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Discussion Starter #1
Akira has started whining, howling, and digging in her crate all hours of the night like an 8 week old pups first night at a new home. She wakes up the whole house. And I mean like the most random hours of the night, 12am, 1am, 3am, 5am

Last night it was 1:30 am, and then again at 5:00am.

My thinking was that she needs to go to the bathroom, so I let her whine for a bit to see if she will stop and go back to sleep. (like an infant crying in the night, you know which cries to ignore, and which to attend) ignoring her however does not work, and she will scream for 30 minutes until I get fed up and go down there.

When I get down there, I don't scold her (because I don't really know what the issues is, and I don't feel like she would ever understand why she was being scolded.... punishment is not a form of training I use)

Anyways.. I let her out, and she bounds off into the darkness of the woods.. I have no idea if she goes to the bathroom, or just wanders around doing dog stuff. I let her stay out for about 5 minutes, then call her back in and put her back into her cage. And sure enough, as soon as I leave, the howling and crying begins again.

Now... I understand her discontentment... dogs normally sleep in packs together, and here she is alone in the basement in her crate (it's a nice heated basement) I get it, she wants to be with us... but that just isn't something that we can do right now because she is too young to be allowed upstairs as she is a complete terror when she goes up there.

for example, sometimes she will make a mad dash up the stairs, and tear around like an insane monkey. Toys, shoes, towels, papers.. anything she can reach, she snatches up and runs around like a maniac. She will NOT let you catch her, and she does this whole "just try and catch me" thing... I know she wants me to chase her when she steals my shoes.. so I ignore her, and try to persuade her to come downstairs with me as if the fact that she's being a brat up here doesn't bother me. Eventually this works, but it upsets me when she takes one my kids favorite stuffed animals and starts chewing it's eyes off, and I can't get it from her.

She isn't allowed on the carpet, she knows this.. and she challenges me by doing so anyways... if I were to get my husband involved, she would get off the carpet, but she would leave a trail of piss along the way (she's submissive towards men and shows this with submissive urination.. she's gotten better about this as she's grown, but it's still a problem, and I don't need piss all over my carpet)

So my question is this... why is she suddenly acting this way at night? She used to go into her crate and not make a sound until morning.

I actually took a video last night of her in her crate doing this. Horses (I'm a horse person) have different calls for the state that they're in ie: stressed call to another horse, beckoning call, playful whinny ect... these calls are something I've come to know by heart, and I feel that dogs probably share the same aspects although I am not familiarized with them yet)

My guess to her calls is that of loneliness and begging. "please I'm all alone down here, I want my pack, please please please"

I will post the video as soon as it is done rendering
 

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The crate crying is likely an attempt to get attention and it looks like you know what is causing it.

I am going to say, without any judgement (I promise!) She is not going to learn to behave upstairs, just because she gets older. The only way she is going to learn is by being up there, being closely monitored, and doing as much dog proofing as you can. Not for sleeping, if you dont' want her crate up there, but in general. The longer it remains a forbidden novelty, and the longer that goes by without her learning and being taught what is okay up there through close monitoring, being stopped from doing anything she isn't allowed to do (via a leash on her, and watching her every second) and shown what you want (trained), the more excitable she is going to be upstairs, and the worse ALL her behavior, including submissive (excited, really) peeing is going to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just felt like as she got older her need to chew, steal and run away with our things would lessen. I really don't know what to do to teach her how to behave up there. If I want her upstairs with me, I put her on her leash and tie it to the cupboard. From there she can pretty much see what we're doing, but she can't get onto the carpet, or terrorize the kids while they play in the play room.

My issue is that I really don't know how to teach her how to behave up there.

We have an addition which was added onto our home, and it's been dedicated to the children and is now a huge playroom. This room is filled with toys, and for a young pup... she just thinks this room is the coolest thing to exsist... she has no idea that these toys are not for her, and I don't know how to teach her that. When let off, she just runs around like a maniac and goes onto the carpet. I need to reinforce that she is not allowed to go onto the carpet, but when I try to train her not to go, I don't at all feel like she is understanding what I am trying to convey to her (that she isn't to go onto the carpeted areas) We've tried to let her stay upstairs with is at night while my hub and I watch TV. I brought her bed up, and made a spot for her where she could be on the tile, but still see us.. and no matter how many times we tried to tell her to go back to her bed (a command which she understands) she lowered her head, slightly tucker her tail, and slinks off into the playroom. Which tells me she knows she's not allowed to be doing this, and yet she does it anyways... after getting up five or six times to get her out of the playroom, we get fed up and put her back downstairs. I would really like for her to just be able to calmly stay upstairs with us, but I don't know how to go about training her to do so.

