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Noisy When I Come Home - Sa?


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I've had my lovely grey boy about 10 months now. In that time, we've had some major unexpected transitions in the house. My partner and his toddler son (whom we have only part-time) moved in and I had major, life-threatening neurosurgery. My boy seems to have rolled with the changes in schedule that this has entailed, especially with my medical recovery. For the first several months we had him, he was alone 8-4 three or four days a week and did just fine. Then I went on medical leave in April and was home (but useless) almost all the time for 6 weeks. I went back to work for a couple of weeks, and now I'm home again more often because I am a teacher and we're on summer break. I work from home more in the summer but I do go to my office part-time just to be a little more productive. Suffice it to say, lots of change and plenty of reason for him to be unsure about things, though routine is returning!

 

When we go to leave the house (which is a much longer affair when the toddler is here...lots of "leaving" cues), he will come to the door like he wants to come along, no surprise there, but if you tell him to go to his bed, he trots right over and lays down. That alone -- laying down while we get ready to leave -- seems to deescalate any building anxiety leading up to leaving. Right before we go, I close the door to his crate, give him a treat, and say "we'll be back" (something the dog trainer told us to do). He watches calmly enough while we leave -- alert, but stays laying down in his bed/crate. When I check him on his camera during the day, he's usually sleeping, sometimes playing with a toy, and very occasionally I hear a roo or two though that doesn't seem to be constant at all.

 

But -- when I come home, he is LOUD. It starts when he hears the garage door (and if I come in the other door and park in the driveway, he doesn't start until he hears the keys, so he is clearly cued by my return and not just being alone in general). He howls and whines and jumps in his crate (which I should say is actually an xpen with a top and fits his slumberball, so he can stand on his hinders when he's excited). I wait until he is quiet and sits down again to go and open his crate, he waits politely for me to say "free," and then he comes out to greet me and run a happy lap or two around the living room before settling down. My non-scientific gut observation tells me that he is getting louder and sooner -- so whereas before, the garage door triggered some whining but the howl wouldn't peak unless I was slow unloading the car, now the garage door triggers full-on howling almost right away.

 

If you've seen my posts before, you know I'm a little paranoid about separation anxiety because my last dog had severe, untreatable SA. It was agony for us and for him. So my question is -- do you think we are treading into separation anxiety territory with the loudness when I come home? It is all-caps LOUD and seems anxious and agitated to me, not just "yay you're home!" but perhaps I'm putting my human feelings on that? TIA!

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Yeah. No. He just wants to see you. It's veyr common. Our dogs are all fine being left alone but it's like we have 3000 wolves in our house when we return!!! Howling, barking, rooing - it runs the gamut.

 

If you want it to stop, do the same sort of training as you did to help him be calm before getting let out of the crate - ignore him until he's quiet, then go in the house.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My guys are quiet when we are not home, and, if I bring groceries or packages in before I let them out of their crates, Odin will start barking or whining. Otherwise, he never makes a noise. I think he just wants to see us. (And jump on us and knock us down!!!) I think your boy sounds to be very well adjusted and content.

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... He howls and whines and jumps in his crate (which I should say is actually an xpen with a top and fits his slumberball, so he can stand on his hinders when he's excited). I wait until he is quiet and sits down again to go and open his crate, he waits politely for me to say "free," and then he comes out to greet me and run a happy lap or two around the living room before settling down.

 

... So my question is -- do you think we are treading into separation anxiety territory with the loudness when I come home? It is all-caps LOUD and seems anxious and agitated to me, not just "yay you're home!" but perhaps I'm putting my human feelings on that?

 

Is it possible your boy could be ready to graduate to a tall baby-gate when left home alone to rest in one of your most used, and dog-proofed rooms (e.g., family room) instead of an ex-pen? If needed, baby-gate can be installed 4"-5" above floor level to extend height without hound going underneath gate. Ex-pens are great to use for calm, supervised dogs, but have been known to collapse onto dogs if dog knocks into the side or jumps up hitting the pen. While ex-pen tops may help, my understanding (previous years) is they don't provide enough stabilization to prevent pen collapse.

 

All our hounds are naturally very excited to see us return, but most importantly, they need to go outside to eliminate, pronto! :) We also practice no fanfare during human departures/returns. While ignoring dogs for a few minutes upon a human's return is commonly taught, it is encouraged for a human to quietly take dogs outside to eliminate immediately. (Imagine how humans feel on the brink of losing urine/bowel control after holding it for an extended time.) Thereafter, when dog is calm, it's fine to reward with attention. (Generally, our healthy hounds maximum comfortable time without being offered an elimination outing during daytime is 4-5 hours. One hound can't wait that long during daylight hours.)

 

Glad your boy is taking all the household changes in stride. He sounds like a great hound! Wishing you a healthy recovery.

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