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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Escape artist

When I leave the house, I've been keeping Lola confined in the kitchen with a baby gate. Last night I came home to the surprise of Lola waiting at the front door.....the little devil had knocked down the baby gate!

Just to give you a little history.... Lola [almost 7 months old] has minor SA and has been doing much better with being left alone in her "area" for up to 4 hours at a time. I work from home so she isn't alone often, usually its only for an hour or two. I got a tape recorder so I could track her progress and she seems to be barking/whining less and doesn't go potty in her area. I followed the typical SA advice and practiced coming & going and leaving for short periods of time then working up to longer periods of time. It's been a long journey!

I'm scared to put the gate back up because she could get hurt if she knocks it down again. Its already on the tightest peg.....I think part of the problem is that it is up against my stainless fridge and kitchen cabinet instead of a doorway, so the stainless is a little slippery. She knocked it down once when she was only 4 lbs, but I tightened it after that and haven't had any issues since. This is the only place with hard surface floors that I can gate off.

This morning I tried leaving her with free run of the upstairs [my place is small and has wood floors] and she was barking her head off when I came home. I was only gone 20 minutes.

So my question is.... if I'm going to give her free run of the upstairs when I leave, do I have to start all over from square one with the SA issues? Leaving for 5 min, then 10, etc.. Obviously she's not used to being alone other than in her confined area, so she is freaking out.

I'm frustrated that I have to start all over Anyone have any advice?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 01:07 PM
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Susie...

My first suggestion is to get a Hav mate for Lola...as that will occupy her time and keep her company... and if you can't do that go and buy a pet containment pen. I bought this one from Petsmart and love it as it can be folded into a rectangle..

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...54775&lmdn=Dog


So far as escape artists..check this out..you're not alone, just DON'T let Lola see this!



-diane, Sophie and Gabriel's personal servant
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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sounds like she has mild SA. If she does not eliminate in the kitchen when you are gone ,or anywhere else in the house on a normal basis ,she probably can be left to roam. That should not have any barring on her SA. With SA it is something to keep up all the time ,the things you have been practicing. Maybe she doesn't cry the whole time, she may have just heard you coming home and then started? KONGs with fozen canned food are great stress relievers.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kong stuffed with frozen canned food idea, Dave! Lola really seems to like it and it stops her from barking for a bit. BUT.....she barks up a storm once she finishes her treats [I tape record her so I can track her progress]. Anyone have any tips to stop the barking? I've tried coming back in and saying a firm "NO BARKING", tried using a spray bottle. But she gets so crazy & excited to see me when I come back in the house, I don't feel its effective.

What about those bark collars that make a high-pitched noise? I'm having a tough time with this because I don't want to make her more fearful of being alone by punishing her for barking. I also don't want her to associate me coming home with punishment. I really need the barking to stop, my neighbors are not happy with me.

She barks more when given free roam than she did being confined in the kitchen. But when she was confined she was clawing to get out and panting....she damaged the baby gate pretty badly.

I do want to get a second hav, I know Lola would LOVE a playmate. But I'd like to wait until Lola is 100% potty trained first [we're close]. I've read/heard that a second dog doesn't necessarily help with the SA though.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susieg View Post
Thanks for the kong stuffed with frozen canned food idea, Dave! Lola really seems to like it and it stops her from barking for a bit. BUT.....she barks up a storm once she finishes her treats [I tape record her so I can track her progress]. Anyone have any tips to stop the barking? I've tried coming back in and saying a firm "NO BARKING", tried using a spray bottle. But she gets so crazy & excited to see me when I come back in the house, I don't feel its effective.

What about those bark collars that make a high-pitched noise? I'm having a tough time with this because I don't want to make her more fearful of being alone by punishing her for barking. I also don't want her to associate me coming home with punishment. I really need the barking to stop, my neighbors are not happy with me.

She barks more when given free roam than she did being confined in the kitchen. But when she was confined she was clawing to get out and panting....she damaged the baby gate pretty badly.

I do want to get a second hav, I know Lola would LOVE a playmate. But I'd like to wait until Lola is 100% potty trained first [we're close]. I've read/heard that a second dog doesn't necessarily help with the SA though.
Hi susie. I woudn't recommend a bark collar. The barking is a result of SA so you have to keep working on it. You've got the right idea . I will get back when I find an article for you.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 01-05-2010 at 05:06 PM. Reason: add
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 05:11 PM
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I agree with the pen idea. We used one with Guapo when he was a puppy. Also remember not to reward her excited behavior when you come home. Guapo learned quickly that he would get no attention or be let out of the pen until he was calm and sitting in his pen. Sorry to say I don't have much advice on the barking.

Good luck!


Michelle (pic of Alan and Guapo)
_______________________________________________
"When you feel lousy, puppy therapy is indicated" - Sara Paretsky
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 05:29 PM
Dave T
 
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Hi again ,Susie, here is an article for you. http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/home-alone The barking issue is hard to work on when you're not there. Once the SA has calmed down so will the barking.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 01-05-2010 at 05:31 PM. Reason: add
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 05:54 PM
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Make sure you are not making a fuss when you leave or come home.
I know it is hard cause they are so cute, but just come home, let her out of area, and no big deal.
(even though you are all excited)
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips everyone. I don't make a big deal when I leave, I just say "be good, I'll be back" and give her a stuffed kong. Then I ignore her when I come home until she has calmed down. I know part of the problem is that I work from home so she isn't used to being alone on a regular basis. I will keep at it, hopefully she'll get the hang of it. She's better when left with DH or my parents now [that was a challenge at first]......so I'm hoping eventually she'll be better when she's alone.

My obedience class trainer suggested a citronella spray bark collar I think that will make her SA worse. Then she learns when she's home alone she gets punished.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 12:47 PM
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There's a bark controller thing that you can get that plugs into an outlet and emits a very high-pitched noise to deter the dog from barking. I think it's a lot more humane than the citronella or shock bark collars.
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