Barking in Crate... Again

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by maxfox426, May 1, 2008.

  1. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    I am seriously getting stumped over this... Morgan was doing really well for a little while, but the last week and a half he has gotten much worse.

    His crate is downstairs, our bedroom is upstairs. He usually doesn't bark before my alarm anymore... but he DOES right after it goes off. I don't know if it is the alarm itself that sets him off (I've tried to counteract this by setting it to turn on the radio at a low volume) or hearing me move around before I get out of bed.

    I try to never go to him when he's barking. I'll brush my teeth, get dressed, etc. and generally wait up in my room until he stops before I'll go downstairs. Usually he'll stop after a few minutes, but every once in a while he just won't quit! I have to go to work eventually, so on those days I am forced to go downstairs, feed him, let him out, crate him back up, and then RUN out the door. I never open the crate while he's barking, though, but he's figured that out... as long as I'm standing right there.

    This is the ONLY time he barks! I don't know what it is!

    The real problem here is that my husband is still trying to sleep through all this. He doesn't need to get out of bed for another hour or so after I leave for work. He has been very patient with this issue since we got Morgan, but he's starting to lose that patience.

    I know that the best solution would be to let Morgan sleep upstairs with us. Unfortunately, that isn't an option. My husband will not allow Morgan to stay in our room (it's the way his family functions). One of the conditions of getting a dog is that he would have to stay on the main level. I've tried telling him that the barking issue would be resolved with this one change, but he isn't buying it.

    The other problem would be about moving Morgan's crate up there. We don't spend a lot of time upstairs other than sleeping, so keeping his crate on the main level makes more sense during the day.

    But I'm babbling... I'm having trouble keeping on-task this morning...

    Anyways, if you have any other ideas or suggestions I can try, I would REALLY REALLY appreciate it!!! My husband's next solution is a bark-collar. I don't like Morgan wearing collars in the crate at all. If that is my last resort, then maybe, but until then, doesn't there HAVE to be something else??

    Many thanks
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I think it's very possible that this could be your problem - every once in a while, when he barks, you come down the stairs (that's his reward). Going anywhere within his sight is rewarding to him when he's barking.

    Since your husband doesn't have to go to work until after you, is it possible for HIM to take care of Morgan when Morgan barks too much for you? I'd also suggest putting the crate in a room somewhere so that you can come downstairs and out the front door without him seeing you, so when you do have to go to work you can sneak out.

    You could also try leaving a radio on or a white noise machine so that Morgan might not hear you get up in the morning.... Course he'll probably still start barking when he hears you get close, but it's worth a try.
     
  3. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    lizzybeth727,

    I am perfectly willing to believe that this is something I have caused with my work schedule. In fact, I'm sure it is my fault, but I just didn't know what else I could try. I have been trying to change it up as best I can and avoid him as best I can. When I absolutely HAVE to go downstairs I won't even make eye contact with him until he is quiet. I don't talk to him, don't look at him, don't go anywhere near any of his toys... or anything! I know that probably isn't enough (for the exact reasons you described to me), but I just wanted you to know exactly what I have been doing so we can be on the same page. :)

    There isn't really a place to put his crate where he won't see me, since we have an open floorplan downstairs (our living room, dining room, and kitchen are all basically one big room).

    As for my husband :rolleyes: ... I'm surprised he gets to work with pants on some days. He is NOT a morning person, and even if I asked him to take care of Morgan later, there is no guarantee that he will wake up and actually remember to feed and let Morgan out.

    I will try leaving our portable radio on downstairs tonight, and I'll see if that helps. Thank you SOOOOOO much for the suggestion! You always have such great advice. What would I do without you?? :D


    (PS: I was just telling my husband all your ideas, and he just informed me that none of those ideas will work, and then asked how old does a dog have to be for an electric bark-collar. AUGH!! :mad: Okay, sorry had to rant...)
     
  4. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Ditto. It's like the lottery.. he's figured out once in a while, barking 'wins' for him and he'll continue doing it in the hope that he 'wins' again.

    My suggestion? Get up EARLY, like half an hour earlier than usual, or maybe more, for the next two weeks or more so you will have a little extra time to combat the barking. One thing that works well for Middie is the 'reward' of my voice when he shuts the he!! up once there is a lull in the barking if I can't get to him right away.

