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Barking Puppy

1002 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Hambonez
Help please. My husband and I have a 5-month old wheaten terrier puppy. My husband works from home, so he is only crated at night. Starting at about 3 to 3.5 months, he would come up to one of us and bark to let us know he needed to go out. We live in a condo, so we thought this was great- it really limited the accidents.

After a couple weeks, he started barking when he was out of water or was hungry. We would then fill his water (we keep it available, but sometimes wouldn't notice if he emptied it) or feed him if it was close enough to meal time. I think he has now figured out that barking=getting what he wants. Last night, he barked and whined from 11:30pm-2am. I took him outside and gave him a drink, but those did not shut him up. He just wanted out of his crate and to play. We tried ignoring him, but he barked for 45 minutes straight. Eventually, we gave him a new bone (I didn't want to treat him for barking, but I couldn't take it anymore) and he gave up.

Again, we live in a condo, so barking all night isn't ok. And we need to sleep. How do we break him of this? This is the fourth night in a row that this has happened, although last night was the worst. He's been sleeping through the night without going out since about 9-10 weeks, so I know it isn't an actual need.

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We started having a problem with Hamilton barking at objects he wanted -- he dropped a toy behind the couch, or he left something in his expen and he couldn't get to it. He also started barking at things he wanted OUTSIDE, like the neighbors (he loves people, he can't stand when he can't go say hi!). We talked to our trainer about it, and with regards to things like his stuck toys -- she said don't torture him, but change how he gets it. He knows a series of commands, so if he's barking at a toy under the couch, have him do a sit-stay or a down-stay and the reward for that is that he gets the toy he wants. Therefore the barking doesn't get the reward, the polite behavior gets the reward. For the barking at things he can't have anyway (like my neighbors on their back deck), she just recommended a "leave it" command, or some distraction commands.

As far as the crate barking goes - of course you wouldn't want to get up and reward him in the middle of the night, but what about giving him a stuffed frozen kong at night when he goes into his crate so just being in there is awesome? Also I would make sure he's super tired at the end of the day. My only other thought is, where is the crate located? When we had our crate upstairs, poor Hamilton would whine and bark and whine when we put him in, then quiet down, then every time I got up to use the bathroom he'd hear me and it'd start all over again. We did that for about a week, then moved him downstairs to "his" room (the living room) where he spends his days and suddenly he was quiet all night! (And it's not just that we can't hear him from upstairs, because we hear him quite clearly in the morning if he's up before we are!) I think he wasn't familiar with being upstairs cause he spent all his time downstairs, and mostly in the living room, and then every time he heard me again he'd wig out because he wanted me again.

Now that he's a "big grown up" almost 8 month old, he's quiet in his crate, and a few times a week we let him sleep in bed with us and he's just pleased as punch with that arrangement! We found he sleeps in late too, so we usually let him on the weekends ;)
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