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Dogs and mobiles

September 6th, 2008, 04:21 AM
Hi all,I have a slight problem these days with our female GSD who is 8yrs old and very calm submissive behaves very well.
The problem is a legacy of the last 8 months of this year when our 2 sons were off around the world.One in the military in Afghanistan and the other a rugby player playing for a club in Australia.Due to the time difference and for the military one the time to be able to text us back here in the U.K. meant that messages were comming in during the early hours of the morning ie 3 or 4 am.Our dog Gypsey began to wake us if a message came in on our mobiles which were left down stairs she would lick our faces and nudge us with her nose.She even got to know the diffence between our mobiles.No training was done to get her to this and we thought how marvelous she was.
The problem we are left with now is this.If as like yesterday we forget our phone and its left at home(not on silent)and a message comes in then she gets very stressed.
As I said yesterday (my wifes) mobile was forgot and left on the side in the kitchen and a message came in,When my wife got home a few hours later she found the phone emitting its message tone and no sight of the dog.She called her and heard a noise from our garage which is joined to the house and can be enterd via a door, Which when out, We leave open for her to go out there.My wife found her panting and stressed behind my large motorcycle in the corner.To get in there she had,Had to squeeze between the crash bars of my bike and a punch bag which is stood there from our two sons training equipment.
She is not a nervous dog as when fireworks go off she takes no notice what so ever even if left at home but this with the mobiles is strange to understand.
We realise that to leave the phones on silent is ok but what if forgotten as was the case.Any ideas:confused:

September 6th, 2008, 10:48 AM
I suspect she's associating the tones with body-language from you and your wife. If she hears something, consistently followed by subtle tense cues from you (totally likely given that your sons were away and one was in a potentially dangerous environment), then she'll learn to be tense when she hears the tone.

You can try to desensitize her to the tones with a reward system, with the aim of making the sound of the tones a happy/pleasant occasion--it'll take a lot of patience and consistency, but it's possible to do. And if you can work to relax your own body language when a call comes in it will reinforce to her that the tones are not a danger signal.

The short term solution is, of course, to make it a habit to either turn the phones off or take them with every day, which is something you won't likely forget to do for a while again, anyway. :D

Good luck with your girl. :goodvibes: She's sounds like a sensitive sweetie! And best wishes for your boys! :goodvibes:

September 6th, 2008, 11:05 PM
Good advice from Hazel :thumbs up.

Good luck.

September 7th, 2008, 03:13 AM
hazelrunpack,Thank you for reading my thread and considering the situation.I have to agree with the point you make about her picking out the body language and that we must try to desensitise her of the fact that just because the mobile receives messages and makes a noise that its a tense time for us :thumbs up
And yes we both try very hard to not leave the phones laying around with ring tones enabled.
Oh and by the way both sons now back in the U.K. safe and sound !

September 7th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Glad to hear everyone's back safe in the UK! :grouphug: That'll make it easier to smile every time you hear the mobiles ring. It not only sends a good signal to your dog, but it also tends to make your body-language relax a bit. You can't be tense with a pleasant smile on your face. :D