What do I do when she takes something and is doing the whole "try and catch me thing" am I handling it correctly? She even likes the negative attention she gets when she steals something.. like the stern "NO" which I use when she does something she's not supposed to. (I only use the stern no, I don't physically enforce correction in any way)
 

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My solution to this problem is simple... a leash!
I bet she wants attention at night when she howls, if you really think she has to go (or would like to understandably be sure) take her out leashed to do her business. She will learn that night time is NOT play time and there's nothing in it for her by acting out. If you take her out leashed and she consistently doesnt go then I would start ignoring her completely. 9 months is long enough to hold it overnight barring medical issues.

I think the other issue can also be solved with a leash. Take her upstairs while leashed to get her used to the area, make it less a 'forbidden fun zone' and teach some manners when you can really control her. Don't take her upstairs until she has completely calmed down, even if that means sitting on leash for 20 min or doing multiple dry runs before actually going up. It will be worth it when she learns that upstairs is a calm place. If she wants you to chase her use it as a reward, maybe when she pees outside, if she drops something for you... or just for fun.
 

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The need to chew might, but the desire to - My almost-6 and 4.5 year olds chew as much as my 5 month old.

To be honest, I think she sounds like she needs a lot more exercise and attention she's getting right now, on top of some basic obedience training (even just a 'sit' will give you a ton of control- can't sit and do something else). Still no judgement, goodness knows it's hard, but to me it sounds like she's 'spazzing out' and has just about zero impulse control and can't even BEGIN to think or control herself as a result. As an experiment you might try getting her well and truly TIRED -mentally and physically (teach her a sit, take her on a run or throw a ball on a lunge line or whatever will work for you) and then bring her up.

Having her tethered, even tethered to something, isn't a horrible idea, at all. Rewarding her when she's in that spot, the moments she is calm, and when she's on the surface she's supposed to be is a good idea. Definitely do NOT chase her when she has whatever you don't want her to have - and don't give her the chance to have it (keep her on that leash when she's upstairs) and work on a leave it/drop it in the meantime. Give her a toy or something, tell her to 'drop it' and give her a treat - she'll drop the thing you don't want her to have, in order to take the treat. She'll learn to associate it fast.

If she's not obeying the boundaries - I would assume that she doesn't know that she's not allowed to, or if she does that it's not as rewarding for her as going in there. Either way - make it worth her time to stay where she is meant to be (praise, treats, your company and her own toys) AND don't let her have access to it. Put her on a leash and keep her with you for a while. That kind of boundary training takes time.

Honestly, honestly, honestly she sounds like a good dog who just needs to be trained, and exercised into the ground and to get more time with you. It's a huge time suck and amount of work, but I PROMISE YOU, you will get to a dog you can live with much faster than if you just wait for her to age out. If you do that, you could be waiting for the next decade, and that's not fun for anyone.
 

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If she wants you to chase her use it as a reward, maybe when she pees outside, if she drops something for you... or just for fun.
I... would probably not do that, unless the dog already has a reliable recall 100% of the time, otherwise you're setting yourself up to play a game for fun (for the dog) when you want her to come in/need to go get her, and what she wants to play is chase.
 

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Just read your second post... I suggest kikopup barrier training, video here There is a second part when you're ready here. Of course heavily reward "on your bed" when she is upstairs. As she gets better I would keep her on a long lead upstairs, that way you can 'catch' her before she actually gets on the carpet if you think thats where she's headed.

When you first go up I would let her sniff and explore everywhere she will be allowed to go. So that she can calmly explore. Do some simple exercises with rewards upstairs to build focus in that location and get her used to obeying, things she has rock solid like 'sit'. If stealing toys is a problem then teach 'drop it' I'm sure kikopup has a video on the too... she is awesome!

Edited to add:
I... would probably not do that, unless the dog already has a reliable recall 100% of the time, otherwise you're setting yourself up to play a game for fun (for the dog) when you want her to come in/need to go get her, and what she wants to play is chase.
I stand corrected! Listen to CptJack, she is much more experience than me... I still think its good to shift that behaviour though to times when its appropriate, maybe in the backyard with a designated start/stop word? Of course that means when you say the stop word if she tries to keep playing just ignore her. Maybe she would enjoy a flirt pole?
 

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If my dogs say they have to go out in the middle of the night, I take them out on leash. . .otherwise Toby (the others don't do it) will ask to go out just so he can bark at possums or whatever. Not happening--if I have toget up in the middle of the night it had better be for a good reason! So if she goes bounding into the woods, maybe that's what she wanted, and didn't really have to pee. I'd leash her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay leashes from now on.

