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Honey's Barking - How on Earth do I deal with this?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by LinznMilly, Oct 19, 2019.


  1. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Hi all.

    I've raised this problem before in her update threads but this I think, needs a thread of its own.

    When I first got Honey, I pre-warned my neighbour that, as she settles in and adjust, she might bark and/or howl.

    Honey screamed! I first realised this on the very first night, when I settled her in the kitchen, with her crate. I simply lifted her crate up and put it beside me in my bedroom. That worked. Just leaving the room would result in that screaming. She would also wait for me at the top of the stairs and play a game of bitey fingers.

    She hasn't done any of that for months!

    The very day I came back from Thirsk with the girls, I got another text from neighbour, saying Honey had been barking "non-stop" for an hour and a half. My heart sank! I sent her a box of chocolates and an apology note, and wondered what on Earth I was going to do. I even considered quitting work and/or changing jobs to ensure I was home much more (Not that I leave them for very long in the first place - a couple of hours at most).

    I've been leaving the TV on for her when I leave, and am treating her with Zyklene, but there's been an itch in the back of my mind that something just didn't sit right. Like I said, Honey screams when suffering from SA - she doesn't bark, and she waits for me at the top of the stairs, plays bitey fingers and bum wiggled in excitement that I'm back home.

    This week, my mum has been away, and I have been cat sitting for her, giving me ample time to listen out for any problem noise coming from Honey, and any sign of Honey's S.A. upon my arrival. I've seen no sign of her anxiety - she's been curled up in one of the (numerous :rolleyes: :D ) dog beds, and practically get a look of "Oh - you're back! Where's my lunch/what time is walkies?"

    I considered the possibility that she might hear my mum's car pulling up, and then settle down, so yesterday, I parked 2 blocks away and walked home, removed my shoes one block away and tiptoed back. I'd left Honey in my bedroom so stood beneath my bedroom window. I heard a radio (not mine), and the birds, but no barking/screaming.

    Last night, I put on my Big Girl Pants and decided to sound record her.

    It's a game changer. She did start barking at about 7pm (which was about 17mins into the recording). The second I heard it, it was clear she was reacting to some stimulus outside, and I suspect it was neighbour coming home. Far from being non-stop, she does stop - numerous times, but I can practically hear her pausing to listen.

    - Wherever possible, I already take Honey with me. I've done this from the start.
    - On Thursdays, which is neighbour's day off and when I have a social call, I ask my SIL to dog-sit.
    - I leave Honey in 1 room, (usually the living room, but not always) when I have to leave. Neighbour has previously said that so doing dulls the sound of Honey's barking, but last time, said it makes no difference as it "reverberates" through the flat.
    - Obviously, I get back home ASAP.
    - Barking when I'm home is sporadic. Likewise, when I come home - sometimes she barks, other times she doesn't. But then, I have worked on teaching her the "Enough" cue.

    So, as per title - how on Earth do I stop her from reacting to neighbour coming home and pottering around in her own flat, when I'm not home? o_O

    Sorry for the essay but I've tried to be as thorough as possible.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    It's a tough one so hopefully someone will have suggestions but two things that might help - can you leave her in a room that's on the other side of the house from the adjoining wall so she has a buffer and use a white noise machine to mask your neighbour's sounds? Or can you get one of the devices (don't know what they are called or how much they cost) that lets you communicate remotely to tell her to shush?
     
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  3. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I would try white noise too rather than radio as it offers more a buffer.. Am one of those people who can't stand white noise but I know people who have success with it from what I have read.

    I know living in flats can be hard.. I mean if Harley whose miniscule is running around upstairs in my house she honestly sounds like a herd of elephants, we have carpets too. Things like laminate floor, don't help and it's so popular still with people and vinyl.

    I used to get frustrated years ago with my old eccentric neighbour who I swear had a fitness regime of running up and downstairs as soon as I put my son to bed. Babies are usually easy and settle to most things though unlike dogs who don't actually sleep soundly.

    Am sorry you are going through this @LinznMilly what a lovely neighbour though to do what you are doing and being so thoughtful. Hope your neighbour understands that you are trying. No it's not nice having a barking dog, albeit intermittently like in Honeys case, or rather screaming. Obviously you do work, and have to and you are trying your best to fit work, caring for mum and Honey not left. In the big scheme of things you are doing a lot. Obviously you can't take Honey with you always, or SIL can't have her all the time.

