Loud Barking in Crate while we are away... - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Loud Barking in Crate while we are away...

Hi everyone, Happy September!

Things with Wiley have been going very well. We are still working on his potty training at five months but he is beginning to show signs of understanding how to let us know he needs to go. It is a very slow process but we're hanging in there.

Our latest concern is his barking while left alone in his crate. We feel blessed b/c Wiley has from day one slept through the night in his crate. At night when we are ready to go to bed he will walk right into his crate, lay down and we won't hear a peep from him all night. Sometimes we have to make him come out in the morning b/c we have a schedule to keep.

The problem we're having now is his barking while being crated when we are away at an appt. or dinner and find him barking really loudly and intensely when we arrive home. We have no idea how long he has been barking. His muzzle is all wet from the effort so it must pretty intense. We live in a townhouse and have neighbors who we don't want to disturb, but mostly we don't want him to be so stressed out.

The crate has a comfy blanket and a couple of toys in it. We usually give him a dried chicken breast strip before we leave and always make sure he's gone potty beforehand. We are thinking about giving him a bully stick instead b/c it last longer.

Do you guys have any thoughts or advice on how to make him more comfortable?

Thanks for all the support and positive energy.
Debbie, Charles and Wiley Boy

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 12:54 PM
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Hello. I don't think you should leave him with a bully stick when he is alone. We should be always checking on them when they have bully sticks or flossies. Maybe I am too nervous... I would better give him a kong filled with kibbles or other treats so he is occupied for some time. Do a search about kongs and you will find a lot of ideas to fill the kongs.
Do you have an expen? Maybe he feels more comfortable there with a little more space to play. Good luck !!!

Ache and Yunque's mom
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:27 PM
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Sounds like separation anxiety.

Try leaving him for very short times at first and work toward longer absences. You may have already done that.

We now have Tybee where he doesnt bark if we put him in his puppy safe room and leave. If we dont go asap - he can hear and smell us - he starts barking. If we say "wait quietly" and leave asap - he doesnt bark. I dont hear him from outside the house coming or going (and we sure did before!).

However, he is hyper sensitive to our movements around the house for awhile after our return. At these times he barks if I even leave the room and he cant follow (gates).

PS- Ultra Calm tablets from Dr Foster Smith have helped.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 03:24 PM
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It sounds like separation anxiety to me also. I would try to condition him with short trips..or make believe trips. I would put Cicero in his crate with a small treat and shut the door, saying "I'll be back". Try to always use the same words with training. Then I would take my pocketbook and walk out the door. Walk around the house or to the mailbox for 4 or 5 minutes then come back inside. Ignore him - no eye contact - put your bag up and get a drink and if he quite, go let him out. If he is barking, ignore until he stops for about 30 seconds and then let him out. Sometimes I would get in my car and start it so he would think I had left..cut it off..file my nails...then come back inside and ignore till no barking. If you do short things like this for a week or so, he will learn that he is suppose to rest and 'you will be back'!!

I hope this will help and that you are having a great September also!!

Cicero trained Dale & Ronnie
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 07:45 PM
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As Teresita suggested, may be an ex-pen would be a better option for Wiley when you are away. He will have a little more room to roam. My Riley never liked his crate other than for sleeping.

Debbie and Riley
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 07:56 PM
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I agree with considering the xpen or a small gated off area that is safe. We had similar issues to this and she's even throw a barking fit (marathon) in the xpen if we had to leave. I fixed the problem when I gave her free roam of the downstairs, however..she never took advantage of the free roam, she sat at the front door and watched out of it for me to drive up (we have a glass inset that she can see out of) OR, she'll sleep on her blanket against the door and listen for us.

It seemed to soothe her to be able to 'watch' for us, but of course, free roam is something we all have to determine based on maturity and housebreaking, I guess.. I believe she was about 5-6 months and I gated her off to the family room, kitchen and front door.

If you do go the xpen route, consider putting it somewhere he can see the door, they seem to like watching and waiting at the door for us, or windows lol

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, this forum is a God Send.
Yes, I like the idea of allowing him to stay in his "play pen" which is the kitchen (where he eats) and tiled hallway.This is what I want ultimately. Also, he can see the back door from there which is where we come and go from. But, he is not house trained yet and he has had a few accidents in the hallway. I'm afraid he will begin to think it is okay to potty there if he is free to roam while we're gone. At least he knows not to go in his crate (thank goodness).
I have to say that we had a better day today. We had to go to a wedding and were gone for several hours. We put a piece of my clothing in the crate along with a Bully Stick which is a new treat to him (we switched from rawhide after we learned that he couldn't digest it, Oh, the lament of new parents). We also placed the crate facing the door. We did not hear any barking when we arrived home and he seems much less frantic when we let him out. So, maybe we are making progress. Thanks again for your thoughts and guidance.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 08:07 AM
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Question Another Separation Anxiety Question

Not much help with this question, but I surely have a related one. We have left our 9-1/2 mo. old little guy for up to 2 hours, loose in the house, with no problems. We've been able to leave the front door open, but the storm door locked so he can look out. He's been happy to see us on our return, but basically fine. We closed the front door last night and went out for 2 hours and 45 minutes for dinner with family and when we returned, he was just hyper. Of course, I felt guilty and terrible. The question is: Will he just get used to this? We must be able to leave for a time of course. For everyday life, I'm home or my husband is, and we don't leave him often. For longer periods of time away, we've had a 'sitter' who loves him and he's ecstatic when Becky is here. What to do???

Thanks to everyone for the help.

Shirley H.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 10:00 AM
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Debbie, sounds like you're doing all the right things - I was going to add that when Abby had separation anxiety (SA) I put a t-shirt that I wore in with her and that helped a lot but you are already doing that. I think it just takes time and conditioning and he will settle down soon. Hope the neighbors don't complain in the meantime!!!

Shirley, it seems like your little guy is doing fine! I wouldn't worry too much - they tend to sleep while we're gone, anyway.

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 12:48 PM
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Daisy was the same way when I left. I did the same as the others suggested and got a larger x-pen and left her a sweatshirt. She still paced back and forth back and forth and then would finally lay down for a bit. She was also barking all the time I was away. I eventually took the x-pen down and put a towel on the chair by the window. She now patrols the side walk or sleeps while I am away. The barking has ceased.
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