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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

So, the thought of yet another vizsla-related expense reminds me again and again that we were not ready for a vizsla and are struggling so much... BUT the remote hope that it may help him calm down and stop whining pushes me to ask:

Has anyone got thoughts on automatic feeders?
Pac铆fico is 14-month old, not neutered, and is full of beans. He is indefatigable, barks like a maniac when playing with other dogs (I think the whole neighbourhood will soon avoid us...), he destroys everything, especially mail, the one day per week we leave him home, and most of all, he whines and throws tantrums ALL THE TIME. Starting in the morning, as soon as he hears our bedroom door open. We just started working with a trainer who told us to ignore the whining, but it's pretty hard when you have to come downstairs anyway and eventually give him attention to go out or feed him. It's also pretty hard when he clearly does not get the message and will whine for over an hour and a half non stop (I've timed it). Once fed, he whines for attention, boredom, going out, getting a treat... But the strongest tantrums happen about 30 min before feeding time. He has a very accurate internal clock. Hence my considering an automatic feeder, so perhaps he dissociates us from the food being served?

In the morning, he is hungry as soon as he wakes up (like me, ha) and starts whining as soon as we get up in a way that says "how dare you not come down to me straight away and feed me!". Usually, my husband takes him out for a long off-leash run before breakfast, but then we have to wait at least 30 minutes when he comes home so as to avoid stomach problems that deep-chested dogs can have. He of course does not know that, and starts whining as soon as back home. It's a vicious circle because we refuse to feed him while he is whining, so that he does not associate reward with that action.

Tbh, I'm not even sure he realises that he is whining, which makes it pretty hard to train it out of him. We've been trying since he was 3 months old!

So, would an automatic feeder do the trick to feed him on a very precise routine without him thinking he has to whine to get his meals? It might also help when we spend our day per week in town and leave him home between breakfast and dinner (we stopped lunch when he was 10 months old). If we're late, he still would get his meal on time.

Has anyone tried? Or are there any potential issues you can see with it?

Pac铆fico is otherwise quite sweet and obedient, but it seems like the whining will never stop, and as a sufferer of migraines, it gets me pretty stressed and desperate when he does it, i.e. every day. 馃様
 

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i have not tried the automatic feeder, i don`t even think it would work for our situation. but for the internal clock part one recommendation you could try with him. do not feed him at the same time every day. give it a 2 hour window. say if you were feeding him at 6 in the past, feed him at 5 next time. then at 7. then back to 6 etc.
 

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Is it possible that he is really hungry, and not just demand barking? I know my dogs eat more during cooler weather, or after a day of swimming, or a day of hunting. Up until they were fully matured, they would have times where their body just needed more. It would be when they were growing taller, or filling out.
Shine even eats more, 2-3 days a week. She鈥檚 at a good weight, and does not want more every day. So I see no reason to just increase the food automatically. She lets me know the days, she鈥檚 still hungry.
She starts talking to me, and heads for the kitchen. I just put half a cup of her dog food in the kong wobbler. Shine is not a highly motivated eater. So if she鈥檚 willing to take the time to roll it around, I know she is hungry.
You haven鈥檛 mentioned the protein, and fat content of the food your feeding. That along with calories per cup can make a difference in them feeling full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i have not tried the automatic feeder, i don`t even think it would work for our situation. but for the internal clock part one recommendation you could try with him. do not feed him at the same time every day. give it a 2 hour window. say if you were feeding him at 6 in the past, feed him at 5 next time. then at 7. then back to 6 etc.
Thanks Gabica! That's surprising to me. I thought the more regular, the better. Do you think that would help him realise he's not always fed necessarily at the same time, and become more patient?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it possible that he is really hungry, and not just demand barking? I know my dogs eat more during cooler weather, or after a day of swimming, or a day of hunting. Up until they were fully matured, they would have times where their body just needed more. It would be when they were growing taller, or filling out.
Shine even eats more, 2-3 days a week. She鈥檚 at a good weight, and does not want more every day. So I see no reason to just increase the food automatically. She lets me know the days, she鈥檚 still hungry.
She starts talking to me, and heads for the kitchen. I just put half a cup of her dog food in the kong wobbler. Shine is not a highly motivated eater. So if she鈥檚 willing to take the time to roll it around, I know she is hungry.
You haven鈥檛 mentioned the protein, and fat content of the food your feeding. That along with calories per cup can make a difference in them feeling full.
Thanks! Mmh, maybe, though he doesn't signal me he wants more food after he's done. But I could try feeding more, as he is quite small and highly food-driven. His food is Millie Wolfheart, usually the Riverside mix (40.7% carb, 50.5% meat, 5.1% fat, 3.5% fruit and veg). It's the best food we found for his digestion, and there's no chicken nor weird additives. In the past we fed raw, but he started refusing it at 9 months (shock!), and although we gave him a lot of it, he was too skinny.
 