    Am guessing she would be worse in her crate being left, after her performance on her first night. You could try crate games, you know playing hiding treats in there, feeding etc see if it will become her safe space. In my experience, some dogs do adore crates others not so and tend to tolerate them. Currently in my household Harley is pretending her crate doesn't exist but Eevee especially, sometimes Stan and if Maisie could fit more than her head in they would all be using it. Eevee was never really keen, the crate is a hand me down from Eevee... although I swear she's using it as she gets fed up of being a big sister to a totally hyper active little sister whereas Stan bless him is now Harleys constant for pretty much everything.
     
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  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    No advice, just sympathy x
     
  5. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Neighbour in question is my downstairs neighbour, and therein lies the problem. I could leave her in the bedroom, but if neighbour wants to go to bed early, (something neighbour has mentioned in the past) Honey's right above her. Likewise if I leave her in the living room and neighbour wants to sit in her own living room and watch her TV.

    Thanks for the suggestion of white noise. I'll look into it. :)

    She's OK with crates, actually - she's often found at the front of Milly's, and takes herself to her own crate at bedtime. The first night was pure SA. Bringing her crate into my room sorted that issue and whilst she wouldn't initially voluntarily go into it herself I successfully reconditioned Honey to her crate by giving her "bedtime treats". :D. I'm hoping to do the same with her harness, but that's;
    1) a separate issue and
    2) 1 step forward, 2 back.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Thank you.
     
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  6. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    It's a tricky one flats can be terrible for carrying noise. I would try a white noise machine maybe a camera you can talk to her through. Can she come to work with you crated in the car ?
     
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  7. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    It's certainly an option when I get my own car, and she did come with me on Sunday night last week, but ATM, I can only use my mum's car when she doesn't need it, and Honey isn't that keen on the car. #nightmare

    ETA; a camera is cost prohibitive ATM.
     
  8. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    If it helps, we'll it doesn't really as such @LinznMilly Harley has just started a bit of alert barking. So if we are in the bedroom which I can be during the day and she hears my son do something downstairs, she barks which from the pitch and stance you can tell is more an alert, unsure what the noise is she gets a few treats to calm her down. She can do the same downstairs if she hears a noise not all the time but again it's something that obviously startles, makes her anxious at that time and again it's oh it's OK hers some treats so it's passes. OH socks might smell a bit salmonly now but he's used to it and has no sense of smell hardly! As that's where we keep treats in the bedroom.

    Currently now my son must be doing his weekend tidying and he's banging about and nothing at all from Harley so it's just occasionally.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Just throwing this into the mix, I've no idea if it would help - but has she ever been in your neighbour's house? Would your neighbour agree? I'm thinking if she saw what was below it might stop her thinking of it as 'noises she doesnt understand and has to scare off with barking'.
     
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  10. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Neighbour's looked after her for me once or twice in the early days (when she still thought of her as cute enough to reduce her to a giggling mess that she just has to stroke) when I've had to take Milly to the vets, but it was early morning, before she went to work.

    When the neighbour comes home, she bangs her door closed and must kick her shoes off against the wall. Hindsight's 20/20, but she did give me a clue - she said she could hear Honey barking the moment she reached her gate. If Honey screams, you can hear her from the road (I've said this before, but I live down an alleyway - my living room windows overlook the back gardens of the houses that sit directly on the street).
     
  11. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Ok, I'm about to eat my words. Looking on Amazon, it looks like they're a lot cheaper than I thought. :Bag
     
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  12. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Sorry I have no advice on the barking. But I got a camera for Teds from amazon - it’s called Cleverdog and was about £30 you can speak through it too.
     
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  13. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    That's one of the ones I was looking at. Always nice to have a personal review, though. :D. Thanks.
     
  14. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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  15. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    I’ve just bought a Neos camera; I wanted to monitor barking etc, cos we moved house recently and have thinner walls.

    It took me ages to find one that does noise alerts to my phone, as well as the usual motion sensing. At one stage I thought I’d have to cough up for a Furbo which is an arm and a leg.

    However: Neos camera. £25 in Curry’s, noise and motion alerts, night vision and you can talk to your dog if you want. Saves so you can view later.

    So far it’s amazing.
     
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  16. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    No problem! It’s picture is pretty good for the price and you can turn on the sound to hear if they’re barking too. And obviously speak to them! I think it’s decent for the price. If you have a small memory card you can record too and play back on your computer or if you don’t you can just watch live. And it can send notifications when it detects movement :)
     
  17. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    The noise was the issue I wanted to monitor. I looked at the Clever Dog camera but couldn’t see that it would send noise alerts to my phone.
     
  18. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Oh yeah it doesn’t do noise just motion I think!!
     
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