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|01-11-2013, 05:18 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Juneau, AK
Anxiety/Whining when we leave the house...
Hey everyone! So I searched around a bit for an answer to this, and haven't really found one. My husband and I recently moved to a smaller apartment for and in May are moving to Florida for three years, after that who knows! My husband is in the Coast Guard so we will be moving quite a bit throughout our yorkies lives..
My problem is, before at the old place my almost 6month yorkie never whined when my husband and I left the house, there was always at least one of us home though.. He's only been left alone (with his 10 week old brother) a few times.. Last week we left them at home for about an hour and a half during lunchtime to see how they would do. They did great, peed where they were supposed to and only chewed on toys!
The issue? Now whenever one of us leaves the house, he whines for about ten minutes afterwards! My husband goes to work in the morning, so you can understand that the nonstop whining is not okay at 6am when he NEVER did this before! I am home with him along with his baby brother and he still does it.. We need to be able to leave them at home alone, and he can't be whining when my husband or I leave and there is one of us home!?
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to treat this?
When we move to Florida I need to work and volunteer and go to school.. We need to break this habit fast and as soon as possible!! And don't want his little brother to start the same thing.
We'd prefer to break it before he gets neutered next month.. I hope all you yorkie lovers can help us!!
|01-12-2013, 01:56 AM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Soph did this also. Hated it when I would leave for work in the morning. I started cutting up a couple of her treats into tiny pieces and as I walked out the door I'd throw them on the floor. It would take her a couple of minutes to find all the pieces and because food was involved, made my leaving something she looked forward to . When we added Gulliver to the family a couple of years ago I also changed the food I feed them. Now instead of treats to distract them, each morning I make them breakfast with their Stella & Chewie patty, some green beans and carrots, coconut chips and their glucosamine treat. If I've cooked some chicken or turkey I might add a couple of little pieces of that also. They looooove their breakfast and from the way they act, they can't wait for me to go to work because they know they get their favorite meal. Find something that your babies like and then find an extra special version of it that you will only give them when you leave the house. Try to make it something that will last for a while after you go, whether it's a meal like I do or a special treat that you can put in a Kong or somehting similar that they have to work for a while to get. These kids are smart and they'll learn very quickly that you leaving means something good
|01-12-2013, 08:48 AM||#3|
♥ Love My Tibbe! ♥
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: D/FW, Texas
It's a long post to read but I have used this technique so successfully on my dogs and rescues. It was originally posted about an adult male dog but could be adapted to a younger dog. Sorry that in the copying & pasting some words may have run together. You are welcome to read it, adapt all or some of it and see if that will work for you.
Most anxious dogs that aren't used to it get nervous and anxious when their owners leave the home. First, take all emotion out of your leaving. Do not feel sad for him or tell him goodbye - just like pack leaders in the wild don't when they decide to go on a hunt or take a walk - they just walk away and nobody freaks. They are impersonal and matter-of-fact in how and what they must do. So no emotional goodbyes or hello's when leaving or arriving home. Act like a pack leader. Your dog is a pack animal and is genetically in tune with a firm but fair leader who comes and goes at will as necessary without fanfare or goodbyes.
As far as your actual leaving, just slowly desensitize him to your leaving and soon he will come to accept it. But you must desensitize him to it slowly and allow him to adjust to each step. Be patient with that baby - his anxiety can be overcome with time and patience and knowing what to do. Keep your training sessions short and impersonal,matter-of-fact in your attitude rather than uptight and worried. So relax before each session with a deep breath and calming of yourself. Give him a lovely food-stuffed kong toy, sit down and watch him playing with it, take up your keys and purse and whatever else you gather as if to leave home and sit back down and just watch him. Don't go anywhere. Just sit there ignoring him. Ater a while go, put your keys, purse, phone away, and call him to you for a hug, reward and play session. Now this is key: keep repeating this for a day or two on a weekend over and over in short sessions of 3 times giving the kong, getting your things together and just sitting there, then rewarding him. Occasionally give him different things to chew on or play with as you get ready to go but don't. Use old socks, empty plastic cola bottles, anything they like.
After a day or two of this, when he's playing with his kong and has accepted your getting your things together, get your keys/purse, watch him for a while then get up and without saying one word to him or looking in his direction, just like an alpha wolf who acts in its pack without question from one of his pack members,walk out of your door and stay outside. Shut the door. Stand there 10 seconds and walk back in, DO NOT NOTICE HIM AT ALL, no matter how he's dancing around your feet or whining in joy from the crate or pen, put your things away and sit back down where you usually sit when you watch him with his kong toy. I would sit there long enough to let him calm down a bit but that is up to you. Now you can say, "Good boy" or whatever verbal praise you want, reward him with a treat, a big, loving play session and lots of loving hugs, kisses. Repeat this over & over in short sessions throughout the weekend or day and keep increasing your times outside to let him learn slowly that though momma goes out of the door, she will be back and I'm really okay. Slowly but surely as you stay out longer and longer but do come back in, he'll have grown to accept this action as inconsequential in his life and soon grow to accept your leaving without thinking a thing of it - he'll know he gets a good thing to play with and some good food, momma will be back, then we can greet and kiss and he'll accept it.
Before long, as he grows secure in the knowledge that you return, he will just accept your leaving without any toys or kongs or anything. After a while, include getting in the car in this training exercise,even starting it up and getting right back out and coming in the house without noticing him, put your things away, sit on the couch, read some mail and then greet, treat, loving hugs, play reward. Repeat repeat repeat - sitting in the car a while with it running, letting him hear that noise outside. Eventually, drive around the block and then right back home, come inside matter-of-factly, not noticing your dog and putting your things away, coming to sit in the same place on the couch where you always sit during this training. Once you have sat there a while after each training session, now it is time to play and reward that anxious baby who is learning to be a goooood dog. So now have a blast with him. Lots of love, hugs, kisses, tugowar, etc. Happy, happy rewards for his efforts are definitely in order! He's worked hard to try to understand, accept and adjust, control himself.
If you are patient enough to do this, it works EVERY SINGLE time and turns an anxious, crying dog into one that accepts leaving as just a part of his day, quite secure mommie or daddy will be back. In time, dogs soon learn to adjust their day to mostly sleep while we are away and thus be ready to go when we get home.
I would also start him on a good positive-rewards training program such as in Tamar Geller's The Loved Dog book. This will teach him to bond well with you as you develop a strong relationship that he will not question, no matter what as he knows momma is always gonna keep it fun, loving and always rewarding for him. Keeping calm, unemotional and upbeat during training makes it less stressful for the dog and the fun of learning and making you happy are great rewards to him.
Jeanie and Tibbe
One must do the best one can. You may get some marks for a very imperfect answer: you will certainly get none for leaving the question alone. C. S. Lewis
Last edited by yorkietalkjilly; 01-12-2013 at 08:49 AM.
|02-01-2013, 09:14 PM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Juneau, AK
I am def going to try this! The past two weeks I have been going on walks to visit friends and run errands for small amounts of time to let them get used to me leaving. They are now used to my husband leaving, but not me! This morning I did the treat thing, and they didn't whine until they realized I was gone (I waited outside) and only whined about half a minute. Thats an improvement!!
I will try what you had said, I appreciate the help!!
|02-01-2013, 11:26 PM||#5|
Donating YT 3000 Club Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
The Above advice/comments/reviews are my personal opinions based on my own experience/education/investigation and research and you can take them any way you want to......Or NOT!!!