and is trying to desensitize him to it tonight and starting tomorrow using the crate info from the faqs here.
I'm trying to figure out where to begin with training/treatment options. I'll Be Home Soon book or others? Thundershirt? Citronella Collar? DAP? (I already have the diffuser for this, so might be an early thing to try.)
I'm going to attempt to get her started this weekend to relieve some of his anxiety and at least make him safe while she's gone.
Post by troopersmom on May 24, 2012 23:17:42 GMT -5
I would not do the citronella collar. Make the crate a happy place treats, she can try sleeping in a shirt then placing it in there with him if he won't eat and swallow it. Try kongs that have yummy goodness frozen in them while she is gone. Maybe tomorrow before she has to work and def til next wednesday leave for a minute come back praise, give treat, play and build up to longer times. Hopefully the pup is crate trained and he'll find peace in there. Dap collar could help as could rescue remedy (some dogs it helps some it does nothing for)
She did leave him with a kong yesterday and he ignored it. I think we may just need to find something he wants more than kibble and peanut butter. I also think we need to find him a better food than the science diet kibble he was sent home with.
When we saw him at the shelter he had a peanut butter kong that he was ignoring for attention from people. But he does love his itty bitty buddy biscuits so she's using those to associate the crate with yummy things. Are antlers crate safe? I'm also thinking about taking some bully sticks just for supervised, the crate is awesome training.
Am I correct in thinking that she needs to only enter and praise when he's being quiet rather than barking? So he doesn't associate the barking with getting attention?
Post by katietornado on May 25, 2012 7:47:55 GMT -5
Our shelter dog (he's a Kelpie) had some SA when we first adopted him, and he wasn't crate trained. Getting a crate was a good idea for your sister. Next step is making it an awesome place to be, and getting the pup used to it. When we first got Cal, we had him crated nearly all the time. We'd do driveby treat drops, so he'd associate the crate with getting treats and such. We'd take him out for exercise and to relieve himself, and then back in the crate he went. Within two weeks he was really comfortable with it, and stopped the incessant barking/whining when we left the house. But it did take some time. Does she have neighbors who will be upset? We lived in a second-floor apartment when we got Cal, and fortunately our lower neighbors moved out the same week he came home. Also, it can help to have very high value treats (bully sticks, Kongs) that are just for the crate, that he never gets other times. She could stuff the Kong with kibble, if he's a super eater, or with more high value stuff (peanut butter, canned food, cut up Natural Balance rolls, cubes of cheese, etc) if he's not. If he goes through the Kong too quickly, she can freeze it before giving it to him.
Plenty of exercise is good. Walks are great. Is there a dog park nearby? A lake for swimming? She could put him on a long lead (I'm talking about a legit 30' leash made of nylon, not a Flexi-Lead/retractable, because those are crap) and let him swim around. Swimming seems to exhaust my dogs more than any other exercise.
Leaving and coming back within a few minutes is good, especially if she doesn't make a big deal of it. Like, if she only crates him when she's gone, he'll start to realize that crate = alone and he'll hate it. If she gives him a TON of attention right before she leaves, he'll catch on to this too. The key is to be really casual about it. Crate him, watch a TV show, then just walk out the door. Don't say goodbye to the dog, don't make a show of putting on a coat (my dog absolutely knows what jackets and shoes are for, and he knows the sound of keys), etc. Just walk out. Stay outside for a few minutes, then come back in. Repeat.
It's not a super fast fix, but this dog has been through a fairly traumatic experience, so it's good to give it plenty of time to resolve this issue. You're awesome for helping her with this...sometimes when we were dealing with Cal's issues (far beyond SA), the most helpful thing was someone in the know telling us that dogs much worse had become much better.
I'm going to agree with this for now. Meaning, since the dog and her don't really know one another yet, this may be a "harsh" form of training (for some) right away; since there is no formal bond yet between her and said dog.
However, I currently use Citronella Bark Collars and they have been a life saver for me and my two. I have had my dogs though for 5 yrs. The collars are not a bad form of training/anxiety treatment. Yet, for my two, leaving them for work days left them feeling sad and well, full of anxiety (when they would hear uncomfortable sounds); whether it was neighbors in the hallway of my apt complex, or a car/passenger sound outside on the streets. I came on here, and many suggested the collars and I am FOREVER grateful for them.
Now, I don't even turn the collars "on", but the dogs don't know that. They wear the collars and just "know" that they cannot bark with them on.
And, just last week I posted how much Innotek stands behind their collars b/c I bought them 10 months ago from Amazon, and they just stopped working (not a battery issue) and Innotek replaced them for free. So even better - a company that has great customer service.
I hope for your sister's sake the adoption works out and she is able to get her dog familiar with the crate training fast and other techniques (I think walking the dog 2.2 miles is great, too!)
You've gotten a lot of great advice. The only thing I would add is to remind her to be patient. Some of the pps touched on this. The dog is in a new environment & possibly scared. He just might need some time to settle in & get into a routineto figure out everything will be fine & there's no reason to get all worked up.
I'm really trying to make this as easy as possible for her to get started. I think she has the discipline and consistency to make this work, but she lives in an apartment and I know she's stressed about the neighbors being cranky.
She was in a serious car accident in November and is just now working around half time at her job and starting to get back to normal. The adoption was something she'd considered for a while before the accident, and her relationship with my mom's dogs while she was recovering significantly helped her both mentally and physically. I think working on their training helped her feel more in control of her own life and helped her anxiety tremendously. Hopefully we can get Bentley more settled and secure so they can help each other move forward.