February 15th, 2006, 11:08 AM
I have a 11-week-old Bichon Frise puppy, and she come to my home about 2.5 weeks ago.
I have to leave my pup alone for four hours at maxinum to go to work (she usually does not soil her crate). In the beginning, I gradually extended the time when she had to be alone in her crate in the first week, and it seemed to go very well. It is in her third week of being alone. I hear her crying more often now than before, when I come home. Sometimes she is very quiet. I have no idea how long and how often she cries when she is left alone. She absolutely prefers lying her favorite spots to being in her crate, and I kind of assmed that if she has freedom to roam in the room, she will probably not cry. However, I keep her in the crate for safety as well as potty training - I totally understand it is kind of cruel for 11-wk-old puppy stays alone for 4 hours..., but that makes my heart wrench.., but we have to go through to live on. Anyway, I do not think she has separation anxiety at present. I guess she cries for me, or because she is bored or wants to get out of the crate.
My questions are:
Will she eventually become quiet when she gets mature, even if she has to stay in the crate? The man who's living upstairs of me placed a complaint about my dog twice. He stays home during the day. I do feel sorry about this.... Also, I have a concern that she might develop separation anxiety in the future. Is it possible? Like I stated earlier, it seems she does not have SA yet.
My dog slept very well through the night every day in the first two weeks, except for the first two nights. She has started whining/barking in the middle of the night since three days ago. She does a few times, but just keeps going for less than five minutes. I just ignore her. I hear her moving and moving in her crate when she cries. She probably struggles to get out of there. I just wonder why she's started this now - after those two quiet weeks. She seems tired at night and can now hold pee the whole night. Will she stop this if I keep ingoring her? Here again, I am concerend that "that man" is bothered by her whining during the night.
I do not mind my dog crying myself, because she is still a puppy and I believe she will be better. However, all I am concerned about is she bothers our neighbours - all my neighbours on the same floor are very understanding, which is great. Also, I want to understand my dog's feelings too.
Thank you for taking your time to read this long post, and if you could kindly give me some advice, opinions or suggestions, whatever it is, that would be very much appreciated!!
February 15th, 2006, 11:54 AM
oooh do we get to see a pic of the little cutie?
sounds to me like your off to a great start! the things you mention seem normal to me - she's a baby, and yes, 4 hrs is a little long but not the end of the world. Is there a neighbor (that you trust), friend, or family member that can stop in during those 4 hrs to give the pup some attention (and potty break)?
my dog cried too at that age, thankfully I'm not in an apartment though. Can "the man" tell you how long she cries for (truthfully)? if not, you could tape record her, just so you know.
Is there a room in your apartment that you could puppy proof and block off? maybe the kitchen? you could leave her crate open, and she would have the freedom of just one room.
does she have things to do while you're gone? such as a puppy-kong? you stuff w/ a treat, and she works to get the treat out - could keep her busy for a little while.
as for the crying at night - seems common to me - but where does she sleep? in her crate? in your room? or in another room? My pup slept in his crate (because he was not housebroken) BUT I kept the crate right next to my bed, so he was still close to me. it didn't stop the whining, but it was minimal. he only whined when he needed a potty-break in the middle of the night.
February 15th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Make sure she's really tired before you leave. Play with her a lot before you go. If she's sleeping, she can't cry. ;) I agree withe Jessi76, I think it's normal for a young puppy to cry when left alone. Keep working with her and she should be fine in time. I also agree that we need some pictures. :D
February 15th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Thank you so much for your reply. Your message was really reassuring to me. If I can believe that my dog will eventually become mature and stop crying, that makes me feel really better. Unfortunately, I have no one who could take care of my dog during those four hours.
The guy upstairs seems very sensitive to noise. When I moved in, I banged a nail. Whenever I banged, he banged back as many times as I did, so I had to stop it right away. Also, my friend was living upstairs of him - she just moved out a couple of days ago. Whenever she dropped something, he made some noise back to her - he probably poked the ceiling with a stick or something. He is this kind of person. However, it is true that my dog bothers him, so I feel very sorry for him, and really want to deal with the problem. Thank you for the idea of using a tape recorder! That's such a good idea!!!