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while they are puppies and still growing, learning house rules etc yes, i agree it is important to keep a closer schedule. later on it helps them to be more flexible if you start switching up things a little. you can play with him some mind games a little before 5 involving treats, and bridge the whining period. does he like freeze dried treats? usually those work well for sensitive stomach, you can choose a one ingredient type, like beef lung.

in terms of his food, just another thought, it is also worth trying to switch it up. that helps avoiding building allergy and also gives them a variety of the amino acids. i looked up the website, they seem to have a pretty wide selection. if he is very active and on those days when you are doing a lot of activities, i would go with a higher fat content one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
while they are puppies and still growing, learning house rules etc yes, i agree it is important to keep a closer schedule. later on it helps them to be more flexible if you start switching up things a little. you can play with him some mind games a little before 5 involving treats, and bridge the whining period. does he like freeze dried treats? usually those work well for sensitive stomach, you can choose a one ingredient type, like beef lung.

in terms of his food, just another thought, it is also worth trying to switch it up. that helps avoiding building allergy and also gives them a variety of the amino acids. i looked up the website, they seem to have a pretty wide selection. if he is very active and on those days when you are doing a lot of activities, i would go with a higher fat content one.
Thanks Gabica, those are great tips! I'll try to bridge the whining perio as you say, so he doesn't see it coming! haha
As for the food, we do switch it up but every month, not every time.. As you say, it might be better to buy two or three varieties and switch based on the day. Thanks again!
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and relate this to more of a behavioral "quality" versus one of being hungry, particularly with this quote "Once fed, he whines for attention, boredom, going out, getting a treat. " from the original post. It is important to understand if he is truly hungry of course , can be determined if he's leaving food behind in his bowl. Otherwise, he needs to learn that whining and carrying on will not get him the result he is looking for. At first glance it looks like he is "training" you to do his bidding when he feels he wants <insert doggy desire>.

I know Ellie can be very pushy when she wants something, especially around lunchtime when I usually take her for a off leash walk through the woods for a few miles. It is her favorite time of the day. Around 11:30 she will start pacing and hanging around me, putting her head on my leg while I'm working, pacing back and forth, poking me with her nose, etc. I'll indulge her a little with the head on leg , but if she gets too annoying she'll get the ole "EH EH EH" as in knock it off! She knows by now when I'm ready we will go, not when she is ready but it doesn't stop her from trying. Eventually she will lay down on her bed under my desk and wait. If I started jumping up whenever she started her pushy tactics and took her out for her run, she would think "hey , my little doggy strategy is working, I'll up the game tomorrow with some barking and whining!".

I suggest starting to teach Pacifico a lesson that he will get things and do activities at your whim, not his. Eating should be as closely scheduled as possible, but it is sometimes not the case and he should understand that he eats when you give food, not when he whines about it. With Ellie when we wake up, she is nice and quiet in her kennel and patiently waits for us to let her out. She knows whining and carrying on will just extend the process by having her stay longer in the kennel. We ignore her at first and go in the kitchen to turn on the lights, disarm the alarm, etc as we do not want her to learn that as soon as we come out of the bedroom we run directly to her. Then we wait a little bit while we make the coffee , etc before tending to her food. Again, so she doesn't learn the behavior that she expects us to leave the bedroom, come to her, and immediately feed her. It is all about setting expectations for them. If they think they can influence you to provide an outcome that they immediately want, they will try. Much like children in that regard!

