What was your method or strategy to address separation anxiety and vocal-ness? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What was your method or strategy to address separation anxiety and vocal-ness?

I think GSDs need lots more focus on separation anxiety and issues with vocal-ness such as whining, barking, yelping, etc. more than other dogs. How did you deal with your pup with these issues? Did you correct them for it? Did you use treats? Ecollar? Ignore?

I'm just curious, I like hearing about everyone's experiences.

My puppy had no real whining even when i got her at 7 weeks. But as she is getting older (16 weeks now), she does have separation anxiety. She will be okay the farther I am from her. If she is in the garage, there will be not as much whining than if I am in the same room with her crated. She whines wanting to come out and just be with me. I just ignore her but this also ties in with the vocal issues of the dog. She is very vocal. She will grunt, snort, whine, whimper and make all these noises just playing or being petted. She will cry when in the crate, cry when she's thirsty or have to go potty or wants to play. So half the time I have no idea if she needs to go to the bathroom and I need to let her out, or if she just wants out. If she just wants attention and I give in, it reinforces that behavior so it's very tricky to juggle this.

The way I have been doing it is that I will wait 5-10 minutes and if she continues to cry and whimper hard I will walk to the room but ignore her. Go to the fridge, pretend to get something and then go to her and say "Do you need to go potty? GO POTTY?" and then take her outside. If she goes potty (like for real, not a little tinkle) or if she goes #2, then she gets praise and I immediately play with her with the flirt pole or tug. If she starts doing things like munching on leaves or pulling on the leash and running circles around me and sitting on the grass, I just come straight back and into the crate. The time span of this happening is a few minutes so i'm not sure if it's the most optimal way to do it but it's what I've been using.

What about yall?
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have no advice for you, but I'll be watching as my 12 week pup has so many noises, my sister asked if it really was a dog...so much talking. I also do what you do when it comes to the bathroom though. At night, if he fusses, I wait a few minutes and if it doesn't atop, take him outside. If he pees or pops, a little praise then back to bed. If he just wanted to play, no attention, just back to the crate. Do you totally cover the crate? Mine fussed so bad he broke his tooth but since I completely covered his crate with a blanket and said 'goodnight' like I do before we really go to bed, he's been doing amazing during the day, a real 180.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have no advice for you, but I'll be watching as my 12 week pup has so many noises, my sister asked if it really was a dog...so much talking. I also do what you do when it comes to the bathroom though. At night, if he fusses, I wait a few minutes and if it doesn't atop, take him outside. If he pees or pops, a little praise then back to bed. If he just wanted to play, no attention, just back to the crate. Do you totally cover the crate? Mine fussed so bad he broke his tooth but since I completely covered his crate with a blanket and said 'goodnight' like I do before we really go to bed, he's been doing amazing during the day, a real 180.
Yikes, broke a tooth. Yeah because its a wire crate I covered the top and she seems to like it. For some reason she'll find anything to go under like cabinets, desks, my chair, etc. she loves being hidden under things, I think she feels safe.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the vocal ness and only correct when she barks for no reason. She has been with me a lot, because I take her to work. I started leaving for short period of time and then when I come back I give her lots of love.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Seriously watch Cesar Milan's video (its on youtube). Cookie is almost 5 months old and he stays outside for hours without any issues.

Basically the way you train is to put the dog outside, and ignore them. They will claw and bark and make a big deal at first, but then they will go lay down or explore the yard. Leave them toys and things to keep occupied with. BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT.

The way you transition into this is to put the dog outside, ignore them, but ignore them WITHIN SIGHT. Let them see you are only 10 feet away, inside the house, but ignore them. They will learn that they can be part of the family even if they are separated by a door. Do this often, but only 'treat' when the dog goes and lays down or stops begging for attention or causing problems. Reward good behavior only!

Next, you move further away, eventually out of sight. The dog still thinks you are near, and you open up the time gap from when they see you, to when they don't but always keep the door or barrier in the way. Reward good behavior, and ignore bad. It may take an hour before they 'give up'.

