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Old 09-06-2013, 11:57 AM
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Default Seriously - help with Oakley :/

This past month has been a bit crazy, so I am guessing this has something to do with it...but it just made a previous problem, that was bearable, completely unbearable.

My bf was gone for the past month, I took a week vacation, we were moving boxes in & out of the house, my parents came into town, etc etc...a lot going on, so poor guy just prob really scared.

Bf is back now...and Oakley is acting HORRIBLE. He gets plenty of exercise/attention (or at least no less than he has ever gotten...).

When Adam is over, Oakley just barks. incessantly. Mainly when we are trying to go to bed. We've kinda given up trying to keep him out of the bed, as we just couldn't deal with the non stop barking...but now, he will be IN bed & barking. Or will get out of bed & bark (and then you physically have to get him back in bed...its like he won't get back in without you dragging him in)....or for the past 3 nights....crawls UNDER the bed & just starts whining & barking. At first I thought he was stuck. But no. When I tried to help him out, he just snarled/growled/snapped/went crazy. But kept barking. At nothing.

His bark is SO loud & SO obnoxious. We are trying to do all the right (?) things - when there is a lull, we re-direct, play with him, pet him...or if there isn't a lull, give him a command to get him to stop barking & then reward that. But I think he is too smart & still realizes that it is the barking that generates this attention...so it seems to be making things worse. But I can't give him constant attention when I am trying to SLEEP.

Literally getting to my wits end. I am EXHAUSTED. We've tried letting him bark it out, but that pisses of my roommates, AND, he won't stop. He has barked for 3 hours straight (ok, so we didn't go past 3 hrs...).

It is clearly Adam's presence that is affecting him. He is pretty fine when he is not there. Adam & I are getting engaged soon. He isn't going anywhere. He loves (well, hates him sometimes) Oakley, and overall, Oakley does really seem to like him. They play constantly, he feeds him, walks him....


WHAT THE HECK ELSE DO WE DO!??? Or maybe we are doing all the wrongs things. Either way... please help, or Oakley is about to get kicked to the curb (ok not really...but it is really getting bad).

The biggest thing is the roomie issue. Its one thing to keep us awake, but the roomies, not so okay with it :/
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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Have you taken him in for a vet check? It seems unlikely to be anything health related if it's only a problem with your BF is over but when you say you tried to move him from under the bed and he snarled and growled, it makes me wonder if he's hurt or sore somewhere.

Have you tried anxiety/stress relief stuff? Thundershirt? DAP spray? PetSmart has a calming diffuser or just a spray you can manually spritz as well. They also have some calming pills and liquids and things. Rescue Remedy?
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:08 PM
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The snarling is unfortunately normal for him....I've never been able to physically move him without him doing that. Honestly, I feel equipped to find any sore/hurt spots more than a vet. Any vet I have taken him to cannot do a good physical exam on him because he is so spastic. Maybe some bloodwork if things worsen/he is acting up when Adam isn't around too.

Hmmm, I do think I have some old rescue remedy - forgot about that, thanks! It didn't really work back then though. Will look into the other options you suggested as well.

Thundershirt doesn't do anything either & actually is almost impossible to get on him (he freaks out whenever I try to get the velcro on).
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:58 PM
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I know you've been having issues for a long time so I don't know what you've tried, but does he have his own crate or bed? I don't know if he'd use them but maybe having his own area could help. Maybe a special bed time chew, like he gets a bully stick or stuffed kong only at bed time.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:08 PM
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Like, has he been diagnosed with something that causes this kind of behavior?

Have you thought of getting him on anti-anxiety medication? I don't often advocate for something that extreme, but that behavior would drive me batty.

How do you react when he behaves that way? Do you try to redirect him?

If nothing else, it could be as simple as him being a spoiled brat who, like a toddler, will scream if he doesn't get EVERYTHING he wants right then. I know people would frown on this, but I would probably keep a leash on him in the house and use that to control that kind of behavior.

Sorry, I see that you've been trying to redirect him.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:24 PM
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I just wanted to add....

On a personal note, I just do not put up with dogs who have that kind of growly, touchy temperament. I do not have the finesse to deal with those kinds of issues.

I had one foster that lasted about an hour

I know that some people will tell you that dogs are dogs and growing is good because it's a warning and I do agree that it's good to know when your dog is reaching a threshold.

I guess grumpy dogs just aren't my thing.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:26 PM
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Having watched over the years all the problems you've worked through with Oakley, making some progress, and backsliding at times like now, I wonder if he'd be a good candidate for bark softening. This isn't a simple case of spoiled dog getting his way, or someone forgot to train and/or entertain their energetic dog and I don't think doing those things more is going to fix it.

It's a last resort solution, but Oakley has some serious underlying issues. Judging from your posts, they're mostly manageable but sometimes he get triggered and when that happens it takes months for him to settle back into some semblance of normalcy.

This might be a way to make those times more manageable for everyone involved. Oakley can bark his fool head off without all kinds of gadgets and doodads and interventions, your roommates won't have to hear it constantly, your housing won't be put in jeopardy, and you'll be able to work on his behavior modification without all the tension that the constant loud barking is causing, which I suspect might help things settle down faster because he seems to be extremely sensitive to any kind of tension and change in his home.


You're a saint. Honestly, I don't know that most people would have hung on to Oakley and been so dedicated working with him as long as you have. You guys are really blessed to have each other.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:03 PM
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Yes, I agree.

So, is it just that he's that sensitive and has a hard time dealing with change? It sounds from Romy's post that he's genuinely stressed out!
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
Maybe a special bed time chew, like he gets a bully stick or stuffed kong only at bed time.
This could be a good idea too. I was also going to ask if you'd ever tried anything stronger like anxiety meds from a vet.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreeza View Post
...Hmmm, I do think I have some old rescue remedy - forgot about that, thanks!...
I can't offer anything that others haven't, but wanted to suggest tossing the old RR and getting new. I discovered when Mick was alive it worked better "fresh" (I bought a new bottle every year for thunderstorms).
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