Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My girlfriend of 5.5 years and I broke up about a month and a half ago. We had gotten a dog together 2 years prior. I am now living alone in our apartment with the dog and I am noticing some behaviors that are rearing their ugly head with all the changes going on in our lives lately.

First, Vincent (3 year old, 60lb unknown mix breed) thinks that whining and barking is appropriate "pay attention to me behavior." I realize some of this is our fault by "rewarding" him when he is acting this way. Lately, I have been trying to be very consistent with a removal technique when he shows this behavior. I do not remove him, but I remove myself from the room for 10 seconds or so and then return and if he is quiet, I reward. I typically remove myself to various parts of the apartment, depending on where he is at. For a while he thought me leaving the room was a fun game and would run to the bathroom (where I usually go) in excitement. I started resorting to leaving the room & doing dishes (attempting to be productive myself) or even out the front door onto the porch. Basically I just try and remove myself from the roommate momentarily and then return. I believe I am seeing positive results as the full barks have diminished immensely. I started to remove myself on a full bark and as the response from him lessens I remove myself on a small growl or a whine in hopes that I will work it down to nothing. It appears to be working, so should I change anything up or just stick with it and be patient?

Second, over the past 8 months or so he has become increasingly reactive to the front door. My little dog who never had a care in the world about who was at the front door has now turned into a raving maniac if anyone is there. This also includes people leaving the apartment. He started showing the behavior when leaving when my girlfriend started working her full time job and we both would leave in the morning. He also behaves this way whenever my roommate leaves the apartment. He has NEVER exhibited this behavior with me. When someone leaves, he will start to freak out. He will bark, and jump and sometimes nip. I am unsure as to why he is behaving this way, so any insight on that would be great. When the girlfriend was still around I attempt to get him to sit/stay and reward with a treat. It appeared to work for the most part, but the moment that she left and I gave him the final treat he would sprint towards the window. I haven't been as good with the training with the roommate because the times he comes and goes are random, so it's been more difficult to catch. I have started to leash him when my roommate leaves and reward him for calm behavior, but I haven't done that enough times to tell if it's working or not. Is there anything in particular I should be doing to train him out of this behavior? Is rewarding for calm behavior the best course of action? Any help would be appreciated.

Finally, there is the issue of re-activity when someone is at the door. I know that this can be trained out of him by using two people, having one knock or ring the door bell and then the other inside rewarding for calm behavior. I, however, unfortunately do not have the second person to help any longer. Is there any way to train a dog out of this behavior without employing the help of another person? If I absolutely need to, I will, but I hate putting the burden of training my dog on someone else's shoulders.

Also, is there anything I could be doing that is encouraging this behavior? I know that the vibe in my apartment hasn't been so great for him lately with all the relationship stuff going on, especially since we have been fighting. I know I have been losing my patience with him lately too given everything on my plate at the moment. What should I be doing to help him out during this whole transition?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,504 Posts
Problem one -I would continue what you are doing

Problem two- I would teach him the command 'place' so put down a mat or something and teach him place and when he does give him a kong with some food stuffed in it(I use Peanut butter) and give that to him to distract him. Then step out for a second. Then come back in(if he is not whining, running around crazy, ect..) just when he is calm. Come in calm and just ignore him.

problem three-again I would use the place command. Is there any family that could help you, or neighbors? you could tell him "place", and have someone come in. if he gets up before given the "okay" command re-do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
I agree with momtolabs. I had my GSD mix trained to sit at the end of the foyer when I answered the door. The command was "go away".

As to the vibe in your house, dogs are very good at picking up human emotion, but bad at figuring out what's causing it. If you are angry/sad/nervous, your dog knows that, but he thinks maybe it's home invaders that have you so down! He should protect against them! barkbarkbarkbarkbark. What a good boy he is protecting you! Dogs mean well, they're just not very bright.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top