Puppy screams when I walk out of sight. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy screams when I walk out of sight.

My husband and I just bought a white GSD puppy. He's been to the vet and has a clean bill of health.

We are having an issue trying to break him of his need to scream when we walk away from him and he can't get to us. I understand that he is just a puppy, and I understand that he doesn't know our faces yet, and he doesn't realize that we're not abandoning him when we leave him. Someone on another forum for dogs suggested that I am more interested in cleaning than I am in my puppy.

I am not, but I would like for my life not to come to a screeching halt so that I can trip over and chase my puppy down when he takes my shoe. I want to train him, like everyone wants to do with their dog. I want a bond of trust with him. I absolutely adore dogs, and would like to be a canine trainer or behaviourist one day. However, this is my first puppy (my last puppy was 10 years ago, and I was only eleven then and didn't have much to do with training him). I did my research, and I know methods of training. But research can't beat experience.

I'm going to copy/paste what I wrote on another canine forum, and I'll add what I've tried since then.

Quote:
We recently bought a white German shepherd puppy. I have taken him to the vet, and he's fit as a fiddle. I'm home with him all day, and I play with him, correct him when he chews the rug and other inappropriate things by telling him no and replacing the wrong thing with one of his several toys. I take him out at least once every forty-five minutes; I monitor how much water he drinks and take him out accordingly. Water and food comes up at eight PM (we are usually in bed by nine thirty). We have an appropriately sized crate for him with a comfy bed in it, and two of his toys.

At night, I take him out and make him stay out in the grass for at least five minutes, just in case he needs to move around to get things going in his body. We then put two small training treats in his crate to show him that it's a comfortable place to be, and show him his toys. We crate him, turn the lights off, and go to bed. He likes it totally dark (I had the range light on last night and he kept whining. I turned it off and he settled down much faster). He doesn't whine in the middle of the night at all.

My husband is a Marine and gets up very early. He lets Sora out of his crate and takes him directly outside, to establish the memory routine of going out in the morning. He does his business, gets praise and a treat for doing so, and goes back into his crate. Husband leaves. Whining begins. Whining continues.

Yesterday morning, he whined for half an hour. I stuffed ear plugs in and ignored him. He eventually quieted down, and I then woke up at eight am like I usually do. This morning, my husband left and he kept whining. He sounded a little more strained than yesterday, so after I realized he wasn't quieting down like he did yesterday, I went down and took him outside. At first he wanted to go back inside, so I just kept picking him up and setting him on the grass. Eventually he did poop, and I praised him for it. Pet him, kissed him, and let him know that he was a good boy. Then I crated him and went back upstairs. I know I'm not going to get any more sleep this morning, but I came up here anyway. We are in the process of crate training and he needs to know that unless he has to potty, mommy needs her sleep!

As I said, I'm home all day and play with him whenever he isn't napping, and my husband plays with him when he comes home from work, so there's no lack of attention or proper correction. He is nine weeks old and whines if I'm out of his sight and he can't follow me - I can't even close the bathroom door without him whining. "If I can't potty alone, neither can mom!" Cute in theory, I suppose

He also whines horribly when we pen him in the kitchen. We make sure he's had time outside, as always, and give him a bit of water (he likes to "swim" in his water dish. We'll definitely be taking him to the river when he gets older and has had all of his shots!), his curly pig pizzle, and three or four toys. Oh does he ever cry for us! I'll tell him "no" sternly, but without screaming it at him, and I will curl my hand into a fist and display the back of it to him. I don't shake my fist at him and I don't quickly shove it into his face. The intention isn't to scare him, and he isn't startled when I do this. It's basically a signal for halt, and it is always accompanied with a firm, clear "no". My goal is that I'll be able to show him this signal, when he is older, and he will stop what he is doing without a verbal command.

Anyway, back to whining in the kitchen pen. I tell him no and then turn my back on him, cross my arms, and tilt my head up. It's a bit dramatic to watch, but once I repeat this a few times, he whines less and less and will eventually lay down, and then I can go sit down again. After he lays down and is quiet for about 5-10 minutes, I give him a small training treat and praise him for it. Then I have to repeat the "no" and the dramatic ignoring.

