View Full Version : Barking and Howling

30th January 2007, 11:07 PM
Hi All,
Sofee Marie is starting to find her voice more and has been barking and howling when we put her in the crate when we leave for work in the morning. This routine is no different from when we got her in October! She gets a kong with PB frozen with a few Cheerios in it, but once this is gone (about 7 minutes), she starts being vocal. Lasts about 5-10 minutes, but we live in a condo and I'm afraid it will start becoming a problem. She sometimes is vocal after the two dog walking visits, but not consistently so.
We are also trying to limit her to a certain part of the room while we eat dinner and has taken to barking and howling at this point too. Any ideas on how to handle this? I realize we can't respond, but there must be some way to distract her...... I'm thinking I'm giving her too much attention and when she is not with us, she is darn mad!
Thanks for your thoughts! I did just order a few more toys to stuff treats in and so forth, maybe that will help. She is walked 4 times a day and at night before dinner she goes 3 miles! She just doesn't seem to settle down at night. She will be 6 months old on 2/7.

31st January 2007, 01:47 AM
I wish I could help you, but I've got to leave this one to the pro's. My girls are so quiet and always have been.

I know how you feel, because my shihtzu is a crybaby. She screams if she can't find me in the house, or if I leave her in the bed and come to the computer, or sometimes if I take a shower. Sounds like someone is trying to kill her and she's just being a brat!

Good luck!

31st January 2007, 02:30 AM
I don't think you can give a Cavalier too much attention, they are *lap*dogs....they need to be with you a lot.

She isn't *darn mad*, she's upset because you're leaving, they are hard-wired to get very attached to their owners and I think that's exactly what she's done.

Mine crys and howls too when she's alone, briefly. To be expected from a very young dog....your dog is still a puppy. :flwr:

Cathy Moon
31st January 2007, 02:35 AM
I would set up a 30 inch tall xpen for her, and put a bed in it for during the day. It is too boring and confining for her to be in a crate. At her age, she could jump on top of a crate and try to jump out of the x-pen, so she should have a bed. Completely ignore her for about 20 minutes before you go to work, and in a low key way put her in the x-pen with her treat-stuffed toys, then leave for work immediately. The kong ball that you put kibble in is a good toy (subtract the amount from her regular meals), in the regular kong, try to limit the peanut butter to a small amount as it is fatty. The dog walker could do the same thing.

Whenever someone comes home, they should ignore her for 5-10 minutes, and behave in a low key way when taking her outside for potty.

These suggestions are for dealing with separation anxiety, which she may have.

Do you have a book about cavaliers? Puppies should only walk short distances. It is harmful to their bones and joints to walk far or on pavement. Perhaps you could carry her when you're walking?

What is she doing, that she needs to be confined at dinner time?

31st January 2007, 03:59 AM
I was going to suggest a pen too, or perhaps put up a gate in a doorway of a smaller room (but leave the door open, with the gate across the doorway) and leave her in the room. Some dogs just do better out of a crate, and in a room. At least that is how my dogs were.

31st January 2007, 06:50 PM
If you haven't *formally* been crate training her and instead just began this process of leaving her in the crate when you go to work -- then you need to actually crate train. What she is doing is showing signs of separation anxiety which suggests she isn't actually trained to stay home alone but has been young enough until now to not find this overly upsetting -- puppies sleep a lot during the day and aren't thinking in the way more mature dogs are.

Have read on what is happening and what needs to be done here:



If you don't address this as a priority training issue it ill likely continue to get worse.

You could try a pen or confining her to a room -- both IMHO are a BIG imporvement on being in a crate alone during working hours -- but still will need to deal with the training part. :thmbsup:

Also, to be blunt (and you won't want to hear this but it is a very important consideration): this is one reason why having a single dog in a working home, especially with this breed and in a situation like an apartment or a condo, can be difficult to manage both for the owner and the dog (it is also why so many apts and condos ban dogs and why I have to have direct approval for taking a rescue dog from landlords/condo boards before I'll place one in that situation). Some dogs are just whiners and barkers and if you have one of these, it can be difficult to find an easy resolution for a close living situation.

