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Puppy Barks Whenever I go Out

1943 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Vlicked
I've had Oscar for a week and he is 9 weeks old. He barks when i go out. I've tried leaving treats in his crate before i go aout and taking it in short spaces of time. I started with a minute and worked up. I just wait around the corner and he nearly always starts barking when he realises i'm not in the room. The only time he doesn't bark is if he's a sleep whilst i'm out. I know its early days but I'm worried he may continue to do this when i eturn to work in a couple of weeks. He is a Hungarian Vizsla and he is my first dog. Other than that he is perfect.
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Well. I'm not sure where you are in the process of crate training, so I don't want to tell you stuff you don't already know! But, it took a good amount of time to fully crate train our guy. Even so, we still have momentary lapses when he whines. I'd say it took a good 3-4 weeks! And, with your pup at 9 weeks old, I think you can expect this.

The key: Do not EVER give him ANY attention when he whines in his crate. AND under NO circumstances will you take him out of his crate when he is throwing a tantrum. You can only take him out when he has quieted down and looks settled. I think you're doing the right thing by building up his time. But here are some basic steps (i.e. if you are to start from beginning):
- feed him all of his meals in his crate
- throw treats in the crate to get him used to going in and out. Or make a game of it by saying "kennel" or whatever your word is and have him go in and out and in and out. And NEVER close the door on him in the intro period.
- when he goes in and out happily and is used to crate, you can close door when he feeds
- then you can start closing door when he goes in at short periods of time while you are right next to crate. close door for 30 seconds, open, then let him out. Then 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. But you have to build up.
- when he's handling a couple minutes at a time with door closed, try it for 10 minutes WHILE you're sitting next to crate. If he's behaving, casually drop treats into the crate, but DO NOT make a big deal of it. No eye contact, no words, just drop a treat. If he whines, turn your back and ignore him and the second he settles/lays down, pop a treat in, wait a few moments then let him out. With our guy, this could last a few minutes! Patience is key.
- Never make a big deal about taking him out of his crate. Just open the door and walk away. No petting, no words. This should be a low-key event so he doesn't equate you coming to let him out with excitement. This will make him more flustered.
- Once you've worked with him next to the crate and when he's usually pretty settled, then do your work-up of walking out of the room. So, you put him in. Then just pop out the door and come right back in. If he hasn't whined, great! If he has, see above. Then walk out for 30 seconds, come back, let him out if he's quiet. Again, work up to 10 minutes, etc.

Another "fun" thing that we did, at suggestion of a trainer, was once we built him up without whining while we were right next to crate, we put him in his crate in the same room we were in, and then put a movie on. Throughout the movie, drop treats in crate when he's behaving, but ignore him if whining (which ours did...but he actually settled down for the whole movie after awhile and just slept). Make sure to get up and leave the room (ie. for bathroom or popcorn break). By the end of the movie, hopefully he'll just be sleeping like ours! Then let him out.

Other key things: Don't ever use crate for punishment or time out. Make sure he gets A LOT of exercise before leaving him in there for longer periods. And we put two Kong's in with our guy that are a frozen mixture of peanut butter and kibble. Seems to distract him.

I'm not so sure that will help, but my 2 cents! This is the first pup I've ever crate trained and I won't deny it was hard for me to do! But our guy is 18 months now and doesn't seem to phase him when we have to leave. It's better he's in there as opposed to chewing our pillows!
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