Right after I read your message, I decided to buy a pen. I can put her into my little kitchen space like your suggestion, but I want her to go to the potty spot. So I went to a pet store this evening, bought one, and set it up! I finally could make this decision thanks to your advice. She still may cry, and the guy will hear her crying even more since she will be in open space - when she is in the crate, I kind of wrapped it up with three comforters. But I thought this is worth trying. My dog never cries as long as she has freedom to roam, even if I am not home. So i hope this little freedom will help to solve the problem.
Yes, I put her Kong filled with peanut butter/cream cheese into her crate, when I leave home. I just wonder how she is when she finishes eating it and realizes I am gone.
I always keep the crate right next to my bed. I will keep her in the crate during the night - my dog hasn't been housebroken yet, either. I just wonder why she whines NOW in spite of that she didn't whine at all in the first two weeks.... If it is common that a puppy this age cries at night, I will just accept it and try to be patient. This is good to know.
Thank you so much for your advice and sharing your experience, jessi76! Wish me luck with the pen thing.
Oh, regarding my doggy's pic, I posted it before with my first post. However, I attached it here again.
February 15th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Thank you for your reply! She is always tired in the evening after a walk and play, but she gets some rest while I am doing my own stuff. I should tire her out again right before going to bed!! Your words - Keep working with her and she should be fine in time - this really made me feel better. Thank you so much. I really wanted to hear this, I think.
Thank you here again!
February 16th, 2006, 08:24 AM
Vanillamom, I think you're doing a great job!! and ohhhh my! the cuteness!!! she's precious! what's her name?
February 16th, 2006, 08:44 AM
Oh, thank you for your sweet words... It was the first time for me to use the pen this morning. It's got enough room for her to play. She's got the crate, the potty area, free access to water, her favorite cushion, and toys in the area! However, while I was waiting for the elevator, she started barking and barking... And this time she is in the open space, so I could hear her crying even more than before...., which means the guy upstairs hears her more too. It really depresses me...., oh well...what can I do? All I can to is to wait for her to grow up? And her crying at night is getting worse every day.....
By the way, my dog's names is Vanilla. I call her Vannie too.
February 16th, 2006, 09:06 AM
I hope some other apartment or condo dwellers see this thread, and hopefully can offer some advice.
I can remember leaving my house, and hearing my dog, Tucker, screaming... (no normal whining, more like a scream/yodel type noise)... anyways, I could hear him when I was in my car in the driveway. I felt horrible - every time I left him. it did stop though, once he got used to my morning routine - so there is light at the end of the tunnel!
My friend has a small dog, and lives in an apartment - sounds like she's got the same set up as you - potty area, pillow, crate, water, toys, etc... however, she leaves a small 12" TV on for him - on animal planet. have you tried a radio or tv? on low volume of course, you probably wouldn't want to upset "the man" anymore than he already is.
and der... I should of figured out "vanilla".... still working on my morning coffee. ;)
February 16th, 2006, 10:29 AM
Oooh, thanks, jessi. I am hoping my Vanilla will get used to my (and her ) routine soon like your Tucker. I do want to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Yes, I always keep TV on. I would keep the radio on before for her to hear nice calming music, but then I realized TV might be better since it ia always on when I am home. I hope it can distract her from some noise in the hall and that she feels less lonely.
I've spoken to all my neighbors living on the same floor, except for the guy living next door to me - I've never met him, so I dropped a letter on the next day I got Vanilla. However, I am now thinking about writing a letter to both tenants living upstairs (that guy) and downstairs of me. I truly feel sorry for both of them, and it would be nice. I would feel the same way if I hear someone's dog barking all the time - I do not think my dog barks ALL THE TIME, but I was told by the management office that any tenant should not disturb his/her neighbors AT ANY TIME, and I do agree with that... I wish I had a house like you, jessi76!
Thank you for your warm message and listening to me. It is always very good to have someone to speak to!
February 16th, 2006, 12:36 PM
I've heard of people who use a tape recording of their own voice to help calm the puppy while they're not there.
