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Help with incessant whining

February 17th, 2005, 10:46 PM
I have a 3 year old Rott/Basset Hound mix (yeah, I know...if you want to see him do a search for Bubba)

He was a rescue dog.....we have had him for 2 years. He whines CONSTANTLY when we are home. At first we thought it was separation anxiety (which I guess it still could be) but after 2 years I guess I had hoped it would go away.

We have a raised ranch home. Fully finished basement, it's nicer than the rest of the house, and that's where Bubba's main bed is. We have 2 cats that do not like Bubba as much as he likes them, and laminate flooring which he scratches with his nails.

We spend a lot of time with him in the family room, but occasionally we like to go upstairs in our home too (the cats like to see us once in a while).

As soon as we go upstairs he whines non stop. He gets lots of excercise, walks...has a Kong......sometimes he comes up with us (he looks so cute in his booties), but the cats will hide under the bed when he is upstairs, so it's not fair to them for him to always be there.

He seems to be fine when we go to work, never destroys anything, does not bark, but if we are home and not with him he will not stop whining.

We have tried behaviour modification, leaving at first for 30 seconds, then a minute, etc, but it has not stopped him. We have tried getting him to get along with the cats, but they will have no part of it.

Any suggestions, thoughts?? After 2 years of whining, I'm ready to try anything. :eek: was suggested to try a barking collar, but I won't use those shock ones, and the citronella one I am not sure of......

Any help would be appreciated.


Lucky Rescue
February 17th, 2005, 11:36 PM
So this dog is alone in the basement all day, and then again at night? I am understanding this right, or does he have freedom of the house all day?

If this is the case, no wonder he whines when he sees his "pack" leaving to go upstairs while he sits alone again.

If he's in the basement all day, then could you put up a gate on a bedroom for the cats to retreat to in the evening? What have you done to try and introduce the cats to him? This takes time, but is very doable if done right. Is he aggressive with them?

No dog left alone all day should be left alone all night too. He should be allowed to spend the evening and the night with you.

February 18th, 2005, 06:37 AM
I have 4 dogs and 2 cats, one of them doesn't care much for the dogs, but she can defend herself well if need be! I would never dream of seperating myself from either of the 2 species nor would I seperate them from each other.

I plan to have my pets for a very long time so they have learn't to deal with each others faults. I have 4 Aussie's and when one starts herding the cat they all join in, but....she does have claws and she can make them back down in a split second. If they get to rambunctious all I need to do is say NO! and they all stop, even the cat.

My advice to you is ...........let them live and let them live together! They are a part of your family. Cat's sleep most of the time so why penalize the dog for it?

This is only my thought on the subject, but my furrbutts all of them are my family and each one is as important to me as the other.

February 18th, 2005, 07:48 AM
so it's not fair to them for him to always be there.

But it's fair for him to be left alone in the basement while the family is upstairs?That is just so very wrong.And you wonder why he is whinning?Your cats will get over it.

This poopr baby is a rescue.And he has had to spend most of his time in the basement.If he would have been able to be part of the "pack" when you first got him,the cats would have adjusted quicker.Yeah,they would run and hide,but they would have come around.It has been 2 years.

Let me get this right,the reason he does stay in the basement is because you have laminated floors?

Alot of us on here have laminated floors,hardwood floors,tiled floors.But we do not leave them in our basement.

Sorry if I am sounding harsh,it just upsets me hearing things like this.And what hurts the most is that Bubba is a rescue and has been having to spend most of the time alone in a basement,just because of cats that hide.

So please,let Bubba be apart of the family,once again,the cats will get over it.

February 18th, 2005, 08:10 AM
Oh Bubba--what a poor baby! I agree--please try to open your home and your lives to him upstairs in the light. He is whining because he knows you are still up there--without him.

Dogs like to be in packs--unlike cats which can be loners or more self sufficient in their lives. He NEEDS to be with you and WANTS to be with you because you are his only family.

Just think of it this way, picture yourself as an adopted child---you are brought to this new home, where you're ready to be loved and love back. However, after a little while, you realize that because the "natural" children in the house aren't really pleased that you are there, your new mommy and daddy make you a bedroom in the basement and only "visit" with you for a while before rejoining their "real" family upstairs.

It would be heartbreaking wouldn't it? Just thinking about how terrible he must feel is making me so sad!!

Bring him on upstairs--floors are just that--floors. They have no feeling and no love for you. He has love for you and will love you unconditionally. Please, let him join your family--if you're worried about your floors can't you clip his nails more often? The kitties have nails too....

Life for you and him and your kitties will be much better when you're all one unit...together :thumbs up

February 18th, 2005, 08:43 AM
We have laminate flooring that we put in specifically because we knew the dog & kids would ruin any other kind of flooring. The laminates are specifically designed to resist scratches and gouging. Sure, they'll scuff a little, but they'll survive.