We went through the nonstop whining period when kennel training Ellie, but she was only a few month old puppy. Your traininer is correct, you cannot give into the whining and find a way to demonstrate to him that it is not acceptable. I'm not talking about screaming , yelling, or hitting of course. Some kind of expression of displeasure at that behavior, maybe a spray bottle, or something noisy he doesn't like such as pennies in a jar that you shake, etc. A firm authoritative voice is necessary so he gets the point. When he is nice and quiet and behaving, that is when you give the treats and affection. Be quick with your timing on this especially in the beginning so he starts the association process well. He will quickly learn that being quiet (not whining) and behaving well, random good treats and things come to him! Whenever he is whining and causing a problem, he gets nothing! If he wants those treats and affection he will start forming more patience. You have to do your part also and reward that proper behavior and not give in to the bad behavior. A good example of this is how we stopped counter surfing with Ellie. Whenever she surfed she was verbally corrected and also sometimes with a spray bottle. Whenever she was behaving in the kitchen while cooking we'd give random praise and rewards. She picked this up and started on her own sitting nicely on a kitchen mat while we were working on dinner or in the kitchen. We would occasionally give her praise and hand her a small training treat. This is now automatic behavior for her, no more surfing and we have a well behaved kitchen mate! Good luck!
 

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What I did with my pup is I got a chair and sat right in front of her, with her laying on her place. She could whine, cry, bark for the toy or cookie in my hand all she wanted. But it wasn't until she gave up, got quiet, and laid her head down that she got a cookie or the toy.

Maybe you could try this. Go downstairs. Sit in a chair with his bowl. It's not until he's quiet, laying down on his place that he gets a piece of his food. Try not to scold him, but rather 'teach him the rules of the game'. if he starts whining again for more, dont give him any til he's quiet again. repeat this until you've given him all the pieces of the food, only when quiet. he should improve very very quickly the next day.

if you dont already have this routine, make him go to his 'place'/bed and be quiet and lay down before ever setting his bowl on the ground. repeat the chair trick until he's not whining in between pieces of food. then you can graduate to teaching not whining to get you to come downstairs.

I try to make things a little challenging for mine, I say, "what does a good girl do (to get her food)?" I've used this enough that she knows what command I will give next, and does it. she goes right to her place and lays down, if she isn't already That makes it more fun for her, instead of just being told the same command. It gives her agency.

So over time, when you say, 'good boy' or whatever praise you give, when he's quiet and waiting for his food, then when you go down in the morning, or even from upstairs you can say what does a good boy do? or how does a good boy get food? then he will quiet down so you will come feed. he will associate being quiet with being fed.

never ever feed him or reward him to get the whining to stop. its ok if you have been, but its never to late to change tactic.

i think sitting in front of them is a very direct and fast way to change the behavior. wait them out. they'll see that quiet first is the easiest way.

i wouldn't rule out what the other poster said about hunger either... try just increasing his food a half a cup. of course all dogs are different but mine only whines when she really needs something, and sometimes i cant figure out what. being hungry makes a lot of sense for an active dog.
 

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if he's already being quiet when you come do come downstairs to get his food, and only whining before just to get you to come down, thats trickier though. does he have a 'quiet' command yet? can you work on teaching that during the day in other situations, and work up to giving him that command from upstairs? so give quiet command and only come down when he's quiet. i find dogs often understand situational english. i over exaggerate things so mine understands. i would say something like, "well, I would come downstairs, but he's not being quiet, oh well. maybe next time...." etc. etc. play it up. just as if he was a little kid!

to teach my dog quiet command i wait until shes got a toy stuck under the couch, cause thats when she barks to get me to do something. pick a situation where he barks to get something. start giving quiet command and giving a treat when he's not barking. (in between barks). he should get it pretty quick. its better to be quiet becuase you get treats, and you get the toy!
 