I have to pen him up for a bit during the day so that I can clean my house. It gets surprisingly messy with only two people. He is always underfoot and tripping me up, and he thinks the broom and mop are his own giant, moving chew toys. I need to train him to know that I am not abandoning him, and that just because he can't see his pack, doesn't mean we're leaving him forever.

I know that in time, he will learn to not whine in his crate and in the pen, and in turn will learn that he can remain chewing on his toy while I walk into the next room or go upstairs. Repetition and praising the positive do work, and it will just take some time. We've only had him three days and he's nine weeks old. I'm not looking for miracles.

What I'm looking for are tips to keep him quiet. We live in a military community, in a triplex house unit. We're in the middle of the other two houses. Our neighbour to the right has a husky that they let whine at the back door, and I don't want to be that kind of neighbour. We don't know them (we just moved in and they've shown no inclination to get to know us), but I don't want to be rude and let my dog whine for hours. Do you all have any tips to keep him quiet, or to shorten the length of time it takes for him to settle down?

Sorry for the long post! I just know that for y'all to give me accurate information, you should probably know exactly what I'm doing with my dog. We don't tell at him and we don't use physical correction of his poor behaviour. We positively reinforce good behaviour (constantly praising when he plays with his toys, piddles outside, plays with us gently, gives kisses, etc.) and firmly say "no" to his poorer habits, and then show him what is the right thing to do. I've seen what improper training can do to a dog (my dog at home in PA wasn't properly trained and he's a total brat, for lack of a better word). I want Sora to be the best dog he can be. I want to do it right from day one, for him and for my husband and I.

(I apologize for any grammar and spelling mistakes. I'm on my mobile in my bedroom.)

I was just in the kitchen making myself some tea. The gates are still up, so he couldn't get to me. He could see my clearly, but he couldn't get to me, and he began whining and clawing at the gate. This is a habit of his I'd like to break. I'm assuming that time and proper correction will eventually work? Also, what is the proper correction for whining? Just ignoring him? That's what I've been doing, but if I don't tell him no, firmly, he keeps whining and won't settle down (when I'm there for him to see, but not reach).

Now, the dramatic turning my back and crossing my arms doesn't work. He works himself into such hysterics while I'm standing there looking at him that he climbs over the gate. At which point, he doesn't even come over to us! He just wanders off. This is leading me to thinking that it might not be the fact that he can't get to us, it's the fact that he can't go where he wants to go. And that's not okay - he's a dog, and he is my family, but I am the dominant one. This is my house and I'm alpha, and he needs to realize that.

I have tried sitting outside the gate and petting him and he still goes ballistic. I've tried praising him the one time he did calm down, and he went crazy again right after that. We've tried playing with him in the kitchen while the gates are up, to show him that it's a fun and safe place to be. I even laid down on the floor to show him that even mommy thinks it's fun. No dice. As soon as we put one foot outside the gate, he goes crazy.

It's very hard to use negative reinforcement, I.E. ignoring the whining, when it never stops, not even for a minute. I don't want to agitate our neighbours, but he really does need to learn that whining will not get him any attention, and he will not be allowed to go where he wants to go if he whines for it.

Does anyone have any tips at all for this? The other canine forum has proved very inconclusive and I'm running out of things to try that do not involve water squirting (I won't do that, I'm not going to make him scared of water) and smacking him (won't do that either, ever, and I doubt any of you would suggest it).

He's only had one booster shot so far, but as soon as he's up to date on them, we're taking him to puppy training classes at PetSmart. I'd like to not wait another month or two, though. I'm tired from chasing him from seven in the morning till nine thirty at night, and I'd like to be able to pen him in the kitchen while I can't supervise him.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 12:27 PM
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GSD are velcro dogs, part of their nature is to follow the family around. I would try moving the crate into the bedroom, he'll probably calm down and sleep better because he's with the "pack." Also, it's nice to have a quiet place for them to relax while you move around the house doing chores and other things.

