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Possibly Velcro-ing but need advice!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by ErinAline, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. ErinAline

    ErinAline PetForums Newbie

    Jan 23, 2019
    Likes Received:

    My partner and I brought home our 11 week old French Bulldog puppy this past Friday. I am a student and therefore have the ability to work on my research from home and have been here since the moment we brought him into the house. We have him contained in the living room (as we found a mouse in our house the same day we brought him home and do not want to risk him finding a trap) however every time my partner or I try to leave the living room "pen" even if we are just 5 feet away making coffee our pup uncontrollably barks.
    We have been trying to crate train him and he goes in his crate throughout the day willingly (as long as one of us is in his 'pen' and he voluntarily brings toys and treats in there to play/eat so it doesn't appear that the crate is causing too much anxiety. As long as we keep him awake and play with him for the two hours leading up to bed time, he goes in the crate at night with relatively little whimpering however, he will wake up 2-3 hours later barking like crazy, so we let him out to go to the bathroom and usually he does and will bark for about 10 minutes after we put him back in and eventually quiets. He then wakes up around 5 am every morning and I let him out yet, he doesn't seem to go need to go to the bathroom and I cannot get him back into his crate quietly at this point. I am not overly concerned about this nighttime routine however it would nice to have him sleep a little bit later into the morning (given that it has only been about 5 days I am optimistic that this will improve, hopefully).
    What I am most concerned about is the barking when left alone. If I try to leave during the day (and by leave I mean simply go somewhere else in the house while he left in his enclosure). We live in a terraced house and I am very aware that the excessive barking will probably begin to wear on the neighbours yet, I know responding to the barking to make him quiet will reinforce it. I have attempted to crate him during the day (to help him get used to the days that I need to go into the office) but he consistently barks for over an hour, so I do not have hope that he will eventually settle. I have tried crating him and sitting near the crate to show I haven't gone anywhere and that seems to make it worse. There is never a moment of quiet that I could let him out of the crate in order to reward his calm, so when I let him out I am afraid I am just repeatedly rewarding his barking by trying these methods.

    I apologise for the extremely long explanation but there is some inconsistencies in his behaviour that other methods don't seem to account for (e.g. being comfortable with the crate, especially when tired at the beginning of the night, but not tolerating alone time). Is there any way that I could encourage him to feel comfortable being alone? I have tried mentally stimulating toys and other toys in general but even when we are present and encouraging him to play with toys and trying to engage with him and the toys together he simply ignores the toys and jumps at our legs, we have also given him a collar with DAP in it to try and make him feel more comfortable in his new home but he just seems to lack the ability to entertain himself or nap on his own. I am hoping to find a method that I can utilise that only requires minimal periods left to bark as I am very anxious about annoying our neighbours.
  2. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

    Oct 27, 2018
    Likes Received:
    He's very young and still settling in. He's been torn away from mum and siblings and it's all very strange and quite scarey for him, so I think you just need to give him time. It sounds like you're generally doing the right stuff. At the oment, he simply wants to be with you (with someone) which is very understandable. Out of interest, more than anything, is he holding his bladder and bowels outside the times you let him out in the night? If so, you've been pretty lucky - he seems to be getting the idea pretty quickly.
    As far as him getting used to being alone, again, it sounds like you're heading along the right lines. The usual advice is to walk out, initially for as little as 15 seconds, gradually extending the time period, so that he becomes relaxed about you coming and going. Make no fus whasoever when you go and when you return; simply walk out; then simply walk back in. If you can go in and out of differemt doors that can also help him get used to it.
    You mention about crating him when you go into the office. I would not advise crating him for more than a few hours during the day - that's a pretty confined space for a dog to be kept in. Likewose, at this stage, I wouldn't advocate leaving him on his own for extended periods.
    Finally, with regard to the neighbours, can you not just nip round and have a chat with them? It's possible they're not hearing anything (result!) but if they are and you explain that he's a new puppy and just settling in, they might be happier than if they THINK it's going to go on for ever! You could even inite them to come round and meet him (or take him to meet them) - most folks find it hard to resist a puppy!
    Good luck with it all, anyway - I'm sure you'll be fine. :)
    Linda Weasel and SusieRainbow like this.
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