So will the cats. My cat isn't impressed with all the "attention" he's getting from the dog, but as the dog gets older and calmer, the cat is starting to enjoy her company. He's actually started cuddling with the dog at night, giving her head a thorough bath before settling in for the night. If you handle the introductions properly, and give the cats a safe place to retreat when they've had enough, they will all adjust fine. The reason they haven't adjusted until now is because they haven't had the chance.

Put up a baby gate as Lucky suggested, throw down an area rug if you don't like the scuffs on your floor, and let Bubba be your full-time dog. :(

February 18th, 2005, 08:55 AM
If you can hear Bubba's nails click when he walks on the laminated floor, then his nails are too long and need to be trimmed. That will reduce the damage on the floors. You also mentioned he looks so cute in his booties, sounds like a solution to me. If you dont like the area rug idea, how about a couple of runner rugs (some have a rubberized backing so they dont slip) on the heaviest traffic areas.

As long as the cats have a place to retreat to where Bubba can't get at them, then let them sort things out for themselves.

What about putting up a babygate across one bedroom doorway and letting Bubba sleep in his bed in that room. He would be spending the night in the presense of a human.

A second dog would give Bubba caninie companionship during the day while everyone is at work and school, but both dogs would have to have free human contact when you are home.

If Bubba pays too much attention to the cats and they do not like it, then teach him the "leave it" command when he pesters the cats too much. That coupled with "escape" places for the cats should help everyone to sort things out.

February 18th, 2005, 09:05 AM

Now that Bubba's whining is now resolved, hopefully corona99's will too! :evil:

February 18th, 2005, 09:50 AM
r0amy0: Play nicely

February 18th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Believe me your dog will be put in his place by the cats and they will probably be just fine if you don't make a big deal out of them being around each other. Buddy likes cats and he can't understand why when he runs up to them they take off or he gets whacked across the snout. Gee I don't get it 160 pound dog running at a 15 pound cat duh, and the cats always win he just wants to play. But cats are pretty independant so I would not worry to much about them my friends cats sleep on her rottie every night, they hated each other when she rescued him now they are best buds so in time you will have one big happy family

February 18th, 2005, 11:07 AM
OH my!! Cats can run and jump high to get away from any slobbering dog. Have you never seen a 10 pound cat put a 60 pound dog firmly in it's place???

What everyone else said.... get that dog living with his family or else find him somewhere to live that he can be part of the pack!

We have laminate floors and the dogs have never hurt them!

February 18th, 2005, 12:58 PM
I posted for help, but I see instead I am getting slaughtered....too bad, becasue everyone that knows us, knows that we have done everything for this dog....he is part of our family. Apparantly my explanation was not sufficent. Although I know I will never be able to adequately explain exactly what we have been though with him....I know we have done everything we can for him.

The laminate is BAD. The man we bought the house from put something on it, like a floor cleaner and everything marks it. Plus the bigger problem is that he can't seem to get traction. His nails are clipped all the time at the groomers but they still touch. His booties help, but it would be nice to be able to let him up without them.

As for the basement, like I said, it is our family room where we spend most of our time to begin with, but we have to eat sometimes and being able to come upstairs for 20 minutes without him is not an unreasonable request, at least I don't think so.

As for the away at work bashing I received, my fiancee and I are shift workers to the extreme and do shift changes to work OPPOSITE shifts so that someone is home with the dog. The most he is alone is maybe 3 hours occasionally. We have made every effort beside me quitting my job to be with him. After the huge vet bills we have aquired from him, I couldn't do that anyway.

He has a huge custom made bed in the basement, and every night at 1130pm he crawls into it and won't move or make a sound until 830 am when he gets his breakfast. He wouldnt even want to come upstairs...We've left the 1/2 door open at times overnight....he will not come up. Overnight is not the problem.

Speaking of doors....a gate will do nothing for him. We went through many gates, and he just plows over them....we had to have a custom made door installed for him.

There have been days where he's been upstairs for hours and hours and the cats will stay under that bed. They will not come out at all. Do you really think that it is OK for my 2 cats to spend their lives there?? Why are Bubba's needs more important that my cats...don't they deserve attention too???

We have tried getting them together but he will not stop rushing at them, and so they run away, and he wants to chase.....he has a perfect down stay and has for a long time, but will not do it when the cats are involved. We've spent hours and hours and hours trying.....It has been over 1 1/2 years where he's upstairs....we hoped that the cats would eventually come around after getting used to him, but they have not.

Anyways....the problem is the whining...for example, this morning my fiancee was in the family room with him since is now 130pm and he just came up to do the dishes....within 30 seconds he is whining, and will do so until my finance goes back in the basement.

