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Thread: Help :(

  1. #1
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    Default Help :(

    Gus does not stop howling!!! I have tried ignoring him and he just doesnt seem to get that howling will not get you anywhere.
    Am I expecting to much?? I guess he has only been home for a week..... the family is starting to get a little peeved and thatts the last thing I want.....
    Any suggestions would be really great on how I can correct this.

  2. #2
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    In what situations does he do this?

  3. #3

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    Sorry hun you really just need to ignore him. Each dog is different timeline wise. But everytime you go to him (or even yell at him) you reinforce his howling and it will take even longer to stop. You need to explain this to the family. If you stop going to him when he is crying/howling and go to him when he is quiet it won't take long at all. But 1 reinforcement of his crying/howling will put you back to step one. If you continue to go to him he will grow up and will use howling/barking/crying to get attention, that is not fun. The last thing you want is a dog who does this for the rest of his life.

    Can you all go out for a few hours and leave him home alone to cry himself out and do this once a day? I know it is a lot but it needs to be done.

    Rule number 3 - Every behaviour good or bad intermittently reinforced will be repeated.

  4. #4
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    Yea, hahah during the week when im at work he is left on the balcony to sort himself out...but its like every day is just a repeat of the last.. there is not much improvement if anything today was the worst day by far... he has never carried on for so long... I believe he has SA and now I just need to know the best way to correct this...

  5. #5
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    It getting worse before it gets better is quite common and means you are doing it right!! hang in there once he realizes that carrying on for ages gets him nothing he will stop. The behaviour almost always gets worse because they are trying that much harder to get what they want before they stop completely
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  6. #6

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    Only thing I can think of is to give him an old Tshirt with your scent on it. It could help with the separation.
    One other thing you could do is leave him outside for a couple of minutes and then go back in and bring him inside again. I think this will him that, you do return. Continue with this and slowly make the returns longer. All you have to do is make sure that you are out of sight, but you could still be inside. Just close the door so he knows you are not there, or thinks that you are not there.
    I think this is something that Dr. Harry done this thing with a dog on a show.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misschief View Post
    Yea, hahah during the week when im at work he is left on the balcony to sort himself out...but its like every day is just a repeat of the last.. there is not much improvement if anything today was the worst day by far... he has never carried on for so long... I believe he has SA and now I just need to know the best way to correct this...
    SA in pups isn't unusual actually behavioural trainers actually refer to is as Separation Distress which is different to Separation Anxiety.

    What you are experiencing is what we call an Extinction Burst, when you don't reward a dog for a behaviour it is doing the behaviour will become more pronounced as the dog tries to get a response. As Kaz just said this means you are doing it right and you are on the way to fixing the issue.

    Dr Harry is a vet not a behaviouralist, not many vets know much about dog behaviour. Going away and then coming back will only work if when you go back the dog is quiet otherwise you are just rewarding the dogs crying.

  8. #8
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    How long is he out there on his own usually?

    Personally, I would be setting up an inside area to leave him in if that helps him. He really is quite young and it is understandable that he gets upset when left alone, but being inside may seem less daunting than the balcony. You could get one of those wire playpen thingies (technical term) and make him a toileting, sleeping and eating area in there. Also lots of games before you leave, lots of toys - like kongs and things to chew on - and practice leaving him for ever increasing periods beforehand.

    I may just be too much of a softie, but approaching it just by ignoring him seems a tad cruel at his age. I do agree that you should not react when he does howl, but I think there are probably things you can do to prevent him from howling in the first place.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    How long is he out there on his own usually?

    Personally, I would be setting up an inside area to leave him in if that helps him. He really is quite young and it is understandable that he gets upset when left alone, but being inside may seem less daunting than the balcony. You could get one of those wire playpen thingies (technical term) and make him a toileting, sleeping and eating area in there. Also lots of games before you leave, lots of toys - like kongs and things to chew on - and practice leaving him for ever increasing periods beforehand.

    I may just be too much of a softie, but approaching it just by ignoring him seems a tad cruel at his age. I do agree that you should not react when he does howl, but I think there are probably things you can do to prevent him from howling in the first place.
    To him it doesnt matter, inside, outside, in my room, in the loungeroom if im not here he isnt happy.
    I put an old t-shirt on his bed.... that didnt help....

  10. #10
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    I am not sure that the fact he is getting worse is a sign you are doing the right thing. Of course it could be...OR he could just be gettign worse.

    Good luck though, that must be frustrating

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