The reason she is doing this is is very basic -- she is very lonely on her own and being young often makes this worse. You may need to consider some sort of companion, meaning another dog or cat, or consider day care for her as other options. A lot of dogs simply are not happy at home in a crate or a pen alone all day because dogs are very social animals. If you need a 'fast' solution (eg neighbours are likely to be upset and you cannot take the time off to train) then day care is really your best option while you work during evenings and weekends on the training.

31st January 2007, 06:55 PM
Thank you for the excellent feedback!
I realize now that she is a lap dog and is getting more and more hard-wired to me everyday! I'm so attached to her too, it's awful! My husband and I have Sat-Mon off, so I think Tuesdays are harder on her because she has us most of the time those three days, and then it's back to the crate and dog walkers all day.
When we are home and we have to confine her, she is o.k. if she can see us from the kitchen or from the other room we have her in, but if we are out of eye sight, she usually starts whining. If I'm home and have been with her for a while (weekends), she is better, especially if she can hear me, but if I go upstairs, the whining and barking starts.
I often put her lease on my belt and we go together to do house cleaning, organizing, laundry and other stuff. I work in obedience training at the same time, but that is not always possible to have her tethered to me 100% of the time. She is not 100% housetrained.
Cathy, the xpen is an excellent idea, we'd have to try it to see how it works. The ignoring part is good. I find that when I put her in the kitchen while I finish getting ready for work, she does much better at not getting upset in the crate than if I just stop cold turkey playing with her and crate her. I'll have to be more consistent.
I do have a book on Cavaliers, but it didn't mention the walking restriction, or maybe I missed it. Her morning walk is about 1 mile, and the dog walker walks are short, around the block twice. Nighttime is 3 miles, but she has never seemed lame or overly tired. I didn't realize it would be detrimental to their joints or bones. Thanks for the heads up on that one. She just has soooooooooo much energy at night. Actually, my dog walkers are starting a dog daycare from 8-12 in the morning, so she will go to that Tuesday and Thursday, so only Wednesday and Friday she'll be at home all day. I think that will help in expending energy.
At dinner time, my husband eats while in a reclining chair and if I'm not right next to her, she has her front paws on his chair. We use the off command and keep a lease on her to be able to correct immediately, and actually when she just looks at him and is near the chair I use the command and it does help. But, if I'm not in the room, she goes back to the behavior.
I started with 'Quiet' command this week, rewarding her when she is quiet, right after she has been barking or whining and increasing the times between her how long she is quiet and reward/praise. I hide in another room and wait for her to start, then as soon as she stops, I reward and say Yes and then substitute Quiet for Yes as the time get longer. We'll see how this works as the week progresses.
Thanks again for your suggestions, any help is so much apprecicated, this forum is fantastic! I do have to remember she is just a puppy, I forget that so easily! Thanks Zippy!!! :flwr:

31st January 2007, 08:44 PM
Thanks Karlin, you hit our situation head on. All of those factors together are making us all a little crazy, but it's good to know there are solutions. I will look all of the links over with my husband and we'll come up with a gameplan. I really appreciate your thoughts and time to post, it is so very helpful to the new dog owner!
Take care! :flwr:

31st January 2007, 09:02 PM
When you are home with her, be sure to give her lots of play time after she has been confined all day. A tired dog is a good dog! If we don't exercise and play with our Casey for a good period of time each day , he howls at the moon :badgrin: . We taught him to fetch and we throw the ball up/down the stairs for him to get. He really tires himself out running stairs. He has fun and is much better behaved. It's sort of like having a high energy toddler in the house. She will get better soon. The x-pen is a really good idea. It's wonderful that you have a dog walker come in during the day.

