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Old 04-01-2013, 06:59 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Default Advice regarding Abby's barking

I would greatly appreciate some advice here.

Abby and Grace have finally come to live with me. I have set up an enclosure outside that is attached to the back patio so they have access to some of the yard and lots of sheltered area.

The idea is that they will stay out there whilst I'm at work (I come home for lunch) which is about 7 hours per day. They will have access to the whole fenced yard when I am there to supervise and they are allowed inside. They usually just follow me around and sleep at my feet/on my lap etc.

Grace is no problem at all and has adapted well. Abby is barking constantly when I leave. I have been doing trial runs where I leave for 10 minutes and return. Multiple times per day. Sometimes I'm actually running an errand and other times it's for the sole purpose of hearing how Abby is going.

Abby is what I call a yappy dog. She has always had a tendency to use her voice. We have managed to limit it by keeping her inside while we are away and they had access to the back patio and the house. And we were always getting our neighbours to help us out by letting us know how she was going. In the end she was fine at my old place.

Would you leave a dog inside for 4 and then 3 hour stints?

I tried that for an hour before because I simply had to go and get some groceries and there was no barking - well, that I could hear anyway.

I've also upped her exercise and sessions of training to get her brain working, but honestly - she is a dog that will bark under certain circumstances, no matter how worn out she is.

I really do care about neighbourly relations - how would I feel if my neighbours dog barked constantly?

How would you approach this situation? I really wanted them to have access to the yard and I'm not 100% comfortable with them being locked inside - simply because of the risk of fire. I could absolutely minimise that by turning everything off at the wall/unplugging etc. I feel that they would be happier lounging in the house (and it seemed that way to me when I returned from the shops).

Opinions?

I've currently got them outside now and Abby isn't barking constantly because I am here. But she is barking at the neighbours if they try and do something in their yard. I'm fairly sure that the reactivity to next door will improve in time, but I'm worried about the constant carry on when I leave.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:45 PM
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MicksMom MicksMom is offline
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Originally Posted by Catsi View Post
...Would you leave a dog inside for 4 and then 3 hour stints?...
Short answer- yes. Caleb is only outside to potty or if we're hanging around outside. Otherwise he's in the house. Even when we're gone. We do have neighbors who let him out if we're going to be gone all day.

If you do decide to leave them in the house, maybe keeping the curtains closed and leaving a radio on will help with Abby's barking.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:21 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Short answer- yes. Caleb is only outside to potty or if we're hanging around outside. Otherwise he's in the house. Even when we're gone. We do have neighbors who let him out if we're going to be gone all day.

If you do decide to leave them in the house, maybe keeping the curtains closed and leaving a radio on will help with Abby's barking.
Ok, feeling a bit better about this. Radio is a great idea, we used to leave a radio on for them.

When I'm at home for most of the day I am usually inside and they are usually asleep beside me. They really don't do a lot during the day. If Abby is happier inside, then so be it. Fingers crossed. :-)
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:50 PM
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Most people I know leave their dogs locked inside. The risk of fire is small, and if the fire is bad enough, being fenced close to the house won't be much safer. You can get a sign for windows or doors that tells firemen there are pets inside. I'd worry more outside about dog napping, someone messing with them (especially if she barks and the neighbors get annoyed), other animals, etc. I'd feel much safer leaving them indoors.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:18 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Ok, that makes sense now and has well and truly eased my fears.

I really think we have actually solved the problem. I went out before and just walked down the road, leaving them for about 10 minutes (it's getting a little old, I've started bringing a book with me) and I left the girls in the house. No barking. Happy dogs. Happy neighbours. Happy mum.

I'm more than just a little relieved.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:30 PM
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Yup, I'm sure lots of dogs left outside do fine and are safe, but usually in most suburban neighborhoods for the average dog, it's safer inside, plus I think being outside without supervision or direction can be really over stimulating for lots of dogs.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:45 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Yup, I'm sure lots of dogs left outside do fine and are safe, but usually in most suburban neighborhoods for the average dog, it's safer inside, plus I think being outside without supervision or direction can be really over stimulating for lots of dogs.
Yep, you've just described Abigail.

She is definitely a hair trigger dog in terms of reactivity. Last night, I walked around the block and she started barking seemingly in response to another neighbourhood dog. But then it continued for the whole time I walked around the block...

She is very switched on to the environment, but can be redirected quite easily when I am with her.

I wonder if there is anything else I can do to make things easier for her - impulse control etc? Or perhaps it truly is a management issue. I can't imagine her ever not having some degree of reactivity and some level of barking, it's just my job to minimise it, for her sake and others'.

Can I just add that she is actually an extremely easy dog to live with. Inside she is a pleasure to be around. She is lively and loves a certain level of activity, loves to learn new games etc, yet will just completely chill when I'm chilled. Yes, she'll bark if someone comes to the door or something she deems strange is happening next door, but if I'm there she is easy to redirect.

Sigh... I thought she'd like it better having access to the yard is all. But whatever is safest and less stressful for her is fine with me.
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