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Thread: Puppy Howling Blue Murder in Car

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Northern Beaches, Sydney

    Default Good news and bad news

    Thanks for all your support.

    On the car front. We have been getting in. treat. turning on engine, treat. Reverse up driveway, treat. Had to go to the vet on saturday. Shrieked at the start and some of the way there, just shrieked for about 25% of the trip home. a definite victory of soughts

    thanks for you support and suggestions.

    We are using a crate in the house, and he is very good about being in the crate (most of the time). In the car, we use a secure harness on the child restraint because the crate won't fit.

    And I did speak to the breeder and he is ok in the car at home. I'm sure we will get there.

    The bad news is he is doing the same thing at home when we aren't home. We have been careful to only leave him for little bits, but we have just had a neighbour come by to tell us that he howls non stop from the moment we leave until we come back. And having now driven to the top of the street to listen, it's blood curdling.

    We arranged to get him now so that there will be people around, in and out for the next two weeks, but we can't be here 24 hours a day. Should we try crating him inside when we are out? He has been in an outside area with trees and an undercover verandah when we aren't home. Good fences, grass, concrete and timber to lie on depending on what he feels like. We thought he would want to be there. Wrong.

    I have given him kongs (gives them a brief chew but if it gets a bit hard walks away) a treat ball (ignores it) chew toys - doesn't, a lovely bit of thick cotton rope - ignores it.

    I don't want this to sound like we ignore him 23 hours a day. He has 3 walks a day (his breeder said max 30 min per walk because of his joints). I do at least 2 usually 3 clicker training sessions (he can do touch, sit and we are working on come). He is smart and responsive. He is in his crate for our and his dinner, and sleeps in his crate. He potters around the house whereever we are. He loves attention and is quite sooky. On the downside, he always wants to keep me in his field of vision and whines and barks if he can't see me.

    On a rational level I know he is stressed and probably quite shut down and this will pass. On an emotional level, I don't want to see him so freaked out, I don't want the neighbours to complain about him. I just want to do the right thing by everyone.

    Sorry to sound like such a wimp.


  2. #12


    Sounds like a bit of separation anxiety.
    I think the key is not to fuss.
    Same with the car trips, leave the house for say 15 mins and build it up. Each time don't make a fuss when leaving or on return.
    I believe some foster carers or new adoptees, don't fuss for a week or 2 and just let the dog settle.
    Maybe consult a behaviorist so they can set you on the right path.
    Good luck.

  3. #13


    I think the key will be to stay calm. I know it's hard work and a little stressful, but try not to worry. If you have nice neighbours you can even try printing out a little letter to your neighbours letting them know that you have a new pup and appreciate their patience while he settles in. You can also add that are happy to hear from them if them if they are concerned or if they notice any noise etc that you may not be aware of.

    If he's more settled in his crate then try that. Sometimes a smaller space can give a greater feeling of security. Does he like big bones? They can be more time consuming than kongs - they just mean washing the bedding! Small price to pay for peace of mind though.

    And when you're home with him, make sure he has alone time as well. It can help him to settle if he knows he is able to go and relax, and not be the centre of attention.

    You sound like you're doing an amazing job, but make sure you don't over stimulate, get some relaxing time for both you and pup amongst all the busyness!!

  4. #14


    On long trips, I need to have my boy in the front with me (harnessed naturally), if he is in the back he tries to move forward to see me and he sometimes tangles his leash...

    having said that on his first couple of trips in the car he was sick, cried blue murder, but he got to associate going in the car to having fun at puppy school, so now he loves it

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Northern Beaches, Sydney


    Thanks for the positives. I must say I don't feel like I am doing much of a good job

    Our vet suggested we get a couple of chooks in a small coop at the end of the yard where we want him to be. He called in Dog TV.

    I am trying hard not to overstimulate him. I guess what I am really tring to do is make him physically and mentally tired. based on my previous dogs (which were Kelpies so maybe that is half my problem) a tired dog is a happy dog.

    So far I have observed that

    he is obsessed with me, but if I'm not there he sort of stays aloof. He isn't much into the kids yet.

    he isn't very good playing with people - or maybe I don't know the right sort of games. he does beautiful play bows to me, comes and sits on my lap, very delicately nibbles my ear and chin, but won't play chasings, or hide and seek or ball or any of the games I have played in the past

    he now associates the back yard with us going and will only go out to wee and poo and then shoots back inside

    he is very nervous still and will quite often stop in his tracks and refuse to move for no apparent reason. I just stand there looking around saying stuff like oh yes I see that, it's ok, let's go. sometimes he goes, sometimes he doesn't. I spent 15 minutes sitting on the road at 6.00am this morning in a battle of wills. I won that round without dragging him, so chalk up another little victory.

    he is good meeting people. I have walked up to complete strangers, of every type, size and age and asked them to say hi to him. Each time he just wags his tail and laps it up. Another victory

    if he doesn't get what he wants, he yips then barks then howls in pretty quick progression.

    I have started closing the door behind me so he can't follow me quite so much.

    On the plus side, he loves his clicker training. I only do 2 minute sessions, but when he sees the clicker and the treat bowl he all over me like a rash.

    Enough already I can hear you all saying. I am going to call an animal behavourist today to see if we can nip the hysteria in the bud.

    Thanks for letting me vent my worries.


  6. #16


    I am glad you are calling a behaviorist.
    This way they can see the whole deal.
    Good luck and keep us updated.

  7. #17


    You ARE doing a good job Curly Girl. Just like raising kids, you don't always get things just right for you and your kids for a while. Sometimes it takes trial and error, sifting through advice to see what suits, and sometimes just trying again.

    Have you tried having casual time with him in the backyard? It's been beautiful spring weather - get your morning tea, coffee, toast - whatever - and go sit in the backyard. He might jump all over you to start with, but try and gently disuade him from that, shoo! - so he gets the idea that hanging out in the backyard is relaxing and fun. Ignore him, read the paper etc. Whenever you get a spare minute, go and hang out there. Give him a bone or a kong to chew and just be near him.

    In short, don't make a big deal out of it, show him that it's normal family behaviour to just be around the house and yard together without necessarily interacting or engaging every second. Just hang around.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Northern Beaches, Sydney

    Default Good news and more good news

    What a difference 2 days makes.

    We decided to see how it went if he could come and go inside when he wanted and we blocked off a the main part of the house.

    He now spends most of the day sleeping like a little old man in the corridor where he can see stuff, even if we aren't home. I leave the radio on, but I don't think he cares one way or another.

    Basically he thinks he is an inside dog thank you very much and that's just how it is. He is much calmer when he knows he can come in whenever he wants to, and he takes himself outside so toilet training has progressed in leaps and bounds.

    The down side of this arrangement is that he really smells doggy, really doggy and now the house is getting a bit whiffy too. His breeder said that you don't wash them too much because it irritates their skin, but at the moment his smell is irritating our noses.

    The car situation hasn't improved. So we are trying ins and outs. Gradually getting better, but driving is not a pleasant experience. Last night my 6 year old was in the back tossing treats for 10 seconds of silence. We gave up and went for 5 seconds.

    Thanks for all you kindness. It really is appreciated.

    He really is a sweet little chap.


    Curly Girl

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