Look up "crate games" to make the crate a fantastic place. What I found worked for me personally was making sure he was super tired, then taking two small treats, throwing one treat into the crate and waiting for the puppy to go in and get it. Give the second treat along with affection, rubbing the belly, etc so they get sleepy again. Once they're tired gently close the door and continue sitting beside the crate for a few minutes, ignoring any whining. He should hopefully fall asleep quickly and you can quietly leave.

It'll probably take a few times but he'll quickly realize the crate is for sleeping and relaxing and will zonk out for a hour or so easily. I think crating him for short periods during the day will probably be more effective then just keeping him in the kitchen. Going into the crate specifically means to relax and sleep

Another trick would be a kong stuffed with some treats and peanut butter, just like giving a baby a bottle it's something for them to enjoy until they get tired and fall asleep

During the day get a 6' leash and have the puppy follow you around the house, it'll keep them out of trouble and works their brains and tires them out. It also helps for housebreaking as you can keep a eye on them for the signs they need to go

The first few months are full of ups and downs, hang in there

Shanna

My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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GSD are velcro dogs, part of their nature is to follow the family around. I would try moving the crate into the bedroom, he'll probably calm down and sleep better because he's with the "pack." Also, it's nice to have a quiet place for them to relax while you move around the house doing chores and other things.

Look up "crate games" to make the crate a fantastic place. What I found worked for me personally was making sure he was super tired, then taking two small treats, throwing one treat into the crate and waiting for the puppy to go in and get it. Give the second treat along with affection, rubbing the belly, etc so they get sleepy again. Once they're tired gently close the door and continue sitting beside the crate for a few minutes, ignoring any whining. He should hopefully fall asleep quickly and you can quietly leave.

It'll probably take a few times but he'll quickly realize the crate is for sleeping and relaxing and will zonk out for a hour or so easily. I think crating him for short periods during the day will probably be more effective then just keeping him in the kitchen. Going into the crate specifically means to relax and sleep

Another trick would be a kong stuffed with some treats and peanut butter, just like giving a baby a bottle it's something for them to enjoy until they get tired and fall asleep

During the day get a 6' leash and have the puppy follow you around the house, it'll keep them out of trouble and works their brains and tires them out. It also helps for housebreaking as you can keep a eye on them for the signs they need to go

The first few months are full of ups and downs, hang in there
We did move his crate into the bedroom with us. My husband gets up very early in the morning (USMC), so I keep him on my side of the bed. We moved him up there two nights ago, for exactly the reason you said: so that he can sleep with his pack and hopefully get to know us better by scent. I even draped the shirt I'd been wearing that day over the top of it. He can't chew it, but hopefully it comforts him some. The first night he was with us, I let him out twice when he whined, and he did his business. Last night we got up only once, and we slept in till a little after eight (I was asleep, but he wasn't; he was a little restless, but he wasn't whining).

When I crate him during the day, he just screams for me. I've got a kong in the freezer now with some peanut butter. We just moved in three and a half weeks ago, so my husband and I are always at Wal Mart getting things for the house (we're very forgetful). We're never gone for more than two hours a night, but we crate him during that time and he screams. I don't know for how long. Fortunately, it's quiet when we come home and his bedding hasn't been torn to shreds. Tonight, I plan on putting the frozen peanut butter kong in his crate with him, and setting up my iPad to record him and see how long it takes him to relax and if he touches the kong and it keeps his interest (the kong is a vet suggestion, so I'm trying that out).

I will try the leash thing, too. He doesn't seem to like it and despite the Bitter Apple we've sprayed on it, he still chews it (the Bitter Apple has worked on everything else so far - the boxes, computer cords, furniture, rug, and my feet!), but I'm sure he'll get used to it.

I will hang in there I do love him and I know that once he's properly obedient and trained, that he'll be a wonderful dog. Putting him up for adoption/getting rid of him is NOT an option. We are his furever family, no matter how frustrating his puppy stage is.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 01:15 PM
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We did move his crate into the bedroom with us. My husband gets up very early in the morning (USMC), so I keep him on my side of the bed. We moved him up there two nights ago, for exactly the reason you said: so that he can sleep with his pack and hopefully get to know us better by scent. I even draped the shirt I'd been wearing that day over the top of it. He can't chew it, but hopefully it comforts him some. The first night he was with us, I let him out twice when he whined, and he did his business. Last night we got up only once, and we slept in till a little after eight (I was asleep, but he wasn't; he was a little restless, but he wasn't whining).