I agree, on some days she doesn't get enough attention/excercise due to having company over, kids events ect... but that's life and it's not too often. On most days we go for an hour long walk on a wonderful trail. I can let her off leash, and she can run and play. It's the days I don't get to excercise her that she is most troublesome.. which is totally understandable. It's like keeping a horse in a stall for 24 hours, then letting him out and not allowing him to run, buck and play.. or keeping your toddlers in all day without letting them get out to release their energy.. they get cranky and bold.

I will start leashing her for peeing at night. I don't have a solution for the night time whining though... I guess maybe she thinks shes trained me that if she howls at night, I let her out to play in the woods. I guess hopefully by making it a bathroom break, not a midnight romp, she will learn to just be quiet throughout the night like she used too.

Thanks all, will keep you posted
 

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I'm sorry, maybe I missed this, but how long have you had her? Has anything in her life changed? Routine, environment?

I agree, yes, she wants to be upstairs. Maybe I missed it, but is there a reason you can't crate her upstairs? I think you said you can't move her upstairs because she, basically, doesn't know how to behave upstairs. But, if you crate her upstairs at night, you don't have to worry about that.

Behavior, knowing the rules of the house, that isn't going to come unless you allow her upstairs, and MANAGE her time when she IS upstairs. Lots of behavior problems, in my own opinion, can be PREVENTED before they even start, simply (ok, it's not simple) by watching/supervising/monitoring so closely that you cut the dog off at the pass, before they start doing the naughty thing. You can also use a leash for this, for instance, to keep her tethered to you, so she's limited as to where she can go.

So, if you don't want the dog on the furniture (just an example), then you prevent her from getting up there in the first place, ever. Every time you see her head over to the sofa, you distract her, interrupt her, redirect her to something super fun that will take her mind completely off trying to explore the sofa. The more you do this, the less attractive the sofa seems. It starts to not even be something available/open/a choice for her. You're taking that option away by not allowing her ever to do it.

For instance, if a door is always locked, always, every time you try it, after awhile, you just stop trying, it's always locked, you give up. [Sorry, only human example I could think of.]

Anyway, manage her behavior. Let her upstairs for short periods of time, but, when she IS up, watch her like a hawk, so you can see her heading towards whatever it is you don't want her to have/do/get into, so you can stop her before she gets there. Watch her to see what she's interesting in, so you know what to look out for.

As for what she "knows" she shouldn't do, or what she "knows" how to do: lots of times we humans use a dog's look of "guilt" as proof that they "know they aren't supposed to do that". Dogs don't really have a concept of guilt, though. They DO have what we call "appeasement" behaviors, which, in a nutshell, are behaviors that LOOK like guilt to us, but are really their way of saying, "whatever made you upset, it wasn't me, I am harmless, please don't be mad at me, or hurt me" (not that you ever would, just a phrase). Dogs read our emotions better than other humans do, so they know when we're upset. They don't always know why, because they don't make the same cognitive connections we would. But, they know we're upset, and they try to "appease" us to make every thing better.
Some appeasement type behaviors are lowering their eyes, slinking low to the ground, hiding, moving away, etc.

As for behavior problems being less prevalent as they age: maybe, due to their development stage. For instance, the need to chew is less because they aren't teething. But, if chewing is something a dog likes (one of my 3 loves to chew on stuff, the others don't), they will as long as they're allowed to, regardless of age. So, again, you can manage the situation by picking up things you don't want her to grab, and watching her super closely to prevent her from getting to the woodwork, or the coffee table legs, or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very informative Doxiemommy, thank you all!

There hasn't been much change, for awhile I was working, which meant she was alone all day outside, she didn't get any attention or exercise until evening, and she went through a depressive state for a week or two because it was a change being alone all day instead of playing with me and the kids. I had to later quit my job for personal reasons, putting me back at home, which has allowed me more time for her. But the howling at night started AFTER I quit work, like a week after, so I don't think the scenario is at all related.. if anything she's getting more attention during the day than she was when I was working.

The crate is downstairs in her room. We don't have room for it upstairs. And again, right now she isn't fully house trained, and she will get into stuff if given the opportunity, so the thought of leaving her alone to wander about the house at night doesn't really appeal to me lol, later of course, but not right now.

I will begin working on her behavior upstairs
And she will only go out at night on a leash
 

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Being a GSD and that age, I would think she should be house trained by now. Maybe some intense, consistent work on that would help. Has your dog had any obedience training? At that age, we were just completing our second class and were invited to join the advanced class (an invitation only class) because he had done so well. I think the training tires them out quite well .. probably more so than just walking or running around. Give her a job! With a GSD, the sky's the limit!

