Hi all - I've been struggling with the dogs again the last few days. Two of them have isolation distress and had a big problem with house soiling and barking. With a diet change, anxiety wraps, classical music, rescue remedy and changing my routine I have got rid of the house soiling issue and the Brutus' behavioural problems (teeth chattering, attacking doors, biting and pulling my clothes when I leave etc). The other dog, Belle was doing great (barking a max of 5 minutes per hour) except for the last two times I left her. In the space of 5-6 hours on Saturday and today, she barked for 2 and 3 hours respectively. That's nearly half the time. I don't know how she did it.
After all the work and time and money I have put into training aids and programs (at least $300+) I feel like giving up but I won't. It seems like she has worked out my new routine, figured out her new toys and is just the same as she was - stands there barking at nothing. I keep her inside with the air con on a timer to cool the house for a few hours in the hottest part of the day. All the dogs get over an hours' walk in the morning including about 15 mins in the dog park. When I am out they are visibly tired and they are middle aged toy dogs so if anything they are being over exercised. I guess I am not really looking for any suggestions - I feel like there is nothing left except to keep trying the training program. It's just very frustrating that it's pretty random whether she barks or not so leaving for half an hour or so and coming back is a bit hit and miss - maybe she'll sleep and not notice I'm gone (left her for about 5 hours last Thurs, only 6 mins barking, 25 mins on Fri when left for 7 hours, then all of a sudden it's back to 2-3 hours per day for no reason).
The only possibility is that Belle is not anxious, just a high maintenance little cow. But then - I don't spoil her at home and she is usually obedient. I considered a bark collar but I am concerned that if she is anxious that will make it worse and that would be another $200 down the drain. She's 8 years old, why can't she just sleep :S Still, Brutus was really suffering alot and now he seems much better.
Thanks for listening to my vent.