My dog was also a barker when we left her home alone (which was almost never, since I'm a stay-at-home mom, which made it harder to get her used to the idea :rolleyes: ). I was told that the key is not to make a huge fuss when you leave, and even less of a fuss when you get back. Be very business-like when you put her in her pen. Don't fuss, don't talk to her. Then just leave. When you get home, again, don't make a fuss. Ignore her completely. Take a minute to take off your coat and boots, look through the mail, etc... - your usual routine. Then, when you finally do let her out of her pen (prefarably at a point when she's not barking and/or crying), be happy, tell her she's a good girl but don't make a fuss. Ideally, you should be leaving her for small periods at first (like 10 minutes or so) and working your way up to longer periods. This, along with a frozen Kong (last longer than an un-frozen one), has worked wonders for my girl - with the Kong between her paws, she barely notices that I've left the house! :D Make sure you stuff a few cookies in there with the peanut butter - they should get wedged in, making her work harder for her treat, and lasting a little longer as well. ;)
Hope things calm down for you soon! :thumbs up
Your girl is very sweet, by the way!
February 16th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Since she is spending so much time in the crate during the day it would be MUCH better to have her sleep with you in bed at night. She will sleep soundly next to your warm body and heart beat, and is bonding with you while you sleep.
February 16th, 2006, 03:33 PM
Thank you for your message! It is very helpful for me to hear others' experiences with their dogs.
Right before I leave home, I put my coat on, get ready to go, put my dog and her kong with peanut better into the crate (with the door open now), and sneak out. Is this OK?
When I come home, she doesn't cry - whine a little. I take off my coat, turn on the light, and open the door to the balcony, humming... While I am doing these, I don't look at her or speak to her, but I am always afraid she will burst into barking. So probably within two minutes, I open the door of the crate and take her out to the balcony, saying, "Good girl!'. Should I take more time before getting her out? The breeder I got her from told me that I should go to her after enjoying a cup of tea! I would do that if I lived in a house.... But I will try to take more time before going to her....
I heard many ways of using Kong, but I haven't tried them yet. I guess my dog eats it up in a few minutes, because I sometimes hear her start crying when I am still waiting for the elevator - I am not sure if she has finished it though. I will try giving her frozen peanut better!
Thanks again for your advice, Writing4Fun. You guys are so kind and helpful, and help lots of dog owners here. I hope to help others out in the future!!!
February 16th, 2006, 04:09 PM
I think you are so right. I used to sleep with my old dog, and it was very nice. We would share my pillow every morning. It is one of wonderful memories with her.
The reason I don't sleep with my puppy is:
1. My bed is very high and she is so small - she weighs about 4 lbs. I am afraid she may fall and then get hurt.
2. I've read many training books and all say that we shouldn't sleep with our own dog. I really feel like I have to become the leader! Once I let her sleep with me, she will never want to go back to the crate to sleep, I suppose.
However, like you say, she spends so much time being alone in the crate at weekdays, and your opinion sounds so reasonable...
I am just afraid she won't consider me as the leader any longer, and that it will give me even harder times for me to train her. If I could hear your opinion over this matter - is it any good or bad to sleep with your dog?, that would be helpful.
Thank you so much for your suggestion, tenderfoot! I truly appreciate it.
February 16th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Many trainers tout the idea the you shouldn't sleep with your dog. We beg to differ.
The pack sleeps together - often touching each other. The pups are always protected by the elders and kept safe. They are never ostracized to sleep alone in the woods - too dangerous.
If you have leadership issues with your dog (any dog) it is not about the bed. The bed is simply a symptom of the relationship being out of the balance NOT the reason.
We sleep with all of our dogs. At times though, it is nice to not have 5 dogs in our bed so a few might be in their crates. They don't mind and it doesn't disrupt their training.
Sometimes it can be handy to have a short leash (attached to your wrist) on the pup for the first few nights until you get used to her habits. That way you will get a tug on the leash if she gets up and moves about. You can determine if she has to go out, or just tell her to settle back down. Bedtime is not for play - it is for calm energy.
February 16th, 2006, 08:06 PM
I was very much impressed by your point: "The pack sleeps together". Yes, you are right! I think there are lots of myths about dog training.
You pointed out that my dog spends so much time being alone in the crate, and that made me re-think how I can make up for lack of time together - I spend all my time with her except for work time, but I forces my baby to be alone almost for many hours at weekdays. So I started taking some time lying together in the pen, hoping she will get to like being in it. She can't stay still, but it was a great time lying next to each other - she was chewing her toy beside me. I can do some reading in it too.
You gave me a good opportunity to think how I can build a stronger bond with her, tenderfoot. I do appreciate your advice. Truly, this forum is fantastic!!