    For your husband to read: Please don't ignore ideas until you've actually tried them. Interestingly enough, you'll find that you are shooting yourself in the foot and will be making things very hard for yourself in the future if Morgan is continually reinforced for his barking. I have experience with this, and it's why I dread living in an apartment some day with my dog. I know I will have to, but my dad has continually ruined my efforts at training my dog out of his barking habits, and actually reinforced them - and he was saying the same things you are: "those ideas don't work!" "I'll hit him on the head with a newspaper, that'll teach him!" and "lets get a bark collar!" Now that he has "seen the light" so to speak, and on some level realized the ineffectiveness of his actions, he expects me to be able to fix all of his mistakes with Middie in five minutes. And it's obviously not happening... because now barking crazily in the crate is a reinforced behavior.

    Over the last 3-4 months (yep - months, and he's still not perfect, when Morgan's barking problem can probably be fixed in a month or maybe less) I've gotten Middie to the point where he can be alone in one room of the house at night or when I leave and for the most part he will be silent. We still have bad days of frenzied "YOU WILL COME LET ME OUT NOW" barking, though.

    So.. unless you want to end up in my situation, I'd listen to your wife and give some of those ideas a try. They HAVE worked with Middie, but because the behavior was continually reinforced it's taken a long time. And it's been a pain in the butt.
     
  5. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Having Morgan's crate in your room might not even solve the problem. Saga's crate is in our bedroom and it doesn't make a difference. In fact she carries on MORE if you are in the room. (Like trying to sleep, not wandering around.) I'm actually going to go pick up an ultrasonic tabletop unit and give that a go. A friend of mine has one for her Sibe and Lab and says it works really well for them. Plus, since it isn't a collar, it won't get stuck on anything in the crate nor will the dogs (Django and Saga) get equipment wise. "Oooooh I'm not wearing my special collar! BARK BARK BARK"
     
  6. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    The radio didn't seem to help last night. :( In fact, it seemed to make him bark even earlier!! *cries* He did have a lull in his barking early on, though, and I came down the stairs as quickly as I could right then.

    It's possible that the radio just wasn't set loud enough for him to hear it well. He may have thought it was just my alarm again, it was set so soft.

    I understand that it's my fault. I just didn't know what else I could do, since my support in the morning is limited at best.

    Nolu,
    My husband won't read that. Partly because he won't take the advice from "some stranger", but also mostly because if he read it he would then be pissed at ME for mentioning him here. *sigh* I WILL be using the points that you made when I talk to him about it today, though.
    Regarding the "reward of my voice", do you think getting a baby monitor would help? So that when he quiets down and I'm still, say, in the bathroom... I can radio down to him? It seems weird, but is it worth trying?

    Hillside,
    Ultrasonic tabletop unit? What is that? How does it work?
    (I am desperate for ANYTHING that isn't a bark-collar... My husband really doesn't understand the concept of "dog will learn that collar=bad and no collar=bark.)


    Thank you all for your help. It pains me that this is a problem I've caused on my own, since I have been trying so hard... but now at least I have other options for fixing it.

    I think I am going to go claim my Pissy Pass for the day now...
     
  7. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Ultrasonic.

    Basically, it emits a noise that dogs find unpleasant. With some dogs, it gets them to shut up. (Can you tell that someone is barking RIGHT NOW? ;) )
     
  8. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    That is amazing! Thank you sooooo much!

    I am going to try again on the radio idea, but if that doesn't do it I am going to pick up one of those, too.

    Thanks again! You're a lifesaver! :D
     
  9. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Oh, and unless you have it jacked up to the highest setting, you can't hear it.
     
  10. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Perfect. :)

    I am not too worried about hearing it, since we are upstairs and he is downstairs. And it will only be on at night (prime barking time, ya know). :D

    Again, thank you so very very much!
     
  11. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    I didn't mean it that way - it's a really HARD mistake to not make, and dogs bark anyways.. sometimes you can do everything right and they still have barking issues for a while. *shrug* Don't put a bunch of blame on yourself.. the last thing you need is to feel guilty. I'm sorry I made it sound like you're to blame, Max.

    And I don't know about a baby monitor. Middie doesn't really recognize human voices when they are not in person.. if Morgan does, a baby monitor might work. I just yell, LOL.
     
  12. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Your baby monitor idea gave me an idea:

    Check this out - https://ahimsadogtraining.com/store/proddetail.php?prod=MCH-0041
    It's the Manners Minder. It's a remote controlled treat dispenser! So theoretically, you could put it in your dog's crate and whenever he's quiet randomly hit the remote and it'll despense him a treat! It's kind of expensive, of course ($119) but think about how much a bark collar would cost??
     
  13. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Sorry, I didn't mean to take it so literally. I think you noticed that I've been having a bad day. I have just not been thinking straight. I didn't really believe that you were outright blaming me, but I do recognize that the barking problem is stemming from my own errors.

