Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 9 mo spoo and I are moving back from my mom's house, where we have lived for 5 months, into my apartment. I am at the apartment with her this weekend, moving back full time next week. And I am starting back to work part time, moving to full time in a month or two.

Based on the last day, I think this is going to be harder on Annie -and me!- than I anticipated. Any advice or suggestions appreciated, I want to start this out right!!!

So, challenges of apartments-anyone have suggestions of how to solve them ?
1) noises and the consequent alert barking
2) exercise
3) boredom and enrichment
4) less time with me

Since we moved out when she was 4 mo, the renovations on the downstairs apartment have been finished, and new tenants have moved in. I met one of the people and.... he is a senior, and terrified of dogs.

My landlord previously complained when he was renovating about how loud my vacuum is; the floors are thin.

Annie is NOT accustomed to having someone live underneath her. She alert barks occasionally when she hears them shut cupboards, open the front door, etc. There is also a dog in the backyard behind my bedroom window that howls and barks at all hours of the day or night.

One option I am considering is switching my bedroom and living room so we are not above their bedroom, and not overlooking the barky dog. But then we would be overlooking the noisy street.

I am managing barking with "hush, puppy, shh, thank you "... and treats and sit/down practice when we hear someone, and a radio playing static noise. When they were being loud earlier, I gave her a plate to lick to distract her. This has been fine in daytime, but... she is hypervigilant at night. I would consider adding rugs to muffle noise but... she peed on one 4 weeks ago at a relatives house, and occasionally chews the doormat at mom's when bored and ignored :ahhhhh:

For exercise.... currently at Mom's she gets about 45 min to 1 hr at the local dog park most nights(or a long walk or hike in the conservation area), and a short walk during the day, and brain stimulation from spending a lot of time outside on moms fenced porch and tiny dog yard, and playing toys with me and Mom's dog. Yes, yes, I know, dog park, but it's a small town membership only park where problematic dogs are told quite firmly to not return, and there are never more than 5 dogs, and everyone recognizes each other by car and dog. We play "find the human" in the trees and practice heeling and things when there are no other dogs. I have been reducing the dog park visits to every other day to get her used to more walking, less playing.

The medium sized city I live in only has 1 dog park which is quite busy and treeless.... I do not intend to bring her there. I have taken her on 4 short to medium walks today, one outing to the vet to get her weighed, and one off leash walk and ball playing game in an old trainyard, and she is still telling me she is bored, and too unsettled to play tug. I am not in a good mood to train, so I gave her a cream cheese stuffed kong which settled her a bit.

I am also hoping to enroll her in local dog sport classes, depending on what fits our schedule.

She currently is also barking at the top of the stairs to go outside when she is bored as well. I need to find an alternate behaviour, because I do not want to reward that one! We have tried to introduce bells to go out a few times, and she hasn't gotten it, yet.

Brilliant people of poodleforum, what do you think? More exercise ideas?? Boredom enrichment? Bark reduction strategies? Apartment living strategies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
As far as alert barking to noises, I'd set up some scenarios in an otherwise quiet place...like at your mom's where you control the noises. You can sit on the floor and knock on the door (if that arouses her) and immediately click treat. Or whatever marker word you use, ie: "yes!!!" and treat. Create some other sounds...sounds that emulate what she's likely to hear in the apartment. Get people to help you if need be to create sounds but when YOU arrange it and tell them to. Again, click/treat. So you're teaching her that all these weird noises equal getting a yummy treat. When she starts anticipating and looking at you for a treat, add a cue. (not before) Perhaps, "quiet." Start moving in different areas of the house and finally, try it outside. So no matter where you are, these sounds can happen but good things follow. That's one method. There are others. So, after she's onto this game, you want to increase the pressure on her gradually. You will try for more duration between her bark, quiet and the treat. She needs to be quiet a little longer because at first she'll probably just start barking again right away. So she has to be quiet for 2 seconds, then 3, then 5 and so on before she gets the treat. If she breaks that and can't hold it, go back to where she was successful.

I recommend reading the book Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. It has a lot of exceedingly good info. And in it is described a very good method to teach a dog to quiet on cue. But it takes some real diligence and stick to 'itness. And it really works well. I used that method with my Chihuahuas several years ago. (I don't have them anymore) RIP. Also, re-directing to something else she can do instead and be rewarded for helps when she's barking, like at the top of the stairs. Just try to intercept that barking so she doesn't get to practice that too much.

I don't know what kind of exercise you're doing with her. But whatever you can do without over doing it would be good. No repetitive exercise for a while yet. Playing, fetching (if she doesn't know how, teach her. Look it up) That's good brain exercise. Lots of things to stimulate her brain...obedience training, tricks, find it. Teach her things that will be handy, like leave it, etc if you haven't already. So anything that makes her think, uses her instincts like finding something with a certain scent on it, teach her stay and work up to hiding behind something. Anything you want...it's all good to tire her out too. And satisfy her needs. Be sure to continue with socialization...visit new places whenever you can. Make everything, everyone you meet pleasurable associations. That...physical and mental exercise will take care of the boredom and enrichment.

You can practice now less time with you. Take care of her physical and mental exercise first thing if possible before you go out...just a short time even. And gradually lengthen the time you're gone. If you're going to be gone more than about 4 or 5 hours, (will she have to be in a crate? if so, I'd limit that to no more than 4) see if someone can take her out for a romp/potty and/or a little walk. It's awfully hard on them I think when they're very young to be left for too many hours. So do try to work something out for that. I'm sure others will chime in with some more ideas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: For Want of Poodle

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I know what you mean because my two standard poodles are very alert and bark. Just wondering, do you have any friends with homes and dogs Annie could go to to play with while you're gone? Like doggy daycare only cheaper because theyre your friends? A side benefit is she'll come home happy and tired

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,928 Posts
You can try white noise at night. The have white noise machines on Amazons for about 20$.

She will get used to the noise under her but it might take a while. I have my son coming home on the week-ends. After a year Beckie is just starting to bark less when he comes upstairs. It might be faster for your dog, as the noise is more constant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,500 Posts
I would start by making friends with your new neighbours. There will inevitably be issues with barking etc, and you want them to talk to you and not to your landlord. If they know you are receptive to their worries, and doing all you can to mitigate problems, they are far less likely to be antagonistic and will be more able to cope if woken in the night, or disturbed by frequent noises through the day.

Washable rugs and runners with a non slip underlay, thick curtains, throws and other soft furnishings would all help soften sounds for you and for your neighbours.

I would also look into opportunities for daycare, or anything else that gets her out exercising for a few hours while you are working, and find places that you can safely let her run off leash even if it means a bit of a drive. Brain work can help tire a dog out, but at 9 months she really needs to run and play too. In the meantime get her used to your absence gradually. A really good walk, with a run if possible, then leave her for a short time with some form of monitoring to check if she barks, and gradually build up to the hours you will be at work. If she is not crate trained, or if you will be gone more than a couple of hours, I would make her a comfortable den in the bathroom and teach her that is her safe place - you can put everything not to be chewed out of reach, give her bed, water, kong and pee pad, and set up white noise if necessary (if the room has an extractor fan that may be enough).
 
  • Like
Reactions: For Want of Poodle

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,651 Posts
I think it will work out but it may take a little time. I have had some issues between my legs and now my back that has made for less exercise for my standard who will be 2 in Dec. He seems fine with it. In the morning he goes out, does his business and we come in and he gets his breakfast. Then I usually come here on the computer. After he eats he just goes to sleep for about and hour maybe 2. I then take him out again and when we come in we will just do some minor re training on sit or I may have hi heel next to me as I do a few things in the kitchen or laundry. After that I gate him in our front room and frankly he would sleep there with his basket of toys till 3 in the afternoon. He has no real interest in running about. But in the afternoon I take him back out to potty and then we have playtime. He loves to run with a ball. So I have two balls, when he returns with one he sits, I tell him drop it, he does and I may add a few things like down, sit again heel to my side, then I say free to him and he knows I will throw the ball again. We do this for about an hour and there are times he just will run around and play on his own too while I sit out there. When we come in he has a little drink and then just rests for about an hour or two before he gets his dinner. After that he sits with me and we watch the tv or I read. One more time out and about 8:30 I put him in his crate for bed. Now he probably could sleep with me now but I chose not to yet as I have 3 other dogs that need attention in the am and he gets to distracted with them to behave properly and since one is very small and very old I do not let them interact. I think the idea of white noise or radio is a good one and should help him relax. Once you have a schedule with him I think it will work out fine, they seem to all like to have a schedule and pretty much follow it. Oh when mine barks when someone goes past the front of my house or he hears a barking dog when we walk I just tell him what it is and say ok good boy now come here. He stops and its over. Good luck and I know at 9 months its a little difficult time anyway but he will get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
You can try white noise at night. The have white noise machines on Amazons for about 20$.

I agree with the white noise recommendation, for the day as well. A/C, fans, noisy heaters, radio on classical or talk channel - have all worked well for me.

I also agree that getting rugs will dampen the sounds. If she pees on them, you can clean them with something like Nature's Miracle. You could get inexpensive ones with the plan to replace them in a couple of years when she is older.

Years ago I moved from a big house in the city to a smaller house in a village (which I loved, my city street had nearby developments and was getting very noisy all day and night). I loved the new place, but our house on one side was right next to neighbors, and the front of the house was right on the sidewalk. My two Maltese at the time went crazy barking at everyone they saw out the window, and my neighbor complained that when I was away, they were incessant. My solution was to have white noise when I was away so they would be more relaxed and less sensitive to other sounds. The house had a fantastic upstairs loft-style room, so I confined them upstairs (free roaming, but gated) when I was out. They became very relaxed and much quieter after that.

We now live on a nature preserve surrounded by woods - so no noise worries - Amor and Willow don't react to wildlife. Even so, Willow was reactive to all sounds when she joined our family, but it didn't take too long for her to settle in and realize that those are simply "life sounds," and not bark-worthy.

Good Luck!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone for all the ideas!!!!

Man, I love this dog. Annie tells me to stop worrying. She slept through the night, no barking after i posted this. She woofed to tell me it was outside time at 630 when the neighbours woke up, then woofed softly once at the sounds of them getting ready. I thanked her, praised her when she stopped, then we wandered off to the kitchen and she settled in for a nice chew of her cream cheese stuffed kong while she listened to them, then went back to sleep. She pricked her ears and sat up when the neighbours dog was howling, got praised and refused treats. No barking. Good puppy!!! I am sure she won't be perfect, but this is way better than I expected based on yesterday.

Poodlebeguiled - I will keep working more on the look away/pay attention to me thing. She is all or nothing, and does not WANT treats when she is busy being alert to noise. I struggle to catch her attention, and then when i have it, its 100% and i struggle to get her to look away/notice the distraction again. She is very good at the basic dog obedience/leave it/stay/hide and seek stuff. I tried feeding her dinner by spilling it all over the floor so she had to sniff it out, and that was apparently a fun game. Unfortunately, quiet is not something I can practice at Moms. I mean, I have been practicing it, but with mom's dog, who has a far lower threshold to start barking than mine. Mine sleeps through construction and trades people banging around, no problem, then joins in when mom's dog starts barking. When moms dog isnt there, she alerts to people driving into our driveway, someone opening the gate, passersby if she is outside and sees them, and that's about it. I actually like her alerting to those things (other than passersby) because I like the warning when tradespeople arrive 1.5 hrs early and i am in a towel lol. I might be able to get a coworker to visit so we can practice doorbells and door knocking here though. For socialization, she goes anywhere even vaguely dog friendly with me. Canadian tire, trains, buses, my old university's buildings, hardware stores, many pet stores, car dealerships, the mechanic, etc. We do need to find large crowds for practice, but I hate large crowds too!

Bluegirl - Alas, no friends or relatives nearby, and doggy daycare only accepts spayed dogs. She won't be spayed for another 3 to 8 months.

Dechi/Nahama - Good idea on white noise. I think I will go out today and buy a fan for the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. There are ceiling fans, but they are silent.

I haven't decided if she will be crated yet.... she is crate trained, and eats her dinner there every night, and is crated when I am going out for more than a half hr. Longest she has been crated is 6 hrs or so. I work a 5 min drive away... previously I came home at lunch to let her out, and she stayed in two exercise pens i joined together. I haven't brought her crate this time, so she has been given the run of the hall and kitchen when I am away. So far no issues but.... not sure I want to tempt her.

Fjm - Yes, I do need to get to know the neighbours. They have my cell number, and we have texted some, and they seem like decent people. Just not dog people, which is a bit of a disappointment ( I was secretly hoping for someone I would trust to let my dog out in an emergency).I will also look to see if I can get an indoor/outdoor carpet runner for the hall, to quiet down her running so we can play fetch a bit, and a rug for the bedroom. I might even look for tension rod cafe curtains to block inquisitive poodles from seeing out when the blinds are open. We do have an abandoned train yard nearby. It's about 1.5 km x .5 km, and I use it as an off leash area to run/play in. I will keep an eye out for other options.

Mufar- Annie wakes me up in the middle of the night if she didn't get enough exercise the day before. I have been off work due to a lot of chronic pain, so the dog park has been wonderful. Fetch is a good idea for fun at the trainyard on bad days for me. She loves chasing her soccer ball, but retrieving is hit or miss.

I think the major noise is running up and down the stairs, as there is no soundproofing there. I am teaching her she only gets to go out if she gets her leash on at the top of the stairs to discourage her from playing there. Tried a babygate, which clattered and fell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well, I screwed up. I honestly don't know how I will be able to get her to relax she thinks this apartment is a jail where she gets left behind.

Last week when I didn't have the crate here I accidentally left her alone for 4 hrs (errand took much longer than expected and bad traffic). I figured she would be fine because I had left her for 2 hrs previous day with no issues. She was frantic when I got home. I did the not make a big deal thing, and the next morning tried to put her behind a baby gate to grab stuff from my car. She went nuts. It was 7 am so I went to her (sleeping neighbours). Wrong move. Tied her outside while I carried stuff in. Tried leaving her later that day again to get one last thing... Went nuts again, scratching at door. Waited for a 10 s quiet before opening the door.

Went home to mom's, she was completely fine being left in her crate when I went shopping or whatever.

Took crate back here Wednesday and have been working on positive associations. Crate is the source of all good things like Kong's and chicken etc. Leaving treats in it for her to find. Fine. Have been walking up and down my stairs with her in it, even went outside twice and she was fine. Played with my keys while she was in the crate too.

I did it for real today(adding in keys) to go grab a bag. Could hear her howling from street. She refuses to settle/lie down at all in her crate, even when I have left her there for an hour with me at home, or with me lying on the bed beside the crate.

I have been working in requiring a down before she gets out, and her to remain down through a bunch of treats but.... Still not voluntary.

Seriously, I am so worried about Monday morning! And I really need to get groceries and don't want to bring her in the car! unfortunately the female downstairs neighbour stays at home all day and has no car to leave. If they would ever be gone I would just leave her and go and let her cry but they haven't both been gone since I got here.

She is fine being left in the car, fine being left at mom's, fine being left tied out outside...

Well,I am off to practice leaving again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Sounds like she's got a pretty strong case of separation anxiety going on. You might want to consult a certified behaviorist and see if she has any ideas for you.

One thing you can do is play some confidence building games. (Google) And I again recommend Culture Clash because she has a good chapter on how to go about desensatizing a dog gradually to being left alone. I would take a couple of days to get it if you order off Amazon. I highly recommend you get on it asap before her brain gets too wired in to this.https://www.amazon.com/Culture-Clash-Revolutionary-Understanding-Relationship-ebook/dp/B00A2XQ17Q
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dechi

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Poodle beguiled. I have ordered the book. I will try to find a behaviourist if I can't fix this in the next day or two.

Since posting this I have gotten her up to 4 Min of me on the porch or going for a walk down the street, and just went out, turned on the car, and turned it off and came back in without issue. She has also started lying down in her crate a bit. I am trying to get her used to the steps of me leaving. Probably could have gone longer but am trying to get ahead of the howling/crying, and make me going out the door boring, and not worthy of her interest. I am really hoping to keep her from making this a habit too! I have country music playing on the radio now which is possibly helping. I am practicing me leaving with her both in and out of her crate.

Part of this is probably me... I take a weekly med that knocks me out for a day. That day is today, so I would normally be lying on the couch, not trying to train my dog ? I am exhausted, and she is probably reading some of that anxiety off of me.

As for confidence building... she is a sensitive dog, but pretty confident.We went to the farmers market this morning, and the dog park this afternoon (trying to tire her brain and body out so that she will lie down and sleep in her crate). We do games, investigate stuff she is nervous of, run off leash, play hide and seek, are working on just for fun tricks (intermediate level of DMWYD) , etc.... Her tail is almost always up and happy or relaxed. I googled but didn't find any good articles about confidence games.

Any specific games you would recommend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Dechi, good idea. I know she cried when she was a baby and I left for work but I used to stay on the porch until she stopped and it was never more than 3 Min. there were no downstairs tenants then though! My landlord was working on the place for a few hrs each day and I asked him to tell me if she cried while I was away and he never said anything.
When I pick up groceries tonight I will put on the voice recorder and see what I am really dealing with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,928 Posts
Thanks Dechi, good idea. I know she cried when she was a baby and I left for work but I used to stay on the porch until she stopped and it was never more than 3 Min. there were no downstairs tenants then though! My landlord was working on the place for a few hrs each day and I asked him to tell me if she cried while I was away and he never said anything.
When I pick up groceries tonight I will put on the voice recorder and see what I am really dealing with.

I would use a phone or tablet if you can. That way you can also see what she does. You might be surprised to see that after a few minutes, she just settles down and goes to sleep. This would put you at ease even more.

I just leave my ipad on when I leave, and record for hours, just skipping fast to see what she does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
It sounds like you're doing great with her. Just be cafeful and don't rush it too much. Little baby steps...gradual desensatizing works best so take your time. I think Dechi's idea is great to record what she's up to after you leave. Maybe it won't prove to be as bad as it seemed. Keep us posted. You definitely have the right idea to as you put it, get ahead of the howling/crying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
We did it!!!

Annie is amazing... The moment I start thinking she will never get something, she gets it.

I tiptoed down the stairs last night, shoes in hand, and didnt lock the door. Left her with a big bowl of kibble, cut up beef, and frozen veggies. I don't think she heard me leave over the radio and the rain. My tablet stopped recording after the first minute, but I didn't hear her crying when i left and she wasn't crying when I came back 1.25 hrs later and the bowl was empty. Good puppy! She was happy to see me but not desperate.

I am going to keep practicing this today (maybe go out for an HR again and actually figure out how to record) but am super happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,928 Posts
We did it!!!

Annie is amazing... The moment I start thinking she will never get something, she gets it.

I tiptoed down the stairs last night, shoes in hand, and didnt lock the door. Left her with a big bowl of kibble, cut up beef, and frozen veggies. I don't think she heard me leave over the radio and the rain. My tablet stopped recording after the first minute, but I didn't hear her crying when i left and she wasn't crying when I came back 1.25 hrs later and the bowl was empty. Good puppy! She was happy to see me but not desperate.

I am going to keep practicing this today (maybe go out for an HR again and actually figure out how to record) but am super happy.
Great ! Keep recording her, it helps. Also, don’t make a big deal when you come back, same when you leave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Yay! It sounds like she's getting onto it...that you'll be back. Keep up the good work and be back before she is apt to get too worried, then you'll be able to be away a little longer as time goes on. Sounds like she has an understanding of you and is feeling pretty secure. That is great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well.... 4 days in to back to work.
First two days were fine (I couldn't figure out how to record, but spoke to my neighbour). Kibble eaten, Kong stuffing out, etc. Yesterday... I heard whining as I left. Food not eaten and diahrea (stress?) when I got home. The same today, but today I recorded. Video cut out at 47 Min of intermittent crying. The downstairs neighbour says she heard sad crying the whole 4 hrs I was gone today and yesterday, but nothing the first two days(only working part time right now). Very sweet, she told me not to worry, nothing I can do. Nice of her, but I need to fix this....!

I guess more human disappearing practice is needed? I emailed a local trainer who claims to have a degree in animal behaviour but haven't gotten a response yet.

I am going to drop off homemade jam with the neighbour to keep on her good side...
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top