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then when he is just being 'quiet' throughout the day, any time! for no reason at all, just say good quiet and give him cookies. any time he is not whining. good quiet! and lots of cookies. they really can change quick. don't give up hope!
 

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Hi everyone,

So, the thought of yet another vizsla-related expense reminds me again and again that we were not ready for a vizsla and are struggling so much... BUT the remote hope that it may help him calm down and stop whining pushes me to ask:

Has anyone got thoughts on automatic feeders?
Pac铆fico is 14-month old, not neutered, and is full of beans. He is indefatigable, barks like a maniac when playing with other dogs (I think the whole neighbourhood will soon avoid us...), he destroys everything, especially mail, the one day per week we leave him home, and most of all, he whines and throws tantrums ALL THE TIME. Starting in the morning, as soon as he hears our bedroom door open. We just started working with a trainer who told us to ignore the whining, but it's pretty hard when you have to come downstairs anyway and eventually give him attention to go out or feed him. It's also pretty hard when he clearly does not get the message and will whine for over an hour and a half non stop (I've timed it). Once fed, he whines for attention, boredom, going out, getting a treat... But the strongest tantrums happen about 30 min before feeding time. He has a very accurate internal clock. Hence my considering an automatic feeder, so perhaps he dissociates us from the food being served?

In the morning, he is hungry as soon as he wakes up (like me, ha) and starts whining as soon as we get up in a way that says "how dare you not come down to me straight away and feed me!". Usually, my husband takes him out for a long off-leash run before breakfast, but then we have to wait at least 30 minutes when he comes home so as to avoid stomach problems that deep-chested dogs can have. He of course does not know that, and starts whining as soon as back home. It's a vicious circle because we refuse to feed him while he is whining, so that he does not associate reward with that action.

Tbh, I'm not even sure he realises that he is whining, which makes it pretty hard to train it out of him. We've been trying since he was 3 months old!

So, would an automatic feeder do the trick to feed him on a very precise routine without him thinking he has to whine to get his meals? It might also help when we spend our day per week in town and leave him home between breakfast and dinner (we stopped lunch when he was 10 months old). If we're late, he still would get his meal on time.

Has anyone tried? Or are there any potential issues you can see with it?

Pac铆fico is otherwise quite sweet and obedient, but it seems like the whining will never stop, and as a sufferer of migraines, it gets me pretty stressed and desperate when he does it, i.e. every day. 馃様
My boy is 16 months and he used to whine a LOT. Fixed it very quickly with a spray bottle. Not a wimpy tiny squirt gun- went to Home Depot and bought an empty squirt bottle like you鈥檇 use for cleaning. A few squirts when we鈥檇 first hear him whine accompanied by a stern 鈥淣o鈥 stopped the problem. Now if he he starts whining all you have to do is pick the bottle up and he stops. Some people don鈥檛 like any form of negative correction but I like to think of it more as a consequence. Same as when you raise kids!
 

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My boy is 16 months and he used to whine a LOT. Fixed it very quickly with a spray bottle. Not a wimpy tiny squirt gun- went to Home Depot and bought an empty squirt bottle like you鈥檇 use for cleaning. A few squirts when we鈥檇 first hear him whine accompanied by a stern 鈥淣o鈥 stopped the problem. Now if he he starts whining all you have to do is pick the bottle up and he stops. Some people don鈥檛 like any form of negative correction but I like to think of it more as a consequence. Same as when you raise kids!
I agree with this. When the dog is old enough, a combination of positive and occasional negative is in order. Overwhelmingly positive reinforcement to be used for training good behaviors, skills, commands. Negative has its place like an assertive verbal word or sound , spray bottle , e-coller stimulation etc to communicate to the dog that this particular behavior is not wanted. Negative doesn鈥檛 always have to be a physical, body language and voice in many cases can be very effective when done well. I think dogs are better at reading body language more than most humans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm going to go out on a limb here and relate this to more of a behavioral "quality" versus one of being hungry, particularly with this quote "Once fed, he whines for attention, boredom, going out, getting a treat. " from the original post. It is important to understand if he is truly hungry of course , can be determined if he's leaving food behind in his bowl. Otherwise, he needs to learn that whining and carrying on will not get him the result he is looking for. At first glance it looks like he is "training" you to do his bidding when he feels he wants <insert doggy desire>.