Then, try short trips to the mall, store and such for an hour at a time. The dog won't know you are out of the house, and think you are near. The dog thinks you are close, even though you may be hours away.

Remember, leave some toys and such so they don't chew on bbq hoses or important plants and such. AND REMEMBER, the dog needs to think you are at home, even though you are not.

Like all training, its practice. Keep with it, and be the boss! Cookie is not a perfect 5 month old puppy, but I can't ask for a better puppy, he is doing really good!

Last edited by Walperstyle; 12-14-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Walperstyle View Post
Seriously watch Cesar Milan's video (its on youtube). Cookie is almost 5 months old and he stays outside for hours without any issues.

Basically the way you train is to put the dog outside, and ignore them. They will claw and bark and make a big deal at first, but then they will go lay down or explore the yard. Leave them toys and things to keep occupied with. BUT THIS IS IMPORTANT.

The way you transition into this is to put the dog outside, ignore them, but ignore them WITHIN SIGHT. Let them see you are only 10 feet away, inside the house, but ignore them. They will learn that they can be part of the family even if they are separated by a door. Do this often, but only 'treat' when the dog goes and lays down or stops begging for attention or causing problems. Reward good behavior only!

Next, you move further away, eventually out of sight. The dog still thinks you are near, and you open up the time gap from when they see you, to when they don't but always keep the door or barrier in the way. Reward good behavior, and ignore bad. It may take an hour before they 'give up'.

Then, try short trips to the mall, store and such for an hour at a time. The dog won't know you are out of the house, and think you are near. The dog thinks you are close, even though you may be hours away.

Remember, leave some toys and such so they don't chew on bbq hoses or important plants and such. AND REMEMBER, the dog needs to think you are at home, even though you are not.

Like all training, its practice. Keep with it, and be the boss! Cookie is not a perfect 5 month old puppy, but I can't ask for a better puppy, he is doing really good!
Yeah i saw the video. It's a little bit different because my puppy is too young and isn't allowed free in the backyard. She eats and gets into too much stuff. Also she does worse when I'm closer than when I'm further away. Kind of like its teasing her. If she's in the garage alone she'll be fine. In the same room or if she knows I'm nearby, she will throw a fit. Just gotta make sure she's fed, went potty and tough it out.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had the top of the crate covered during the tooth breaking incident, now it's totally covered so I can't see him and he can't see me. I think that helps, don't know if you had the whole thing covered or just the top.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had the top of the crate covered during the tooth breaking incident, now it's totally covered so I can't see him and he can't see me. I think that helps, don't know if you had the whole thing covered or just the top.
Hmm it's just the top. She can see through the front and sides. She'll be much better I think when it's all covered. when she can't see us it's much easier than when she can see us as she will be calling and crying for our attention.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah i saw the video. It's a little bit different because my puppy is too young and isn't allowed free in the backyard. She eats and gets into too much stuff. Also she does worse when I'm closer than when I'm further away. Kind of like its teasing her. If she's in the garage alone she'll be fine. In the same room or if she knows I'm nearby, she will throw a fit. Just gotta make sure she's fed, went potty and tough it out.
If you are going to give attention when she throws fits, you are only letting her win. You can 'bark louder' once, but then ignore again. The more you go out and be with her, the more she will continue to throw fits. She is learning to throw fits to get you to come around again. "If I make nose and bark and bite things, the human will come be with me".
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmm it's just the top. She can see through the front and sides. She'll be much better I think when it's all covered. when she can't see us it's much easier than when she can see us as she will be calling and crying for our attention.
It's worth a try at least. I tried it the next day following the tooth thing (when he cried for more than an hour) and he ended up lightly whining for 5 minutes and then quieted down. I've been increasing the time he's quiet slowly, today I opened the door at 45 minutes and he actually just popped his paw and head out, didn't even get excitedly crazy. I was surprised by what a dramatic change a blanket could do (as recommended to me on here by some very helpful posters).
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