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8 Month Old Lab/Mix Whining

want4rain
June 11th, 2007, 11:31 AM
he is whining like crazy. he whines at anything. if we go out side and he is inside, if we go inside and he is outside. if he is in his kennel and someone comes into his 'room' which is the kitchen, if we go in the car or pull up in the drive way. if we have company over... its maddening!!

we started out ignoring his whining and rewarding him when he does what we wish.

when he is outside, he jiggles the door handle to be let in or out. we still religiously only let him in when he wiggles the door handle but now we yell at him when he whines. we are at "war" with our neighbor. she has a bored german shephard that barks all day long. Misters whining and yelping is only getting worse, not better.

there is no desired action for us being outside and him being in the house. i dont have an alternative to whining because we arent in and out of our home at the whim of our dog. there are times where his prescience isnt reasonable... mostly because of the whining. for right now we are just ignoring him and not coming back inside until he is done whining. its an effort to teach him that we will NOT come 'home' if he is whining. we may come home if he is NOT whining.
he gets kenneled when we leave the house or when we eat and at night OR if he sits at the gate and whines at us when we have company over.
after we have dinner he does clean up duty (yep i keep track of what he eats!! i promise he doesnt get MUCH, just some crumbs) he hangs out with us in the living room watching Americas Funniest Home Videos until the kids go to bed and then we feed him (and the cats) dinner.
after that its just chill time with us grown ups.

right now im babysitting another 7 yo girl for the summer. we introduced the two of them this morning (her first day here) of which he was a little jumpy for but remarkably well behaved (of which he usually is!!) but as soon as i put him back in the kitchen he started whining. eventually he stopped and wiggled the door handle so i let him outside. well the girls wanted to go out so, the whole time they were outside (and outside the fence he is in) he whined. i sure he wanted out side the fence to play with the girls but quite frankly he isnt allowed outside of the fence without my husband or i outside with him, on a leash.... i guess im trying to say that i cant drop everything because Mister wants to go out and play with the girls. we arent in a position to do that. they dont play with him together inside of the fence because he gets too excited and jumps sometimes. we are working on that but not as aggresively as before. more waiting for him to grow out of being so excited and into realizing how large he is.

our usual daily routine is this-
get up and feed the cats, the dog (cooked home made for cats and BARF for Mister)
play 30 minutes of Animal Crossing before the kids wake up (yeah yeah.... we all have out vices!!)
get the kids up, get them breakfast, Mister is either outside slobbering the germs off his mouth (it makes me feel better ok? :o )
he comes in after the rug rats eat and cleans up their breakfast mess (he is such a GOOD hoover!! i should have named him Mister Clean!)
through out the morning he is in and out side, depending on HIS mood. most mornings im doing my own thing. its mornings i do my gardening and weeding and other assorted yard work things that takes me outside but not in his fence. he whines the entire time im out there. if he is GOOD and doesnt whine i throw his ball around for him for about 30 minutes. that usually wraps up my sons nap. if we dont toss the ball then, its not until after lunch, before dinner time frame when i take him out to toss the ball but its always after he hasnt whined. even if i have to wait all afternoon for it!!! (can you see what dictates our lives right now?!?!:laughing: )

he has a kong ball thing that i fill with peanut butter. he has two large cow bones that i put PB in sometimes. he has cow knees with.... yuck on it. we replace those when they get too clean. i tied a small dog tire to a rope outside so he can play with that. while he doesnt spend much of the morning in the rest of the house with us, he spends a good bit of the evening in there. he is in a chewing phase and i cant do my house work and watch him well enough (wasnt before he ate the leg to my buffet!!) so he spends most of the morning outside or in the kitchen.

i guess bottom line is i ahve a choice to make, i can either neglect the fun and play times with my children, cut out my personal time or have a dog that is emotionally unhealthy. i dont understand exactly what the problem is other than he wants to be with us ALL THE TIME. i dont have the energy for it. he is 75lbs of clumsy right now. i spend most of my day with him and its not enough. im not sure what enough would be... but i know its more than i can give right now. i dont know whats reasonable or expected. i know i shouldnt have a dog if i cant give him all of the love and attention he needs but when it starts competing with my children's love and attention or even my own sanity....

i need help. i cant do this. he is such a good dog, amazing dog in all aspects other than this one thing. i love him dearly but if im not equipped to give him what he needs, i dont know what to do. i think a bark collar or citronella collar would only make things more stressful to him. we have really approached this dog thing with research, knowledge and patience. im at a loss. ive ruun out of patience and unless someone here has some sort of solution, encouragment or advice i just might fall over and cry. :confused: :confused:

sorry if this is less than coherant. i had only a few minutes to jot down the situation and ended up writing an epic in between baby diapers, laundry and dentist appt making.

thanks for reading! i hope we can come up with something. we already have to find new homes for two of our cats. our tribe doesnt suit them anymore. we are all pretty bummed about it. id hate to not be enough for our dog too. :frustrated: :frustrated: :sad:

-ash

mummummum
June 11th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I'm just going to bump this up a little so it doesn't get buried and will try to give you some helpful advice tomorrow and other folks will leap in here as well no doubt.