If we bring him up he's fine but when he goes back downstairs we have to take his booties off as they itch his feet, and he would chew them off (he has already done that) and they have to come off to go outside too. It is a 10 minutes procedure to put them on, we can't do it 50 times a day.

I'm sorry that some of you think I am whining, (but I don't think it is unreasonable to get able to go upstairs in my own home for 10 minutes without him and not hear him.) It is a horrible noise.

Even if we are both with him, and one of us leaves, he whines....we can't go to the bathroom without him whining.

To those that gave positive answers, thank you.

February 18th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Because he's a rescue dog - that's why he wants to be around you all the time. You're his saviour - his hero - he just wants to show you.

His whining is letting you know that he misses you and wants you to come back. He knows the house upstairs is where you've gone, and he wants to be with you, since you allow him upstairs at times. Leaving through a door is far different than just climbing a set of stairs and him being able to hear you. He doesn't understand why you can go upstairs and he cannot. If the laminate floor is that bad off that any sort of movement by the dog leave marks, it would be that way with the cats and people as well. Provided his nails are trimmed and dulled, there shouldn't be any reason he can't do well upstairs. He may run around a bit more, but that's because it's new to him and he's excited to be there. It appears going upstairs is a treat for him - and you know that dogs LOVE treats!

As far as the cats go - the others are totally right. The cats will put him in his place if he gets too close. The reason the cats hide under the bed is because they don't know who this strange dog is. Until they get used to him, and him to them, they will hide. They need to work out their own pecking order - and that won't happen if they don't get used to each other.

I hope this helps!

Lucky Rescue
February 18th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Well thanks for the detailed explanation.

As for the cats, it can take more than hours and hours to teach the dog to leave them alone but it can be done. Maybe not if the dog is highly predatory, but you say Bubba just wants to play. If he saw the cats more often he would get over the big novelty and the cats won't stay under the bed for the rest of their lives.

Same with gates. Most dogs could knock down any gate, but you must teach them to respect it and what it means.

This way you could gate off part of the house, let the dog upstairs when you are up there, and the cats could have a safe haven, which will make them feel more secure and more willing to come out from under the bed. My last cats were all terrified too when I brought a dog home, but they got over it. They would not have had I kept them separated all the time.

As for your laminate floors - I have solid oak floors and yes some parts are scratched up by my dog, but can't have a perfect home with pets and I certainly wouldn't make her wear booties indoors. If my floors were that important to me I would not have a dog.

Dogs are companion animals and want to be with their pack. When your dog sees you going upstairs and leaving him, he becomes anxious. If he were allowed to just be with you and be part of your lives and home, instead of just getting visited, the whining would stop. You could still let him sleep in his bed downstairs since he likes it and the cats could free run of the house overnight.

How much and what kind of exercise does he get?

February 18th, 2005, 01:32 PM
You could still let him sleep in his bed downstairs since he likes it and the cats could free run of the house overnight.

That would be perfect as cats are noctural anyways - right?

February 18th, 2005, 02:27 PM
The floors are already garbage to begin with, but the biggest part is that he cannot get traction, he slides and know those cartoons when people or animals are on ice and they slide so they go faster and faster......thats what happens to him.....he has fleece booties with rubber on the bottom so he can walk well.

And the cats...everyone keeps saying if I had let him up then they would be used to him by now. It has been over a year with him upstairs for hours every day......

He gets quite a bit of excercise, we have a huge fenced yard that he runs in...well we chase, he runs.....and he gets walked every night. We looked at that correlation. We could be with him from 800am to 600pm every minute with tons of walks and playing, but I go upstairs for 2 minues to use the washroon and he starts.

Last week it was so dad came down and he was helping my fiancee assemble and install a fireplace. It came in a million pieces, some glass, some sharp...Bubba could not be around it as it was not safe for him. The put a small box from some of the parts between the love seat and couch.....less than 2 feet away from them working on the floor....he could see them....he whined for 4 hours straight the whole time. My dad said he was never coming back!!! It's like if everything does not directly involve him, he makes a fuss.....he was allowed to be right there, but 2 feet was too far???? They took a break and gave him pets and treats, but as soon as they looked at anything else he would start.

February 18th, 2005, 04:46 PM
And the cats...everyone keeps saying if I had let him up then they would be used to him by now. It has been over a year with him upstairs for hours every day......

yes but you see this is what everyone is trying to get through!!! IF he was allowed free reign this would have been over. The cats would be used to it. They will NOT stay under the bed forever!!!

Personally I think if you want to solve this you need to engage a trainer. There are some alpha issues maybe and separation anxiety that are beyond the 'normal' being away from the pack. You are right you should be able to at least pee without the dog freaking out. But still...maybe if the dog KNEW he was welcome upstairs at will he wouldn't be so anxious??? It's worth a try in my view.

