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Puppy barking... neighbours complaining

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Sophie_Rex, Dec 20, 2019.


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What should we do?

Poll closed Dec 27, 2019.
  1. Stick to it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Give up crate training

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Talk to your neighbours one to one

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Ignore the neighbours

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Sophie_Rex

    Sophie_Rex PetForums Newbie

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    Hello! I have a 13 week old flat coat retriever puppy who we brought home about 4 weeks ago. We live in a end terrace house, so understandably sound travels! Before we got the puppy we told the neighbours we were getting him and apologised if he causes any unsettle at first.

    We have been crate training to ensure he is safe when we are out and in bed. Unfortunately this is taking longer than anticipated as he was very sick in his first couple of weeks, so we are only now starting to make progress. Our neighbours know how sick he was and how close we were to losing him. Last week our neighbour came to our door to ask us to stop the night barking, as it’s disturbing them and their children. I apologised and assured them it will get better (we are also having one to one training sessions).

    Our puppy rests happily in his crate during the day, and I can leave him for 1-2 hours with no crying (I have a baby cam on the crate). The last few nights he settled in the crate at half 10 after about 5 minutes whining and slept through to about 6! However last night he cried at 3, had a wee and went back to sleep, and started crying again at 5. We would come downstairs (no fuss or talking) and take him out for toilet, if he didn’t go we would put him back in the crate. Despite this he continued to bark so we were waiting for a moment of quiet to let him out. Our neighbours started banging on our wall angrily at this point, making the barking worse! I understand it is frustrating but we are working so hard.

    What else can we be doing? Should I go to speak to my neighbours again? Their own dogs bark so I feel like it’s a bit contradictory, and as one of them works with rescue animals I thought she would understand the benefits of crate training in the long run. If they report us do we not get some time with the council as he is a puppy in training?

    Already tried - He has blankets over the side and back of the crate. Water available. Crate safe toys to chew. Comfy bed and blanket, pen also attached so he can lay on the floor if too hot. We make sure the room is never cold. We play lots of crate games (ie hiding treats in the crate, giving kongs). He cries when he needs the toilet so doesn’t pee in the crate. If he cries and doesn’t need the toilet we give him a handful of biscuits once he is calm in case he is hungry.
    Ideally I would want to let him ‘cry it out’ at this point once I know all his needs are met, but we can’t do this as are trying to make our neighbours happy.

    Should we persist with what we are doing? Give up? The crate training is clearly working as in daytime it’s a positive place for him and most nights he sleeps through. I worry that because we don’t let him cry it out for the sake of our neighbours, he now knows crying = attention of some sort.

    Unfortunately, our upstairs is very small and the crate won’t fit. He can’t sleep on the bed with us as it’s a very high bed and barely big enough for us!

    What should I do? Please help!
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I’d forget the crate at night as he’s clearly not happy and it’s very likely the anxiety will build rendering the crate out of use in the day too.

    Have his bed on the floor next to your bed at night. He will have company, you can hear him stir and get him out to toilet before he barks and lay a hand on him and use your voice to settle him.

    Barricade him in if necessary.

    Or put the crate in the lounge and sleep on the sofa.

    I’d give him a handful of biscuits just before bed to stave off hunger but would not give any when he wakes in the night as that could cause him to wake and bark for a snack.
     
    Torin., O2.0, Linda Weasel and 2 others like this.
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    You've got this completely wrong actually. This can cause a serious problem called separation anxiety. Your puppy needs to know you are there to support him, who pays attention when he is communicating with you. You want a confident happy dog not one who cries until he gives up hope.
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    There is a huge difference between demanding attention and needing attention. Your puppy is a baby and needs to know you are there for him. If your children were distressed and afraid, what would you do? I'm sure you would reassure and comfort them, not leave them be. The dogs that are left to cry it out may stop crying but they don't do so because they suddenly realise everything is ok, they do it because they give up. It's an extreme example but in trauma victims, it's the silent ones who are most damaged. By going to him, and being there for him, you will reassure him there is nothing to worry about and that will build his confidence.
     
    Torin., O2.0, Linda Weasel and 5 others like this.
  5. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    As others have said crying it out isn't really a good strategy have pup with you and slowly move away when he is settled.
     
  6. Sophie_Rex

    Sophie_Rex PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your comments ☺️ I did not realise there was a link between crying it out and separation anxiety so it’s been very helpful x I will speak to our dog trainer today, I don’t want to suddenly change up the routine or sleep downstairs with him as he does usually sleep soundly from half 10 to 5 (except toilet breaks) xx
     
    lorilu likes this.
  7. Sophie_Rex

    Sophie_Rex PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for replying I think he does like the crate, as soon as he has his bedtime toilet he goes in by himself most nights and sleeps from then till around 5 (except wee breaks). Maybe it’s just at 5 he is wide awake and ready to play? I worry about changing where he sleeps now as it really has been improving I already give him some bedtime biscuits which helped a lot when we started that! xx
     
  8. Sophie_Rex

    Sophie_Rex PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry long sentences- I did put some emojis in there not realising they don’t work! xx
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    The crate probably seemed to work at first as he was overwhelmed, under confident at first with moving to his new home.. Now he's finding his feet more as well as not being ill, this is why your puppy is now protesting
    @JoanneF says daytime leaving may become an issue too.

    @Lurcherlad has given you brilliant advice too.

    If your trainer suggests to leave your puppy to cry, then the trainer may use out dated ideas all round too.

    The more you support your puppy now the more confident a dog you will have overall.
     
    Torin., Burrowzig, lorilu and 3 others like this.
  10. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    If he likes the crate during the day, then the night time issue isn’t the crate.

    He’s probably lonely and stressed at being alone in these circumstances, so I would follow the advice given so far.
     
    lorilu and JoanneF like this.
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