    I've got plenty of ideas to try now, though, and I just need to calm down. I think part of the problem is I have been expecting too much, too fast.

    Thank you, Nolu! You are awesome and don't you forget it! :D


    That is a really interesting idea, too! And a lot more fun looking. I'll read into that. It is pretty expensive, but if all else fails... well... it could just be worth it!

    Thanks again for all your help, lizzybeth. :)
     
  14. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    :eek: Thank you.. LOL! I'm really flattered, and heck, that made my day. :D

    And the barking doesn't stem from your own errors... barking is a dog thing, especially when left all by themselves... but human error definitely encourages it. *sigh*

    Oh, and on the topic of barking and dogs - I'm so proud of Middie today. There were neighbors' dogs barking AND deer and I left him tied to the front porch while I played with Emma.... I didn't hear a peep. So SOMETIMES my little dog decides to be good, lol!
     
  15. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Well, I got the table top unit. The barking is down, but the WHINING is up. Once I can get to it, I think I'll use the manual button for the whining. I used the manual button when the dogs were poking their noses into the grabage and they both backed off.
     
  16. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    You're welcome!

    And GO MIDDIE! :D


    Ooo... interesting... I'm not too concerned about whining, since at night he is downstairs and we are upstairs, I don't think that will be as much of an issue.

    The manual button for the trash, though, now THAT could be a nice feature, too. Morgan is pretty good about staying out of the trash... but the CATS are another story entirely. :rolleyes:

    Is it somehow only specific to barking? Or does any loud noise set it off? I am curious, because I wonder if cats knocking over a trash can would make enough of a sound to start the noise...

    This could potentially solve two problems at once!

    I am still going to try the radio approach this weekend, but I really am excited about this possibility. Thanks for sharing it with me! :)
     
  17. Doggyteacher

    Doggyteacher New Member

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    Do you put chew toys or something to keep her entertained? I agree with putting the pup in an area where you can still come downstairs but not reward the pup with the sight of you. Also when your pup is barking and your downstairs do you talk or try to verbally correct the action? Only reason I ask is even if your trying to correct just hearing your voice is a reward. Best thing to do is ignore the behavior (barking while crated) all together. No talking to or interacting with the pup. Maybe when the pup is barking and doesnt stop you can leave the pup in the crate and when your hubby wakes up he can tend to the dog if its not barking.
     
  18. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Morgan does have chew toys in the crate. He usually has a Kong and one other toy for variety (especially now that he is teething) in the crate with him. I try to rotate them around as best I can so it isn't the same toys every day, but I haven't yet found a whole lot of toys that are crate-safe unsupervized.

    When he is barking and I HAVE to go downstairs, I do NOT talk to him. I won't even look at him until he's quiet, I'll do my thing around the house pretending he is not there. He has figured that out pretty quick, so he'll be quiet once he can see me... sometimes he'll stop when he hears me coming down the stairs (stairs are out of sight from the crate) though that is not reliable by any means. It really while I am upstairs and he is downstairs that there is a problem.

    This morning I tried Nolu's trick of calling down do him once he quieted down. Once he stopped barking, I counted to 10, and when he hadn't resumed barking by "10" I called his name (I was standing just outside my bedroom door at the time he stopped barking) and said he was a good boy. That was the end of his barking this morning, he quietly waited for me to come downstairs after that.

    Nows, we'll see if that works again tomorrow... :p

    My husband and I are trying to think of a place where we can move the crate where Morgan wouldn't see me in the morning, but since out downstairs is basically one big room... that is proving to be near impossible.

    Although... you just gave me an idea. I supposed I could try covering his crate at night. He wouldn't be able to see me then...

    Sorry, long post. Just thinking in type. :)
     
  19. Angela's mom

    Angela's mom New Member

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    What about a folding screen to put in front of the crate so as to block the view. He will still hear you moving around but won't be able to see. Just a thought.

    I would not cover the crate. He might get ahold of the corner or edge of the covering and pull it between the bars. This could cause another problem.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  20. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    YAY!!! I'm SO happy to hear that!!

    Yeah, you definately could cover the crate or block it somehow so that he can't see you. Even if you just put a chair in front of it or a coffee table turned on it's side, or something like that (and obviously, if your husband is upset, stress to him that this will only happen in the mornings and then you can reorgainize the living room back when Morgan comes out of the crate).

    I was just thinking - you leave for work an hour before your husband, does Morgan go back to his crate after you leave? Do you think your husband could be inadvertently rewarding Morgan for barking if you're not home (yelling at him, talking, etc.)?
     

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