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Hello everyone,

I just got an Akita puppy and she is about 3 months old. I got her a couple weeks ago and he immediately got Parvo, so she is only just recently has started to act like a normal energetic puppy.

My problem is that now she won't stop barking and crying! At any hour! At anything! I tell her no and she just barks at me. I ignore her and she just keeps barking. I'm going to try and find a spray bottle and try that tactic. I have a roommate so my pup stays in my room so that she doesn't get into trouble. During the day when I'm up doing things I give her access to the rest of the apartment (and as soon as she gets her vaccines I can take her outside!) so that she's not totally cooped up in the bedroom. The problem is that she barks and whines at everything I do. I know she's a puppy, but I live in an apartment and I'm at the end of my rope when I can't even leave my bedroom to use the bathroom without her barking - at 2am!

The other problem, and connected to the barking is that I cannot get her to sleep well. I had always been told, and from experience with my family having puppies, that puppies sleep a fair amount. She has been wild and loud for 13 hours now! I'm going crazy because I've been playing with her on and off all day, she's been running around and she should be tired! I'm a student, so I'm a night owl, but from experience I've known puppies to just sleep through anything. So I assumed it wouldn't be a problem, and she'd be passed out once she finally went to sleep, but no! If I get up, she is awake again and then its another ordeal of getting her to sleep! If I move anywhere in the room, she gets up and follows me the 2 feet. I love how much she wants to be near me, but she's driving me crazy and I need her to just stay quiet and stay asleep when its sleep time! I also try to minimize things, so I don't have loud music and lots of lights so that she knows its bedtime. I have one light on to study, and sometimes some quiet music or I use headphones. I feel like that should be sufficient!

The thing that changes everything is that I am in CHINA. I'm American - I've been in China for 2 months now, just studying and teaching English. I know it was silly to get a dog, but I just fell in love and I am going to bring her back to the US when I go back this spring. But the thing is that being here is my neighbors are crazy, and I don't understand what the hell they're saying if they yell Chinese at me. Chinese people in general don't understand what having a pet and loving your pet means, so they don't get raising a puppy and keeping it in doors and training it. And finding some basic dog things is quite an ordeal (I have NO clue where I could get a crate for instance).

If anyone has any suggests I would be so grateful - I love dogs and I love my puppy, but I just don't remember the past puppies I've been a part of raising having these types of problems so I'm just at the end of my rope here! Thanks!!!
 

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Wow......do you have any toys at all to keep her amused? Maybe an old towel or old shirt with your scent on it for her to sleep with? Anything she can keep busy chewing on? How about hiding kibble under a cup or some other place.....make a mental game to poop her out? I have no other suggestions as I have never had this problem really. If I had a pup who wanted to cry all night and I knew he was full, didn't have to go potty.....I used to just lay down and go to sleep with him. :)

This is a tough one for me to give any other advice on since you cannot get a crate to help matters.....and she has only been in this world 12 little weeks. :)
 

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Ditch the spray bottle tactic. There's no need to do that. You have a puppy that is super young. On top of that, your puppy had parvo. So, now your puppy is healthier and starting to act like a normal puppy. Don't punish your puppy for finally feeling better.

Teach your puppy the quiet command. Exercise your puppy, body and mind. Give your puppy lots of toys, including a frozen, stuffed kong to keep busy.

Do some training and exercise your puppy before bed so he will sleep better.

This is a BABY who has been sick and quiet. Now, your puppy is feeling better and acting normal. Plus Akitas are very active and will need lots of training and exercise.
 

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Thank you for your responses. Of course I have tons of toys for her!!! I came here because I've never had this problem either! I've been a part of training puppies before, she's not my first. I did try to just go to sleep with her when she couldn't sleep, and she would just try to chew and nip at my face and hands. :-/

I appreciate input on the spray bottle idea, I had been debating over it - on the one hand she needs to be quiet, and on the other hand, she is young and maybe that's a training method to be used in more extreme cases. I'll try the idea of doing some training right before bed. Do you have any suggestions for some training exercises? The ones that I've been working on with her are to "come", "sit", "high-five" (touch her paw to my hand, similar to shake), and now we've moved on to "lie down". Thanks!
 

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I agree with Doxie. Akitas is high energy. I imagine that yours had lots of attention when she was sick, and now she has to entertain herself, she's 'alone' cooped up and lots of energy to burn. Some suggestions:
1. One or two stuffed frozen Kongs.
2. A buster ball filled with her kibble during the day.
3. Nosework - hiding things for her to sniff out and find. Make sure this is supervised.
4. Fetch - Don't know if you can teach an Akita to fetch different toys from different rooms, but that might tire her.
 

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Oh boy, I remember these frustrations so well not so many months ago, so I can totally sympathize. Also, being Chinese myself, I'm afraid you'll meet quite a number of Chinese people who have irrational fears of dogs simply because the habit and knowledge of training dogs is not so common there; thus you end up with lots of dog bite incidents and dislike of dogs. If you're doing everything you can go raise a well behaved and healthy puppy and people still yell at you, it's no fault of your own so just ignore them.

Anyway, for the whining and barking problems, it's best to first try to assess the reason behind them. If it's for attention, then absolutely ignore it. I know you said how ignoring her isn't working, but that may be the extinction burst, where the whining / barking gets worse before it stops. The velcro puppy syndrome can also cause this, this puppies just don't like being left alone. Mine used to whine if I was just out of sight in the kitchen. They usually grow out of this, but it helps to do some training, where you stay in a room, be boring and ignore her though let her follow you. When she gets bored and settles down, go into a second room and repeat. Keep moving back and forth till she's so bored that she stops following and just watches you without moving. After doing this for some sessions and she's following you less, get a really high valued treat (like a peanut butter filled kong) and tether it to one of the rooms. Then you go in the other room and she's free to choose to follow or eat the yummies! Eventually she'll forget you and opt for the food, then you leave come back, repeat repeat repeat for longer periods till it's nothing to her anymore. If it's due to fears and other things, unfortunately there is no way around slowly building positive associations with everything. I do agree the spray bottle shouldn't be used simply because I prefer building positive associations.

As for the sleeping issue, I think it may help you a lot to get a crate. Lots of people have success without using it at all, but it seems like it would be helpful in your situation. When I first got my 10 week old puppy, I never forced him into his crate during the day. But at night time, I would get him in (positively by tossing in treats, letting him go in himself, praise, then while he is watching calmly close the crate door. It might help to do this during the day too so he's not afraid of the crate and isn't freaked out by the closed door), then that door is staying closed till morning except for those dreadful hourly or bi-hourly potty breaks. This way she won't be able to follow you. She will also without a doubt keep whining and barking at first, but you must ignore ignore ignore. This is obviously hard given the concerns about your living situation, but it should stop after a short while. It helps to place the crate close to you, but if you coddle her when she can't sleep, it only teaches her that noise = getting lots of attention from you, then it'll be harder to break the habit.

I was definitely frustrated like you when my puppy was that age too. I was constantly exhausted, sleep deprived, and stressed. But for me, I just had to tough that period out since I trained and played with my pup so much and he was still a ball of energy. Then one day, I suddenly noticed that things were so much better! It's a long and gradual process, so don't give up! I did find it veeery helpful to invest in some interactive food toys. They kept my puppy occupied while I get some free time unlike training or playing, and it slowed down his eating, which is good. Another thing you can do is hide little treats all around your apartment and tell her to "go find it!" and let her forage. These will especially work if you have a food-motivated dog.

Sorry that turned into such an essay, but I hope you will at least find some of this helpful!!
 
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