1st February 2007, 09:36 AM
Our puppy is 5 months, and started to bark when in her crate while we were eating. I had bought a Dog Stop can (like those little personal alarms) to have in my pocket as a precaution to scare off any aggressive dogs in the park, since Scampi reckons she's EVERYBODY's friend, and I am wary about how other dogs might react to this. I decided to try using it to stop her barking, and it has had an amazing effect.

If she barks more than a couple of times I would give it a quick burst (you might want to put your hands over your ears!), which seemed to disconcert her. Now I just show her the can and she stops. Incredible! I have also started using it for when she's thinking about raiding the cat's food. It doesn't seem to cause her pain but she is certainly unnerved by it.

Probably something to use in great moderation, and certainly in conjunction with all the other bits of advice above. Not for separation problems but for mealtimes perhaps. Also I reckon it is a good tool to fend off habits with before they begin...

1st February 2007, 10:02 AM
Gus is a howler too. He got quite spoiled b/c i was working from home when i got him. I have to go back in to the office starting in a few weeks so I have been trying to get him better about his seperation anxiety. He has been to doggie daycare and after a week of standing by the door, he is starting to mingle. I love him to death but I don't want his attachment to be hurtful to him.

My roommate just got a french bulldog puppy and Gus having a companion has been great. the definitely tire each other out. the puppy did not acclimate to a crate so he is blocked in the kitchen with a baby gate and that seems to work good.

1st February 2007, 06:39 PM
Thanks again for all the new ideas. We really LOVE our dog walkers and they have decided to start a small play group 8am-12pm. Sofee will be going Tuesday-Friday; I'm so excited for her! She loves humans, but is also slow, like Gus, in mingling with other dogs. Although she was bitten only 4 weeks ago by a very aggressive Springer, but she seems to be over it.
I am unable to have a second animal in our condo; unfortunately that suggestion won't work for us.
I've changed my work schedule so that I can get home earlier, We'll have the dog walker come back around 4:00pm to feed and walk Sofee, so that when I get home around 5:30, I can eat and then we can focus on training and playing and waiting for Daddy to come home.
After reading about the crate training, I realized we hadn't really gotten her acclimated to it that well. I guess you learn these things as you go.
The Dog Stop sounds interesting. We will take that into consideration for both scaring off other dogs (we carry a stick with us when walking) and for barking. When I got home last night and ate dinner by myself with her in the room we have gated, she played with her toys and was fine. Didn't bother me at all. I guess it just depends if she is tired or not too. I was home early so that gave us more time to play and at 8:30 she was zonked out, not the normal 10:00 or 10:30. I think getting home earlier is really going to help us all out. :p
I don't have any children, but as you say Molly, it is like having a high energy toddler around. You can't take your eyes off them for a minute, especially as we continue to house train.
Thanks again! :flwr:

1st February 2007, 07:01 PM
The good news is that they do mellow out as they get older! You are being a really conscientous dog owner and the play group is a terrific idea for both the exercise and the socialization. Some people use an empty soda can with a few coins in it (taped shut of course) and shake the can to get the same kind of effect as the dog stop (and not as loud if in you're in a condo icon_whistling ).

1st February 2007, 07:45 PM
Thanks Molly, from such a seasoned dog owner, I really appreciate the feedback. We are doing all we can to work these things out and have a fantastic Sofee Marie for many years to come, and still get along with our neighbors, who by the way, LOVE her. :l*v:
I also saw your post on the bells for house training and have ordered 3 of them from www.poochie-pets.net. Her 'room' is our den, three flights down to the outdoors. I just don't think she is getting the 'Outside' command and moving towards the baby gate at the door of the den when she has to go. To get outside you need to go from the den through a another room, down one flight, through another room and then down two flights to the back door. I think the bells will be much clearer for all of us! I'll hook one to the wall next to the den doorway, as there is only a pocket door, which is slid into the wall most of the time. Our den has a Pergo floor, so it is great for dogs, but the rest of the house is carpeted, so we choose to use the den to 'live in' until she is house trained. The kitchen is just galley sized, which is fine when I'm cooking, but then we both need to leave, it's just too small to do any fun stuff!! :yuk: