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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm new to this site and would really appreciate any constructive advice offered.

Max is 7 months old and a real sweetie. He is pleasant mannered, good with children and other dogs and animals. We took him to puppy class when he was younger and both Max and myself reaped the benefits.

He is a very happy and content pup and vey well cared for. My problem is he seems to be suffering from seperation anxiety.

He is not left alone excessively, one of us is with him constantly most of the time but tuesdays and thursdays there are periods where we are out working and our son attends college. He has to be home alone on these days from about 9 - 10am until I get home from work which is usually between 1 - 2pm but sometimes I am home earlier.

I know he stresses on these days when we are out and I have tried various things to calm him so he can chill and rest easy.

My neighbours get home from work about 1 - 1.30pm, they only work part time and leave at about 7am, so in the afternoon, 2 days a week they are making an issue about Max barking when home alone.

Obviously this is not consistent because sometimes I am home before them so Max isn't barking, sometimes its later than them, occasionally on a friday he might be alone for an hour or two but the neighbours are at work or have only been home for a very short time, less than 30 mins before I am home.

Yesterday, friday, my son was home with Max, I got home at 3pm and took Max out with me until 5.10pm I then left him for 25 mins whilst I dropped my son off in the next village, when I got home the neighbour was waiting for me before I even got out of the car and complained that Max had been barking whilst I was out and that she is going to complain to the authorities.

I am really worried, I want to get this sorted for Max's sake and I have been trying to do so for months. The ironic thing is Max and I were at the vets yesterday and I once again raised my concerns about his seperation anxiety so its not like I am not trying to deal with it.

I can appreciate that dog barking annoy some people but it is not constant and it is not everyday, please help, what can I do, I'm worried that the authorities will make me get rid of him as she also implied that I should when we spoke yesterday. I told her point blank that I will not get rid of him.

A bit of background on the neighbours, they have compained about a few of the neighbours dogs barking over the years but unfortunately for me our houses are joined so I am really worried, please help:(
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum.

To get the barking sorted I would consult a professional behaviourist to try to deal with the anxiety issues. Short term, you could try to leave him with lots of things to do while you're gone (stuffed kong toys, nylabones ect)

Regarding the noise complaint, I would google and research what constitutes enough to make a complaint in your area, because it does vary on the area. In my area, it has to be 2 solid hours and it has to be over a certain volume. You could try the council or citizens advice if google doesn't say.

When people are annoyed, they will often over-exaggerate. When my boy was a puppy, he would cry and whine when I left the house (which wasn't for more than 20 minutes or so until about 3 months old, and my neibour said he was crying 'all night' I said to her that he was sleeping in my bed all night, sleeping, and he was not crying.

If she is serious about making a complaint, you will probably get a warning through the post. If occurs, I would invest in some recording equipment and start making a diary for when you are out of the house and for how long. You can also show emails/letters to behaviourists to prove you have been trying to work on it.

Good luck!
 

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You could also go over there to apologise for the barking and say that you are looking into professional help, to try and make amends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for replying amelia

I've tried the kong toys and various other things so that he doesn't get bored when i am out, I think your right my next step is going to have to be a behaviourist. Max is very attached to me and follows me everywhere.

He is really not a bad dog at all, its just this one issue, and I have genuinely been trying very hard to deal with it, its not easy controlling his behaviour if I am not there!! From speaking with other neighbours they don't think theres a problem, they said they don't hear him but like I said previously they are not joined on to our house.

I can see it from there point of view but he really isn't left alone very often for very long. I could understand their grievance if it was everyday or constant. I think it upset me the fact that she thinks she can tell me what to do. What gives her the right to tell me to get rid of him, like hes a piece of rubbish or something, hes part of our family.

She knows full well that I am trying to deal with the problem, surely that will go in my favour if she reports me.

I will check with local authority where I stand.
Thanks again
 

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Try leaving when you'll be home and your neighbor is gone to see if the barking is really as bad as she says it is.

Do you crate him when you leave and let him loose when you're home? If so it could also be he just isn't happy in the crate. If that is the case you could also try puppy proofing a room leave him with a bed and lots of things to do once again when you're home and your neighbor is gone leave and see if he continues to bark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi dictator

Max is loose in the house when we are in and he is kept in the kitchen when we go out, I have a dog gate at the door so he can see into the lounge and he always has food, water, kong toy and other various toys to keep him occupied. I keep the blind closed in the lounge so he isn't stressing about whats going on outside. We live in a cul-de-sac so we do not get people passing by.

He does bark loudly and cries as I have heard him when I return home sometimes but I do not hear him all the time!

He is really clingy with me and follows me everywhere when we are at home
 

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How about a friend for him?
My Dobe girl was a bit of a winney thing when I left her... Granted the rest of the family was here with her but I rescued a male Doberman and problem solved.... You could get a smaller dog though.

Do you know anyone in the area who could watch him for the few hours you are away? Like a teenager who could puppy sit?
 

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I'm dealing with this also, and I'm slowly getting there.

Here is what I've done so far:

Exercise, exercise, exercise. I wake up 2 hours early just to walk/hike/bike him before work

Mental training. I do some OB, or teach him a new trick.

I hide kibble throughout the basement apartment.

I turn on classic music for him.

I switch up his toys, and interactive treat dispensers.

What I'll be doing if this doesn't work:

Relaxing remedies like herbal supplements.

Buy a thunder shirt.

Hire a behaviorist.

Hire a dog walker.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the replies

I don't think my husband would go for the idea of another dog!!

The advice you all offer on this site is amazing so I have contacted a behaviourist who comes out to the home and who will work with Max and me at our house. I am waiting for her to get back to me so I am unsure when the training will begin.

I have tried the kong toys, a plug in diffuser with pheromones that is supposed to calm him and the herbal anxiety drops, these were a last resort as I felt guilty like I was drugging him, I know i'm a big softy when it comes to Max :rolleyesww:

In the short term I will take your advice and step up the exercise, my problem is literally a couple of hours, 2/3 days a week during the daytime so although the teenage dog walker is a brilliant idea I may have trouble finding someone but I will also look into that. He does go for long walks and I can let him off leash to bound about and burn some energy, he never goes far from me and always comes back immediately that I call him.

I am really stressing about this at the moment, I was up at 03.45am again this morning!! I have heard that if the authorities get involved they can make you get rid of your pet. I hope this isn't true:sad: I want to be able to show them that I am doing everything possible to resolve this so hopefully they might cut us a bit of slack until its sorted.

I honestly am a responsible dog owner and I didn't venture into this lightly so I am in it for the long haul, I am sure my vet will confirm how concerned I am about this anxiety issue and that I have spoken to them about on several occasions.

If max was constantly barking I could see where the neighbours were coming from but its a few hours during the day a couple of times a week and this is not always the case as sometimes I get home from work before them, Sorry to moan but I am just really worrying
 

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Never had a dog with separation problems when we leave I always tell them to watch the house. I leave the radio on for them,kong with frozen peanut butter inside to give him something to do.Have you tried this on one of the days you do not have to leave, leave and go right back in, do this several times, this teaches your dog you are coming back each time you do it. Over time stay out a little longer see if he howls also helps if he is tired or has been fed but not both together you do not want him to bloat. Most dogs go to sleep after eating. Hope you can find a trainer to help I think if they know you are doing all these things and have a record of the things you are doing it may help with the authorities.
 

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When you leave, HOW do you leave? Do you reassure him you'l be home soon, comfort him, apologize for leaving?

When you return, HOW do you return? Do you greet him excitedly and happily?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi patches Mom, I leave him his kong toy with peanut butter in but I haven't tried it frozen! I will try this, thanks. I also leave the tv on for him. He doesn't get his proper walk until I get home from work so I will also try taking him out for longer in the morning.

My son leaves him some fresh food down when he leaves because he goes out later than me but Max will not touch it until I get home.

I will also try the leaving and coming straight back, this sounds good and is definately worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi mmctaq,

when I leave the house, I don't fuss him, I just go quietly and on my return I don't make a big fuss. I just go in and do a few little things before I talk to him as this is what the vet advised me to do. Nothing seems to be working but I'm not giving up, hes only young I know that if I persevere we will turn a corner, its just I feel under a lot of pressure with the threat of the authorities hanging over me.
 

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I have had neighbor problems and it is very difficult. My neighbors filed a formal complaint about the dogs and in my County, the rules are.."if the barking disrupts quality of life" there is no specific time of day or length of barking in the ordinance. I was on one year probation after the notice and if there was another complaint the court was going to force me to de-bark my dogs. Not good for Schutzhund competition. I had to put bark collars on them and also used the "quiet" command. they learned quickly what that meant. I use the bark collar only when I am not at home and when home if they start to bark I sue the quiet command and they usually stop. It is hard because I live partly in the country and we have alot of squirrels running around. I was heart broken when I had to do this but I had to look at the bigger pricture.
 

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How about a friend for him?
My Dobe girl was a bit of a winney thing when I left her... Granted the rest of the family was here with her but I rescued a male Doberman and problem solved.... You could get a smaller dog though.

Do you know anyone in the area who could watch him for the few hours you are away? Like a teenager who could puppy sit?
Gotta be careful because that can make matters worse. For example, prime will howl sometimes when I leave. When I had my 3 in an apartment there were times when I'd leave and I could hear him howl, then my GSD and husky would join in and it seriously sounded like I was running a big kennel in my apartment. Not good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have been reading up on the thunder shirt, so first thing in the morning i am going to the pet store to get one, anything is worth trying until the behaviourist gets back to me
 

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Using your location of Wakefield, England I found that if your neighbor reports your dog they will be contacting your local Environmental Dept located at the below link. Give them a call and talk to them first. In my County they have an "Education Spectalist" that works with pet owners.

My guy was a howler when he would be left alone, which was rare. Please post if you find a solution.

www.wakefield.gov.uk: Noise nuisance

(if your neighbor trys to have your loved one removed, I have some biker friends that are also "Education Specialists") ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Douglas

Thanks fo the link

I will call them tomorrow as it is a bank holiday for us today so they won't be working.
The "Education Specialist" sounds like a good thing, hopefully our EH Dept might do something similar.

I like the sound of your biker friends :D

All the support I am getting on here is making me feel better and I thank you so much for yours, very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Max is wearing his thunder shirt. The instructions said only put it on for 10 mins the first time you use it, yeah right!! within 5 mins he was zonked out on the sofa, hes out for the count, I haven't got the heart to wake him just to take the shirt off
I just hope it works as good when he is home alone :)

I have also got a phone number for a local dog walker/doggy daycare so I shall be contacting her tomorrow

Just wanted to keep you all updated because you have all been brilliant
 
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