I know Ellie can be very pushy when she wants something, especially around lunchtime when I usually take her for a off leash walk through the woods for a few miles. It is her favorite time of the day. Around 11:30 she will start pacing and hanging around me, putting her head on my leg while I'm working, pacing back and forth, poking me with her nose, etc. I'll indulge her a little with the head on leg , but if she gets too annoying she'll get the ole "EH EH EH" as in knock it off! She knows by now when I'm ready we will go, not when she is ready but it doesn't stop her from trying. Eventually she will lay down on her bed under my desk and wait. If I started jumping up whenever she started her pushy tactics and took her out for her run, she would think "hey , my little doggy strategy is working, I'll up the game tomorrow with some barking and whining!".

I suggest starting to teach Pacifico a lesson that he will get things and do activities at your whim, not his. Eating should be as closely scheduled as possible, but it is sometimes not the case and he should understand that he eats when you give food, not when he whines about it. With Ellie when we wake up, she is nice and quiet in her kennel and patiently waits for us to let her out. She knows whining and carrying on will just extend the process by having her stay longer in the kennel. We ignore her at first and go in the kitchen to turn on the lights, disarm the alarm, etc as we do not want her to learn that as soon as we come out of the bedroom we run directly to her. Then we wait a little bit while we make the coffee , etc before tending to her food. Again, so she doesn't learn the behavior that she expects us to leave the bedroom, come to her, and immediately feed her. It is all about setting expectations for them. If they think they can influence you to provide an outcome that they immediately want, they will try. Much like children in that regard!

We went through the nonstop whining period when kennel training Ellie, but she was only a few month old puppy. Your traininer is correct, you cannot give into the whining and find a way to demonstrate to him that it is not acceptable. I'm not talking about screaming , yelling, or hitting of course. Some kind of expression of displeasure at that behavior, maybe a spray bottle, or something noisy he doesn't like such as pennies in a jar that you shake, etc. A firm authoritative voice is necessary so he gets the point. When he is nice and quiet and behaving, that is when you give the treats and affection. Be quick with your timing on this especially in the beginning so he starts the association process well. He will quickly learn that being quiet (not whining) and behaving well, random good treats and things come to him! Whenever he is whining and causing a problem, he gets nothing! If he wants those treats and affection he will start forming more patience. You have to do your part also and reward that proper behavior and not give in to the bad behavior. A good example of this is how we stopped counter surfing with Ellie. Whenever she surfed she was verbally corrected and also sometimes with a spray bottle. Whenever she was behaving in the kitchen while cooking we'd give random praise and rewards. She picked this up and started on her own sitting nicely on a kitchen mat while we were working on dinner or in the kitchen. We would occasionally give her praise and hand her a small training treat. This is now automatic behavior for her, no more surfing and we have a well behaved kitchen mate! Good luck!
Thank you so much, Dan. This all makes a lot of sense. We tried completely ignoring him this morning while making coffee and breakfast, but then he didn't stop whining for an hour. When he finally got quiet, we praised verbally and tended to his needs. Weird thing is that he made an enormous poo in the house after having done one out already and without asking to go out (he usually does several in the morning, but he never ever relieve dhimself in the house before. In the frmer house, where he grew up, he hadn't done this since he was 4 months old.) anyway, this may not be related. I'm thinking of timing his whining in the morning and see if a week or two of completely ignoring gets him the message. If so, we'll continue doing that.
What I'm confused about is: do you give a treat for being quiet as soon as Ellie stops whining, or do you wait some time? If so, how long do you wait?Just concerned he might associate whining + quiet for a secondwith reward, instead of just being quiet...
Thanks again for all the tips!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What I did with my pup is I got a chair and sat right in front of her, with her laying on her place. She could whine, cry, bark for the toy or cookie in my hand all she wanted. But it wasn't until she gave up, got quiet, and laid her head down that she got a cookie or the toy.

