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Old 07-19-2012, 12:26 PM
kristinklm3 kristinklm3 is offline
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Default Help! Puppy not adjusting to boyfriends apartment w/ his dog

Hello,

My boyfriend used to live in the building next to me, so when my 8 month old 6 pound crate trained puppy couldn't "turn off her switch" and calm down while playing with his dog, I would just bring her back to my apartment, put her in her crate, and she would calm down and sleep until I came home the next morning.

My boyfriend recently moved across town, so my dog has been spending a lot of time at his house when I am over there, including spending the night in a similar crate that I have at home. She does NOT have an off switch, no matter how much I let her play, and tire herself out at the dog park. She has a high pitched yelp of a bark, and does this when my boyfriend's 3 year old dog doesn't want to play anymore, OR when I put her in the crate. The only time she is quiet is if they are playing nicely or has a treat. Usually I can put her in the crate for "nap" time and she is happy, but at his place she goes insane. I have tried ignoring her, but after 15-20 minutes of high pitched yelping, we both get super irritated.

This morning I left his place, and as soon as she came home she passed out and fell asleep, but she can't seem to calm down at his apartment and stop yelping. I'm sure his dog has something to do with it, but hoping we can work on her behavior.

I'm not sure what to do at this point, and am hoping for tips. It's only been a week since he has been at his new place, so I'm guessing that it will take some time to adjust, but do you have any tips?

When she is in her crate I have tried sitting in the room with her, sitting outside the room, putting a blanket around the crate so she doesn't have as much anxiety.

Any other ideas? Would like to try to avoid the dog bark training collars, if possible.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:00 AM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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A few things pop into mind:

Rewarding your puppy for settling on a mat (you could shape it with a clicker, or use a food lure) and use lot of yummy, smelly dog treats. Practice working at your home environment first and feed frequently while she is settled. Work on doing massage with her, and continue to reward her, you can also try Ttouch.

Work on it at home first and then begin doing very short sessions at your boyfriends apartment throughout the visit.

How old is she? Every situation is unique between two dogs, but there are a lot of great people on chaz that have multi- dog households that can share their experinces with you.

What worked best for me, when intergrating Mavrick, my now 2.5 year old border collie, was to lots of team training with both Duke and Mavrick, having them practice targeting their mats and lying down. I started with really short sessions and then rewarded with play.



It's always hard to say over the internet, without meeting someone's dog and hanging out in the situation to observe but I've found in my own experinces with Mavrick that when there is distress or anxiety and an inability to settle in the picture, ignoring the expression of the distress, anxiety or frusteration (such as yipping when crated away from your other dog) usually doesn't have a big effect.

Ideally if the anxiety/ distress/ frusteration is low, than ignoring the expression may be enough to cause it to go through extinction but if the anxiety level is higher than it most likely will not because of the various process's that are going on in the brain. A really great read about them is in a book called "Stress in Dogs", I don't recall the authors. Another great read is "Chill out Fido", by Nan Arthur.

Mavrick when I first adopted him at a year old used to scream in the crate if I left the room while he was in it (which I didn't realize would be his reaction after working on the crate and left the room for the first time with him in it). I tried to wait for a moment to see if he would calm down, but the screaming continued so I just went back in continued to feed and let him out and then had to do more work on the crate.

Progress will always take time, but try and put aside lots of zen time for yourself as well so that you don't feel overwhelemed (which I know can be hard with a young puppy/ young dog)

I'd really recommend avoiding any type of aversive in a situation where anxiety is involved, it may diminish the behaviour, but it won't help your dog feel less anxious, or more able to settle down. If you've ever suffered from anxiety or a panic attack, than you can imagine how horrible it would be, while feeling that way if something loud and sudden and unexpected happened ontop of what you were already feeling, which is what bark collars are designed to be.

Keep us posted, and there are alot of other posters who can probably give you some great insight.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:56 AM
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Oh and click to calm would be a great book to read as well
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