Yelping, crying when he can't see me
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Thread: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

  1. #1
    Senior Member LunarFlame's Avatar
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    Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Le sigh.

    This is the problem we were hoping we wouldn't have to face.

    Rufus, my 12 week old English setter is a great dog, he generally loves his crate and will sleep through the entire night without a whimper.

    However, if he's in his crate and cannot see where we are, he FREAKS. He crys, howls and whimpers incredibly loud.

    I do not go near him while he is upset and I will just ignore hi, but my boyfriend cannot handle it. He is convinced we will get evicted because of it (I however think the other tennants are much more understanding).

    I just want to know if there is anything in particular I can do to help this process along. I understand it may just be a phase, but how long will it last? He has lots of yummy chewies in his crate, but has NO interest when he cannot see where we are.

    I need to be able to leave him on his own, without him getting so upset

    --Click above for Rufus's Jorunal--

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Maybe put in an old pillowcase or shirt that smells like you? It probably won't solve the problem completely, but it's been known to help.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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    Senior Member Zack_the_Mouse's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Quote Originally Posted by rosemaryninja View Post
    Maybe put in an old pillowcase or shirt that smells like you? It probably won't solve the problem completely, but it's been known to help.
    that will help just make sure u don't want the shirt or pillow case back. Cause some times puppy will feel the need to rip the item up. I learned that one the hard way
    1 Mini Dachshund - Ivy
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    2 Cats Ratchet & Zuul

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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Most puppies (and some adult dogs) will bark and whine if they know you are around but cannot get to you. It does sound frustrating, doesn't it? Rufus' noise when he can't come to you is not necessarily indicative of his behavior when you actually leave the house for a prolonged period of time.

    I guess if it were me I would let the dog out of the crate when I was at home, tethering him to me if he couldn't be trusted. That's not a training technique and isn't even best practice, but there you have it.

    Your technique of ignoring it is probably a better one as far as training goes, but maybe you could break it down a little bit so that you don't bother the neighbors. How long can you be out of Rufus' sight before he starts to cry? Five seconds? Leave the room for three, then come back and treat him because he's been so quiet. Do it a couple of times, then let him out. Next time maybe you can leave the room for a few more seconds before he starts to whine.


    RIP Clifford, who never met a stranger

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    Junior Member dulaney0330's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Animal planet's "its me or the dog," dog expert Victoria addressed this problem with a dog who whined and cried when her owners left. She used repetition to solve the problem. She would make the owners get their keys and put on their jackets (signs of leaving which made the dog nervous) and then take off the coat and sit down. Again and again. And then she made the owners leave and stand outside for 1 second and then come in and sit down next to the dog. Eventually, the dog relaxed and realized the owners could be out of sight but would return eventually.

    I hope that makes sense! And works!

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    Senior Member LunarFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    Thank you for all of the tips! They really are helping!

    Thanks to the tips, we have already been able to put him in is crate and go upstairs, or in the kitchen where he cannot see us, and he is fine with it.

    I went to the mail and left him this morning. It was about a 10 minute trip, and when I got home, he was infact barking, but I simply came in the door, didn`t acknowledge him, went into the kitchen, started a sink full of dishes, then sat on the sofa by the crate for a minute before calmly letting him out of the crate and ignoring him.

    He seems to be getting more comfortable with us being absent. I had no problem putting him back into the crate a few minutes ago, so that is a good sign I have also been `babying`him a lot less and letting him play on his own.

    thanks everyone!

    I have to leave for work early today, so he`ll be in the crate about an hour before my bf gets home from his work. That will be a test-and-ahalf for Rufus!
    Last edited by LunarFlame; 08-19-2008 at 09:50 AM.

    --Click above for Rufus's Jorunal--

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    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: Yelping, crying when he can't see me

    This is what I did with Lloyd when we first got him (he did the same thing):


    Put him in his crate. Walk away a couple of feet, but still be in his view. If he is barking or whining, keep your back turned to him, the second he stops barking or whining mark it (say good! or click) return to him. Do this many times a day, and increase the distance between you and him, but remain in his sight. Then start over from being close, but wait longer, then once he is waiting at the shortest distance for 5 minutes, move out to the next distance and work up to 5 minutes. Do not increase distance and time at the same time, first work on distance, and then start back to being close to him, but have it be longer (start at 30 seconds, or a minute, then jump up by 30 second or 1 minute intervals, then do it again at the next distance). This step usually goes quickly because they can still see you. Once he is quiet for a full 5 minutes when you are the furthest away you can be while still being in his sight, go to the next step.

    Second, again have him in his crate. Leave the room and go out of his sight. Don't make any noise, wait 30 seconds and if he is quiet, return to him. If he is making noise, wait it out and the second he stops mark it and return to him. Do this several times, once he is doing 30 seconds without any noise, jump up to a minute, then two minutes, and keep increasing by a minute at a time until you are up to 5 minutes. When he is quiet for 5 minutes with you out of his sight consistently, go to the next step.

    Third, crate him where he cannot see the door. Go and open & close the door, and ifhe is quiet, return to him immediately. Do this many times, when he is consistently being quiet, start waiting 30 seconds before you return to him. If he barks, wait until he stops for a second, mark it and return to him. Once he can handle 30 seconds, go to a minute, then a minute and 30 seconds and so on until you reach 5 minutes.

    The next step is to do the same, but actually step outside the door.

    Once he can do all the steps for 5 minutes with no noise, then you can start doing them all for longer. Mix them up after he has done the last step for 5 minutes, sometimes stay in his sight, other times open the door, other times just leave his sight. Mix up the times too, one time make him wait 3 minutes, then 8, then 2, then 12, then 30 seconds, then 4 minutes . . . keep it random.

    This worked for Lloyd, it taught him that being quiet got me to come back. It may or may not work for your pup. I also had a week off when we got him to work on this, it may be harder if you have to work.
    Last edited by melgrj7; 08-19-2008 at 11:36 AM.

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