Maybe you could try this. Go downstairs. Sit in a chair with his bowl. It's not until he's quiet, laying down on his place that he gets a piece of his food. Try not to scold him, but rather 'teach him the rules of the game'. if he starts whining again for more, dont give him any til he's quiet again. repeat this until you've given him all the pieces of the food, only when quiet. he should improve very very quickly the next day.

if you dont already have this routine, make him go to his 'place'/bed and be quiet and lay down before ever setting his bowl on the ground. repeat the chair trick until he's not whining in between pieces of food. then you can graduate to teaching not whining to get you to come downstairs.

I try to make things a little challenging for mine, I say, "what does a good girl do (to get her food)?" I've used this enough that she knows what command I will give next, and does it. she goes right to her place and lays down, if she isn't already That makes it more fun for her, instead of just being told the same command. It gives her agency.

So over time, when you say, 'good boy' or whatever praise you give, when he's quiet and waiting for his food, then when you go down in the morning, or even from upstairs you can say what does a good boy do? or how does a good boy get food? then he will quiet down so you will come feed. he will associate being quiet with being fed.

never ever feed him or reward him to get the whining to stop. its ok if you have been, but its never to late to change tactic.

i think sitting in front of them is a very direct and fast way to change the behavior. wait them out. they'll see that quiet first is the easiest way.

i wouldn't rule out what the other poster said about hunger either... try just increasing his food a half a cup. of course all dogs are different but mine only whines when she really needs something, and sometimes i cant figure out what. being hungry makes a lot of sense for an active dog.
This is genius, thank you so much! I think I'll eifitely try that. Sounds even fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
if he's already being quiet when you come do come downstairs to get his food, and only whining before just to get you to come down, thats trickier though. does he have a 'quiet' command yet? can you work on teaching that during the day in other situations, and work up to giving him that command from upstairs? so give quiet command and only come down when he's quiet. i find dogs often understand situational english. i over exaggerate things so mine understands. i would say something like, "well, I would come downstairs, but he's not being quiet, oh well. maybe next time...." etc. etc. play it up. just as if he was a little kid!

to teach my dog quiet command i wait until shes got a toy stuck under the couch, cause thats when she barks to get me to do something. pick a situation where he barks to get something. start giving quiet command and giving a treat when he's not barking. (in between barks). he should get it pretty quick. its better to be quiet becuase you get treats, and you get the toy!
We have been saying "quiet2 and rewarding for a few months now, when he is being calm or has stopped whinig for a while. We still don't think he knows what "quiet" is though. The command does not work when he is barking nor when he is whining.I think he could get it if taught like you did yours, but the problemi he never barks to get anything. He just whines. The only times he barks are when there is someone at the door or when playing with a dog. Maybe we could try the doorbell though, since that triggers his bark...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My boy is 16 months and he used to whine a LOT. Fixed it very quickly with a spray bottle. Not a wimpy tiny squirt gun- went to Home Depot and bought an empty squirt bottle like you鈥檇 use for cleaning. A few squirts when we鈥檇 first hear him whine accompanied by a stern 鈥淣o鈥 stopped the problem. Now if he he starts whining all you have to do is pick the bottle up and he stops. Some people don鈥檛 like any form of negative correction but I like to think of it more as a consequence. Same as when you raise kids!
Wow, sounds like you've been lucky. Mine doesn't like water either, but I hardly think this would stop him. Another thing to try though, you never know...
 