In the mean time ~ hang in there ! Everyone who has had a puppy especially a high-energy one knows what you are going through.

want4rain
June 12th, 2007, 09:17 AM
thank you Mummummum.... my son says that all the time!

-ash

mummummum
June 12th, 2007, 10:02 AM
Okay...

My first suggestion is "BIG, CLEANSING BREATH !" :D It can be solved, with work, patience and commitment. We've been there and back ~ some have faced far worse problems. You can get through this !!

My second suggestion is to get Tenderfoot's training books/dvd's. She is a guest expert here on training and behaviour and I find her advice invaluable. (Use the search function on the blue bar above, key in Tenderfoot and open up any post she's in, her website is listed, they're not expensive and worth every penny).

In the interim, you need to recruit the other grown-up. Labs are high energy and a lab puppy can be :crazy: with energy. Is there an off-leash area or a dog beach your "other grown-up" can take him to in the evenings or early morning ? He needs to burn off some of those zoomies for at LEAST one full hour a day should be spent running/ swimming non-stop. He also needs routine and structure in his walks and playtime. In addition to his zoomie time he should be taken for at least 3, 30 minute brisk walks. A tired dog means a happy Mummy. You don't mention the ages of your human kiddlies but in a short time with proper training, you can hook up either by leash or by harness your pooch to the stroller and get everybody out for some fresh air.

He also needs structured obedience training so that he learns to be attentive to commands and understands that he has "work to do" when you give him a command. This means going to classes. Not only will you get the advice of experts but you will get out of the house (very important for a Mum of youngun's!!) AND get support from other dog people who are going through exactly what you are going through.

I would also suggest that you designate a "spot" for him in the house that is just his, preferably on the main floor of where the action is so that he doesn't feel isolated. Dogs want to be where their people are ~ remember you are his whole world and he can't understand why you put him away from you.

Some people have found success with tethering (the Monks of New Skete advocate this as a training method). This is a technique whereby you tether your puppy to yourself, giving him commands as needed so that he sits, stays, heels, lies down. It focuses his attention on you and commands. Where it is comletely impractical or inadvisable ie. supper time, he is tethered to his spot. I would use a lagbolt and "O" ring in the wall) as it sounds like his kennel has now become a negative experience for him so I would not use that as his "spot. Tethering is obviously is not a lifetime commitment and is generally used until you feel you and your dog communicate well, he understands his place in the family and is responsive to the commands you need for good behaviour in the house.

I think most of this will cure the whining but, you can also teach your dog "quiet" by first teaching him "speak". More on that later.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm sure I've missed lots but others will pop in with some good advice as well !

want4rain
June 12th, 2007, 03:18 PM
WOO HOO! you might be onto something with the structure. what we saw as anesiety over not being with the family really might be confusion over 'routine' or our total lack of it. his kennel is not so much of a problem and i would worry abotu tethering him in the house because we may end up just avoiding him when he is in his 'thethered spot'. he has always tucked his head going into his kennel but never refused it and sleeps in it when he comes in from playing ball of his own free will. most of the time we eat in the kitchen and he is kenneled then or when we are sleeping or gone. rarely rarely ever out side of those times. BUT i must say the times we are gone and the times we eat vary day to day. not a whole lot but still...

he is high anexiety but not high energy.... if that makes any sense???!! can that make sense?! a 30 minute walk would have him bushed... let alone 3 of them!! 15 minutes of ball time and he is ready for another nap. its not always like that but it is more often than not. i blamed it on growing.

i think having somewhere ELSE to take him would help out a great deal (along with training but thats a whole nother story!!:laughing: )

also, i forgot to mention, we just had a HUGE change in his routine. we have a really serious issue with our neighbors german shephards barking out of boredom. to make a really long long story short we are confining Mister to the far side of the yard in the kids area. we went through some mildly stressful training of getting him to poo in one spot in the yard and about the time he was getting the hang of it (boy was he proud of himself which is good cause telling poop it was BAD was getting to be a bit silly!!) my neighbor yelled at my husband when walking him out to his poop spot over Mister 'inciting her dog to bark at us'. he wont go back out there and even if he would, right now im taping her dog barking at... well nothing. birds, bugs... hours of her poor dog barking out of boredom- *not* at our dog, us or anythign else to do with our home. so we will decide on another acceptable poop spot as soon as our neighbor buys our property and can thus dictate what we do on it. :rolleyes:

i will look into Tenderfoots media. ive actually peeked a bit at it since joining this forum. not completely yet but im working on it. :) its taken me all day to write this measley post. lol!! kids and furbabies do that to you.

-ash

want4rain
June 12th, 2007, 03:23 PM
in re-reading this entire thread, i suspect the neighbor dogs barking plays a large role in Misters anexiety. im not sure he knows how to react to being barked at all the time. we hear it in the house, when we take walks, when we play ball... its all the time! we are working on it so maybe much of this will change when the barking stops.

-ash

mummummum
June 12th, 2007, 09:48 PM
:fingerscr Good luck and pop back in any time with more questions or... answers !