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My Puppy is an Angel... Until me AND my husband are home at the same time.

919 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  blindflower
Just like the title suggests. I have a Shepherd Collie mix, at least that's what I was told by the shelter. They were told by the people who surrendered him that he was a Shepherd Rough Collie mix, but in all honesty I don't know what kind of shepherd nor what kind of collie he really is. I do know he's an extremely intelligent dog who picks up on tricks and training within two or three tries. His name is Radio and he is now four and a half months old and we've had him since we was eight weeks. We've done everything we can to socialize him with other dogs and people and he's great with all.

My husband and I work schedules where we have opposite days off, so more often then not one of us will be home with him all day. He has a strict schedule we adhere to which includes mental stimulation, training and exercise every day. He gets stressed very quickly if things don't go to his expectation so we try and keep everything as routine as possible for him.

The problems start happening when my husband and I are home together. He is fine with either of us by ourselves. He's loving and attentive and sweet with us on our days with him. But the moment the other member of the household comes home and we are both there he becomes extremely agitated, overstimulated and starts demanding both our attention. He gets himself in such a fit of anxiety he'll start panting. I can feel his little heart going a mile a minute. One of us usually stays with him while the other has to make dinner so we can eat and he simultaniously tries to be in the kitchen and with the person trying to distract him in the living room.

I've tried to search out any answer to this, but it seems like me and my husband being home at the same time stresses him out. Does anyone have any advice or experience as to what's happening here? I feel like we've tried everything!
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Although routine is an important part of dog ownership, the dog must also be okay with that routine being messed up sometimes. Life happens. The dog must learn to adapt.

While you are both home, I would place the pup in a pen with some toys, or perhaps a yummy chew. This will limit his ability to solicit attention and ramp himself up by trying to be part of everything. It will force him to self-occupy and encourage him to choose to chew his toys. He will likely demand bark at first, and you should ignore it.

Also, don't fall for the "the dog must be entertained 24/7" thing. The dog does not need every last scrap of your attention. Train and exercise him as you have been doing, of course, but once his needs have been met, the dog has to learn to chill. Sometimes you need to help this by management, such as placing him in a pen or crate to limit his choices. He probably won't like it at first, but as he gets older he will learn to make the correct choice by himself without the need for a pen or crate. It's okay for you to pop him in his crate so you and your husband can have dinner together.
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Lillith, Thank you so much for your advice! It's slow going, and sometimes he's cranky, but we've been able to have a few nights where we could eat without his mournful and bossy barks. We will keep at it and work on transitioning him out of the crate in due time to sit quietly while we are eating.

Thanks again!
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