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We have been saying "quiet2 and rewarding for a few months now, when he is being calm or has stopped whinig for a while. We still don't think he knows what "quiet" is though. The command does not work when he is barking nor when he is whining.I think he could get it if taught like you did yours, but the problemi he never barks to get anything. He just whines. The only times he barks are when there is someone at the door or when playing with a dog. Maybe we could try the doorbell though, since that triggers his bark...

i think teaching quiet is really hard. especially trying to do it when they are already agitated/whining. try to focus on teaching this in a lower stakes situation. for example with the chair / feeding idea, you could give him half his food in a separate bowl first. so he鈥檚 already had a chance to eat some. he鈥檚 like, disengaged his fixation on being fed. this will make it easier to listen. trying to teach quiet when he鈥檚 already barking or whining to get something is very tough. you can just reward quiet right before he might whine, or just randomly throughout the day when he鈥檚 lying on his place quietly. it鈥檚 best to work up to associating the quiet with 鈥榥ot whining鈥. but you want to 鈥榣oad up鈥 the command quiet with lots of good reward! we are teaching dogs why they should do something. why should i be quiet?? because i鈥檒l get lots of cookies!!
 

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Thank you so much, Dan. This all makes a lot of sense. We tried completely ignoring him this morning while making coffee and breakfast, but then he didn't stop whining for an hour. When he finally got quiet, we praised verbally and tended to his needs. Weird thing is that he made an enormous poo in the house after having done one out already and without asking to go out (he usually does several in the morning, but he never ever relieve dhimself in the house before. In the frmer house, where he grew up, he hadn't done this since he was 4 months old.) anyway, this may not be related. I'm thinking of timing his whining in the morning and see if a week or two of completely ignoring gets him the message. If so, we'll continue doing that.
What I'm confused about is: do you give a treat for being quiet as soon as Ellie stops whining, or do you wait some time? If so, how long do you wait?Just concerned he might associate whining + quiet for a secondwith reward, instead of just being quiet...
Thanks again for all the tips!
i guess this is tricky. how does he usually ask to go out? something other than whining? cause you said he was whining but he didn鈥檛 ask to go out. is it possible he has multiple ways of asking to go out? that whining has become code for too many needs, and you鈥檙e having a hard time figuring out which one it is? i have been trying to teach my dog more language by tagging objects and being consistent with how i talk about things with her. you are most likely already doing this. in this example, i like to try practicing with my dog asking what she needs. i鈥檒l ask her water? food? outside? and see which of her reactions is strongest. she will typically bark / be more agitated when i鈥檝e landed on the right one. try to think of this puzzle with your dog as a communication challenge, not as him trying to annoy you. it seems that sometimes he鈥檚 trying to get his needs met by rushing you(feed me now) and other times he鈥檚 urgently trying to tell you to let him out. i think it鈥檚 not always appropriate to completely ignore our dogs signals. i imagine you sort of know when he is pushing your buttons and when he has a 鈥榬eal need鈥. it鈥檚 tough you need to respond to the real need but you鈥檙e trying to ignore the whining so you feel like you can鈥檛. a middle ground is to ask him, outside? have him confirm. say ok, go to your place. quiet. when he settles and is quiet, then he can go outside. you can work up to completely ignoring whining 鈥斺 once he knows what he should be doing instead! i think this is key鈥.
 

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to answer your question about when to give the treat, at first it is ok to give it just after one second of quiet. remember you are still teaching him what quiet means, he鈥檚 not ready for advanced class yet ( multiple seconds of quiet). make it very rewarding. lots of treats for quiet. quiet is so much better then whining! show him that. when he can be quiet for one second on command, that is your gold. you have a command for quiet. that鈥檚 what you want! you want him to conceptualize what quiet is. he doesn鈥檛 yet know. work up to two seconds quiet, three seconds, etc. you have to start small. scolding them or withholding the cookie won鈥檛 teach them why they should be quiet - they don鈥檛 think that way. you鈥檙e only goal is to show them why quiet is so great! because quiet = cookies or quiet = outside or quiet = breakfast.
 
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