It wasn't pretty and it was a little cramped but I kept his crate in our bedroom. Even though I invited him to sleep on the bed, when he got tired, he would get down, go in his crate and actually close the door!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would absolutely LOVE to go to training with her.. but we don't have the money right now. I am unable to work for 3-4 months, which has our family on a single income, we're hardly getting by.

I've been really working on house training her. She has one spot that she tries to use the bathroom on... what I've done is shut that section off so that when she is in the house with me, she doesn't have access to it. I let her out once an hour or so to try to use the bathroom, and praise her when she goes outside.

The only time she goes to the bathroom in that "spot" is when she is left in her room alone for a period of time. She doesn't however tell me when she needs to go out to relieve herself. I hope that someday she will tell me this by standing at the door or something
 

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At 7 months I definitely wouldn't expect her to tell you, because she may still be working out how long she can hold it herself. It's like a human toddler who doesn't always tell you in time, sometimes they tell you they have to go, and then they don't quite make it, because they waited to long to tell you, right? Same with pups.

Heck, even my adult dogs don't tell me. I know they have to go every 4 hours or so, so I just take them.

I agree Galathiel, even if it is cramped, I would move stuff around so you can keep her crate upstairs. That way, it's the best of both worlds. She is upstairs, but is contained in the crate, so no mess or destruction to worry about.
 

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The only time she goes to the bathroom in that "spot" is when she is left in her room alone for a period of time. She doesn't however tell me when she needs to go out to relieve herself. I hope that someday she will tell me this by standing at the door or something
Some dogs naturally have behaviors for when they need to go. But some don't. However, you can train any dog to give you a cue for when they want to go out. Bells, barking, or anything else. Just tell her to offer the behavior, then 'reward' by letting her out. Bells for example, if you hold out a bell your dog will probably naturally sniff it to see what it is. The instant she does that, open the door and let her out. Repeat a few times and she'll get the idea.
Notice that "when they want to go out" is in bold. A lot of people do this so they know when their dog needs the bathroom, but many dogs learn that it's an easy way of getting to go outside regardless of if they need to relieve themselves ;)
 

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That video helps a lot. My speculations and observations are in line with what others have said, I'm coming at it from a different direction:
1. She is fairly calm, not anxious, not lonely, not frenetic, not overly excited. She only looks frustrated, like a teenager on a rainy day.
2. From her pattern of trying to get out, she also looks VERY intelligent.
3. I like the idea that you take her for a one hour walk off-leash. That probably helps a lot to keep her 'calm.'
4. Do you have the time to take her for two 30 min. or 45 min. walks off-leash, in the morning and in the evening? I think your horse analogy was spot-on.... but dogs also need mental stimulation. You don't need a formal training course, just a plan.
5. These two free downloads may help: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
6. You can also find positive training books (not dog whisperer books) in the library.
7. Youtube videos, especially kikopup and Ian Dunbar are helpful.
8. Plan: Teach her Bite Inhibition, her name, Sit, Down, Come, Fetch, Leave It, Drop It, Off [the furniture], Shake (maybe?). Make sure she understands each cue separately. Then, teach each one with a hand signal, also.
9. I usually suggest a 10 min training session twice a day; but she can handle a 30 min training session twice a day, if you can.
10. I know that 2 walks and 2 training sessions is a lot; but please try it for 3 days straight. After the third day, I expect her to sleep through the night. Let us know. if not, We can try something else... or if she does, we can try to improve the time management.
11. She will ALWAYS need something to chew. My dog is 12 yo and he still chews his hard rubber bone for 30 min before bed.
12. Dogs like to be chased. Put it on cue. After supper, my 12 yo begs me to chase him ... except for when it is 90 degrees... However, Fall starts tonight, and I've got my running shoes tied :) If my dog breaks the rules by grabbing something and running away, I turn my back, withdraw attention, and then I walk in the other direction. When he was younger, I'd get his attention then run in the opposite direction. Try it one time! It'll help you define and set the rules.
13. My dog tells me when he wants to go out, but he taught me, so I'm no help there. My brother taught his JRT to ring some bells hung on the back doorknob. When he took the dog out, my brother would jiggle the bells and say out, then open the door to go out. Eventually the JRT learned to jingle for out.
14. Two shorter walks may be better than a single long walk. If you can try these suggestions for just 3 days and let us know the result on Monday, we might construct as more time efficient approach...
 
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