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Dog has started whining when alone again

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Rachel2832, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    So, you sound anxious to leave your dog and in any case so would i. The method i used was; leave the house 1 day for 1-3 mins and walk so your dog cant see you. then day 2 try with 3-6 mins, day 3 try 6-9 mins, then 15 mins on the 4th day, then 30mins and 45 and it seems basic but just start off easy and build up the periods when left alone. If you require any more information then ask because I'm more than happy to help :)
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    If she's whining after 20 mins, then ideally, only leave her for 15 mins for a while. If she's looking out the window the whole time, I'd consider blocking her view out by closing the curtains/blinds - that could be enough to encourage her to settle down. And make sure she's tired before you leave her so she's more likely to settle for a nap.
     
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  3. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    Now I obviously do not know about your dog, but just with looking out the window, quite a few dogs simply enjoy watching the world go by. If it is that then it wont be because she is missing you.
     
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  4. Rachel2832

    Rachel2832 New Member Registered

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    Had a bit of a nightmare today. Still using the crate for longer periods (anything more than an hour). Planned dog walker who was meant to come in at 12 (I was working 8-4) had to cancel last minute and I had no way to sort anything else. So Frankie was in her crate from 7.45 when I left until 4.10pm when I got home. She had pooped.. seems like she had a bad tummy or was very anxious as it had sprayed up the wall a little. Her poop is usually hard and round as she’s on raw food, most of it was like this but some spray on the wall behind the crate? So I cleaned that up and then the neighbour knocked at the door and told me, really nicely and said it wasn’t a problem for them, but they heard her barking/whining all day, and didn’t know if I knew. She was really nice and even offered to come in and let her out/walk her sometimes as she’s on maternity leave.

    So I would put this down to her being alone for such a long time in the crate but the neighbour said she started at around 8am, only 15 mins after I left. We had a good walk this morning and she went to the toilet then too (a normal one). She also said she did the same yesterday, when I had a walker come in at 12 so it was only around 4 hours she was alone which in the past she’s been fine with. On Monday she was alone all day same as today and seemed to be fine - neighbour didn’t mention it today and no poop.. I know it’s not ideal to leave her that long but Monday it was unavoidable and today was unplanned due to the walker cancelling.

    So why is she getting anxious so soon after I leave? As I said before I filmed her when I left her out of the crate for an hour and she was fine, just looked out the window then lay down. It stresses me so much, mainly because I hate knowing she’s distressed but also because if the neighbours are complaining (albeit nicely) I’m worried I’ll be kicked out
     
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have just reread this and I'm wondering if the crate has been a bit of a red herring. Not suggesting anything you said was misleading, just that we sort of focussed on the crate when it seems it is the separation is causing her a lot of distress. That said, I know it was out of your control today but 8 hours + in a crate is far too long. Anyhoo, back on topic, it sounds more like she is ok in the crate for a reasonable time (or at least she was, before today) but distressed at being alone. I'm not going to repeat what's been said about that but you cannot expect to tackle separation anxiety in under two weeks. So if you want to deal with this you will either need to take some time off work and build up her alone time as described, but very very slowly, or find alternative provision like day are for her.
     
  6. Rachel2832

    Rachel2832 New Member Registered

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    Not sure what you mean as she was fine for the hour when I left her in downstairs out of the crate... I filmed her and there was whining for max 5 minutes, she was looking out the window for a bit then she lay down and chilled. Whereas today she was in her crate and the neighbour said she started whining at 8am (15 minutes after I left). So when she was out of the crate for an hour she was ok. When she was in the crate she began whining and barking after 15 mins and carried on. So I don’t get what you mean by the crate being a red herring?
     
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    All i meant was that you have said she settles well in the crate; it's when she is left that she seems to get distressed (crated or not).
     
  8. Rachel2832

    Rachel2832 New Member Registered

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    Ah ok, yeah she sometimes takes herself into her crate and in the past has been happy in there but now she seems more distressed in the crate than she is when she’s left to roam. Maybe she associates the crate with being left for longer periods and so stresses out then, whereas when I left her to roam for an hour she hasn’t been left alone for long periods like that before, so expected me to come home soon? If that makes sense. But I agree I think the main thing is that she doesn’t like being alone. Sometimes she is ok (as I said before I have filmed her both in and out of the crate and she’s been mostly fine both, but obviously this has changed in the last couple of days!)
     
  9. Rachel2832

    Rachel2832 New Member Registered

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    Sorry for another update but as I said this has been very useful and I have a theory about her SA so wanted to know your opinions?

    After yesterday’s crying all day/pooing in crate situ, I left Frankie loose today while out for just under 2 hours. I bought a great app for my laptop/phone which works the same as those expensive pet camera things, so I had a live stream of her in the lounge and could hear her while I was out. There’s a feature so you can speak too but I thought this might freak her out so didn’t try it. She was fine! No whining at all, looked out the window, lay down, stretched, lay down, looked out the window, walked into the kitchen and back to lying down. Barked a bit when the postman came but lots of people walked past the window and she didn’t bark at them.

    Did it again when I left for work this afternoon, housemate came back after about 1 hour 45 mins. Again, absolutely fine.

    So my theory is - I left her in the crate on Monday while I worked 8-4 (I know this is absolutely not ideal and far too long but it was something I couldn’t avoid) and she was okish - I’m sure she whined but the neighbour didn’t mentioned Monday when she came over. So then on Tuesday, went through the same routine of me getting ready, feeding her, walking her, putting her in the crate then going to work. Neighbour said she was whining on Tuesday (she was only alone until 12 when a friend picked her up and had her for the day - I picked her up at 4).

    Then yesterday, again same morning routine and she had an awful day (as I said I had a walker booked but they had to cancel).

    So I think it must be this routine that makes her panic, as this is what we did before I left her for the whole day (and that was the first time it’s been so long). Anytime I’ve left her out of the crate, it’s been on a day off/morning off, when the routine had been mixed and not like the mornings when I have work. It’s also never been for longer than 2 hours.

    This probably seems super obvious to everyone, and now I’ve realised it, it should have been to me. So, armed with this knowledge - where do I go from here? I’d love to stop using the crate, and I don’t think she’s at risk of chewing everything anymore, so if I slowly add time onto the time I leave her, do you think I could stop with the crate? I’m not planning to leave her for longer than 6 hours absolute max. It’ll usually be 4 as my shifts are 8 hours and I can get a walk in half way through. I imagine if now I suddenly left her for 6 hours then she might be at risk of chewing, but I’m not gonna do that. I’m off work all weekend so going to spend it working on this! Feeling more positive now. Only thing is I then go on holiday next Thursday and Frankie goes to a dog sitter for the 2 weeks I’m gone, dog sitter has a farm and so will be there all the time, so will this put any training back to the start?
     
  10. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    For what it's worth, my dog has never chewed when left so I'd leave her out of the crate. And I'd actually prefer a few chewed things than a stressed dog, as long as it didn't become a habit!

    The dog sitter may well set her back, so if you can have extra 'cover' from the dog walker when you return to avoid leaving her too long that would be worth doing.

    Good luck!
     
  11. poptart

    poptart Member Registered

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    Coming late to this, but I just wanted to say I've never used a crate in 20 years of owning dogs.
     

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