When I crate him during the day, he just screams for me. I've got a kong in the freezer now with some peanut butter. We just moved in three and a half weeks ago, so my husband and I are always at Wal Mart getting things for the house (we're very forgetful). We're never gone for more than two hours a night, but we crate him during that time and he screams. I don't know for how long. Fortunately, it's quiet when we come home and his bedding hasn't been torn to shreds. Tonight, I plan on putting the frozen peanut butter kong in his crate with him, and setting up my iPad to record him and see how long it takes him to relax and if he touches the kong and it keeps his interest (the kong is a vet suggestion, so I'm trying that out).

I will try the leash thing, too. He doesn't seem to like it and despite the Bitter Apple we've sprayed on it, he still chews it (the Bitter Apple has worked on everything else so far - the boxes, computer cords, furniture, rug, and my feet!), but I'm sure he'll get used to it.

I will hang in there I do love him and I know that once he's properly obedient and trained, that he'll be a wonderful dog. Putting him up for adoption/getting rid of him is NOT an option. We are his furever family, no matter how frustrating his puppy stage is.
I'm like you - I like my sleep. I lucked out with my first dog, who was 8 years old and lazy, and Jazzy who also likes sleeping and slept through the night since 9 weeks old.

Delgado was another story, I picked him up at 9 weeks old and the little bugger refused to sleep. He'd be dead tired and drooping over the toy and I'd bring him up for a nap and he'd konk out for maybe 15 minutes and then he'd be up and ready to play for several hours again! I called him my energizer bunny with a fast recharge lol

I bought a house with my sister and we moved in when Delgado was 6 months old. I leave the house at 6 AM M-F for work while my sister works shift work so her hours vary between 9 AM to 8 PM. I would start my day with bringing the dogs out, feeding them, taking them for a walk, then a play session then they went into my sisters room to sleep until she got up. Within a few weeks even Delgado adjusted to being quiet and waiting until she woke up, and within a few months I could even skip the walk and just do a play session instead. He still would much prefer to get up and start playing by 8 AM but he knows when it's quiet that it's sleep time and he'll wait until 8:30-9:30 before "requesting" that it's time to play Sometimes it's 10 AM and I'm the one waking him up! lol

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, so the only thing you need is time. He'll mature and learn the schedule and within a few months should hopefully be sleeping until a decent hour for you consistently

Shanna

My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm like you - I like my sleep. I lucked out with my first dog, who was 8 years old and lazy, and Jazzy who also likes sleeping and slept through the night since 9 weeks old.

Delgado was another story, I picked him up at 9 weeks old and the little bugger refused to sleep. He'd be dead tired and drooping over the toy and I'd bring him up for a nap and he'd konk out for maybe 15 minutes and then he'd be up and ready to play for several hours again! I called him my energizer bunny with a fast recharge lol

I bought a house with my sister and we moved in when Delgado was 6 months old. I leave the house at 6 AM M-F for work while my sister works shift work so her hours vary between 9 AM to 8 PM. I would start my day with bringing the dogs out, feeding them, taking them for a walk, then a play session then they went into my sisters room to sleep until she got up. Within a few weeks even Delgado adjusted to being quiet and waiting until she woke up, and within a few months I could even skip the walk and just do a play session instead. He still would much prefer to get up and start playing by 8 AM but he knows when it's quiet that it's sleep time and he'll wait until 8:30-9:30 before "requesting" that it's time to play Sometimes it's 10 AM and I'm the one waking him up! lol

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, so the only thing you need is time. He'll mature and learn the schedule and within a few months should hopefully be sleeping until a decent hour for you consistently
I DO like my sleep. I used to sleep in till 10 AM every day; then I got a house of my own and I'm up at eight in the morning, which is wickedly early for me! My dog a home, Tonks (a Maltese), was good to be out of his cage (kept in my parents room) from the time my parents left for work until I woke up, and he wouldn't make a peep. We had to stop him from coming upstairs, but only because he would flop against my door as he laid down and it would disturb me.