As you can see none of us here would be able to tolerate our pets not having as much freedom as we do in our homes, so hence the negativity to your situation. I think that we all just don't feel that the dog is getting what he needs here.

February 18th, 2005, 08:25 PM
One thing I would start with the pooch is teaching him "Quiet".

February 18th, 2005, 09:06 PM
Corona99, I know you must love of of your pets, and I think you feel that since you have had the cats longer you owe them a safe enviornment, away from an over excited dog. (am I right) I was in your position, I had 6 cats, and all of a sudden ended up with a foster dog! I was so concerned about my cats safety, that I to would put the dog downstairs at bed time, While we were awake I would have the dog on a tether, in the house so I could prevent her from chasing the cats.
4 of my cats also refused to come out of the bedroom, but my husband told me that as long as we interfered, they would never get along!
He was right (which is rare hehe) so we let the dog have the run of the house except for our bedroom, this was thier escape if need be.
Well 3 of our cats stayed up there for about 2 weeks, (coming out only at night when the dog slept, and they could creep by)
Eventually all the cats knew the dog was staying, so they came out of hiding, and all got along reasonable well.
long story short, as long as your cats know the dog will be locked in the basement, they will always hide, once they relize the dog is never going downstairs, they will come out.

February 18th, 2005, 09:21 PM
when the dog slept, and they could creep by
Oh yah :thumbs up that's EXACTLY what my cats did - AND glare at me like 'why did you let this 'creature' in our home?' LOL

February 18th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Oh yah :thumbs up that's EXACTLY what my cats did - AND glare at me like 'why did you let this 'creature' in our home?' LOL

LOL, I think my cats hated us as much as the dog !!! :eek:

February 19th, 2005, 09:27 AM
If you could stop stressing about the cats they would eventually relax around your dog and he would eventually ignore them - might even become friends. Dogs and cats pick up on owner's anxiety. so if he thinks you're anxious about him chasing them then he will. Why can't the dog have the same house freedom as the cats? Back off, let them all sort it out, let him come and go as he pleases and the whining will stop. Runners work well for traction. The more time that they're all involved and in the same areas of the house the faster this issue will be resolved.

February 22nd, 2005, 12:11 PM
We had the same problem when we got Belle, the computer room is blocked off for the cat and the rest of the house is fair game. Once Charlie realized he wasn't getting any treats or cuddles by hiding under the bed, he came out very slowly and cautiously of course, but he got treats and cuddles. (He is the biggest scardy cat ever) Charlie dealt with Belle by smaking her if she got to close or curious and she backed off in a hurry. They are going to have there dissagreements, its normal. I let them deal with it unless it gets way out of hand (which it never has) and believe it or not, its now Charlie who starts all the fights. If she walks where he was planning on walking, he will sneak up and pounce her, wrap his paws around whatever he can and bite her. She will shake him off, bark at him and chase him under table. I think he has figured out how to push her buttons and does so when hes bored! It will work out for you, you have to trust your animals to defend and protect themselves. (They know you will always be there to help if they cant handle it)

February 22nd, 2005, 02:45 PM
I have to admit I have not read all of the posts - I was getting dizzy. Some of the posts these days (on lots of threads) seem so wrought with emotion, and not focused at the issue at hand.
Floor issues - get a good rug to throw over the laminate - something easy to clean. Your dog needs the traction to feel comfortable.
Whining issues - this dog needs lots of jobs to stay busy - a busy mind doesn’t have the energy to whine. We often work with major whiners and the second we give them a job to do the whining stops. Not to say that it doesn't start up again when the job stops or the dog gets bored. But somewhere along the way he has learned that whining works - and you need to teach him it doesn't work. Pressure the bad choice of whining and reward the good choice of being quiet.
Cat issues - He needs to learn 'leave it' and 'easy' so that you can help him learn how to behave appropriately with the cats. We are talking years of them living together and better to teach good manners than to avoid teaching and just having to manage everyone for the next decade. The cats will adjust and he will learn. We have always had a household full of animals of all species and everyone learns to figure it out. It’s as if you adopted a child and he was so happy to be with your other kids that he behaved inappropriately with them. So you would spend time teaching him manners and how to play so everyone felt comfortable. It doesn’t even mean that the cats have to love him - but everyone does have to have manners according to the rules of the leader. Out of respect for you he will learn to be gentle with the cats.
Having him on the leash when he is with the cats will give you the opportunity to correct bad choices and reward the good ones. You need to be the one in control.
Leadership issues - When he has a decision to make "I want to chase the cats" he should look to you (the leader) first and ask for advice. You answer him with a 'leave it' or 'be easy' and then he understands what is expected of him. Looking to the leader for advice solves most of your problems – this is natural for dogs and should be worked on before even basic obedience commands.