Sora gets fed at noon and at six PM. I leave his food out for a half an hour. Water is out all day (in small amounts, because he likes to "swim" in his bowl and make an unholy mess. We're going to buy him a little kiddie pool for the back yard) until seven PM, at which point I take it up. He goes outside every forty-five minutes or if he's sniffing and circling.

It's reassuring to hear that it'll just take time. I automatically have more patience with animals than I do with people, and I just do not like babies, so I just have to remember to stay calm. I get frustrated, but at that point I give him a toy and come listen to some music at the computer.


Eventually I want to be able to leave the house without him destroying things. I know that any dog, given proper training, is able to achieve this little gold standard. Even my derpy Maltese at my parents' house can manage this. That's my long term goal (and being able to move around the house without him constantly under foot [though it is kinda cute right now]), and I'm guessing that it all starts with him being comfortable in his crate.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 02:54 AM
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I didnt read far into your post but I dont think youre right about the things you "understand" Some things like crate training are like math. Just do the formula, ignore the dog. If you dont follow the formula then it doesnt add up. and it has nothing to do with feeling sorry for the dog. Just ignore the whining.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 08:17 AM
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I think learning to be quiet in the crate is so important because it helps with travel, trips to vet, etc. as it is familiar and not a new stressor.

Also when he IS quiet, start with the good puppy good puppy and run to his crate and reward the quiet. If you are doing clicker training, even better! Click/Treat. It will be a good bit of work when he catches on but you can prolong the periods where he must be quiet.

I had that work with both a crate agressive dog, and a puppy who was not too keen on the restraint of being in a crate.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 08:25 AM
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I'm going through this with mine right now and he is not a puppy and he is much louder then a puppy. We have gotten to the point that he now automatically goes to the crate when my son is leaving(not me yet), but when I say say in the crate he goes. He does throw a tantrum every now and then, I find that a kong in the crate and me out the door immediately works. At night he sleeps well, but he does start getting vocal if he knows I'm up and I haven't gotten to him yet....working on that now. It just takes lots of time and patience.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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I didnt read far into your post but I dont think youre right about the things you "understand" Some things like crate training are like math. Just do the formula, ignore the dog. If you dont follow the formula then it doesnt add up. and it has nothing to do with feeling sorry for the dog. Just ignore the whining.
We do ignore him. We don't feel sorry for him, he needs to learn. But he has to come out of his crate some time; I can't leave him in there for four hours, but I don't want to let him out until he calms down. But, there's a lot of times when he doesn't calm down.

He did well for about a day with the kong and peanut butter. Now he just ignores it and screams louder than ever. The puppy biting isn't getting any better, either. I've tried yelping when he bites too hard, saying "game over!" and walking away and ignoring him, tried everything in every article that I've read and still I am seeing not one shred of progress. Making him sit to calm down when he gets wound up doesn't work. We have to take him and put him in his crate. Then he just screams. Rinse and repeat.

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 06:30 PM
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He'll get over it.

Please give my best regards to your husband. I'm also a Marine, an ex-Marine.

Oh, for those who said in another thread that I was just trying to be a bada$$ and show off because I said that I wanted my dog to protect my family and wear a T-shirt to make them aware of the dog's protection training so they'd stay away from the dog...

...Marines and ex-Marines don't have to show off. They really are badda$$es. It comes with the territory. I was trying to protect others from sad mistakes.

Want to know for sure if this it true or not? Join up. See the world.

T-shirts arrive on the 25th. I'll post a pic.

Anyway, the puppy will certainly grow out of this whining. I know it's ear-splitting. And, it can drive you crazy. I had a Labrador bitch who was incredibly clingy. But she got over it in time.

She also pissed in my house for two years, we expect because of her clinginess, and we banished her to an outdoor kennel. But she got over that too in time.

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